Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Johnson: My Vision for Future of the 'Greatest City on Earth'

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Johnson: My Vision for Future of the 'Greatest City on Earth'

Article excerpt

Byline: Peter Dominiczak City Hall Correspondent

RACE TO BE MAYOR MAY 3 BORIS JOHNSON today said he wanted to make London "ever safer, greener, cleaner and more attractive to live in".

With three days to go until the capital goes to the polls, Mr Johnson warned against the "irresponsible proposals" of his rival Ken Livingstone and said his plans for a second term would "help bring prosperity to all". In an open letter to Londoners, Mr Johnson set out plans to save families money, improve the capital's ageing transport network and stamp out the "scandal" of illiteracy.

Mr Johnson writes: "This election comes when we have been going through the toughest times that anyone can remember. The big question is therefore blindingly simple.

"It is about who has the best plan for the jobs and growth that will help bring prosperity to all. It is about who will deliver the investment -- from central government -- that will take London forward. It is about who you can trust to spend that money wisely -- and who will be honest with you about where the money is coming from, and how it is spent." Saying that his plans were "right for the future of the greatest city on earth", Mr Johnson warned Londoners that Mr Livingstone would be forced to halt Tube upgrade programmes if he cuts fares by seven per cent.

"That is why it is utterly vital that we press on with our planned Tube improvements -- and why it would be so wrong and so short-sighted to cut those programmes," he writes.

He adds: "We have abandoned the grandiose and wasteful approach of the previous mayor. The choice is clear this Thursday. It is between a Mayor who invests in our future -- and irresponsible proposals from Ken Livingstone that would put that investment at risk."

TRANSPORT Mr Johnson said his grand plan is to automate the Tube network and introduce driverless trains, reducing the threat of strikes. The Mayor also claims that he will "keep fares as low as humanely possible while not putting investment in transport at risk".

He wants to use a second term to complete the upgrade of the Northern line and its extension to Battersea, and continue upgrades on the Circle, Metropolitan, District and Hammersmith and City lines. Mr Johnson believes he can cut Tube delays by 30 per cent. Like his Labour rival, Mr Johnson's big idea is to create a vast Overground rail network, allowing commuters to use Oyster pay-as-you-go. He will also expand the bike hire scheme to outer London town centres and push for a new road tunnel under the Thames. The Mayor will put 600 new buses on the streets by 2016.

CRIME The Mayor will put neighbourhood policing at the centre of his vision. He will boost Safer Neighbourhood Teams with an additional 2,000 police, including adding up to three officers and three specials to every team. …

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