The Mayor of London has promised to go ahead with a £25 charge for “gas guzzling” cars in the capital at the launch of his environment manifesto today.
Londoners go to the polls on May 1st in the tightest race for Mayor since the office was established in 2000.
Ken Livingstone said he opposed airport expansion at Heathrow or any other sites in London.
“I have made environmental policy a central focus of all I have done as Mayor,” he said.
“If I am re-elected I will embark upon an even more ambitious programme to improve London’s environment and tackle climate change.
“Air quality will continue to be improved through further strengthening of the Low Emission Zone to include all lorries over 3.5 tonnes in July this year.
“To keep our promise of a better future for our children and grandchildren we need to keep London on track to cut CO2 emissions 60% by 2025.”
The Mayor also announced policies on litter, waste, a London-wide public building refurbishment programme to reduce fuel bills, a scheme to harness waste heat from Barking Power Station, a £500m programme to transform cycling, an expansion in car clubs and a commitment that all new buses will be hybrid buses by 2012.
The Conservative candidate for Mayor, Boris Johnson, said today that if he is elected under-18s will have their bus passes permanently withdrawn for breaking a ‘Behaviour Code’ and will have to complete community service to get their passes back.
Under-18s are entitled to free bus travel in London, but there have been consistent complaints about young people playing loud music and acting in an intimidatory way towards other passengers.
“As I visit London boroughs, there is one thing that continues to stand out in every area, whether Hillingdon or Harrow, Edmonton or Enfield, and that is the abuse of free travel by a minority of young people on our buses,” said Mr Johnson.
“While the concept of free travel for teenagers has been a good thing, Mayor Livingstone has shown he has lost touch in failing to tackle those who abuse this privilege.
“Cracking down on anti-social behaviour helps ensure that young people understand bad behaviour will not be tolerated, and will help promote civility on our streets and public transport.”
Lib Dem candidate Brian Paddick, who until May 2007 was the most senior out gay police officer in the UK, focused on crime today.
He backed calls by Merseyside Chief Constable Bernard Hogan-Howe urging judges not to overlook mandatory five-year sentences for possession of a firearm.
“How can we expect communities to stand shoulder to shoulder with the police to help get guns and knives off our streets if the offenders aren’t being properly punished?” said Mr Paddick.
“Letting offenders off the supposedly mandatory five-year sentence is sending out the wrong message.
“We need a real deterrent and judges should get on board to make sure that the sentences do exactly what they say on the tin.”
Mr Johnson also supported the Chief Constable.
“Mandatory five year sentencing was introduced to deter gun crime, to punish offenders and to make people feel safer on the streets,” he said.
“If this is not enforced then it cannot do its job.”
Today it was confirmed that Socialist candidate Lindsey German will be taking part in the Stonewall hustings for Mayor of London on Saturday 19th April.
The Respect – The Left List candidate will appear alongside incumbent Mayor Ken Livingstone, Tory candidate Boris Johnson, Lib Dem Brian Paddick and Green party candidate Sian Berry at the event at BFI Southbank on Saturday 19th April.
The Stonewall hustings will be the last before Londoners go to the polls on May 1st.
PinkNews.co.uk is proud to be Stonewall’s media partner for the hustings, which will be held at the BFI Southbank between 11am and 12.30pm.
The event is open to everyone, but in order to ensure a seat you must register here.
For a full list of candidates for Mayor of London click here.