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LONDON-Ken Livingstone, Mayor of London, has unveiled his transport strategy, setting the framework for transport in the capital for the next decade. As expected, Livingstone plans a £5 ($7) congestion charge for all vehicles entering the central area.

Livingstone said: ‘My transport strategy will radically improve and expand public transport, and take strong measures – including congestion charging in central London – to reduce the traffic congestion which blights the city.’

But Livingstone promised that congestion charging would only be introduced once public transport services had been upgraded. Plans include increasing underground, bus and rail capacity by 40% by 2011, reducing traffic in central London by 15%, and slowing the growth rate for traffic in inner London to zero and in outer London by a third. A 70p ($1) flat rate bus fare will be introduced throughout the city.

Mayor Livingstone also pledged support for new rail and tube lines: ‘Two thirds of new rail and Underground capacity will be delivered by new rail schemes – Thameslink, Crossrail, the East London Line, the Hackney-South West Line,’ he said.

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