Ken Livingstone brings London mayoral campaign to Woolwich
April 1, 2012 by Rob Powell
Ken Livingstone took his election battle bus to Woolwich on Friday morning.
With megaphone in hand, Labour’s London mayoral hopeful hopped on to a soap box in General Gordon Square and gave a five minute speech to a crowd of about twenty-five spectators.
The former mayor, who has contested every mayoral election since the post’s inception, was joined by local London Assembly candidate Len Duvall and Labour list candidate Val Shawcross, who will be Ken’s deputy if he wins on May 3rd.
After his speech, which was met by polite applause, many audience members reached for their phones and asked Livingstone to pose for photos with them.
Speaking to Greenwich.co.uk before moving on to Lewisham, Mr Livingstone said that the new cable car was a “disaster”, he wanted to rename the ArcelorMittal Orbit as “the Johnson” and that he wouldn’t be able to extend the bike hire scheme to Greenwich in its current form.
He also said that Boris Johnson’s proposed new river crossing at Silvertown was “complete pie… underground.”
Emirates Airline Cable Car
Ken Livingstone told this website that the the under-construction cable car at North Greenwich was a “disaster” and despite work being well under way, he was “not certain it will ever open.”
It was “the most expensive cable car in human history,” he added. But if he wins, will Livingstone invite Boris Johnson back for the opening? “I’m not going to be as petty as he was. He didn’t invite me down here when he opened the Woolwich extension [to the DLR].”
Extending the Bike Hire Scheme to Greenwich
Ken ruled out extending the bire hire scheme to the Royal Borough of Greenwich in its current form.
“Not while it’s this expensive… if you rolled out the bike scheme across the whole of London it’s a billion pounds. They’ve either got to cut their price or we’ve got to look at something like the Barcelona scheme which is much cheaper.”
Extending the DLR to Eltham
Greenwich Council recently undertook a feasibility study into extending the DLR to Eltham. Does Ken back the scheme?
“DLR extensions are relatively cheap” compared to building an underground extension, he said and “we can clearly extend it.”
“Getting rid of 86 front-line police officers” in the borough had been the current mayor’s biggest mistake, said Livingstone, but there “was such a rich field to choose from,” he added.
Speaking to a resident, Ken said that the government had given Boris Johnson no money for a new river crossing so the proposed Blackwall relief tunnel was “complete pie in the… well, pie underground.”
More information on the London elections can be found at London Elects.