Livingston promises no hike in congestion charges if he wins

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London, Apr 9 (UNI) Safety on streets and transportation are the priority issues for the May 1 polls for the Mayor of London city.

Boris Johnson, a Conservative member of Parliament, who is much ahead of London Mayor Ken Livingstone, promised to improve safety in London by putting more police on the streets. He said it was a disgrace'' that mugging occurs more often in London than in New York.

A member of the UK's ruling Labour party, Livingston, who is facing criticism for the three-fold increase in the congestion charges to 25 pounds for the drivers of the most polluting vehicles said he wouldn't increase the current charge of 8 pounds a day on all other cars if he wins another (third) term.

The plan will fructify in October.

Johnson and another contestant, Democrat Brian Paddick have opposed the tripling of the charge, which affects sports cars, large sport-utility vehicles and some family sedans and station wagons.

Livingstone has won less praise for bringing in a disproportionate tax. Recently, material girl Madonna reacted angrily to the increased congestion charges saying the traffic is worse than ever. She also added that ''Livingston can count on her to place her vote on someone else's name but his so that aspiring musicians have more money to do other things.'' The winner of the May 1 poll will oversee an annual budget of 11 billion pounds for 7.5 million residents.


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