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Frank Dobson: Labour

Cover story; London's Mayor

Rallying call: 'We've got to make the public transport system safer because there are legions of people unwilling to travel on public transport in London because they do not feel safe.'

Background: MP for Holborn and St Pancras since 1979. Former shadow transport minister. Secretary of state for health 1997-2000.

London Undergound: Favours PPP. Claims infracos will carry the cost of overruns. Efficiencies gained under the three infracos would more than make up the 'expensive' repayment rate of 10% to 12% for bonds or bank loans.

Cites the success of the Docklands Light Railway extension - built to time and budget - as an example of a successful transport PPP. Says the Jubilee Line Extension - two years late and £1.5bn over budget - is a warning of what could happen if the public sector does the procurement. Defends the management structure under the PPP: 'It's a myth that management would be split between different groupings with different commercial priorities. Every aspect (of the Tube) would remain under one overall management in public ownership.'

Promises index linked fare increase only after January 2001. Congestion charging: Not until second term. By then an electronic system should be possible. 'It's a sound idea but it's not right to introduce it until we have improved public transport. Judging on past experience with this type of technology, I don'tthink an electronic scheme is likely to be available in the first four years.'

Buses: Wants to increase the number of buses equipped with cameras to film and fine drivers parked in bus lanes. Wants to introduce a smartcard ticket for buses and tubes in the first term. Rail: Backs CrossRail proposal to link Paddington and Liverpool Street stations and East London Line extension to Hackney and Dalston in the north and Deptford, Peckham and Croydon in thesouth.

Also supports Ring Rail proposal connecting outer London suburbs.

Extra selling point: Plans to close the centre of London to traffic on certain Sundays in the summer.

Will introduce free bus passes for under-18s and incorporate river transport into the travel card scheme.

Strong point: As a former Labour cabinet minister he is best placed to work closely with the Government.

Weakness: Will delay congestion charging.

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