Thursday 2 January 2020 12:05 pm

Sadiq Khan promises free travel for disabled people's carers

London’s public transport system will be free for anyone accompanying a disabled passenger if Sadiq Khan is re-elected.

The Labour mayor of London has pledged to create a “companion pass” if he wins the May election, which would provide free travel on all Transport for London (TfL) services for carers of disabled people.

Read more: TfL and Sadiq Khan to write to government in funding bid

“The decline was the largest since 2012 when the UK was emerging from a recession,” he said.

“The companion pass is intended to make a big difference to disabled Londoners.

“It will help them to move around our city more easily and take advantage of all the fantastic opportunities London has to offer.”

The pledge may be the starting gun on the mayoral election race, which Khan is heavily favoured to win.

Labour cleaned up in London at last month’s General Election and a recent poll put the mayor more than 20 points ahead of his nearest challenger, Conservative candidate Shaun Bailey.

The YouGov/Queen Mary University poll put Khan on 45 per cent, Bailey on 23 per cent, independent candidate Rory Stewart on 13 per cent, Liberal Democrat Siobhan Benita on eight per cent and Green co-leader Sian Berry on seven per cent.

Khan has attracted criticism during his first term for rising crime rates in London, with some claiming he has cared more about his personal image and trying to stop Brexit.

He has previously said his top priority during the past four years would be building more affordable housing.

Read more: London mayor slams Jeremy Corbyn and tells him to go now

He was given £4.9bn over four years in 2018 by the central government, with a view to building 116,000 affordable homes by 2022.

Other key policy actions have been a freeze in single trip fares on TfL services , implementing the £1.50 “bus hopper” initiative and an ongoing row with ride-hailing app Uber.