Susan Hall doesn't know what a London bus ride costs, how much police are paid, or who owns Hammersmith Bridge

22 January 2024, 11:02

Susan Hall has gaps in her knowledge about London, including a London bus fare
Susan Hall has gaps in her knowledge about London, including a London bus fare. Picture: LBC/Alamy

By Kit Heren

London mayoral candidate Susan Hall has failed to answer questions about bus fares, police salaries, and who owns a Thames bridge in need of repairs.

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Conservative Ms Hall, who hopes to replace Sadiq Khan as mayor of London in May, revealed the gaps in her knowledge of the capital in a phone-in with LBC's Nick Ferrari on Monday.

After Mr Khan announced fares on many Transport for London services would be frozen until March last year, Ms Hall declined to say if she would make changes if she became mayor.

Pressed on how much it costs to use the buses in London, Ms Hall said: "I don't use them. I use trains all the time... I use lots of trains to get around London."

After Nick told her that a bus fare is £1.75, Ms Hall said that was "why buses are good", although she added: "I don't know the profitability".

Read more: Sadiq Khan 'depriving vital services of money' to 'buy votes' in 'bumper election year spend' Susan Hall claims

Read more: Ministers' 'concerned about telling Sadiq Khan things in confidence because he leaks to the press', Susan Hall claims

Susan Hall on bus fares

Ms Hall, who was the leader of the Conservatives in the London Assembly until last year, added: "I listened to you say they promised this and that and they don't know where the money's come from.

"I'm saying to you, there's lots of things I'd like to do. But it's it's impossible for me to say until I know what money there is."

Ms Hall has consistently pushed to reform the Metropolitan Police, and said she would invest £200 million in the force.

But she revealed on Monday that she doesn't know a London police officer's starting salary, which is nearly £37,000.

Asked by Nick how much an officer is paid when they are first hired, Ms Hall said: "I think they started about 30-something and it goes up from there".

Susan Hall on police officers' salaries

She added: "I think they cost us, a 'Bobby' costs about £60k... I think you have to estimate around £60k because of their pensions and everything else."

Pressed again on officers' starting salary, she said: "I don't know what the one is now."

Earlier in the show, Ms Hall was asked if she would take immediate action to fix Hammersmith Bridge in west London, which has been closed to motorised traffic since 2019, when cracks were discovered.

Repairs to the 136-year-old bridge have been delayed by a funding dispute between local and national authorities.

Susan Hall discusses Hammersmith Bridge

Ms Hall said: "I need to know what is in the coffers before we start promising anything".

Pressed by Nick on who owns the bridge, Ms Hall said it belonged to "two councils", adding that "it's not very clear".

The bridge has been owned by Hammersmith and Fulham Council since 1986.

Ms Hall will face off against Mr Khan in the London mayoral elections in May, three years after the last time the capital's voters went to the polls.

London mayoral elections are usually held every four years, but the last vote was delayed a year by Covid-19.

Mr Khan is favourite to extend his stay in City Hall by another four years.

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