London mayoral candidate Sadiq Khan has pledged to introduce a "modern" transport system to south west London, but refused to say if he would rezone Kingston and Surbiton.

The former minister for transport, announced as the Labour Party’s official candidate in early September, made the claim while campaigning in Kingston town centre this morning.

He said: "I’m the only candidate with the experience of running a transport system. What we need in London is a modern system that is affordable for Londoners." 

The Tooting MP promised to freeze fares on tube, DLR and overground services alongside cutting bus fares, but when pressed on rezoning only said he would "listen to the arguments of those lobbying". 

In response to the city’s worsening housing crisis, Mr Khan also pledged that half of all homes built in London would be affordable.

A study by the National Housing Federation recently found that Kingston was one of the worst areas in the country for building homes.

He said: "It’s the biggest issue. What I want to do is to make sure there are homes for Londoners. 

"We need to work with local authorities like Kingston. That means not allowing 16-storey developments with luxury flats, but instead making sure you get a good deal for local residents."

Mr Khan will come up against Conservative candidate Zac Goldsmith in May’s election, with much being made of the two opponents’ wildly differing backgrounds.

Richmond Park and North Kingston MP Mr Goldsmith is a multi-millionaire, and son of billionaire Sir James Goldsmith, while Mr Khan is a former human rights lawyer. His parents are Pakistani immigrants and his father worked as a bus driver. 

He said: "I don’t hold Zac’s background against him. I like him, he’s a nice guy and we get on well. But the choice is same old same old or change. 

"It’s the experiences I have, not simply doing nothing for five years but actually helping run things, running transport -getting things done. Londoners need a mayor who is going to get things done."  

Mr Khan was also keen to reiterate his stance on arguably west London’s most divisive issue - the building of a new runway at Heathrow airport.

Despite the Davies Commission’s recommendation of Heathrow as the preferred site for the runway in July, Mr Khan stressed his continued support for the runway to be built at Gatwick.

He said: "I want a better Heathrow, not a bigger Heathrow. Air quality in London is a killer, almost 10,000 people died in London last year because of air quality."

"With a new runway at Gatwick there aren’t the same problems of air and noise, so we’ll get the jobs and the growth without the issues that expanding Heathrow causes."

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