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Johnson Pledges Push for Driverless London Tube, Standard

Feb. 27 (Bloomberg) -- London Mayor Boris Johnson pledged to push through plans to automate the city’s Underground rail network, doing away with the need for drivers, if he wins a second term in May, the Evening Standard newspaper reported.

Johnson said in an interview with the Standard published today that he’s prepared to take on rail unions that have disrupted services on the Underground, known as the Tube, with strikes. The Docklands Light Railway already runs driverless trains.

“I don’t want to sound confrontational but if there’s going to have to be a fight over this then I’m the person that can do it,” Johnson told the newspaper. “The revenue that comes into the DLR from automation, from making sure that you don’t have personnel doing things that are unnecessary, greatly exceeds the cost of running it. And you can use that revenue to invest in new systems. I want to be the Mayor who delivers that.”

Recent polls for the Standard have shown the race for mayor between Johnson, a member of Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservatives, and his Labour Party opponent, former Mayor Ken Livingstone, is too close to call.

To contact the reporter on this story: Eddie Buckle in London at ebuckle@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Hertling at jhertling@bloomberg.net

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