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Hopefuls tackle education and safety on roads

PUBLISHED: 17:24 17 April 2008 | UPDATED: 14:57 07 September 2010

The mayoral candidates this week finish up their challenge of facing Ham&High readers questions. With just weeks left to choose your candidate, they re facing their final bid to win over the people of north London

The mayoral candidates this week finish up their challenge of facing Ham&High readers' questions. With just weeks left to choose your candidate, they're facing their final bid to win over the people of north London

What will you do to stop kids playing truant? (Ronnie Vaughan, Golders Green newspaper seller)

Brian Paddick: "The government has spent millions of pounds on anti-truancy measures to no effect. Something is fundamentally wrong if our education system is failing to engage young people - we need an education system to inspire their imaginations."

Sian Berry: "Kids feel they are excluded and aren't valued members of society. We need to look at things like smaller class sizes so we can deal with more difficult children without excluding them."

Boris Johnson: "I would like to give PCSOs the power to detain truants, take schools' concerns seriously and give them the measures to deal with them."

Ken Livingstone: "Some headteachers would rather exclude the most difficult children to keep their rates up overall - that is the real problem, not truancy. We are currently setting up a second chance programme for over 18s failed by schools, helping them to get training and education."

What will the mayor do to make London safer for pedestrians? (Jitendra Thakorlal, chairman of the West Hampstead small traders association)

KL: "The biggest difference between me and Boris Johnson on this is that he wants to reduce the amount of time pedestrians have to cross at traffic lights. The reason there has been a reduction by 50 per cent in the number of people killed or seriously injured is that we gave an extra two or three seconds to cross the road. Hundreds of people are still alive in London because we made these changes. He is a 19th century liberal Tory who believes there is no need for regulation and you take your own risks. Unfortunately all Londoners don't have his background and earn half a million for writing a column in The Telegraph. Most Londoners need help and assistance.

BJ: "We've got to have more cycle lanes on our roads but cyclists also need to obey the rules - that includes David Cameron, who got a very stiff reprimand from me I can tell you. I want more push button crossings on traffic lights. Overall, we want more people to walk. We've got to a crazy situation where we take our kids by car for a short distance because we're too frightened to let them walk on their own.

BP: "People talk about anti-social behaviour but some of the worst of that is on our roads. We need to take measures to ensure that civilisation is restored to our streets. Drivers and cyclists must obey traffic lights, crossings and speed limits. These things are not just important for road safety, but if people feel safe walking it means it keeps streets busy and reduces crime.

SB: "Railings along the road like in Camden High Street is my big issue. Cars think they can go 60mph because they are separated from the pedestrian. I want the system on Kensington High Street to be rolled out across London. It has no rails and low pavements so pedestrians can cross anywhere and it brings speeds right down. I would also like to phase Oxford Street into a pedestrian-only street with one bendy bus acting as a shuttle up and down.

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