Mayor Boris Johnson has suspended his policy of above inflation fares rises and says “many fares” will be frozen in at the current rate for a further year.
Since coming to office in 2008 the Mayor has introduced a succession of fares increases which he says were necessary to secure the long-term investment needed to improve the capital’s transport infrastructure.
However City Hall says savings within Transport for London and projected commercial income have allowed the Mayor to freeze many fares for the coming year and raise others by a lower than expected level.
Despite the wider freeze some popular fares will increase but the average rise will be limited to July’s RPI rate of 3.1 per cent.
Overall the package will net TfL an extra £115m in fares revenue, with the tube contributing some £68m, buses some £39m and some £8m from London Rail fares.
In a statement TfL said it would continue to plan for above inflation increases in future years subject to the Mayor’s final decision.
The Mayor has been under increasing pressure from all parties on the London Assembly to abandon his annual increases amid concerns that many Londoners are struggling to cope with increases in the cost of living.
There is also cross-party Assembly support for the Mayor and TfL to introduce new fares for those who regularly travel before the morning rush and who work part-time.
- On the Tube the Zone 1 peak and off-peak single tickets and the Zone 1-2 off-peak single ticket will increase by 10p
- Oyster pay as you go caps will be frozen
- On the Buses, the pay as you go fare on Oyster and contactless payment card increases 5p to £1.45 while the daily cap and cash fare is frozen
- The 7 Day Bus & Tram Pass will increase by 80p to £20.40;
- The off-peak One Day paper Travelcard range will be simplified to the Zone 1-6 off peak ticket only and it is frozen at 2013 prices.
- Anytime One Day paper Travelcards rise in line with National Rail fares;
- 7 Day Travelcards, and corresponding monthly and annual Travelcards, increase by the 4.1 per cent average reflecting the link with regulated National Rail fares.
Fares on the Thames Cable Car, which is already struggling to attract passengers, will increase by 10p with a cash fare costing £4.40 from January.
Announcing the 2014 fares package, Mayor Johnson said: “I have always said I was determined to bear down on fares, while ensuring that we can still invest properly in a transport system that is critical to our city’s success.
“This package, which has been made possible by the continuing delivery of efficiencies across TfL, ensures that fares remain affordable and that we have the level of funding we need to continue to improve the network and deliver even better, more frequent services for everyone.
“I know that families and working Londoners who have helped the drive the economic recovery still face real pressure over the cost of living and so I’ve decided to keep fares in line with RPI and therefore freeze them in real terms for next year.”
The Mayor’s announcement has been welcomed by Caroline Pidgeon AM, Leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group, who said: “At long last the Mayor has finally done the right thing this year and ensured that fares rise on average by no more than the rate of inflation. After so many painful years of inflation busting fare rises this is the very least the Mayor should be doing to help Londoners.”
The Green party’s Darren Johnson said: “Even by holding the increase to the rate of inflation, very high fares will still remain very high fares. The Mayor will be doing nothing to make the eye-wateringly expensive cost of public transport more affordable to ordinary Londoners.”
Ms Pidgeon urged the Mayor to “listen to the arguments for modest changes in the fare structure that would help so many people” and introduce “a one-hour bus ticket, cheaper ‘early bird fares’ and a part-time travel card.”
Source: City Hall/TfL