Thousands of low paid workers, including cleaners, NHS staff and shift workers are being promised lower fares if the Liberal Democrats win this year’s Mayoral election.
The party’s candidate, Caroline Pidgeon, has pledged to halve Tube, DLR and London Overground fares for those who travel before 7.30am, a move she says “would really help some of London’s lowest paid workers who often have to work unsocial hours.”
According to the Liberal Democrat campaign the pledge would cost around £30m a year implement, a fraction of the sums needed to fund pledges unveiled this week by her rivals for the mayoralty.
Labour candidate Sadiq Khan’s promise of a four year fares freeze is estimated to cost at least £450m to implement while the Greens say their pledge to introduce a single, pan-London fare would cost £260m.
Pidgeon described her more limited offer as “a genuine fare cut that can be delivered immediately.”
Her team say the first two years’ costs could be met by scrapping Transport for London’s support for the controversial Garden Bridge project.
With the agency facing the loss of almost £700m in government funding, campaign sources say they’ve aimed to target help at some of the poorest transport users without undermining vital investment in services and upgrades.
They also say the policy could incentivise other workers to travel before the morning peak, helping to alleviate the chronic overcrowding suffered by commuters heading into work.
Pidgeon said “Supporting those Londoners who get up early and make our city work is really important, providing real help with the cost of living in the capital. This is a win win policy for Londoners”.