Chancellor George Osborne’s announcement of a cap on fares increases has been welcomed by London politicians.
Fares on London’s transport services were due to increase by 7.2% in January under Boris Johnson’s rolling formula of RPI + 2%.
The Mayor has previously defended his increases, insisting they war necessary for investment in services.
However on Monday a Comres poll found a majority of voters would prefer lower fares to continued investment. In April a City Hall surgery showed the rising costs of transport was a major concern for Londoners.
Making his Autumn Statement, the Chancellor told MPs that he was capping fares increases, including in London, at 6.2%. To achieve the cap, the coalition is providing Transport for London an additional £130m in funding.
City Hall said the Mayor would “immediately” develop a new fares package to comply with the cap.
Caroline Pidgeon, Liberal Democrat leader at City Hall said: “Any decision to overrule Boris Johnson’s excessive fare package is welcome, and will be particularly well received by those on the lowest incomes.”
“In some respects Boris Johnson has been saved from himself. The decision exposes just how out of touch he is with Londoners. But what really matters is that Londoners will not be hit so hard in the New Year.”
Ken Livingstone, Labour’s 2012 Mayoral candidate, said “What Londoners need is a fares cut, and a commitment to hold down the fares – not George Osborne and Boris Johnson confirming yet another big fare increase.”.
Sharon Grant, Chair of passenger watchdog London TravelWatch, said: “at a time of increasing pressure on household budgets, it’s very good news that expected fare increases are to be curbed.
“Passengers tell us though that they still feel that the fares they pay are not good value for money. So even with this smaller increase, we still look to operators to improve their service offerings”.
The freeze on fares increases also applies to surface rail services.