Ken Livingstone has announced that from 30 September the cost of a single bus fare, at any time of the day, will be reduced by ten per cent from £1 to 90p on Pay as You Go on the Oyster Card. The price of a weekly bus pass will be reduced from £14 to £13.
According to Mr Livingstone the cuts are possible because of the record levels of tube passengers and increases in bus ridership and the strength of London’s economy.
Speaking today Mayor Ken Livingstone said the last seven years in London had “seen the biggest expansion of investment in its transport system since World War II. This started with the bus system and continued on the Tube when this was taken over by Transport for London.”
“Overall investment has therefore almost doubled from £1.5 billion in the financial year 2004-05 to £2.9 billion in the current year. This increase in investment is vital to sustain the forty per cent increase in bus passengers since 2000, the record level of tube ridership, and the transport requirements of rapid growth in London – but this unprecedented investment programme had to be financed by fare increases in the last three years.”
“I am pleased that the strength of London’s economy, and efficiencies achieved by TfL, mean that fares can now be reduced with no cutback in the investment programme or financial risk to the transport budget. This economic strength and operating efficiency creates benefits that should be returned to Londoners.”
“From 30 September the price of Pay as You Go on buses on Oyster will be reduced from £1 to 90p at anytime of the day. The price of a weekly bus pass will be cut from £14 to £13.”
“This will allow the investment programme in London’s transport system to be fully maintained while allowing Londoners to benefit from Transport for London’s successes in lower fares.”
The cost of the fares reductions are estimated by TfL to be just under £20 million in the current financial year, up to the beginning of April 2008, and approximately £36 million in a full financial year.
The announcement was backed MPs and leading London councillors:
Linda Perks, regional secretary of London Unison: “The Mayor’s decision to cut the costs of bus travel will really help the lowest paid workers in London. Cheaper travel will improve opportunities for access to work and training. This is a welcome addition to cheaper bus fares, free tube travel for children under the age of 11s and the London Living Wage and will help to address the problems of the high costs of living that London’s low paid workers face.”
Tony Woodley, joint general secretary of Unite: “This is great news for the travelling public and for continuing efforts to tackle congestion in London. Unite applauds the mayor’s move.”
Sir Steve Bullock, Mayor of Lewisham: “I know this announcement will particularly help those families who live on local incomes, for whom bus travel is a vital support”
Brent South MP, Dawn Butler: “With bus travel more popular than ever, this cut in fares will make a real difference. Bus travel is one of the best ways to get around London and is good for the environment, so it’s right that the Mayor is doing all he can to encourage people to take advantage of the excellent services in the capital.”
Islington MP, Emily Thornberry: “My constituents will welcome the news that from September travelling on the bus will get cheaper. Many people rely on their local bus services for getting to work, doing the shopping, seeing friends or taking the children to school. I support the Mayor’s commitment to improving London’s bus services, making it not only efficient and reliable, but also affordable for all.”