Mayor Sadiq Khan has been accused of breaking a key election promise after it emerged that the cost of travelcards is to continue rising despite his election pledge to freeze fares for the full mayoral term.
During the campaign to succeed Boris Johnson as mayor, Mr Khan promised that Londoners would pay the same fares in 2020, when he’ll be up for re-election, as they did at the start of his mayoralty.
The capital’s new Mayor also criticised Tory opponent Zac Goldsmith for accepting Transport for London’s business plan which included increases in the costs of travelcards.
However on Tuesday Mr Khan told the London Assembly that his fares freeze would not cover travelcards, or daily and weekly Oyster and contactless card caps.
News that the freeze would not apply to all passengers led Liberal Democrat AM Caroline Pidgeon to claim the mayor had “broken your fares promise today”.
Gareth Bacon, Conservative group leader on the Assembly, added: “Hundreds of thousands of commuting Londoners use Travelcards, and thus will never see this freeze.
“We’ve already seen Sadiq Khan row back on six of his election pledges – this is added salt in the wound for those who believed in his manifesto.”
UKIP AM David Kurten said: “We are sadly quickly becoming used to Sadiq Khan rowing back from his campaign pledges and promises. First it was in the area of housing, now it is transport – is there any area of his election manifesto that he seeks to honour?
“It’s a good thing there is a revolving door at the entrance to City Hall as it looks to me that Sadiq Kahan’s manifesto is using it.
However Mr Khan insisted his freeze would “make life easier for millions of people and will ensure that London becomes a more affordable city for all.”
According to City Hall the freeze will cost TfL £640m, less than the £1.9bn claimed by TfL and rival candidates in May’s election but significantly higher than the £450m repeatedly claimed by Mr Khan.
The figures is based on the same inflation forecasts of 1.9 per cent in 2016 and 3.5 per cent thereafter which Mr Khan and his allies sought to cast doubt on.
TfL says the fares freeze will be funded by cost-savings and efficiencies, including a freeze in the base pay of TfL Commissioner Mike Brown and 70 other senior managers within the organisation.