Outer Londoners who pay for their journeys by Oyster pay as you go and contactless cards are to receive some respite from the decision to axe the off-peak daily cap.
The 2015 fares package for Transport for London services included a reduction in the Oyster daily fares cap, a move intended to make travel more affordable for part-time and home workers.
The revenue lost through the reduction is being recouped by abolishing the off-peak fares cap and increasing the costs of paper travelcards.
As a result, some fares have increased by as much as 38%, although TfL claims only 25,000 people a day are paying more and says some would get a better deal by moving to Oyster and contactless payment.
Responding to criticism from all parties on the London Assembly Mayor Boris Johnson agreed to reconsider axing the off-peak cap, although he last week rejected an amendment to his budget which would have reversed the hike.
City Hall has announced that passengers travelling from Zones 4-6 two or more times a week will receive an automatic refund reducing their cap to £8.00 for zones 1-4 and £8.80 for zones 1-5 and 1-6. Monthly refunds will be paid from April and be backdated to include trips made from 2 January.
TfL estimates around 15,000 per week will benefit from the change.
Mayor Johnson, said: “I’ve delivered on my commitment to address the needs of flexible and part-time workers, with significant fare cuts for hundreds of thousands of hardworking Londoners.
“This reduction was funded through revisions made to the fare package elsewhere and having assessed the full impact of these changes, I have asked Transport for London to make changes to the daily off peak caps which mean that all Londoners benefit. “A relatively small group of passengers in outer London who were disproportionally affected will be automatically refunded.
“I believe this decision is in the interests of fairness and one which recognises the need to support all part-time workers, a vital part of our great city’s economy.”
Commenting on the change, Labour’s London Assembly Budget Spokesperson John Biggs AM said: “Whilst Boris Johnson’s u-turn is welcome it shows how, even with this effectively his final Budget, Boris has failed to show he cares about the challenges facing Londoners.
“Instead of putting forward policies to tackle rising fares, rising violent crime and the capital’s housing crisis, we’ve got more of the same with no major new projects or policies. It’s the clearest sign yet that Boris Johnson has effectively checked out of City Hall and is content to leave a legacy of failures for his successor.”
Liberal Democrat AM Caroline Pidgeon said: “It’s shameful that the Mayor signed off changes to the fare structure without actually understanding what he was doing. His incompetence has cost outer London commuters dearly, with thousands having endured double digit fare rises since January.
While it’s welcome the Mayor has now listened to the London Assembly and sought to lessen the impact on part-time workers, his compensation scheme will still leave many outer Londoners having to bear the cost of his mistaken fares package.
It’s time the Mayor held his hands up, admitted his mistake and fully reversed his withdrawal of off-peak caps.”