Opposition parties on the London Assembly have failed in their attempt to re-instate the off-peak fares cap for outer Londoners.
In January new fares came into effect for Transport for London services which included a reduction in the Oyster daily fares cap for part-time and home workers. The lower cap followed Assembly pressure to reduce the cost of travel for those groups.
According to TfL, the change cost around £20m in lost revenue which it aimed to recoup by increasing the cost of paper tickets and axing the off-peak daily cap.
As a result of the axe, some fares increased by as much as 38%, although TfL claims only around 25,000 people a day are paying more.
The decision to scrap the off-peak cap was criticised by all parties on the London Assembly, and last month opposition groups agreed a non-binding amendment to the Mayor’s draft budget which would have re-instated it.
However the Mayor rejected the amendment in favour of a partial climb-down which will give off-peak commuters travelling from zones 4-6 an automatic refund if they hit the daily cap two or more times per week.
An attempt to amend the Mayor’s final budget on Monday morning and reinstate the full cap failed after Conservative AMs said they were broadly satisfied with the new system.
To amend the budget opponents need the support of two-thirds of AMs present, however opposition groups lack the numbers and would need Conservative support to force through any changes.
Green party AM Darren Johnson urged the Tory group to back the amendment, saying all parties opposed the fares hike endured by their constituents and had the opportunity to do something about it.
However Tory AM James Cleverly said Assembly pressure had already resulted in changes. His colleague Steve O’Connell said the original hike was “ill-thought” and promised to continue lobbying for further changes in the next fares package.