Sian Berry, the Green Party candidate for Mayor of London, wants to change the unfair fare zones in the capital which have seen bus, tram and Tube fares rise for Croydon commuters from Zones 5 and 6 by nearly £400 in five years – almost double the increase in fares for those living in Zone 1.
Berry says that today’s Transport for London fare rises are costing Londoners in outer boroughs like Croydon, Sutton and Bromley much more in travel costs.
The government forced TfL to have its first fare rise since 2016 as part of the funding deal agreed last October after covid-19 lockdowns had choked off the London transport system’s income stream. Fares have gone up today by an average of 2.6 per cent – reckoned to be worth £60million in added income for TfL over the course of the year.
A single journey on the Croydon trams and buses has gone up from £1.50 to £1.55.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s four-year fare freeze only applied to single journeys, not the travelcards and weekly contactless caps that many working people depend upon.
Research conducted by the Green Party shows extra costs being charged to people living in outer London for their travel with each increase.
Using the weekly travelcard, which costs the same as the cap on pay-as-you-go fares, the total annual cost of travel into central London from Zone 6 is now £3,114, compared with £1,702 from Zone 2 – a cost of living penalty of £1,412 a year.
These inequalities have worsened over time. Zone 1-6 travel has increased in cost by £395.60 a year since 2016, compared with a rise of £211.60 for Zone 1-2.
Berry says that if she were to be elected as Mayor in May’s London elections, she would work over time to “flatten” the fare structure, so that all tube and rail journeys cost the same, regardless of which zones you travel between. This has been the case on London buses since 2004.
“More people are being pushed to the edges of London because of housing costs in the centre, only to be punished by spiralling transport costs when they move,” Berry said today.
“This isn’t fair. Two workers at the same central London hospital should pay the same fare to get to work no matter where they live.
“As Mayor I would reduce and, over time, end this inequality within a flat fare system with one zone, eliminating the unfair extra costs imposed on people living in outer London.”
Recent polling ahead of the London Mayoral election has put Berry on around 10 per cent, neck and neck for third place with the LibDems’ Luisa Porritt. Khan is expected to win a second term, with a 20 per cent lead in the polls from the Tories’ Shaun Bailey.
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