Greens’ Berry wants to end TfL’s unfair fares for outer London

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.

Sian Berry: appealling for outer Londoners’ votes

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.

How people living in Zones 5-6 have been much harder hit by London fare rises

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.

Berry says that she would start by merging Zones 4, 5 and 6.

“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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News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email
This entry was posted in 2021 London elections, Commuting, Croydon Greens, London-wide issues, Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, Sian Berry, TfL, Transport and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Greens’ Berry wants to end TfL’s unfair fares for outer London

  1. Whatever happened to that campaign to move East and West Croydon stations into zone 4? It was last heard of when Sarah Jones stood in the December 2019 general election.

    • It was a proposal from both Jones and someone called Steve Reed. Reheated and rehashed in 2019 from their 2017 campaign.

      The proposal was dismissed by TfL and the DfT as being poorly considered and ill-presented, without making the business case for the re-zoning as had been done at Stratford.

  2. That table of figures is rather meaningless without also quoting the %age increases..and in all cases the increase has been 12% across all zones, so not sure where their argument is coming from that the inner zones have received preferable treatment somehow. It’s basic maths that if your ticket costs double, the increases will also be double – that’s how commerce works! I’m not sure why they think charging people the same to travel 1mile or 20 miles would be fair – pretty much every suburban transit system in the world charges based on distance travelled. All you would have is that inner zone fairs would have to increase drastically to subsidise the outer zone reductions. The Greens really have lost the plot on this one.

    • This highlights a disconnect between having a flat-fare and hopper tickets scheme, which would allow you to travel from South Croydon to Westminster by bus for the same fare as you would be charged for one stop, against the Oyster card/daily cap. London has had flat fares for decades (so not “pretty much every transit system in the world”).
      The injustice inferred here is that those who can afford to live in Zone 1, or Zone 2, probably can afford to pay higher fares, even for their shorter journeys.
      Inexpensive public transport is essential to get people from using the roads in their own vehicles. Sadiq Khan nicked the hopper fare idea from the LibDems. Let’s see if he takes notice of this in the same way.

      • Nick Davies says:

        Hmm…If you reduce outer zone fares drastically you cause a disconnect with fares from further out, to the extent that a Merstham commuter may well save a considerable sum by travelling to Coulsdon by road and getting the train from there. I doubt any consequential increased in road traffic is what the Greens intend. You could subsidise fares further out, but I’m not sure Londoners would be keen on subsidising wealthy Surrey commuters.

        • Until covid, they were subsidising wealthy American, Japanese and other international tourists in central London.

          Yet in comparison with metro transport systems in Europe, London remains relatively expensive.

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