Capital punishment: Tories could insist on 4.8% fares hike

London’s bus, Tube, rail and tram passengers could face a punitive near-5 per cent fare rise in January, the biggest price hike on the capital’s public transport network for 10 years.

Pricy: journeys on the tram network could increase by 4.8% next January

Annual fare increases are linked to the July inflation figures, and today’s announcement of the Retail Price Index from the Office for National Statistics showed prices rising by 3.8 per cent last month.

But under a covid financial rescue package imposed on Transport for London last year by the Tory government, fares must rise by the rate of inflation plus 1 per cent, which means that London fares could go up by 4.8 per cent in January 2022.

That might see the cost of a journey on a London bus or Croydon tram rise from the current £1.55 to as much as £1.65, after the 4.8 per cent increase is rounded up. Transport watchdog groups today claimed that such increases in fares would deter people from using public transport.

Many see the fare hike conditions as being a politically motivated, punitive measure from the Conservatives, imposed on Londoners just before last May’s city-wide elections.

London’s Labour Mayor, Sadiq Khan, today said no immediate decision would be made on the level of fare rises in 2022 until later in the year, when factors such as “the prevailing economic circumstances, ridership levels and how any increase is split across different modes of transport” would be taken into account.

“The Mayor was forced to agree to an overall fares increase of RPI+1 per cent in May last year, as a condition of the first emergency TfL funding deal,” a spokesperson for the Mayor said today, “which was only required because Londoners followed government guidance and stayed at home, causing fares income to plummet.”

Decisions: Mayor Sadiq Khan says he will make a decision on fares later in the year

Analysis by the Labour Party indicated that next year, average fares on public transport nationally could have reached 50 per cent more than they were in 2010.

Shadow transport secretary Jim McMahon said, “Rail travel has long been unaffordable for many people, thanks to the Conservatives prioritising the profits of private companies over passengers.”

And the passenger watchdog London TravelWatch warned that fares in the capital “need to be affordable if people are to be tempted back to public transport”.

Emma Gibson, London Travelwatch director, said, “Many Londoners have already suffered financially as a result of the pandemic, so a 4.8 per cent fares increase is the last thing they will want to see.”

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3 Responses to Capital punishment: Tories could insist on 4.8% fares hike

  1. John Harvey says:

    The recovery period could be worse than lockdown as organisations struggle to assemble the means to survive and rebuild.

    Better to accept this than fight each other for a bigger slice of a smaller cake

    Afghanistan has hurt our pride. But Croydon has a proud tradition of helping refugees. Particularly children. Let us think about others’ needs rather than 10p on a bus fare

  2. B says:

    it’s not fair and not right so many people are already facing financial hardship.

  3. Ian Kierans says:

    The Government have set the precedent for all public sector pay negotiations with the bar now beginning at RPI + 1 %. I am sure that cash strapped public industry can ill afford that, but neither can the hard working fare paying public. Especially with so many services being cut and passengers having to spend more of the day getting to and from work. This kind of short term ill though out decisions always backfire and in the end lead to strife. strikes and public discontent.
    Labour did this in the 70s The Tories in the 80s to 1995 – Labour again and now the Tories again.

    Can anyone show me what Political party has provided any indication that they have learned any lessons at all?

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