Highest transport fares and London tax rises in a decade

Image above: library image

Travel costs in London to rise by 5.9%

London is set to be hit a double-whammy of the largest hike in the mayor’s share of council tax bills for 20 years and the highest rise in Tube and bus fares for more than a decade.

The average cost of travel in London is to rise by 5.9% in March. The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan says he has been obliged by the government to match the rise in train fares nationally, as part of the funding agreement for Transport for London.

Bus fares will increase by 10p for the second successive year from 5 March, with a trip now costing £1.75. The daily cap on bus travel will rise by 30p to £5.25.

A Pay as You Go ticket within Zone 1 on the tube at peak times will rise by 12% to £2.80 and 6.3% for Zones 1 and 2 to £3.40 with travel from Zone 3 costing £3.70. A ticket for travel within Zones other than Zone 1 will rise from £1.80 to £1.90.

Off peak fares will rise by 8% for travel in Zone 1 to £2.70, and will now cost £2.80 for Zone 1 and 2 and £3 for Zones 1 to 3.

Peak fares apply from Monday to Friday (not on public holidays) between 6.30am and 9.30am and between 4.00pm and 7.00pm.

As well as the fares hikes, the restriction on holders of Freedom Passes and Over 60s travel cards using them before 9.00am on weekdays is to be made permanent. TfL says that this will result in an extra £40 million in fares each year.

Image above: Hounslow House

Hounslow likely to increase council tax by 5% 

The Leader of Hounslow Council, Councillor Shantanu Rajawat, has warned the Council will need to make some tough decisions in the coming weeks as the authority grapples with increasing costs and rising demand for services. He said:

“The proposed local government funding settlement is calculated on the assumption that councils will put up Council Tax by 5%. If that deal goes ahead, we will face the stark choice of either putting up Council Tax or having a very significant budget shortfall.”

The Mayor’s portion of Council Tax from the average London household will increase too and will, for the first time, exceed £400.

Sadiq Khan said the increase was needed largely to fund TfL and blamed the Government for imposing conditions on TfL’s funding deals.

The Mayor will also introduce climate budgeting, setting out how bodies such as the fire brigade and police force can, by 2030, operate with carbon levels at net zero.

The precept is the mayor’s part of the Council Tax, collected by London’s boroughs and the Corporation of London. It is estimated the increase will add about £30 to household bills, including the money earmarked for TfL.

The precept pays for services provided by Greater London Authority (GLA) and its five functional bodies, together known as the GLA Group. The group includes Transport for London, the London Fire Commissioner, The Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime and others.

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