National Rail fares increase by 4.9% as London fares frozen

Image above: London Underground

London Mayor announces freeze on most bus and Tube fares

National rail fares have gone up by 4.9% as of Sunday (3 February). The hike, affecting England and Wales, comes at the same time as London’s Mayor, Sadiq Khan, has frozen most Tube and bus fares in London for another year.

Campaigners have expressed frustration at the rise in train fares, citing the strain it places on commuters already grappling with the cost of living crisis. Rail passenger groups warn that continued increases in fares will drive commuters away from the railway and towards the roads, exacerbating congestion and environmental concerns.

Transport for London (TfL) has implemented a freeze on pay-as-you-go fares, which account for 80% Tube journeys and 74% bus journeys. Those fares will remain unchanged until March next year, after the mayoral elections.

London bus fares will stay at £1.75, while an adult single Tube fare for zones 1-3 will stay at £3.70 in peak times and £3 at off-peak times and weekends. Most pay as you go fares on the Elizabeth line and on the London Overground will also be unchanged.

The cost of Travelcards will increase though. Travelcards allow unlimited train, Tube and bus travel within specified areas and will rise between 4.6% and 5.1%, depending on the zones.

That means the overall impact is a 1.7% average rise in fares for Londoners.

Image above: Rupa Huq MP out campaigning for Sadiq Khan at Easling Broadway Tube station 

Encouraging people back to using the public transport network

Labour activitsts were out in force on Monday morning at Tube stations across London, trumpeting the news of the fares freeze ahead of the elections in May.

Mayor Khan proclaimed the freeze as a measure to alleviate the cost of living crisis affecting Londoners, saying:

“Not only will this keep money in people’s pockets and make transport more affordable for millions of Londoners, it will encourage people back onto our public transport network. This will help to boost London’s culture, retail and hospitality sectors.

“From yesterday, people around the country faced another hike in their rail fares, but I simply wasn’t prepared to stand by and see TfL customers face a similar hike.

“This is the fifth fares freeze I’ve done since becoming mayor, making transport in our city 21 per cent cheaper than it would have been had fares risen by inflation.

“This shows that whenever I can freeze fares, I do so. Making public transport more affordable and appealing will continue to be a key part of my plan.”

In contrast to the national trend, London’s freeze aims to keep transport affordable and incentivise public transport use as the UK transport system recovers from the pandemic.

Additionally, Mr Khan announced a trial scrapping peak fares on Fridays, aiming to stimulate activity in the city’s culture, retail, and hospitality sectors.

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