Tube and bus fares across London are are set to rise by nearly 5% next month, the biggest increase in more than a decade, as the body responsible for running the capital’s transport network struggles to plug a funding shortfall.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, announced on Monday (14 February) that from 1 March 2022, fares will rise by an average of 4.8 per cent, meaning most will increase by either 10p or 20p. Some bus fares will rise by 6.5%.
The Mayor’s office said ‘every effort’ had been made to keep this increase as affordable as possible for Londoners while helping to ensure that TfL can reach financial sustainability by April 2023.
This is only the second time that Transport for London controlled fares have increased since 2016, after the Mayor froze fares between 2016 and 2021. In the eight years prior to 2016, under Boris Johnson, TfL fares increased regularly and ultimately surged by more than 42 per cent.
Sadiq Khan blamed the row over the level of government funding for TfL, with the proportionate increase in tube prices the biggest since 2010, and the largest since 2009 on the bus network.
Tube fares solely within Zone 1 will increase for the first time in six years, from £2.40 to £2.50. Passengers who travel greater distances on TfL services will see a slight increase to further bring them in line with nearby National Rail fares. TfL say these increases are still significantly below what any cumulative increase would have been had fares been raised in line with inflation over the last six years.
The ‘Hopper’ fare, which was introduced in September 2016, remains meaning commuters travelling on bus and trams within an hour will only pay the price of a single fare. Since it was introduced, more than 600 million Hopper fare journeys have been made. All current concessions, including free travel for young people under the age of 18 and discounts for students, apprentices and those on certain benefits will remain in place.
Mayor blames Government for refusing to properly fund TfL
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan said:
“Public transport should be affordable to all, and I’ve taken bold action to ensure this since I became Mayor by introducing the unlimited Hopper bus fare and freezing all TfL fares from 2016-2021 – saving the average London household over £200.
“Since TfL’s finances were decimated by the pandemic, the Government has set strict conditions as part of the emergency funding deals to keep essential transport services running in London. We have been forced into this position by the Government and the way it continues to refuse to properly fund TfL, but I have done everything in my power to keep fares as affordable as possible.”
Shashi Verma, Director of Strategy at TfL said:
“This fares package aims to keep fares as affordable as possible while still ensuring TfL can continue to run clean, green and safe services and support London’s continued economic recovery. Through daily and weekly capping, as well as the Hopper fare and our wide range of concessions, passengers can continue to get the best value fare by using pay as you go with contactless and Oyster.”
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