Page last updated at 15:29 GMT, Thursday, 31 December 2009

Bus and Tube fare rise imminent

Passengers on London bus
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London's mayor has been criticised for "outrageous" bus and Tube fare rises, which come into effect on Saturday.

Bus fares will rise by 12.7% and Tube fares will rise by 3.9%. Oyster card pay-as-you-go bus journeys will rise from £1 to £1.20.

London Assembly member Val Shawcross said the "misguided" rises show a "huge lack of concern" for passengers.

Mayor Boris Johnson said the "hard" rises would enable "huge improvements in our quality of life".

The price of a seven-day bus pass will rise from £13.80 to £16.60 on Saturday but London Travelcard prices will be frozen in the majority of cases.

Labour's Val Shawcross said bus passengers would pay "the biggest price".

"We know that those who use the bus to get around tend to be on lower incomes," she said.

A great deal of Londoners are suffering financially and this is yet another burden for them
Val Shawcross, London Assembly

"At this time as the country is struggling with recession, slapping massive fare increases on people is outrageous.

"A great deal of Londoners are suffering financially and this is yet another burden for them."

Mr Johnson announced the fare rise in October, saying he had only been persuaded to do so after ensuring every efficiency possible was being made at Transport for London.

He said: "I know the fares' rises will be hard but believe me, without them these huge improvements in our quality of life - and the retention of the standing of our city - would not be possible."

Passengers will also be able to use pay-as-you-go Oyster cards on London's entire suburban overland rail network from Saturday.

The London fare rises coincide with sharp rises to unregulated main line rail fares, which include many off-peak services.

For example, a supersaver fare from London to Swindon in Wiltshire will increase by 15% to £23.

However many main line commuters will find their fares going down by 0.4%, as the annual rise for regulated fares - which include season tickets - is linked to the rate of Retail Prices Index inflation.

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