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Page last updated at 11:34 GMT, Thursday, 15 October 2009 12:34 UK
Are the Mayor's fares fair?

Oyster Card

From 2010, passengers will be paying increased fares to travel on the London's Tube and bus networks. Drivers entering the congestion charge zone will also see a rise from £8 to £10.

Justifying the fare rises, Mr Johnson said: "Nobody wants to make an announcement like this, especially when Londoners are feeling the effects of the recession."

He added: "The mistakes of the past and the current economic climate have conspired to present us with a huge challenge."

The key fare increases are:

  • Tube fares will rise by 3.9%
  • Bus fares will rise by 12.7%
  • Oyster card pay-as-you-go bus journeys will rise from £1 to £1.20
  • The Congestion Charge is rising to £10


London travel fares to increase


News of the fare increases has provoked a strong reaction from interest groups, politicians and members of the public.

You can also read a selection of your views.

The politician

Labour's deputy leader on the London Assembly, John Biggs, said:

This is a massive kick in the teeth for hard pressed Londoners at a time when many are struggling with the recession. Not putting up council tax will save people pennies but this will hit them hard. Londoners will rightly wonder why Boris can apparently find £5bn of TfL savings but can't keep down their fares.
The ex-Mayor

The former Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, said:

Johnson has blamed his second year of inflation busting fare increases on 'past mistakes' and the 'current economic climate'. That is patently untrue. I left Transport for London with very large financial reserves precisely to deal with economic difficulties. At the same time, Johnson has announced cuts in bus schedules and less off peak Tube services in outer London. Londoners will be paying more money for a worse service. So much for his election pledge to stand up for outer London!
The business leader

Dr Helen Hill, Director of Policy at the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) said:

On the back of bad news about business rate rises and continuing postal strikes there is little respite for the business community with the Mayor raising tube and bus fares as well. This will place even more financial pressure on London's businesses and their employees as we try and make the jump from recession to recovery.
The union boss

The RMT's general secretary, Bob Crow, said:

RMT firmly believes that any increase in fares above inflation will be damaging and will drive passengers away from the system deepening the financial crisis at TFL. The increases confirmed today will have a dire impact on passenger numbers, will force more people back into their cars and make a mockery of the green agenda promoted by the Mayor of London.

The passenger group

Sharon Grant, Chair, London TravelWatch said:

These rises will be unacceptable to ordinary Londoners. We are particularly appalled at the 20% rise in single bus fares, and the rise of a single Oyster trip in Zone 1. While the freeze on the price of a weekly Travelcard is welcome, it appears that infrequent, irregular users such as part-time workers will be disproportionately punished. It is these people who may well decide not to use public transport, not travel at all, or use their car instead.

Your views

I don't support any political party, but there is no doubt in my mind that Ken's transport policy, hamstrung as it was by the machinations of government to keep the tube out his hands, was designed to improve public transport. Boris has been guided by political posturing throughout his campaign and into his tenure. I've spent a lot of time in cities as diverse as Beijing and Zurich, just about everywhere puts London to shame (especially Zurich which has a real integrated transport strategy), we should be ashamed. But I don't really care, I cycle.

This must be some kind of sick joke. 20% increase for oyster bus journeys. There I was thinking we had the lowest level of inflation in living memory. That coupled with the fact that I am about to enter my third year running with absolutely no pay rise what-so-ever. That's 0%.... (and I consider myself fortunate to still have a job) 20 pence a journey doesn't sound a lot until you consider how many journeys you make. I'd guess about 500 a year in my case. So another £100 pounds a year down the toilet for me. These rises will simply mean that I'll have to make less journeys. I guess I'm more likely to be flattened by a bus whilst trying to navigate Elephant & Castle on my bike rather than actually travelling in one. Nice one Boris......

The logic of politicians never ceases to amaze, and this maintains the trend. Excuse after excuse for poor performance of the tube network and even in these difficult times they consider it appropriate to set an increase way above the rate of inflation. It won't be very long before it will be cheaper to come into Central London by car, than use the transport network. I have had my reservations about the incompetency of the current mayor and these have only been further validated by his proposals, both on this occasion and his strategy for public transport in London as a whole. I never thought I would be saying bring back Ken but....
Brian Foxton

Any increase on transport fares will be unfair. I will not get a pay rise this year due to recession, same as the majority of londoners. So, if I have to pay more for my travel, this means that I will earn less than last year. Transport-of-london workers are the only ones that will really benefit from an increase in travel fares; they will be able to see a pay rise, while increased prices will not affect them as they are allowed reduced fares anyway.

So much for wanting the public to use public transport. An increase of 12% is out of line with inflation. The first thing mr Johnson needs to do is sort our bob crow and the rmt union with holding the travelling to ransom with the possibility of future strikes on wage demands. Some people have not had an increase, in fact some have had wage deductions.
Larry Gold

I don't know anyone who got a big wage increase in London, if they got one at all, whilst there have been council tax rises, energy rises, and other basics to cope with. TfL already gets considerably more than the majority of cities around the world - and even abuses that by cutting or reducing service EVERY weekend so that no one's really getting what they paid for.

I have a friend who works two part-time jobs, both for five days of the week. Even so, her combined income is less than £12,000 per annum. Given that she has to make 3 bus journeys a day, she now faces £144 increase in her annual travel costs - I do not think that she will think it fair!
John Campbell

What a joke. yet more misery for commuters and ordinary travellers. In addition those stuck on main line travel cannot use oyster and benefit from any saving that can be made to single fares. It just shows that no politician is ever going to do the right thing.

Bus fares up nearly 13 per cent and tube fares up nearly 4 per cent - he's having a laugh! Then they want you to use public transport. Good job I don't live in the south of England anymore. Here in Spain we have our rubbish collected everyday and you don't have to worry about whether you have put your potato peelings in the right bag! You go down the road where there are recycling bins for plastic, paper and glass - usually every few hundred metres or so in built-up areas - they are very big here in Spain on recycling and using wind power and of course solar for electricity, heating etc. Oh and by the way everybody in Spain by 2015 if all the plans come to fruition should have a high-speed rail link within 30 miles of their home. I hope the powers that be know they are the laughing stock of the rest of Europe but probably not as they live in a different world.
Reggie Spotter

So Boris has decided to increase fares for hardworking people even though there has been a downfall of people using the tube network. Surely this will ensure that commuters use others means of getting to work so the downfall will increase. Maybe this should be used as a warning sign to those wishing to vote Conservative in the next election as just one example of the charges that will ensue. Inflation has decreased, most salaries have remained static with no pay rises and they wish to charge extra for the pleasure of overcrowded, cancelled or delayed tubes. Is he for the people, one has to wonder?
Nikki Morton

This is absolutely disgusting. People are really struggling at the moment and increased fares just makes things even harder. Maybe TfL should stop giving the numerous amounts of people on the social half price travel and kids free travel outside of school times. That way us hard working ripped off tax payers would not have to keep being beaten down and continually pay for these waste of space. I though Boris was a good idea as Mayor - not any more. Like everyone else he has done nothing for the ordinary decent working person!
S Simpson

It's ridiculous! Until they sort out the convenience of public transport they have no right to put up the prices! I can hardly ever use the Jubilee line on the weekends, and have to wait up to half an hour after work to catch the only bus from THE CITY to where I live. If they were to put up the prices for better service it might be understandable, but somehow I think I'll be writing the same email again next year when they put up the prices again!

If Bob Crow could ever move out of the Michael Foot era and allow TfL to reduce the number of Tube staff whose jobs have been replaced by the efficient Oyster system, we might stand a chance of reducing the TfL budget deficit. Londoners are now having to pay more for their journeys simply to keep Crow's men in full employment while we all deal with a recession.
Jon Blackie

I'm absolutely appalled about the bus far rises. At present, the £13.80 weekly bus pass represents fairly good value for money (if used at the weekends as well). However £16.60 represents a huge hike in fares; even with the rise in the single fare on PAYG the weekly pass is not financially beneficial. This is particularly hard for those who work part-time, as the big increase takes a large chunk of their take home pay. I notice that tube fares aren't rising in line with bus fares - no doubt because of the drop in tube use in recent months, with everyone reverting to buses. A cynical move by Boris Johnson, and one that I hope comes back to haunt him.
Claire Cook

We already pay too much for a unreliable service which in some areas is completely over subscribed, the service I use is not frequent enough for the number of users and frankly the thought of paying anymore is a joke. One suggestion to increase revenue would be have more ticket inspectors on the so called 'free bendy bus' where every morning their are scores of people who have not paid for their journey, and this is completely apparent by the fact if there are inspectors on the buses no-one gets on.
Brad Owen

I was under the impression that the Tory party was one which went by the idea of upping fares should be matched by improved services. There's been no improvement, the pay of the drivers and other staff doesn't look like it's going up by 20% (in the case of most bus journeys going up by that amount). So where's the money going, Boris? Poor form from a poor administration.

As someone who works in the West End and commutes from the suburbs, I have to say my annual travelcard represents pretty good value for money. I will not welcome a rise but how else is the necessary funding going to be raised. I wonder as part of the efficiency review whether the numbers of buses on the street in central London has been reviewed? In my experience there are far too many of them and most are less than half empty outside of peak times. All in all, this should force more people to review where and how they travel and perhaps encourage more people to walk or cycle.
Michael Jones

So the Mayor cut off possible sources of revenue by scrapping the western congestion zone and ducked out of a fight with Porshe and 4x4 drivers. Then he lumps all of his mess on the poorest Londoners. Time for the end of this rich Etonian's honeymoon period!
Allan Tucker

I don't live in london. To an outsider the pricing strategy looks complicated and there to trap visitors into paying very high travel prices for relatively short journeys. I lived in Munich, there the system is cheap and SIMPLE, come on Boris, get a grip, you are killing our capital with capitalism.

What a surprise. After eight years of Ken Livingstone transport policies that many people complained about but which actually worked, Boris Johnson wastes little time in bucking all the financial trends of the day to increase public transport fares by as much as 20%. Once again it shows Johnson's true (blue) colours for what they are: tax the poorest, let the rich drive their tractors around Chelsea as much as they like and to hell with the social and environmental consequences. I can well imagine that some of the 1.1 million who voted for Johnson don't care a jot about these price hikes, being far too wealthy to need public transport, but for the many in that 1.1 million who presumably voted for him because he was that funny bumbling chap off the telly, I have two words: happy now? If you haven't already started rueing the fact that you voted Johnson because it reminded you of some Rag Week jape, you will be very soon indeed.

Extremely angry at the 20% rise in the cost of an Oystercard bus trip. It has probably escaped the notice of the rich and well cosseted mayor that there is a huge recession on, where most people are either unemployed or haven't had a pay rise for three years. We feared a 10 times inflation 10p rise, but 20p is Rackmanesque.

It goes without saying this mismanagement will drive tens of thousands back to their cars, increasing CO2 emissions and he has lost my vote for the next London election. If TFL is in deficit, it should reduce frequency of services on sparsely used routes.
Mr Ives

London travel fares to increase
15 Oct 09 |  London
Recession 'is hitting Tube usage'
21 Sep 09 |  London
Fare rise fears over '1.7bn gap'
10 Jul 09 |  London
Tube network is 'best' in Europe
27 Apr 09 |  London
Delays anger Underground bosses
06 Mar 09 |  London


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