TfL announces increase of 4.8% as part of emergency funding deal
Increasing TfL fares will “dampen” London’s economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, a leading thinktank has warned.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan announced on Monday (14 February) that TfL fares will rise by 4.8 per cent in March – the biggest annual jump in over a decade.
It comes as part of the emergency funding deal agreed with the Government last June – recently extended to this week – which required TfL to increase fares at a rate of RPI plus one per cent.
But Nick Bowes, chief executive of the Centre for London thinktank, has said that the increase in fares will only “add further to the cost of living pressures being felt by Londoners”.
Mr Bowes said, “At a time when the priority is getting more people back on to tubes, buses and trains, the risk is a rise like this will have the opposite effect, dampen the city’s recovery from the pandemic hitting central London’s economy particularly hard.
“Given the frailty of Transport for London’s finances and the fact the current funding deal running out in just four days, this further strengthens the importance of a long-term sustainable funding deal being agreed with Government as a matter of urgency.”
The hike will see pay-as-you-go Tube fares in Zone 1 rise by 10p to £2.50, while the Hopper bus fare will also face a 10p increase. The daily cap on multiple pay-as-you-go Tube journeys will face a 3.8 per cent increase, while the daily cap on bus journeys will rise by 30p.
While TfL reported a 25 per cent jump in Tube passenger numbers since the end of working from home guidance, there is growing concern that ridership will never again reach pre-pandemic levels.
Even before the announcement of fare increases, TfL commissioner Andy Byford admitted that the “most likely” scenario going forward is one where “there would not be a full return to previous levels” of passengers.
Lib-Dem London Assembly member Caroline Pidgeon, who leads the Assembly’s transport committee, said the fare increase is “sadly inevitable” but that it is “little comfort for passengers who will now be facing even higher fares”.
The fares hike is the latest in a series of blows to low-income Londoners in what has been dubbed a national cost of living crisis.
As UK inflation jumped to 5.4 per cent in December, significant price increases have been seen in everyday essentials like food as well as fuel and energy. Londoners are also facing higher council tax bills, with Sadiq Khan having announced that the GLA portion of council tax is set to increase by an average of £31.93 a year from next April.
Next week, the London Assembly will scrutinise the Mayor of London’s budget plans for the upcoming financial year for the final time. While Assembly Members can amend the budget if a two-thirds majority is reached, the mayor’s budget will pass regardless of how members vote.
Joe Talora - Local Democracy Reporter
Like Reading Articles Like This? Help Us Produce More
This site remains committed to providing local community news and public interest journalism.
Articles such as the one above are integral to what we do. We aim to feature as much as possible on local societies, charities based in the area, fundraising efforts by residents, community-based initiatives and even helping people find missing pets.
We've always done that and won't be changing, in fact we'd like to do more.
However, the readership that these stories generates is often below that needed to cover the cost of producing them. Our financial resources are limited and the local media environment is intensely competitive so there is a constraint on what we can do.
We are therefore asking our readers to consider offering financial support to these efforts. Any money given will help support community and public interest news and the expansion of our coverage in this area.
A suggested monthly payment is £8 but we would be grateful for any amount for instance if you think this site offers the equivalent value of a subscription to a daily printed newspaper you may wish to consider £20 per month. If neither of these amounts is suitable for you then contact email@example.com and we can set up an alternative. All payments are made through a secure web site.
One-off donations are also appreciated. Choose The Amount You Wish To Contribute.
If you do support us in this way we'd be interested to hear what kind of articles you would like to see more of on the site – send your suggestions to the editor.
For businesses we offer the chance to be a corporate sponsor of community content on the site. For £30 plus VAT per month you will be the designated sponsor of at least one article a month with your logo appearing if supplied. If there is a specific community group or initiative you'd like to support we can make sure your sponsorship is featured on related content for a one off payment of £50 plus VAT. All payments are made through a secure web site.
February 14, 2022