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TfL fare rise for 2015 kept in line with inflation

Fares on the Transport for London (TfL) network in 2015 will only rise in line with inflation under new proposals announced by the mayor of London Boris Johnson.

In what has been labelled a ‘real terms fare freeze’, overall TfL fares will increase, on average, by 2.5%.

However, a series of measures have been put in place to give flexible and part-time workers, including those with unpredictable hours, access to lower fares.

According to the mayor’s office, 22% of Londoners now work part-time. In response, Johnson is cutting pay as you go daily caps so they become one fifth of the cost of a seven-day Travelcard to Zone 1.

The all-day cap for Zones 1-2 will be cut by £2.00 from £8.40 to £6.40; and for Zones 1-6 by over £4.00 from £15.80 to £11.70. This means that part-time workers using pay as you go will pay similar daily rates as full-time commuters using a seven-day Travelcard.

Johnson said: “This fares package delivers on my commitment to address the needs of flexible and part-time workers. By overhauling our fares structure we will put money back into the pockets of hundreds of thousands of hardworking people who make such a vital contribution to London’s economy.

“Freezing overall fares in real terms for next year allows us to hold down the cost of travel, while maintaining our vital programme of modernisation.”

London TravelWatch, the official watchdog representing the interests of transport users in and around the capital, has welcomed the latest announcement.

The organisation’s chief executive, Janet Cooke, added that she is pleased that the mayor has recognised that many people in London are finding it hard to bear continued fare increases. 

“However, it is important to remember that passengers’ incomes are still not keeping pace with inflation so travel costs continue to represent a large and growing part of many Londoners’ budgets, especially those who have to commute to work,” she said.

Within the mayor’s new plans there have also been plans put in place to encourage people to keep hold of their Oyster cards. The office stated that nearly one million cards are issued every month and nearly a quarter are returned for a refund – with many of these returned cards only being issued a few days beforehand. 

To encourage customers to keep their card and reduce costs associated with providing and issuing cards, those who return a card within a month of purchase will pay an early return charge of £3.00 from their £5 deposit.

But Cooke stated: “We are slightly concerned that some groups of visitors to London will be hit with a £3 admin fee if they want to return their Oyster cards after less than a month – this could particularly disadvantage those on low incomes or with large families or those who do not have bank cards to make contactless payments. 

(Image: c. Yui Mok/PA Wire)

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