Transport for London fares to rise by 4.8%

FARES on Transport for London services will rise by almost 5 per cent on 1 March, as TfL continues to struggle with its finances. Temporary funding support from the government was extended on 4 February for another two weeks, but there are still no signs of a long-term settlement.

The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said the rise is based on last July’s RPI of 3.8 per cent plus 1 per cent, and TfL said the increase was ‘in line with conditions placed on continued short-term funding agreements by the government’.

Contactless fares (including Oyster) on Zone 1 of the Underground will go up by 10p, the first rise since 2016. The bus and tram ‘Hopper’ fare which allows unlimited journeys within an hour of purchase will increase by 10p to £1.65.

The Mayor had frozen all fares from 2016 to 2021, during his first term. TfL warned that ‘revenue raised from fares will ensure TfL can continue to operate but will not negate the threat of a “managed decline” scenario should Ministers fail to provide the sustainable funding deal critical to our national economic recovery’.

Mr 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.’

TfL’s director of strategy Shashi Verma added: ‘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.’