Thursday, 15 October 2009

Boris Johnson raises fares by up to 20 per cent

Boris Johnson will raise the cost of traveling in London by up to 20 per cent with bus users suffering the hardest, he announced today.

A single pay as you go bus ticket will rise to £1.20 with off peak tube fares also rising by almost 20%.

The congestion charge, held at £8 since 2005 will also rise to £10, although this will not come in until the Western Extension is scrapped next year.

Single cash fares on the bus will remain at £2 and some travelcard prices will be frozen.

The new fares will come into effect in January, just one year after a similar above inflation hike.

Liberal Democrat Chair of the London Assembly Transport Committee Caroline Pidgeon said today:

"This will be a slap in the face for the millions of Londoners who will be seeing no increase in their pay packets this year. It is all very well Boris trumpeting a zero increase in his share of Council Tax. Fare rises affect far more people, at far greater cost."

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"

Former Mayor Ken Livingstone said today:

"I left Boris Johnson with very large Transport for London reserves and plans to raise more funds and protect the environment. He has cut investment, reduced protection of the environment and hammered ordinary Londoners with above inflation fare increases. In essence his policy is that the majority of Londoners should pay to subsidise the better off and worst polluters. That is no joke for London."

You can read a summary of the fare rises here.


Anonymous said...

What a cock :(

AdamB said...

This just in from the Greens:

"Jenny Jones has responded to today’s announcement of fare increases for bus and tube passengers.

“The mayor is pricing people off public transport, whilst favouring motorists by going ahead with plans to cancel the western extension of the congestion charge. Part of his fares increase will pay for the gap left by losing around £55m of congestion charge income. The Mayor has today highlighted the pollution caused by old buses, but he was the one who dropped the £25 congestion charge on gas guzzling cars, which would have generated around £30m in its first year. Everything the mayor does shows a bias in favour of the motorist and against public transport users. Even the long delayed increase in raising the congestion charge will be after bus and tube passengers have already started paying their extra fares”.

CHPaul said...

I can't see any of the usual suspects rushing to his defence on this one. I guess the congestion charge rise has put paid to that.

AdamB said...

To be fair, while single fares on the bus are up 20%, Boris does appear to have protected the better off, as weekly travelcards will be frozen. Can't afford to piss off the middle classes too much.

saifu03 said...

You are so negative!
Prices don't change if you live in zone 3. And zone 3 only, very odd to see that.

Where are the travelcard prices which tfl say do not change? I can only see the 7 dayers. Admittedly, in my line of work, that is all that affects me but I don't only think of myself, if I did I would have voted for BJ.

If the Tcard prices are unchanged, this is a bit of a result for certain types of commuter. The lack of coverage about that is disconcerting, I would have thought most Londoners bought season tickets. Need confirmation on the longer seasons tickets I guess, but they must be unchanged completely if they are omitted, right?
Bus price changes are quite large, but you get what you pay for. *We* wanted to get rid of the inhumane bendy bus. *We* wanted to pay more money towards designing a new bus. *We* wanted more people on the buses to collect our tickets (that we no longer have to buy). *We* voted for that.
Some people think that Boris was elected on the "LOL Boris you legernd" platform but I am sure every single person voting for him knew what his policies were.

Paul said...

Blimey, that linked graphic isn't half confusing. And doesn't seem to include a one-day Zones 1-6 Travelcard, which is probably the ticket I buy second most often, after taking single buses on Oyster PAYG (the fare for which has gone up by twice what I was expecting).

The only other TfL thing I tend to use is the Oyster day cap for buses, which at £3.90 will now (if memory serves) have gone up by nearly a third in the space of two years - I think it was £3 before this mayor's first set of fare rises, but could be wrong. That's quite a rise.

AdamB said...

Having looked at it a bit more closely there seems to be a few more missing in that table and the tfl release. I've asked about it but it may just be because there will be no change. Will update as and when.

Nick said...

Remember that most Travelcards won't go up because they also cover national rail services and those commuter fares are regulated by central government.

These regulated fares will fall by 0.4% as from January 1st 2010

AdamB said...

Good point Nick, so not really a freeze in real-terms then.

saifu03 said...

A lot of the percentage increases are a little confusing because you cannot, reasonably, increase low prices by pennies - it has to be in 10p chunks. That is why some fares, especially the oyster bus fare, look to be very large increases. Last year 11%, massive 12% according to Bori-spin in 05 and 06. The 20% here is different as you have gone up two steps, having gone up one before. It is a third more expensive to travel by bus than it was. I didn't mind (that much) the rise last year, £1 is reasonable.
From an affordibility POV though, the decision to not increase season tickets seems very odd. People that buy them will, usually, be in gainful employment. PR wise, the increase of 4% looks a million times better than 20% with similar effect (revenue-wise). It also would not affect the discretional spending to go to shops, leisure etc which a 20p does do. Not many people use the bus once, for some reason, they often use it to get back too! This adds 40p to those journies.

AdamB said...

Good points all saifu03.

This confirmation just in from City Hall on Travelcards. A spokesperson for the Mayor said:

"The vast majority of Travelcard prices will be frozen but the exception will be Seven Day 2 Zone Travelcards that exclude Zone 1 travel on the Tube but provide all-zone bus travel, which will rise by 14.5% from £16.60 to £19.00 in line with bus passes."

saifu03 said...

In an administration full of PR wonks and journalists, why is Bori-spin (I like that phrase, just made it up, everyone should use it) so poor?
Everyone was EXPECTING rises (although inflation would suggest it is not fair....) so why only inflict them on PAYG users and bus users?
The cap going up, the individual rises, this is all affecting users that are either poor or who make the decision to use public transport instead of other means on certain occassions. Discretioary users, basically. In a group of people, cab will be cheaper (or a little more) than the bus now for a lot of smaller central london journeys. Those that commute, will commute anyway, they pretty much *have* to use it.
The increase of the CC (only once the WEZ is gone? - more cash for less area!) might encourage those few driving to work *regularly* to use the tube *regularly*as the costs are lower. But frankly, if you choose to commute by car in London now, you are doing so in ignorance of the faster and cheaper ways of doing so. To think Kulveer talked of a lack of cohesion from previous administration!

barry rochford said...

Saifu03 gets it right when talking about season tickets being frozen - 'People that buy them will, usually, be in gainful employment'. Doesn't is show how the burden is being put on the ;ess well off - those in zones 1 &2.
Also bus users who again aren't in such gainful employment?
I'm sure his supporters in Bromley and Bexley won't be off to the pawnbrokers this evening.

saifu03 said...

People on income support do get a discount bus travel I think. As long as:
A) they know about the incredibly poorly advertised scheme.
B) they are long-term enough unemployed.

Bori-spin says that he is protecting the most vulnerable. Kind of true, he is *continuing* to protect the most vulnerable. The quite vulnerable, those that work inconsistent hours, those that work sometimes, those that temp, they are less wel protected.
[b]This[/b] is the most shocking thing, the [b]poor are picking up the £125m bill[/b]. I am not being asked to pay a penny more than I was because I form part of the natural Boris constituency.

Anonymous said...

I think it's worth remembering that Boris put up prices a year ago already and so these fares are now MASSIVELY higher than they were. I don't normally like to advertise other blogs but have a look at boriswatch for a summary of how much more boris is costing you and me!

AdamB said...

Boris cancelled the existing income support when he came in only to reinstate it six months later. He also, to his credit, brought in a discount scheme for people on jobseeker's allowance.

However, he set it up so that it only applied to people who had been unemployed between 13 and 26 weeks, hence the very low take-up

AdamB said...

Anonymous - I seem to remember from looking at the budget earlier this year that Boris has budgeted for above inflation fare rises each and every year, so expect more of this to come.

Karl said...

Did I just hear Kulveer 'lone' Ranger on the news claim that the new routemaster was only going to cost 1 or 2 million quid? *snigger*

prj45 said...

"The congestion charge, held at £8 since 2005 will also rise to £10, although this will not come in until the Western Extension is scrapped next year."

Two things I don't get about this.

1. Is the scrapping of the charge a given? What happens if they have the statutory consultation and it comes back "Don't scrap", isn't Boris mandated to "listen to it"?

2. To quote the BBC: 'TfL said that Mr Johnson was still "minded" to scrap the western extension to the congestion charge zone and that he would be making a final decision next spring'

So does this mean the rise won't happen if he decides not to scrap it?

RMT (press release) said...

TUBE AND TfL union RMT today slammed confirmation from Mayor Boris Johnson that tube fares will increase by 3.9% from next year and bus fares by over 12% as “dire news in the middle of a recession which will be deeply damaging to passenger numbers and revenue income.”

In further bad news for public transport in the capital, TfL's business plan, to be considered by TfL's board next week, includes the deferral by three years of all remaining station renewals which were to have been completed by the failed private Tube maintenance company Metronet.

Also work to upgrade one of the Tube's busiest stations - Victoria - will not now be completed until 2018 and the business plan suggests that there will be some bus service reductions and reductions in service on some parts of the Tube.

Bob Crow, RMT General Secretary, said today:

"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 shocking 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.

“A large chunk of the multi-billion financial black hole facing TFL is a direct result of the failure of tube privatistion. Passengers and staff are being asked to pay a heavy price for the failures of politicians and it is no surprise that they are angry at these heavy weight fare increases.

“The continuing shambles over the station renewals and upgrade programme following the collapse of Metronet is just another part of the grim legacy from the privatisation disaster. The politicians who created this mess should be taking responsibility instead of asking passengers and staff to take the financial hit.”

Helen said...

Karl - yes, I heard him say that, too: "Routemaster development may cost a million, maybe 2 million, over the next few years."

AdamB said...

That's because they're only making one bus in the next few years (just in time for the election campaign)

Anonymous said...

Dont forget Boris gets to travel for free even though he is very well of financially . I feel like we have all been conned , especially the not so well paid . Boris is far from The Peoples Mayor . God help us if The Conservatives win the next election because they will claim that we are all in this together so you can be assured that your Council Tax will go up massively next year to plug the financially gaps left ,right and centre , just you wait and see . Well it does appear that the Conservatives love to throw Double Whammies !

Karl said...

You could be onto something there, Adam. The fact he reckons it'll only cost a million or two, and he didnt challenge the assertion it was a vanity project suggests there will be only one.

London Councis Labour Group (press release) said...

Labour boroughs slam Mayor’s ‘shocking’ fares and cuts double whammy

London’s Labour councils have condemned the bus and tube fare increases and cuts to services announced by Boris Johnson as a ‘shocking’ double whammy.

The comments were made to the Mayor’s Transport Advisor Kulveer Ranger at a meeting of London Councils’s Transport and Environment Committee on Thursday.

Despite the meeting taking place on the same day as the fares announcement, none of the representatives of the 16 Tory councils in London asked a single question about fares.

Labour councillors called on Ranger to refute claims in the press that station refurbishments were to be delayed and that tube services would be reduced in outer London. Ranger refused to rule out further cuts to bus and tube services in the future.

Labour’s Vice Chair on the committee, Cllr Alan Laing of Hackney, said:

“In this time of recession these fare increases are truly shocking and a devastating blow for the vast numbers of Londoners who rely on public transport every day.

Tory councillors aren’t willing to discuss this issue because they know that Boris has made a decision that will hurt people across the capital.

Delaying or axing the abolition of the Western Extension of the Congestion Charge would have massively reduced the amount of money needing to be raised.

By instead increasing bus fares by up to 20%, Boris has shown that he prefers London’s wealthiest car owners to the majority of Londoners who rely on the buses.

The litany of cuts and delays that have also been announced demonstrate that even those areas of outer London to which Boris Johnson professes to be so committed will suffer from the Mayor’s lack of vision.

Mr Ranger refused to assure us that bus routes wouldn't be cut and that services would not be reduced on the busiest routes. This can only add to delays and increase congestion on a service that is already at breaking point.”

Anonymous said...

prj45 has a very good point about the scrapping of the Western Extension. Boris seems to be trying to get into people's minds that the consultation on this will be just a formality, when of course it isn't.


Anonymous said...

The London Assembly should hold a motion of no confidence regarding this Mayoralty because this is a total injustice against the low paid and poor . Transport should be affordable to meet everyones needs and to get people out of their cars. How can you make a transport system meet everyones needs when it is becoming so expensive . Boris Johnson is kissing the wealthy and kicking the poor and creating a divide . A motion of no confidence is required to wake The Mayor for London Boris Johnson up and bring him down to earh and reality . My personal opinion is that he should go , the sooner the better because Boris is " BAD FOR LONDON ".

Anonymous said...

I think scrapping or not scrapping the WEZ will be pushed back until after the local and national elections. So whatever the consultation results and whatever Boris does with it he will have convinced those who want to see it going that it is a fait accompli. If he does abolish it and does introduce the higher congestion charge it will also not influence the elections.

Helen said...

The full fare tables are in this PDF:

prj45 said...

"I think scrapping or not scrapping the WEZ will be pushed back until after the local and national elections"

Or he'll use the "you're going to lose your ability to use your resident permit to drive into the central zone AND it's going to cost you a tenner" to sway the opinion of Chelsea and Ken residents to a "keep the WEZ please" stance...

Anonymous said...

All able-bodied citizens should BOYCOTT the buses!! I'm walking to work now ( 4 miles = 1 hour) and as soon as the weather clears up I'll be cycling. (15 mins!)
It takes 1 hour by bus (3 buses needed!) and costs 7.8% percent of my daily wage. The increase alone represents 1.2% of my wage. Those in charge of the public transport network do not live in the real world.