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TfL prices: About 40% of journeys on London public transport network to cost more despite Sadiq fares freeze

About 40 per cent of journeys on London’s public transport network will be more expensive due to the limited impact of Mayor Sadiq Khan’s “fares freeze”, it can be revealed.

It means that Transport for London’s income from fares will increase by up to £75m over the next 12 months, if travel returns to pre-pandemic levels – the bulk from more expensive Tube journeys.

Mr Khan’s partial fares freeze – which leaves the cost of pay-as-you-go journeys on the Tube, London buses, the London Overground, Elizabeth line, DLR and Croydon tram unchanged until March next year – came into effect on Sunday.

But because the “cap” on the cost of multiple pay-as-you-go journeys has increased, alongside a 4.9 per cent average increase in Travelcards, many passengers will end up paying more.

According to TfL, the overall impact will be an average rise of 1.7 per cent, “which is the net impact of fares set by the mayor being frozen and all other fares and prices increasing by 4.9 per cent”.

The cost of Travelcards is set jointly by rail companies – which follow Government orders on how much they can charge for “regulated” fares such as commuter fares and season tickets – and TfL.

This means Mr Khan does not have the power alone to freeze the cost of Travelcards, which allow travel across national rail and TfL services.

TfL advice to Mr Khan prior to him implementing his partial fares freeze stated: “Such a fares freeze is expected to apply to around 60 per cent of fare-paying journeys made on TfL services.”

It said that TfL’s annual yield from all fares changes would be up to £75m - £55m from Tube travel, £14m from bus travel and £6m from TfL train services.

Mr Khan’s decision to freeze pay-as-you-go fares – which follows similar partial freezes in 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 – keeps the bus fare unchanged at £1.75.

Tube or TfL train fares within zone 1 remain unchanged at £2.80 peak (£2.70) off peak, while a peak-hours journey between zones 1-6 remains £5.60 (£3.60 off peak).

Mr Khan contrasted his approach with the 4.9 per cent hike in national rail fares, which also came into effect yesterday.

He said he had frozen TfL fares to ease the cost of living crisis that “continues to hit Londoners hard”.

He has allocated £123m from City Hall funds to plug the gap in TfL’s finances – it had budgeted for fares to increase by four per cent.

Mr Khan said: “Not only will this keep money in people’s pockets and make transport more affordable for millions of Londoners, it will encourage people back onto our public transport network. This will help to boost London’s culture, retail and hospitality sectors.

“From yesterday, people around the country faced another hike in their rail fares, but I simply wasn’t prepared to stand by and see TfL customers face a similar hike.

“This is the fifth fares freeze I’ve done since becoming mayor, making transport in our city 21 per cent cheaper than it would have been had fares risen by inflation.

“This shows that whenever I can freeze fares, I do so. Making public transport more affordable and appealing will continue to be a key part of my plan.”

In addition to the partial fares freeze, Mr Khan has also struck a deal with the train firms to trial the scrapping of peak Tube and train fares in London on Fridays from March 8 until May 31. The initiative will cost City Hall £24m.