Biggest Rise in Tube and Bus Fares for a Decade

Average cost of travel to rise by nearly six per cent

Mayor blames government for the level of the rise

January 18, 2023

The Mayor of London has announced the largest rise in bus, tram and tube fares for over a decade with the average cost of travel to rise by 5.9%

He says that he has been obliged by the government to match the rise in train fares nationally as part of the funding agreement for Transport for London.

Bus fares will increase by 10p for the second successive year from 5 March with a trip now costing £1.75. The daily cap on bus travel rises by 30p to £5.25.

A Pay as You Go (PAYG) ticket within Zone 1 on the tube at peak times has risen by 12% to £2.80 and 6.3% for Zones 1 and 2 to £3.40 with travel from Zone 3 now costing £3.70. A ticket for travel within Zones other than Zone 1 has risen from £1.80 to £1.90.

Off peak fares have risen by 8% for travel in Zone 1 to £2.70, and now cost £2.80 for Zone 1 and 2 and £3 for Zones 1 to 3.

Peak fares apply from Monday to Friday (not on public holidays) between 6:30am and 9:30am and between 4pm and 7pm.

As well as the fare hikes, it has been confirmed that the restriction on holders of Freedom Passes and Over 60s travel cards using them before 9am on weekdays is to be made permanent. TfL says that an extra £40 million in fares has been collected each year since the pandemic as a result of the change.

One piece of good news was that the qualifying age for the 60+ Oyster card will not now be raised with the Mayor saying funding from City Hall was used to prevent the need.

Michael Roberts, Chief Executive of passenger group London TravelWatch, said, “Many Londoners are already feeling the pinch with cost-of-living pressures so this fare rise of 5.9 per cent across TfL services will be challenging for many people.

“More people use the bus every day in the capital than any other type of transport. Buses are used most by lower income Londoners, so we are particularly disappointed that these fares were not capped.”

Age UK London said that older Londoners on low incomes will be hit hard by cuts to travel concessions.

Abigail Wood, CEO of Age UK London said, “We are devastated that the voices of older Londoners have been ignored. Affordable transport is a lifeline not a luxury and this cut penalises them with no choice about when and how they travel.

“Age UK London is deeply concerned this comes at the worst possible time as the cost-of-living crisis worsens and more and more older Londoners are plunged into poverty. One in four older Londoners live in poverty – the highest level in the country – and London has some of the highest living costs in the world. This is the wrong decision at the worst possible time.”

Research by Age UK London shows that over a quarter, of 60+ Oyster card or Freedom Pass holders that travelled before 9am on weekdays say they have had to cut costs elsewhere to afford the travel fares now the concession has stopped. Two in three of the Londoners aged sixty or over that travel before 9am on weekdays do so either to attend a health appointment, for work or due to caring responsibilities.

The Older Persons Freedom Pass, is available to London borough residents over state pension age (66). The Older Persons Freedom Pass scheme is operated by the London boroughs collectively (London Councils) under an agreement with TfL. The 60+ London Oyster photocard, which is funded by TfL and is available to London borough residents over the age of 60.

The two separate passes award the same rights to free travel on the TfL network.

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