Fare increases come into effect

07:19 02 January 2013

Regulated fares, including season tickets, are increasing by an average of 4.2 per cent. File picture: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

Regulated fares, including season tickets, are increasing by an average of 4.2 per cent. File picture: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

Commuters heading out to work for the first time today after the festive break will be hit in the pocket by above-inflation fare rises across the transport network.

Tube, tram, DLR and bus network charges are to increase by an average of 4.2 per cent. Regulated rail fares, which include season tickets, will also go up by an average of 4.2 per cent.

A single bus and tram Oyster card fare will go up to £1.40, while a seven day pass increases from £18.80 to £19.60.

A zone one London Underground Oyster card fare will cost £2.10, and a one-day anytime Travelcard in zones 1-4 will cost £11.

Transport for London said the money from increased fares will go into ongoing improvements on the network, including the upgrade of the Northern line and new trains on the Circle, Hammersmith and City and District lines.

London Mayor Boris Johnson said the £96million of funding secured from central government has helped keep potential increases down.

He said: “This fares package is hugely important to our millions of passengers and I am very pleased to have secured nearly £100m that will help to keep fares as low as possible, and protect the important concessions that we offer the most vulnerable Londoners.”

The price increase equates to 50 per cent rise in bus fares since Boris Johnson was elected Mayor.

When he came to power in 2008, a single Oyster bus fare was 90p, while a seven day pass cost £13.

The weekly zone 1-4 Travelcard has risen by more than one fifth in the same period, from £34.60 in 2008 to £43.60 from today.

Season tickets will also go up for commuters travelling into and out of London. Train companies can put some season tickets up by more than 4.2 per cent as long as the overall average does not exceed 4.2 per cent.

Some Kent commuters are facing above-average rises, with season tickets to London from Ramsgate, Folkestone, Canterbury, Deal and Dover all going up by around 4.8 per cent.

Some travellers will escape the worst of the increases. Those commuting to London from Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire, for example, will only have to pay 3.18 per cent more for their season tickets.

Campaign groups have pointed out today’s regulated fare increase is the 10th successive above-inflation rise, with some rail season ticket holders seeing their fares rise by more than 50 per cent in the last 10 years.

The Association of Train Operating Companies (Atoc) said it recognised nobody liked paying more for their journey but added that railway funding could only come from taxpayers or from passengers “and the government’s policy remains that a bigger share must come from people who use the train”.

Campaign for Better Transport chief executive Stephen Joseph said: “The impact of successive government’s policies on rail fares is appalling.

“It’s truly shocking that we have deliberately made getting the train to work an extravagance that many struggle to afford. The time has come not just to stop the rises but to reduce fares.”

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “I understand the frustration felt by many commuters going back to work today.

“At a time when real wages are falling and household budgets are being squeezed, rail travellers are being forced to endure yet another year of inflation-busting fare increases.

Michael Roberts, chief executive of the Association of Train Operating Companies, said: “We understand commuters don’t like to pay more to travel to work but it is the government, not train companies, that decides how much season tickets should rise on average each year.

“Successive governments have required train companies to increase the average price of season tickets every January since 2004 by more than inflation.”

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