Home Business News Sadiq Khan is allocating £123 million of GLA funding to freeze TfL fares until March 2025  

Sadiq Khan is allocating £123 million of GLA funding to freeze TfL fares until March 2025  

by LLB political Reporter
19th Jan 24 9:57 am

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has today announced bold action to freeze TfL fares this year, to support Londoners struggling with the cost of living and London’s recovery from the pandemic.

The Mayor is proposing £123m of additional funding to TfL, identified as part of the GLA budget setting process, to freeze fares for a whole year at a crucial time when Londoners are being hit by inflated food costs and soaring energy bills.

New analysis shows that TfL fares set by the Mayor in 2024 will be 14 per cent lower than if they had risen in line with National Rail fares, and 21 per cent lower than if they’d risen in line with RPI since 2016.

If TfL fares had increased in line with national rail fares, they would have increased by 4.9 per cent this year alone, but the Mayor’s decision to freeze TfL fares will put an estimated £123m back into the pockets of Londoners. Today’s announcement follows the Mayor’s decision last week to extend funding for free school meals for state primary school children for another year.

The Mayor previously froze TfL fares from 2016 until 2021, before the restrictions imposed on TfL by the Government’s funding conditions during the pandemic. As London emerges from the pandemic, the Mayor is freezing TfL fares once again, to get even more people onto public transport and offer a boost to London’s cultural, hospitality and leisure sectors. It will also make it more affordable for workers to commute back into the office more regularly.

Record numbers of people are now using pay as you go as an alternative to travelcards, with 80 per cent of Tube journeys and 74 per cent of bus journeys now made using pay as you go. This means that the vast majority of Londoners will benefit from the Mayor’s decision to freeze fares again.

Example savings as a result of the Mayor’s latest fare freeze (assuming that fares set by TfL would have increased by four per cent as per its Business Plan assumptions):

  • Someone commuting from Southall to a Zone One station, like Bond Street on the Elizabeth line, four days a week will avoid a potential 20p increase to their Zones 1 to 4 peak single PAYG fare, saving up to £72 a year on their commute alone
  • Someone commuting from Harrow-on-the-Hill to a Zone One station, like Baker Street on the Metropolitan line, three days a week will avoid a potential 20p increase to their Zones 1 to 5 peak single PAYG fare, saving up to £54 a year on their commute alone
  • Someone commuting from Hornchurch to a Zone One station, like Westminster on the District line, five days a week will avoid a potential 20p increase to their Zones 1 to 6 peak single PAYG fare, saving up to £90 a year on their commute alone

Buses are the most accessible, available and affordable form of public transport, with the Mayor’s Hopper fare continuing to offer Londoners unlimited bus journeys within an hour for just £1.75. Had the single bus and tram fare increased by 10p again, as was the case for the last two years to ensure TfL complied with the requirements of the Government’s emergency funding settlements, someone making a return bus journey every weekday, which did not benefit from the Hopper fare, would have to pay an extra £50 over the course of a year.

Single and return paper fares on TfL services will also be frozen this year, to ensure that those who prefer to travel without using pay as you go and use single / return tickets are not excluded from the fares freeze.

Freezing fares for the next year is a key part of the Mayor’s programme to support Londoners through the cost-of-living crisis. This also includes investing £3.46bn into building the genuinely affordable homes Londoners need, £400m on skills and employment programmes to support Londoners to find more secure work, more than £80m to help to tackle fuel poverty, and support for private renters and to tackle food insecurity.

The Mayor has also extended his emergency funding package of more than £3.5m that has already helped to provide more then 10m free meals during school holidays and at weekends to low-income Londoners struggling with the spiralling cost of living since April.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan said: “The cost-of-living crisis continues to hit Londoners hard. That’s why I’ve decided to step in again to freeze TfL fares. Not only will this put money back in people’s pockets, making transport more affordable for millions of Londoners, but will encourage people back onto our public transport network. This will help to boost London’s culture, retail and hospitality sectors.

“While people across the country face another hike in their rail fares, 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.

“As we continue building a fairer, greener and more prosperous London for everyone, making public transport more affordable and appealing will continue to be a key part of my plan.”

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