Mayor Boris Johnson’s latest round of inflation-busting fare rises come into effect last monday but most people will have returned to work after the break today. This will be the fifth consecutive year that Boris has raised fares above inflation, with this year the average increase being 5.2%. The Mayor should limit his fare rise to RPI or less. This would help Londoners at a time when their living standards are being squeezed.
Since 2008 bus fares have increased by 56% from 90p to £1.40, a weekly zone 1-6 off-peak travelcard has gone up by 21% to £8.50 and a monthly Zone 1-3 has gone up by 25% to £136.70.
Today local residents in South-West & West Central London are being hit with an above inflation fare rise, at a time when they are facing a real squeeze. It’s time Boris understood the pressure on Londoner’s pockets and reduced the fare rise to inflation or less. Before the election he said he would ‘bear down on fares’ but we have seen no evidence of this since.
To add insult to injury Boris has also announced that there will be above inflation fare rises for another 10 years. He simply doesn’t understand the pressure that ordinary Londoners are under. At a time when rent, food and energy bills are all rising well above inflation the Mayor needs to use his powers to reduce the pressure on Londoners.
With extra pressures on household budgets where does Boris expect people to keep finding extra money for his fare rises? Rather than campaigning for more tax cuts for the very richest, Boris should be spending more time on helping working Londoners who are struggling just to get by.
The Mayor’s commitment to raise fares above inflation can be found on page 48 of the business plan.