London Underground:
Biggest hike in
Tube and bus fares

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LONDON: Tube and bus fares are to be increased by an average of almost 5%, London Mayor Sadiq Khan has announced. The hike matches the current inflation rate and is the biggest annual jump in Transport for London (TfL) fares in a decade, when Boris Johnson was mayor.

Single Tube fares using Oyster or Contactless tickets will rise by 10p in Zone 1 and between 10p to 30p across the rest of the Underground network. Mr Khan said he had done everything “to keep fares as affordable as possible”.

According to a BBC report, the fares will rise from 1 March and see an increase across all TfL services averaging at 4.8%, Mr Khan said.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan

The move is in line with government orders as part of TfL’s bailout conditions, driven by the need to rebuild its finances following the Covid pandemic. The last time fares rose on this scale was when Mr Johnson increased them by almost 6% in 2012.

Mr Khan held TfL single pay-as-you-go prices in his first four years as mayor as part of his “fares freeze” policy. But he increased them by an average of 2.6% in March last year. “Since TfL’s finances were decimated by the pandemic, the government has set strict conditions as part of the emergency funding deals to keep essential transport services running in London,” Mr Khan said.

The hike, which matches the current rate of inflation, is the biggest annual jump in Transport for London fares in a decade and will mean passengers paying an estimated £151m more to travel this year.

Single Tube fares using Oyster or Contactless tickets will increase by 10p in zone one and between 10p to 30p across the rest of the Underground network.

Bus fares will rise by 10p to £1.65 – an increase of almost 6.5 per cent, meaning bus passengers, who are typically on lower incomes, will suffer a bigger proportionate rise than those using the Tube.

The increases are on top of already announced changes, such as premium Heathrow Tube fares throughout the day and the ban on free travel for over 60s before 9am, that will generate a further £60m to £80m a year.

The overall fares increase across all TfL services averages 4.8 per cent. It is the second successive across-the-board annual increase imposed by Mr Khan.

Both have been in line with Government orders and driven by the need to rebuild TfL’s finances.

The last time fares rose by this scale was when the then mayor Boris Johnson hiked fares by almost six per cent in 2012.