London Tube and bus fares to rise by 7% in 2012

Oyster Cards TfL says the increase is necessary to protect investment

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Fares on London's transport network will rise by an average of 7% from January 2012, the city's mayor Boris Johnson has confirmed.

Transport for London (TfL) said the above-inflation rise was necessary to maintain investment in the network.

But Labour's London mayoral candidate, Ken Livingstone, said the rises were "absolutely staggering".

Liberal Democrat assembly group leader Caroline Pidgeon said the rises would "really hit hard many people".

The Tube, buses, London Overground, Docklands Light Railway (DLR), boats and Tram services will all be affected.

'Tough times'

Free and concessionary travel for older people, students, veterans and disabled Londoners will remain in place.

TfL set out the average fare increase of inflation plus 2% in its business plan in October 2009.

The current rate of inflation - based on July's retail price index (RPI) - is 5%.

TfL said some services may increase by more than 7%, while others would rise by slightly less.

Fare changes include:

  • Oyster pay as you go fare on the buses rising by 10p to £1.40
  • Oyster pay as you go fares on the Tube rising by between 10p and 30p
  • Cash fares on the Tube increasing by between 30p and 40p
  • London Travelcard season ticket prices rising by 8%

Announcing the fare increases, Mr Johnson, said: "I understand that any increase in tough times is difficult.

"This is a package that has sought to balance the needs of today's passengers whilst ensuring we continue apace with plans to overhaul London's transport system in the face of unprecedented demand."

Mr Johnson also highlighted the £12bn investment in London's transport infrastructure that has delivered the Tube upgrade, new trains and the extension of the East London Line to Highbury and Islington.

Other projects in the pipeline include the extension of the cycle hire scheme, completion of the London Overground network and the launch of a new model of bus for London.

Ms Pidgeon, who is also the Chair of the Assembly's Transport Committee, accused the mayor of failing to tackle waste at TfL and fare evasion.

She said if the mayor got on top of this "there would be no need for such severe fare rises".

Mr Livingstone called the fare increase "a further stealth tax" adding that the mayor should be "putting squeezed Londoners first".

Jo deBank, of London TravelWatch, said: "At a time when people are struggling and wages are static, another above-inflation fare rise will go down like a lead balloon with passengers."

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