Transport Fare Rises Set To Be Held Down

Rachel Holdsworth
By Rachel Holdsworth Last edited 71 months ago
Transport Fare Rises Set To Be Held Down

The eye watering fare rises due to take effect at the start of next year won't be as bad as announced, if the rumours ahead of George Osborne's autumn statement on the nation's economy are true. (And they probably are. Treasury officials are doubtless briefing like crazed folk.)

The Chancellor will apparently cap regulated fare rises at 1% above inflation (currently running at 5%) instead of 3% above inflation. He's got £300m in his back pocket to ease the pain of public transport users, £130m of which will go to TfL - who have previously announced a rise of inflation +2% for some fares and inflation +3% for travelcards. Revised prices haven't been announced yet, but Andrew Gilligan has worked out that a zone 1-6 travelcard will cost around £120 a year more rather than £160. So, depending on your point of view, it's either still a £120 rise or £40 saved.

However, Gilligan also points out that TfL's massive investment commitments were based on fares rising by RPI+2% each year until 2015. This cash from the government will fill a temporary hole, but TfL are basing their funding requirements on fares being at a certain level after Osborne's money runs out. Should we expect a hike in future years to bring fares up to where TfL expected them to be?

Photo by jaykay72 from the Londonist Flickr pool

Last Updated 28 November 2011

RA

TFL are also holding close to £1bn in reserve for investment projects. If they kept a closer check on the contractors, who are taking TFL's money and laughing all the way to the bank, maybe we wouldn't have to put up with above average inflation rises and we might get a decent service, but as with most public sector companies, they employ contractors and just leave them to it. Rather than actually managing the contract as would happen if it wasn't spending public money.