Autumn Statement Throws Next Year's Fares Into Doubt

Rachel Holdsworth
By Rachel Holdsworth Last edited 59 months ago
Autumn Statement Throws Next Year's Fares Into Doubt

oystercard_051213The main London impact of the Chancellor's Autumn Statement has been to seemingly cause chaos at Transport for London and City Hall, as he announced that regulated fares will be held down to a rise of RPI (3.1%) instead of RPI+1%.

On Tuesday, we finally found out what next year's fares will be. Oyster Pay As You Go on the tube is mainly being frozen, but travelcards (and bus fares) are rising by an average of 4.1% - RPI+1% - because

Travelcard season tickets cover both National Rail (NR) within Greater London and TfL services, and revenue is therefore split between the different operators and TfL, the weekly, monthly and annual Travelcards will rise by 4.1 per cent on average (RPI+1) to meet the NR fares rise of RPI+1 per cent.

For the last two years (see info from 2011 and 2012), George Osborne has included London in his budget decisions to hold down fares, but this year the statement says the Chancellor is

complementing the decision by the Mayor of London to cap average fare increases in London for 2014

which isn't at all clear on whether there's extra money for London as well as the rest of the country. We've called TfL to see if this means travelcards will also be coming down, but at the time of publication we've heard nothing back. The BBC's Tom Edwards received this note from the Mayor's office, which ends by hopefully saying they "look forward to receiving extra funding from Government that will enable us to now hold Travelcard fare rises to RPI".

What's immediately clear is that nobody at City Hall or TfL knew this announcement was coming, as they'd surely have held off releasing fares just two days ago rather than be publicly made to scrabble around for an appropriate response. That in itself raises questions about the state of relations between (Conservative) Boris Johnson and the (Conservative) members of government. But of course it raises even more questions about what we'll all be paying next year. We'll let you know as soon as we find out.

The Chancellor also confirmed the widely predicted £30m gift to help build the Garden Bridge.

Photo by psyxjaw from the Londonist Flickr pool

Last Updated 05 December 2013