Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has announced that he will end fare freezes on TfL train services, if reelected.
Since his election in 2016, Khan has stuck to his promise of freezing the rate of single fares across London's transport network. But with mounting pressures on TfL finances — including around £700m per year lost in government grants, plus the delay of Crossrail — Khan has admitted it's not practical to continue the freeze.
He says that any fare increases would not rise any faster than the cost of living over the next four years, and that he will 'explore cheaper fares for off-peak and weekend travel'.
The news has been welcomed by some, including the capital's think tank, Centre for London, which said:
The freeze on tube travel has disadvantaged regular travellers and commuters while benefiting less regular travellers and visitors... the cost of a weekly travelcard for zones 1-4 has risen by nearly 10%.
As regular commuters, we can firmly say that we've never benefitted from the fares freeze.
Khan has promised that all TfL bus fares — including the £1.50 hopper bus fare, which allows you to travel on multiple buses for up to 70 minutes for a flat fee — would remain frozen for the duration of his second term, should he be reelected.
The Conservative, Shaun Bailey — Khan's major rival in the upcoming election — has previously said that he would abandon the fares freeze, in order to commit more spending to TfL.
It was announced yesterday that the London mayoral election — due to take place on 7 May — could be delayed due to coronavirus.