London commuters have been warned they could face fare hikes of almost 5% in the new year, the biggest increase since 2012.
Under the terms of the emergency funding agreement reached with the government in June, TfL is obligated to increase tariffs at the rate of RPI (Retail Price Index) plus one percent, which is the same formula used. to calculate the tariffs of the main lines.
With Wednesday’s announcement, RPI hit 3.8% in July – the figure used by the government to calculate tariffs – the cost of TfL services is expected to rise 4.8% in January.
The expected increase in fares has led to warnings that London’s economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic may be hampered, with commuters more likely to work from home.
Nick Bowes, managing director of the Center for London think tank, said: ‘Big fare hikes are the last thing London needs at a time when encouraging commuters and visitors to return to public transport is key to relaunching London’s economy.
“Key workers in London and the South East who cannot work from home will have their pockets out of pocket in January, while those who can work from home may decide the extra cost is not worth the trip.
“The government must work with the mayor to agree a fair and long-term financial settlement for Transport for London to support the city’s recovery and work best for Londoners.”
Following a five-year tariff freeze imposed by Sadiq Khan during his first term, TfL’s tariffs rose 2.6% in March as part of the government’s previous emergency funding round.
Emma Gibson, director of London TravelWatch, said that fares in London “have to be affordable if people are tempted to switch back to public transport”.
Ms Gibson said: “It is particularly important that bus fares remain low, as the buses are mainly used by low-income Londoners and key workers who are often not able to work from home.”
A spokesperson for TfL said “no decision has been made” on the rate increases. A spokesperson for the Department of Transport said the same about the national fare increases which are also linked to the July RPI figure.
The TfL spokesperson said: “When a decision is made, it will be necessary to take into account the existing economic circumstances and the explicit condition of the financing agreement. TfL has an assumption in the financial sustainability plan and in its revised budget of an overall increase in RPI tariffs + 1% on tariffs under the mayor’s control in 2022. ”
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This notice was published: 2021-08-23 14:05:09