There are mixed messages about transport fares in London this morning, as single fares on TfL-only services are frozen, but the travelcard caps will be increased.

That’s likely to mean that someone making a single return trip per day will not see the cost of most trips rising, but that people who travel more often per day, or a lot in a week, could see their fares rise.

The fares freeze also only applies to TfL-only services, as last December, the Department for Transport (DfT) confirmed that National Rail fares would be increasing by 4.9%, so the cost of trips involving national rail services will have to rise.

For example, the daily travel cap for Zones 1 and 2, which has been heavily advertised on the TfL network, will have to rise from £8.10 to £8.50.

7-Day Travelcards

Zones 2023 2024 Change
1-2 £40.70 £42.70 4.9%
1-3 £47.90 £50.20 4.8%
1-4 £58.50 £61.40 5.0%
1-5 £69.60 £73.00 4.9%
1-6 £74.40 £78.00 4.8%

The changes will come into effect on 3rd March 2024.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan says that most Londoners will benefit from the decision to freeze most single fares. As Transport for London (TfL) could not freeze fares on its own, the Mayor is allocating £123 million of GLA funding to TfL to cover the cost.

Unusually, the cost of paper tickets on TfL services will also be frozen this year to ensure that those who prefer to travel without using pay-as-you-go and use single / return tickets are not excluded from the fares freeze.

The cost of some trips on London Overground and the Elizabeth line will rise. That mainly affects former Greater Anglia services that were transfered to the London Overground in May 2015, as National Rail fares were retained as part of the transfer. The same reason applies to the Elizabeth line line services in the west of London, where the Elizabeth line absorbed former GWR and Heathrow Connect services.

Following the Department for Transport’s decision to increase the penalty fare to £100 (plus the price of the full single fare) across National Rail, the Mayor has also approved an increase to the penalty fare on all TfL services from £80 to £100, reduced to £50 if paid within 21 days.

That’s the first increase in the penalty fare since 2011.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan said: “The cost-of-living crisis continues to hit Londoners hard. That’s why I’ve decided to step in again to freeze TfL fares. Not only will this put money back in people’s pockets, making transport more affordable for millions of Londoners, but will encourage people back onto our public transport network. This will help to boost London’s culture, retail and hospitality sectors.

“While people across the country face another hike in their rail fares, I simply wasn’t prepared to stand by and see TfL customers face a similar hike.

“This is the fifth fares freeze I’ve done since becoming Mayor, making transport in our city 21 per cent cheaper than it would have been had fares risen by inflation. This shows that whenever I can freeze fares, I do so.

“As we continue building a fairer, greener and more prosperous London for everyone, making public transport more affordable and appealing will continue to be a key part of my plan.”

Updated 10am with additional price details


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  1. Paul says:

    Electorally, this is a smart move by Khan. He can have the headline of supporting the poorest with the fares freeze, but still see a revenue increase by raising the caps. If his Conservative opponent attacks this move, he has an immediate open goal of “don’t vote for them, they’ll hike fares” – which in a cost of living crisis is going to help him retain votes.

  2. Chris Rogers says:

    On fare evasion, a chronic issue now, it’s a mystery why TfL haven’t retrofitted polycarbonate fins to the ticket gates to stop ‘vaulters’ – the Paris Metro gatelines are almost impssible to vault and have been for decades. Push-throughs are harder to stop but the wide gate is massively vulnerable to that. TfL’s claim, repeated on station announcements, that they check CCTV is absurd – it would take all day to do that.

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