A couple of weeks ago, the Mayor of London announced the headline changes to TfL’s fares from this March, but it was only a week later that the full details were finally released.

What is odd this year is that the press release was issued before the Mayor had signed the official decision paper authorising what changes to make, when usually the Mayor has to make the decision before the announcement can be made to the public.

Fares announcement Mayoral Decision signed
2023-24 18th Jan 2023 26th Jan 2023 (pdf)
2022-23 14th Jan 2022 14th Jan 2022
2021-22 15th Jan 2021 14th Jan 2021
2020-21 18th Nov 2019 4th Nov 2019
2019-20 30th Nov 2018 28th Nov 2018
2018-19 16th Nov 2017 6th Nov 2017
2017-18 18th Nov 2016 17th Nov 2016
2016-17 12th Nov 2015 9th Nov 2015

In summary, this year’s changes will see bus and tram single fares to increase by 10p to £1.75, and the daily bus and tram cap raised to £5.25. The Bus & Tram Pass season price is increased to £24.70 for a 7 Day ticket. On the Tube, and on rail services in London where Tube fares apply, pay as you go (PAYG) fares will typically increase by between 10p and 30p.

However, it’s the detail that matters because although the headline is a fares rise of 5.9 percent across TfL services, there’s a lot of variation in how the changes are applied, with some fares budging very slightly and others a lot — to bring the average up to the 5.9 percent target.

That means some people will see hardly any change, and others will be hit much harder than they expected.

The changes in some areas are modest, with slightly higher rises in weekly travelcards in central London and slightly lower rises in the suburbs.

However, it’s the single fares where the biggest change is noticeable, with a 12% rise in peak hours fares within Zone 1 compared to a 2% rise in fares for a Zone 5 commuter travelling into central London.

However, what’s been slightly buried in the numbers is that off-peak fares in the inner city regions are rising sharply. As off-peak travel has recovered faster than commuting, that means more people will be seeing a lager fares rise than they might be expecting.

Number of zones Current March 2023 Increase
Peak Off-peak Peak Off-peak Peak Off-peak
Zones incl. Zone 1
1 £2.50 £2.50 £2.80 £2.70 12.0% 8.0%
2 £3.20 £2.60 £3.40 £2.80 6.3% 7.7%
3 £3.60 £2.90 £3.70 £3.00 2.8% 3.4%
4 £4.30 £3.10 £4.40 £3.20 2.3% 3.2%
5 £5.00 £3.40 £5.10 £3.50 2.0% 2.9%
6 £5.50 £3.50 £5.60 £3.60 1.8% 2.9%
Zones excl. Zone 1
1 £1.80 £1.60 £1.90 £1.80 5.6% 12.5%
2 £2.00 £1.70 £2.10 £1.90 5.0% 11.8%
3 £2.70 £1.80 £2.80 £1.90 3.7% 5.6%
4 £2.90 £1.90 £3.00 £2.00 3.4% 5.3%
5 £3.30 £1.90 £3.40 £2.10 3.0% 10.5%

Outside zone 6, cash and point to point fares rise by a flat 5.9% across the board to match national rail fares – and yes, that includes the Elizabeth line to Reading.

The one mode of transport that in previous years has seen large percentage price rises, is the cable car — but this year, all prices are frozen. Won’t make a measurable impact on revenues, but it seems likely that at £6 a trip, they’ve hit the likely limit on how much can be charged to use it.

Based on current passenger numbers, the increases would be expected to produce an extra £256 million for TfL in 2023 — comprising £164m from London Underground; £72m from the buses; and £21m from the DLR, trams, London Overground and Elizabeth line. However, as the 2023 fares increase has been delayed by two months at the request of the Department for Transport (DfT) to align to fare changes on national rail services, the extra fares revenue expected in the 10 months of 2023 falls to around £213 million.

The fares will rise on 5th March 2023.


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  1. diamond geezer says:

    The walk-up fare for the cablecar may have been frozen at £6, but they’ve simultaneously abolished the £1 PAYG discount. Anyone using Oyster or contactless now faces a 20% increase (on top of a 25% increase last year).

    • Brian Butterworth says:

      I guess taking the Jubilee Line and DLR for £1.90/ £1.80 is probably the best way to avoid the Dangleway increase?

  2. Rob Brand says:

    Have the monthly and annual travelcard costs been announced?

  3. Rob Brand says:

    In the Annex: Fares table it looks like they’ve only included the 7 day travelcard cap, not the monthly and annual ticket prices.

  4. Albina says:

    I just have to say that, not everyone who are using London transport is paying for travel. Allot people travelling for free. They just pushing or puling the gates and that’s it.There is no one who is stopping them. What about this people? People who honest paying for this free travellers?

    • ChrisC says:

      The level of fare evasion on the underground is actually quite low.

      It’s higher on open systems without ticket barriers like Manchester trams.

  5. John B says:

    I see the South London premium has increased with a 30p/40p rises in TOC fares zones 1-6. £4.80 off-peak by rail cf £3.60 if you are on the Tube.

  6. Tom says:

    I seen everyday I work barrier staff letting people though the gates.
    I can only think these people must be VIPs
    I wonder why.

    • ChrisC says:

      I’d be one of those people then because more often than not my paper rail ticket won’t open the barriers so the only way through is for a staffer to open the gate for me.

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