Regardless of who is the Mayor after the next Mayoral elections, the fares freeze on the railways will come to an end.

The current Mayor, Sadiq Khan, has confirmed that while he will keep the London buses Hopper Fares during his next term, if reelected, fares on the London Underground, Overground and DLR are set to rise.

With the ongoing issues with delayed revenues from the Elizabeth line and a growing backlog of maintenance needed on the transport network, the fares freeze was starting to look less politically sustainable. TfL is currently looking for an additional £400-£650 million to complete Elizabeth line construction, and it misses out on around £1.2 billion in revenue phased in over the next four years had the line opened on time.

The decision to kill off the fares freeze is not a huge surprise though, as TfL’s own business plans are based on fares starting to rise from next year, but while TfL aimed for fare rises slightly above inflation, Sadiq Khan has committed to keeping fare rises to no faster than inflation during his term in office and would “explore cheaper fares for off-peak and weekend travel”

That promise may be foreshadowed by his original pledge which only applied to TfL fares, but that caveat wasn’t clearly communicated, and with many people travelling over National Rail services, they saw their fares rise each year anyway.

According to Ben Rogers, Director of Centre for London, since the freeze was implemented, the cost of a weekly Travelcard for zones 1-4 has risen by nearly 10 percent. This time the prospective Mayor has been much clearer that lower off-peak fares is simply being explored as an option.

The unknown factor in the election though is the unexpected one — it may be delayed for a year due to the Coronavirus.

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4 comments on “Sadiq Khan confirms train fares to rise after the Mayoral election
  1. JP says:

    Delay an election for a year? What ever happened to the white heat of technology coming to the rescue and we the electorate getting to use emojis and texts to show what we’re made of?
    Otherwise, it could be said to smell a bit undemocratic and nobody wants that. Nobody wants to see the Mayor riding bare chested on horseback through the steppes of Epping Forest.

    • ChrisC says:

      The election cancellation affects councillors, mayoral and other posts across the whole country not just London and is Government decision not one of individual elected office holders.

      We simply aren’t in a position to have electronic elections. The alternative would be all postal vote elections but that raises other issues that can’t be resolved in the 6-7 weeks avaiable

    • John G. says:

      Nobody wants to see the Mayor riding bare chested on horseback through the steppes of Epping Forest.

      Speak for yourself. I think Mr Khan is cute

  2. Melvyn says:

    While the Mayoral election has been deferred by a year the original fares freeze promise is based on the normal 4 year term and so if Khan chooses to increase rail fares this year he will still have delivered on his promise at tge last Mayoral election .

    Much will depend on the rate of inflation in July which is used to base fare increases the following January.

    While the Chancellors recent budget included funding for regional mayors outside London nothing was said about arrangements for London funding!

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