Yesterday, Boris Johnson announced a whopping 7% rise in fares on the tube and the DLR.
Sadly, it doesn’t come as a surprise. Last year, Johnson paid for the £55million a year it cost to lift Kensington and Chelsea out of the congestion charging zone by raising £60million in extra bus fares.
With this coming year’s increase, which comes into effect in January, the standard bus fare will be £1.40 – a 50p increase (56%) on the 90p that we had to pay when Ken Livingstone left office. That will cost Tower Hamlets residents who get a single bus to and from work an extra £260 per year. And there’s no escape if they buy a weekly bus pass – that’s up by a shocking 47%.
As the Guardian’s Dave Hill rightly says, “the cold heart of the matter is that at a time when they can least afford it working Londoners, especially the least well off, are yet again being asked to pay far more to get around their city.”
And we can expect more and more of this if Johnson is re-elected – he’s admitted that, if his transport plan is followed through, fares will rise 2% above inflation every year for the next twenty years.
The only positive element to this announcement is that now it is brutally clear, as many of us have always known, that Boris Johnson cannot be trusted to speak up for ordinary Londoners. Even the Evening Standard is up in arms.
Ken Livingstone has organised a petition against these crippling fare rises – you can sign it at http://www.unfare.com/