Fares in London just keep going up (Report, 18 November). Instead of debating how much they should go up, let’s prove things can be different by cutting them. Since 2008, thanks to the Tory mayor of London, a single bus fare has risen by 56%. A zone 1-6 Travelcard is up 22%. But every year the mayor raises far more money from Londoners’ fares than his own budgets say he needs. In the last year alone, the unplanned operating surplus was £728m. The mayor should be putting that money back into people’s pockets. With VAT, inflation, student fees and unemployment all up, ordinary people are feeling the pinch. London already has the highest cost of living in Britain. Fairer fares would relieve some of the pressure on Londoners and put money back into the economy. Ken Livingstone is proposing a 5% cut in fares to be introduced in autumn 2012. We back a fares cut for Londoners and call for a halt to endless above-inflation rises.
Jarvis Cocker, Benjamin Zephaniah, Len McCluskey General secretary, Unite the Union, Billy Hayes General secretary, CWU, Owen Jones, Zoe Williams
From the Guardian letters page.