Orpington residents travelling into central London will receive nasty shocks this year. Far worse than the usual annual fare increases we have all come to expect after the Christmas and New Year celebrations.
From 2 January, season tickets will cost another 2.2% on average. This takes the total increases since David Cameron’s Government came to power to between 20% and 25%.
Mayor Boris Johnson has also increased the (unregulated) daily adult travel card (paper ticket) to central London from zones 4-6 from £9 to £12. So people travelling into central London from Orpington will see a staggering 33% increase.
And the equivalent children’s fare rises from £3.60 to £6. An unbelievable 66% rise.
The last Labour Government’s policy was to raise fares by the rate of inflation plus 1% to continue with the vast improvements in public transport in London and elsewhere it had started after 18 years of Conservative neglect.
Coming into Government the Tory Chancellor George Osborne raised fares by inflation plus 5% in 2011 – the 5% is known as the ‘flex’ for train companies to use. In 2014 it was inflation plus 2%. With the general election on 7 May, the Government is limiting the regulated fare rises to 2.5%, broadly in line with inflation.
The result is that we now have the highest public transport fares and the highest government subsidies in the EU. Some commuters earning the average pay of £27,200 a year could pay as much as 17% of their income on fares.
Labour will put a cap on all regulated fares, abolish the ‘flex’ and simplify the system by giving travellers the legal right to purchase tickets at the lowest price available.
Nigel de Gruchy
Orpington Labour Party Candidate for the general election on 7 May 2015