By Daniel Hunter
The Mayor of London Boris Johnson has delivered on his commitment to bear down on transport costs in the capital by confirming that fares for Transport for London (TfL) services will be frozen in real terms in 2014, with an average rise of RPI only (3.1 per cent) from 2 January and a freeze on many fares at 2013 prices.
TfL is also setting out this week how it is continuing to invest to modernise and improve London’s transport network, to support jobs, more homes and economic growth in the capital and across the UK. A revised TfL Business Plan to 2020/21, following the funding settlement agreed with Government earlier this year, will be published shortly and is due to be considered by the TfL board at its meeting on 11 December.
In recognition that transport costs are one of the biggest pressures on working Londoners and household budgets, the Mayor has decided to raise fares by an average of RPI only for 2014, which is a freeze on fares in real terms. Limiting the average fare increase to RPI only, rather than RPI+1 per cent, has been made affordable through a combination of measures including TfL’s savings and efficiencies programme and commercial revenue targets.
Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “I have always said I was determined to bear down on fares, while ensuring that we can still invest properly in a transport system that is critical to our city’s success. This package, which has been made possible by the continuing delivery of efficiencies across TfL, ensures that fares remain affordable and that we have the level of funding we need to continue to improve the network and deliver even better, more frequent services for everyone. I know that families and working Londoners who have helped drive the economic recovery still face real pressure over the cost of living and so I’ve decided to keep fares in line with RPI and therefore freeze them in real terms for next year.”
TfL’s revised Business Plan will set out how £16bn of efficiencies and savings are being made across TfL to support billions of pounds of investment in transforming the Tube, completing Crossrail and enhancing the bus, London Overground, DLR and Tramlink services while continuing to build safe and attractive cycling infrastructure, improve the roads, high streets and neighbourhoods and tackle air pollution.
Some of the key improvements which will be delivered over the next ten years include:
- Crossrail — the brand new rail service linking east and west London which will be operating from 2018;
- Northern line extension to Battersea via Nine Elms;
- The start of the next phase of Tube upgrades including the Piccadilly, Central and Bakerloo lines.
- 1,700 hybrid buses including 600 more of the cleaner and greener New Bus -for London operating across the bus network;
- The biggest ever investment in London’s roads, including expanding the network of intelligent traffic signals to cover three-quarters of all signals in London, and major redesigns of key junctions such as Elephant & Castle northern roundabout and Vauxhall gyratory;
- Tube station upgrades including Victoria, Tottenham Court Road and Elephant & Castle;
- London Overground Capacity Improvement programme, delivering a 25 percent increase in capacity by moving from four to five car trains by 2016;
- Electrification of the Gospel Oak-Barking London Overground line;
- Four additional trams on south London’s Tramlink network;
- Extension of contactless payment cards to the complete TfL network; and
- A new TfL website with more personalised features and responsive design to make information faster and easier for customers to access while on the move;
- £913m programme of investment over the next ten years to expand cycling infrastructure and cycling in the capital.
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