TfL fare hike: Bus and Tube prices to rise by 4.8% - the biggest increase in a decade

Transport for London (TfL) fares will rise by 4.8% overall from Tuesday, March 1 2022, which is expected to rake in an additional £151m for the pandemic-hit service.

Tube and bus prices are set to rise by almost 5% on average in just two weeks, the mayor of London has announced.

Transport for London (TfL) fares will rise by 4.8% overall from Tuesday, March 1 2022, which is expected to rake in an additional £151m for the pandemic-hit service.

The price hike is the biggest rise in a decade, which City Hall says is needed to help the operator reach financial sustainability by April 2023.

It comes amid a crisis in the cost of living, with Londoners shelling out more for energy bills, food, National Insurance and fuel - as inflation soars and the income tax threshold is frozen.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan. Credit: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

While poverty campaigners have criticised the government for refusing to cancel the £20-a-week uplift to Universal Credit, which they slammed for causing “immense hardship”.

The move is the second annual increase after Mr Khan froze fares for his first four years in office, from 2016 to 2021.

The Labour mayor said TfL had been “forced into this position by the government” but that he had done “everything in my power to keep fares as affordable as possible”.

The rises include:

  • Pay as you go Tube fares in Zone 1 increasing by 10p to £2.50;
  • Bus and tram ‘Hopper’ fares (multiple trips within one hour) going up by 10p to £1.65;
  • Daily bus and tram caps rising by 30p to £4.95, the same as three single fares;
  • The daily cap on multiple pay as you go Tube trips increasing by 3.8%;
  • An increase of 80p to the minimum cash fare on the Tube, taking it to £6.30;
  • And Emirates cable car trips rising 25% to £5, and return tickets no longer sold.
Wearing a face mask is no longer enforced by law in England (Photo: Getty Images)

City Hall says the increase meets conditions on continued short-term funding agreements by the government, which has bailed it out twice after revenue fell during the Covid-19 crisis.

TfL is currently negotiating a new long-term funding settlement with the Department for Transport (DfT).

And the operator is warning that the rise won’t prevent the threat of a managed decline if it is unable to agree a funding deal with the government.

In the eight years prior to 2016, under then-London mayor, Boris Johnson, TfL fares rose overall by more than 42%.

Mr Khan said: “Public transport should be affordable to all, and I’ve taken bold action to ensure this since I became mayor by introducing the unlimited Hopper bus fare and freezing all TfL fares from 2016-2021 - saving the average London household over £200.

“Since TfL’s finances were decimated by the pandemic, the government has set strict conditions as part of the emergency funding deals to keep essential transport services running in London.

“We have been forced into this position by the government and the way it continues to refuse to properly fund TfL, but I have done everything in my power to keep fares as affordable as possible.”

Lib Dem Caroline Pidgeon. Credit: Carl Court/Getty Images

While Shashi Verma, strategy director at TfL, said: “This fares package aims to keep fares as affordable as possible while still ensuring TfL can continue to run clean, green and safe services and support London’s continued economic recovery.

“Through daily and weekly capping, as well as the Hopper fare and our wide range of concessions, passengers can continue to get the best value fare by using pay as you go with contactless and Oyster.”

Caroline Pidgeon, chairman of City Hall’s transport committee, said: “This announcement will be of little comfort for passengers now facing even higher fares, especially many low-income bus passengers.

“However, given the terrible financial position facing TfL and the straitjacket being imposed by the government it is sadly inevitable.”

She added: “While the PM is on his ‘levelling up tour’, a desperate bid to distract from a scandal-ridden Downing Street, his government forces the largest fare increases in London for a decade.

“Many Londoners can't afford these rises and levelling down London like this will impact the whole UK economy.”

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