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Friday, 25 November 2016

Behold, the four-year fare freeze for London Transport!



Some good news has just arrived on my desk - fares for London Transport services have been frozen for four years!

From TfL

The following are frozen until 2020:
  • All fares on buses and trams
  • All single pay as you go fares and paper single tickets on Tube and DLR services
  • All Santander Cycles hire and access charges
  • All fares on Emirates Air Line
Certain fares are also frozen until 2020 on:

  • London Overground and TfL Rail
  • River Bus
Travelcard prices and daily and weekly caps are set with the train operating companies and not solely by the Mayor.

These tables show a selection of frozen fares. (All fares shown are adult-rate.)

Frozen bus and tram fares
Single journeys
Daily cap
One Day Bus & Tram Pass
£1.50
£4.50
£5.00
7 Day Bus & Tram Pass
Weekly Cap
Monthly Bus & Tram Pass
Annual Bus & Tram Pass
£21.20
£21.20
£81.50
£848

Frozen Tube, DLR and London Overground fares*
Zones
Peak
Off-peak
Zone 1 only
£2.40
£2.40
Zones 1-2
£2.90
£2.40
Zones 1-3
£3.30
£2.80
Zones 1-4
£3.90
£2.80
Zones 1-5
£4.70
£3.10
Zones 1-6
£5.10
£3.10

*Separate fares apply for journeys that include travel on London Overground between Liverpool Street and Enfield Town, Cheshunt, Chingford and Emerson Park and all intermediate stations

The bad news is that Travelcards, along with daily and weekly caps will continue to rise by 1.8% because they have been set and agreed upon by the private train operating companies. National Rail fares will also continue to rise.


On the Tube and other rail services where Tube fares apply, PAYG single fares are frozen.   Where fares are set by the Train Operating Companies (TOCs), i.e. on most rail services not devolved to the Mayor, PAYG fares increase by 10p.

Travelcard fares and the associated PAYG caps will increase from January 2017 in line with the 1.9% annual increase in the Retail Prices Index (RPI) in the benchmark month of July 2016.  These increases reflect national government rail fares policy over which the Mayor has no control. 

The Mayor has called on the Government to join with him in freezing fares.  However, increases in the cost of London Travelcards and the associated caps in line with the RPI have been mandated by the TOCs. 

As a result, Travelcard season ticket prices increase by 1.8% on average.  This is close to the maximum permitted by the guidance from the Secretary of State for Transport to the TOCs that no regulated fare should rise by more than the percentage increase in the RPI.  The all day PAYG Travelcard caps, which are set at 20% of the relevant 7 Day Travelcard prices, increase proportionally in line with the increases in London Travelcard season tickets being mandated by the TOCs.

Here’s a table of the new Travelcard prices and caps:

7 day Travelcard prices
Number of zones
2016
2017
Increase
Including Zone 1



2
£32.40
£33.00
1.85%
3
£38.00
£38.70
1.84%
4
£46.50
£47.30
1.72%
5
£55.20
£56.20
1.81%
6
£59.10
£60.20
1.86%
Excluding Zone 1



2
£24.30
£24.70
1.65%
3
£26.80
£27.30
1.87%
4
£32.20
£32.80
1.86%
5
£40.50
£41.20
1.73%

All Day PAYG (Pay-As-You-Go) Travelcard caps

All day caps
Zones
2016
2017
Change




1-2
£6.50
£6.60
1.54%
1-3
£7.60
£7.70
1.32%
1-4
£9.30
£9.50
2.15%
1-5
£11.00
£11.20
1.82%
1-6
£11.80
£12.00
1.69%

Day Travelcard prices

Day Travelcards
2016
2017
Change
All day 1-4
£12.10
£12.30
1.65%
All day 1-6
£17.20
£17.50
1.74%
Off-peak 1-6
£12.10
£12.30
1.65%

And who regulates the railway fares?


Fare increases

We are not the regulator for passenger fares.

Train operators employ a commercial strategy in setting fares. If you wish to complain about an increase in the price of your train fare, you should first contact the train operator direct to allow it the opportunity to address your concerns. Contact details for individual train companies can be found on the national rail website.

Ultimately, if a train operator's commercial strategy runs contrary to the broader public interest, it is for the government to consider as part of its fares policy.

Certain standard class rail tickets are regulated by Government:
Transport Scotland (for Abellio ScotRail)
Welsh Assembly Government (for Arriva Trains Wales)
the Department for Transport (for all other train companies)

As such, the amount by which an individual regulated fare can rise is capped at the Retail Prices Index (RPI) plus a maximum of 6%, within a basket of fares that cannot rise by more than RPI plus 1%. RPI was 3.2% (in July 2012) when the limits were set for this year, so the maximum average increase for the basket is 4.2%, and the maximum increase for an individual fare is 9.2%.

There are three exceptions to this:
Merseyrail's concession agreement with the local Passenger Transport Executive (PTE) limits regulated fares to an average increase of RPI (no plus addition).

Northern Rail's agreement with West Yorkshire PTE limits the amount by which an individual regulated fare can rise at the RPI plus a maximum of 8%, within a basket of fares that cannot rise by more than RPI plus 3%. So the maximum average increase for the basket is 6.2% and the maximum increase for an individual fare is 11.2%.

Southern's franchise agreement limits the amount by which an individual regulated fare can rise at the RPI plus a maximum of 3%, within a basket of fares that cannot rise by more than RPI plus 1%. So the maximum average increase for the basket is 4.2% and the maximum increase for an individual fare is 6.2%.

Where does the money from my rail fare go?


On average, 97p in every pound of your fare goes back into the railway.
The vast majority of revenue from fares covers the costs of services, for example paying for trains, fuel, staff and other day-to-day running costs, and helps to sustain investment in more trains, better stations and faster journeys. Data and graph released by the Office of Rail & Road in March 2016 for financial year 2014-15.



The rail industry works hard to get more out of every pound we spend and to make passengers’ and taxpayers’ money go further to help to build a better railway.

Hopefully we will see more rail services in London taken over by TfL, which would mean that fares will be the same as any other TfL services.

As always, I invite you to follow me on Twitter and Google Plus which is @CLondoner92

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