Essex commuters will be the first to benefit from London’s Crossrail train service, with fare cuts of up to 40 per cent introduced this weekend.
Although the east-west London line will not be travelling through the capital’s newly-dug tunnels until 2019, some services between Liverpool Street and Shenfield will be run as TfL Rail from Sunday, and operated by Hong Kong firm MTR.
Transport for London (TfL) has promised to charge the same fares for Crossrail as for the rest of the London Underground network. So a peak fare from Romford to Oxford Circus will fall 30 per cent, from £7.60 to £5.10, while off-peak fares for the same route will be cut 40 per cent from £5.20 to £3.10. The fare cuts – which could help 100,000 passengers in the next year – will cost TfL £5m, which it hopes to offset with increased revenue.
Eighty per cent of rides on the line are likely to be cheaper. TfL said it will not use the Crossrail name until 2017, when more improvements have been made on the line.
A Crossrail spokesman said the tunnel boring machine is due to break through at Farringdon this week, completing the longest drive of 8.3km from Limmo Peninsula near Canning Town to Farringdon, linking all Crossrail tunnels.