London mayor Khan faces cross-party fury over fare freeze pledge

Mark Sands
Follow Mark
Sadiq Khan Takes First Mayor's Question Time
Is Sadiq Khan in trouble over his promise to freeze TFL fares for four years? (Source: Getty)

London Mayor Sadiq Khan is facing cross-party fury after it emerged that a much-vaunted freeze on TfL fares would exclude large numbers of tickets.

A four-year freeze on fares was the flagship policy in Khan's plans for London, with the former Tooting MP stating in his manifesto that “Londoners won't pay a penny for more their transport in 2020 than they do today”.

However, it has emerged that weekly and monthly travelcards, which are valid on non-TfL services, contactless card fares and daily “caps” on Oysters would not be included in the programme, leaving only single and pay-as-you-go fares.

Read More: Khan finds savings to fund fares freeze, but some tickets are excluded

London Assembly members rounded on Khan today over the changes.

London Tory leader Gareth Bacon said: “Just four weeks after the election the mayor’s flagship policy has been thrown out of the window.

“By raising travelcard prices by inflation and breaking his biggest promise he is turning his back on those who showed faith in him.”

Lib Dem member Caroline Pidgeon added: “The reality is that many Londoners will see their travelcards rise over the next few years. What we have found out today feels like a very early broken promise from London’s new Mayor.”

And Ukip's David Kurten said: “Sadiq Khan breaking his fares freeze promise was predictable but still I am astonished by how shamelessly quick it was.”

Read More: Sadiq Khan has just announced his first policy as London mayor

A spokesperson for Khan emphasised that the freeze would still benefit 96 per cent of commuting Londoners.

"Sadiq only has the power to set the fares on TfL services, which is why he will continue to push the Government to follow his example by freezing their own fares ‎ and transferring suburban rail services to TfL as quickly as possible so that even more passengers benefit from his fares policy," they said.

It comes after Khan back-pedalled on plans to stop London's Garden Bridge, while earlier this week his deputy mayor or housing James Murray stressed that while the mayor had discussed London needing more than 50,000 houses every year, the figure itself was something “which we want to move [towards] over the coming years".