Tory mayoral candidate Shaun Bailey has confirmed he would put up Tube fares after saying the current mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, would do the same.
Bailey, who is looking to replace Khan as London mayor in next year’s election, said a Transport for London (TfL) fare hike was a “done deal”.
“It’s not me putting them up, it’s the reality of the world putting them up,” he told an event organised by the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
“What I would have done is not done the bogus fares freeze at the beginning to leave us with such a big gap to jump.”
A source close to Bailey said Khan’s commitment to bring TfL back into surplus – it is currently straddling a £500m deficit – suggests he would not be able to freeze fares again.
Bailey confirmed he would keep the hopper bus fare, saying it was “really useful for people”.
“I genuinely think it’s good idea and has worked out,” he added.
Khan is currently three years into his fares freeze, which is due to last another year.
Pay-as-you-go journeys on the Tube, DLR, Emirates Air Line and rail services where TfL fares apply all fall under the policy.
A spokesperson for Khan said: “This says everything that Londoners need to know about the Tories in London. Throughout his time as mayor, Sadiq Khan has frozen TfL fares and introduced the Hopper bus fare, while TfL fares went up by more than 42 per cent under the last Tory mayor and the new Tory candidate is promising to increase TfL fares every single year if he wins.
“Londoners can trust Sadiq on fares as he’s kept his promise to freeze them for four years, but you’ll have to wait and see the manifesto, which will be published next year.”
A TfL spokesperson said: “As outlined in our business plan last December, from January 2021 onwards, TfL’s business plan assumes that fares could broadly rise by RPI+1. However – this is just an assumption. TfL fares are set on an annual basis by the mayor and therefore any future plans for fares would need to be confirmed and amended in future versions of the business plan as applicable.
“As a result of its continuing drive for efficiency savings, in 2018/19 our budgeted operating deficit was halved to £494m. At the same time, fares set by TfL have been frozen, and we have continued to make significant investment in London’s transport infrastructure.”