Wednesday 4 December 2019 12:01 am

Sadiq Khan should 'review' fare freeze, says new report

Sadiq Khan should review his Transport for London (TfL) fare freeze and make zonal reform to make public transport more accessible for people on low incomes, according to a new report.

The report, from the Centre for London think tank, points out that the fare freeze does not count for weekly, monthly and yearly Travelcards, which have risen by about 10 per cent in cost over the past four years.

Read more: Labour to cut rail fares and create ‘London-style’ ticketing for the UK

Accounting for this, the think tank found people in outer-London and on lower-income – who are more likely to have Travelcards – have not felt the benefit of the four-year cap on pricing.

The think tank found the TfL fare freeze most benefits irregular travellers, tourists and people living in the inner-city.

The report recommends a review of pricing and a change of zoning so people living in outer-London, who are more likely to be classed as having low incomes, find public transport more affordable.

The Centre for London also called for TfL to scrap the 60+ Oyster card and the additional nominee pass for TfL employees.

Silviya Barrett, Research Manager at Centre for London said: “Poorer Londoners struggle with high transport costs.

“Parts of the city – especially the outskirts – are poorly served by public transport and have a higher reliance on cars.

“The mayor and TfL may have limited powers over Londoners’ incomes or life circumstances, but there is much they can do to make transport truly inclusive.”

Campaign for Better Transport chief executive Darren Shirley, said: “With almost half of the most deprived Londoners contending with poor transport connections, their needs should be accounted for when making investment decisions.”

The mayor recently confirmed he would freeze individual fares for the fourth consecutive year in 2020.

He has come under fire from some quarters as the fare freeze has contributed to yearly deficits in TfL’s budget.

Read more: TfL nets an extra £51m from London commuters despite fare freeze

A spokesperson for Khan would not comment if there would be any future review of pricing or TfL’s zones.

“Affordable public transport is vital for those on low incomes, which is why Sadiq has put keeping TfL fares affordable at the heart of his mayoralty,” they said.