Transport for London (TfL) is under fire over a proposed increase to Piccadilly line’s journeys to Heathrow, according to recent reports.
To be put in place between Zone 1 and Zone 6, the ‘premium fare’ would see commuters pay 60 per cent more to travel, with peak prices implemented all day instead of during rush hours, news website MyLondon reported.
The move – which will help TfL with its current funding crisis – is still subject to consultation and is expected to be reviewed ahead of 4 February, the deadline for the new government funding agreement.
Citizens’ organisations such as the Stop Heathrow Expansion campaign and the Harmondsworth and Sipson Residents Association have blasted the decision, calling it ‘unfair’ for all the people living nearby the airport.
““Not all users of Heathrow’s Underground stations are directly associated with the airport,” said the residents association’s chair Jane Taylor.
“To many local residents in villages close to Heathrow, the Piccadilly Line is part of their everyday commuting route to their place of work outside current peak times or allows easy access to services and facilities which are not found in the villages around Heathrow.
“To make us pay 60 per cent extra to go into London is unacceptable at the best of times, let alone when we are already trying to budget for the recent dramatic rise in the costs of heating and food.”
The Stop Heathrow Expansion campaign also raised concerns over the premium fare causing more air pollution.
“We fear that any new premium charge introduced at our local tube station may lea residents to use alternative ways to access central London, potentially placing more cars on local roads to access stations not subject to these premium charges,” added Stop Heathrow Expansion’s Geraldine Nicholson.
According to a London mayor’s spokesperson, decisions have yet to be made.
“TfL are in the early days of considering whether to amend the fare structure for Piccadilly line and TfL Rail services to and from Heathrow Airport so that a peak fare for journeys which start or go through Zone 1 would apply at all times on journeys into and through Zone 1,” they said.
“Any change would require engagement with key stakeholders, including Heathrow Airport, as well as a mayoral decision before it was introduced.”