diamond geezer

 Saturday, November 19, 2016

TfL's annual fare rise was announced yesterday (interestingly only on the Mayoral website, and not on TfL's).

And, as promised, the Mayor has frozen TfL fares... not just for 2017 but for 2018, 2019 and 2020 too.

For comparison purposes, fare rises were 7% in 2012, 3% in 2014, 2.5% in 2015 and 1% in 2016. Next year, taking the downward progression to its ultimate conclusion, it's zero.

Here are some of the newly unchanged fares in historical perspective, with Labour years in red and Conservative in blue.

Cost of a single central London tube journey
 20072008200920102011201220132014201520162017-20
Oyster£1.50£1.50£1.60£1.80£1.90£2.00£2.10£2.20£2.30£2.40£2.40
Cash£4.00£4.00£4.00£4.00£4.00£4.30£4.50£4.70£4.80£4.90£4.90

The Zone 1 Oyster tube fare remains at £2.40. That's a 20% increase on five years ago, and a 60% increase on ten years ago, but no increase at all for the next four years. Meanwhile anyone still paying by cash continues to pay significantly more, as TfL try ever harder to persuade people to switch to contactless.

Cost of a tube journey from Green Park to Heathrow
 2008200920102011201220132014201520162017-20
Oyster (peak)£3.50£3.80£4.20£4.50£4.80£5.00£5.00£5.10£5.10£5.10
Oyster (off-peak)£2.00£2.20£2.40£2.70£2.90£3.00£3.00£3.10£3.10£3.10
Cash£4.00£4.00£4.50£5.00£5.30£5.50£5.70£6.00£6.00£6.00

Journeys beyond zone 1 have barely risen in price since 2013, and this latest freeze means the Z1-6 fare rise between 2013 and 2020 will be an amazingly small 10p. Meanwhile all off-peak London tube journeys avoiding zone 1 remain at the rock-bottom fare of £1.50, which is damned good value.

Cost of a single central London bus journey
 20072008200920102011201220132014201520162017-20
Oyster£190p£1£1.20£1.30£1.35£1.40£1.45£1.50£1.50£1.50
Cash£2£2£2£2£2.20£2.30£2.40£2.40xxx

The pay-as-you-go bus fare also remains unchanged in January, still £1.50. And with the introduction of the Hopper fare in September allowing two bus journeys for the price of one, it's possible to argue that the overall cost of bus travel has gone down.

So where's the catch?

The catch is rail services in London not operated by TfL, because the Mayor's fare freeze doesn't apply to those. He has no jurisdiction over the majority of National Rail suburban services, so their fares are rising by inflation, or an average of 1.9%.

Rail fares are generally more expensive than tube fares, thanks to years of differential increases. From January all single rail fares within zones 1-6 are to increase by another 10p, while the equivalent tube fares remain the same. Here's quite how confusing and complicated it's got.

Cost of a single train journey (Oyster, 2017)
 Tube
peak
Rail
peak
 Tube
off-peak
Rail
off-peak
Z1-2£2.90£2.80 £2.40£2.30
Z1-3£3.30£3.50 £2.80£2.60
Z1-4£3.90£4.00 £2.80£2.90
Z1-5£4.70£5.10 £3.10£3.30
Z1-6£5.10£6.20 £3.10£3.90

The difference in fares is fairly small in inner London, but rises more steeply towards the outskirts. If you live in zone 6, for example, at peak times it's over a pound dearer to travel to central London by rail than the equivalent journey would be by tube. From zone 2, oddly, it's 10p cheaper. And for journeys that stay outside zone 1, the differential is even worse. All off-peak tube journeys in zones 2 to 6 cost £1.50 off peak, but the equivalent rail journeys cost anywhere from £1.80 to £2.70.
An added complication is that not all rail journeys are charged the same. Some have TfL tube fares, thanks to long-standing agreements, while others charge full whack. This page tells you which is which. South London gets a much rawer deal than North.

Now here's the bad bit, which the Mayor has been careful not to amplify in yesterday's publicity. Travelcards aren't subject to the fares freeze, even if you only ride on TfL services. Travelcards are funded assuming you might travel by tube or you might travel by rail, so if rail fares rise then Travelcard prices have to rise too. Everyone with a Travelcard will end up paying more next year, in the order of 1.8%, be that weekly, monthly or annual.

Then there are those daily and weekly caps which TfL like to trumpet because they save you money. Bad news, these are linked to Travelcard prices, so they're rising too. Individual bus and tube fares might not be rising next year, but the point at which the cap kicks in is being raised, so you could end up paying more anyway.

Rise in the one-day cap
Zones travelledIncrease
Any day's travel venturing into zones 4-6+20p
Any day's travel solely within zones 1-3+10p
Any day's travel solely on buses and trams  +0p

It's only ten or twenty pence more a day, or up to £1.10 a week, but that could be over £50 a year. Sadiq's supposed fare freeze is no such thing if you're a regularly-capped traveller.

Rise in the weekly cap
Zones travelledIncrease
123456+£1.10
12345+£1.00
1234+80p
123 or 23456+70p
12 or 2345 or 3456+60p
234 or 345 or 456+50p
23 or 34 or 45 or 56+40p

The headline says TfL fares frozen until 2020. Reality says you might be paying more.


<< click for Newer posts

click for Older Posts >>


click to return to the main page


...or read more in my monthly archives
Jan17  Feb17  Mar17  Apr17  May17  Jun17  Jul17  Aug17  Sep17  Oct17  Nov17
Jan16  Feb16  Mar16  Apr16  May16  Jun16  Jul16  Aug16  Sep16  Oct16  Nov16  Dec16
Jan15  Feb15  Mar15  Apr15  May15  Jun15  Jul15  Aug15  Sep15  Oct15  Nov15  Dec15
Jan14  Feb14  Mar14  Apr14  May14  Jun14  Jul14  Aug14  Sep14  Oct14  Nov14  Dec14
Jan13  Feb13  Mar13  Apr13  May13  Jun13  Jul13  Aug13  Sep13  Oct13  Nov13  Dec13
Jan12  Feb12  Mar12  Apr12  May12  Jun12  Jul12  Aug12  Sep12  Oct12  Nov12  Dec12
Jan11  Feb11  Mar11  Apr11  May11  Jun11  Jul11  Aug11  Sep11  Oct11  Nov11  Dec11
Jan10  Feb10  Mar10  Apr10  May10  Jun10  Jul10  Aug10  Sep10  Oct10  Nov10  Dec10 
Jan09  Feb09  Mar09  Apr09  May09  Jun09  Jul09  Aug09  Sep09  Oct09  Nov09  Dec09
Jan08  Feb08  Mar08  Apr08  May08  Jun08  Jul08  Aug08  Sep08  Oct08  Nov08  Dec08
Jan07  Feb07  Mar07  Apr07  May07  Jun07  Jul07  Aug07  Sep07  Oct07  Nov07  Dec07
Jan06  Feb06  Mar06  Apr06  May06  Jun06  Jul06  Aug06  Sep06  Oct06  Nov06  Dec06
Jan05  Feb05  Mar05  Apr05  May05  Jun05  Jul05  Aug05  Sep05  Oct05  Nov05  Dec05
Jan04  Feb04  Mar04  Apr04  May04  Jun04  Jul04  Aug04  Sep04  Oct04  Nov04  Dec04
Jan03  Feb03  Mar03  Apr03  May03  Jun03  Jul03  Aug03  Sep03  Oct03  Nov03  Dec03
 Jan02  Feb02  Mar02  Apr02  May02  Jun02  Jul02 Aug02  Sep02  Oct02  Nov02  Dec02 

eXTReMe Tracker
jack of diamonds
Life viewed from London E3

» email me
» follow me on twitter
» follow the blog on Twitter
» follow the blog on RSS

my flickr photostream