diamond geezer

 Saturday, January 28, 2023

TfL's annual fare rise was announced last week.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said “My hands have been tied since the pandemic by the strict conditions set by the Government in the recent emergency funding agreement for TfL, which means fares have to be increased in London by the same amount as national rail fares – 5.9 per cent.”
But unusually only the headline increases were given. It's taken another eight days for the full list of new fares to be issued... silently, without any kind of press release, as part of a Mayoral decision paper. You can read the full details here, download the signed version here or see tables of all the new train fares here. As far as I know no major news providers have noticed yet, or thought it worth reporting.

What follows is my annual summary of TfL's fare rises, with highlighted text for bad news Sadiq hadn't announced before. It's particularly grim if you travel within Zone 1, avoid central London off-peak or plan to ride the cablecar.

Sadiq froze fares for four years before the pandemic but has since been forced to raise them by government-approved amounts. That's 1% above inflation in 2021 (2.6%) and 2022 (4.8%), and a thankfully much-lower-than-inflation rise in 2023 (5.9%). To put that in context, fares rose 7% in 2011, 7% in 2012, 3% in 2014, 2.5% in 2015 and 1% in 2016, because Boris Johnson wasn't afraid of an above-inflation hike.

Here are some of the new fares in historical perspective, with Boris's years in blue and Sadiq's in red.

Cost of a single central London tube journey
Off peak£2.10£2.20£2.30£2.40£2.40£2.40£2.40£2.40£2.40£2.50£2.70

After six years at £2.40 and two years at £2.50 the Zone 1 PAYG tube fare suddenly takes a hike. In 2021 it was deliberately left unchanged "to support the wider economic recovery of London" but in 2023 it's leaping 12% because "journeys solely within Zone 1 are more likely to be made for tourism or leisure". Contradictory reasons bring contradictory outcomes.

For the first time ever, a Zone 1 fare will cost more at peak times than off-peak. The peak fare will be £2.80, a 30p increase, while the off-peak fare will be £2.70. These are increases of 12% and 8% respectively, well above the 5.9% headline figure.

n.b. These are PAYG fares for Oyster or contactless users. Those who insist on paying cash will now pay £6.70 rather than £6.30.

Cost of a tube journey from Green Park to Heathrow
Off peak£3.00£3.00£3.10£3.10£3.10£3.10£3.10£3.10£3.30£3.50£5.60

Ouch. A Z1-6 fare rises only 10p this year, one of the very lowest increases, but fares to Heathrow are now a special case. In September last year the Mayor announced that travel from Z1 to Heathrow would always be charged at peak rates, hiking prices on the Piccadilly line by £2 overnight. The new tube fare from central London to Heathrow will be £5.60 at all times. This is £2.10 more than it was twelve months ago and a higher fare than any other off-peak journey, even Amersham to Upminster.

But it's still a bargain compared to Crossrail, indeed less than half the purple fare. That's currently £11.50 and will be going even higher in March, although the Mayoral papers don't explicitly state what the new fare will be. What they do say is "The TfL-set additional fare supplements to the Heathrow fares will increase by 40p" and "The Elizabeth line Heathrow supplements for travel via Zone 1 are set at £7.70", so I suspect it'll be breaking the £12 barrier for the first time. If you choose to take Crossrail to the airport you are being milked for the convenience.

For many years all off-peak tube journeys in Z2-6 cost £1.50. In 2021 the Mayor disrupted that by making longer journeys cost more, and this year he distorts the scale again.

Tube (off-peak), journey does not include Z1
1 zone  was £1.60, will be £1.80
2 zones  was £1.70, will be £1.90
3 zones  was £1.80, will be £1.90
4 zones  was £1.90, will be £2.00
5 zones  was £1.90, will be £2.10

Most off-peak outer London journeys are seeing significant hikes. The increases to 1-zone journeys (e.g. Kennington → Brixton), 2-zone journeys (e.g. Finchley Road → Wembley Park) and 5-zone journeys (e.g. Whitechapel → Upminster) are all over 10%. What's more if you consider 2020→2023 the increases are 20% for 1 zone, 27% for 2 or 3 zones, 33% for 4 zones and a massive 40% for 5 zones. Posters across the network used to delight in saying 'Travel off-peak within zones 2-6 for just £1.50', but that's currently £1.90 and I suspect £2.10 isn't going to look as good.

Daily caps for journeys in London are all increasing by the requisite 6%, but you have to be going some across zones 2-6 to ever hit one.

Cost of a single central London bus journey

TfL are often kinder to bus passengers because they include the poorest amongst the electorate, but not this year which sees another 10p rise. This takes the daily cap for bus journeys over £5 for the first time, specifically £5.25. The anomaly whereby a one zone tube ride (e.g Whitechapel to Stratford) was 5p cheaper than taking the bus will no longer apply.

Cost of an annual Z1-3 Travelcard

No matter what the Mayor decides, Travelcards rise in price in line with National Rail fares which are set by the government. That's also 5.9% which is much lower than inflation but still a fair whack. It also means the price of an annual Z1-3 Travelcard is going to increase by over £100 for the first time.

Finally to the means of transport seeing the sharpest fare increase.

Cost of a single Dangle

Cablecar fares will now be the same however you pay at £6 per crossing. It's already £6 if you rock up at the terminal and buy a boarding pass, like foolish tourists do, but previously Oyster and contactless users got a £1 discount and now they won't. The key phrase hidden away in the Mayoral Decision is "Discounted fares will no longer be available." They're also removing return tickets "to simplify the ticket offering".

This shunts the Dangleway even further into sightseeing territory, assuming it was ever anything but. It also means that if you just want to cross the river then a Thames Clipper ride should be £2 cheaper. Regular Dangleway users should however be delighted that a carnet of 10 tickets remains at the rockbottom price of £17 - a mere £1.70 per crossing - the same as it was ten years ago. Don't expect to see this advertised anywhere, you have to ask at the ticket window, but it is the best bargain in the 2023 fares package.

So brace yourself because all these daily increases soon add up, especially if you're one of those people who just taps their way round the capital and blindly lets TfL charge the going rate. Balancing the books when fewer people are travelling is a tough ask, and if the government won't help foot the bill then you and I are going to have to.

<< click for Newer posts

click for Older Posts >>

click to return to the main page

...or read more in my monthly archives
Jan23  Feb23  Mar23
Jan22  Feb22  Mar22  Apr22  May22  Jun22  Jul22  Aug22  Sep22  Oct22  Nov22  Dec22
Jan21  Feb21  Mar21  Apr21  May21  Jun21  Jul21  Aug21  Sep21  Oct21  Nov21  Dec21
Jan20  Feb20  Mar20  Apr20  May20  Jun20  Jul20  Aug20  Sep20  Oct20  Nov20  Dec20
Jan19  Feb19  Mar19  Apr19  May19  Jun19  Jul19  Aug19  Sep19  Oct19  Nov19  Dec19
Jan18  Feb18  Mar18  Apr18  May18  Jun18  Jul18  Aug18  Sep18  Oct18  Nov18  Dec18
Jan17  Feb17  Mar17  Apr17  May17  Jun17  Jul17  Aug17  Sep17  Oct17  Nov17  Dec17
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

twenty blogs
our bow
ian visits
blue witch
on london
the great wen
edith's streets
spitalfields life
round the island
wanstead meteo
christopher fowler
bus and train user
ruth's coastal walk
the ladies who bus
round the rails we go
london reconnections
from the murky depths

quick reference features
Things to do in Outer London
Things to do outside London
Inner London toilet map
20 years of blog series
The DG Tour of Britain

read the archive
Mar23  Feb23  Jan23
Dec22  Nov22  Oct22  Sep22
Aug22  Jul22  Jun22  May22
Apr22  Mar22  Feb22  Jan22
Dec21  Nov21  Oct21  Sep21
Aug21  Jul21  Jun21  May21
Apr21  Mar21  Feb21  Jan21
Dec20  Nov20  Oct20  Sep20
Aug20  Jul20  Jun20  May20
Apr20  Mar20  Feb20  Jan20
Dec19  Nov19  Oct19  Sep19
Aug19  Jul19  Jun19  May19
Apr19  Mar19  Feb19  Jan19
Dec18  Nov18  Oct18  Sep18
Aug18  Jul18  Jun18  May18
Apr18  Mar18  Feb18  Jan18
Dec17  Nov17  Oct17  Sep17
Aug17  Jul17  Jun17  May17
Apr17  Mar17  Feb17  Jan17
Dec16  Nov16  Oct16  Sep16
Aug16  Jul16  Jun16  May16
Apr16  Mar16  Feb16  Jan16
Dec15  Nov15  Oct15  Sep15
Aug15  Jul15  Jun15  May15
Apr15  Mar15  Feb15  Jan15
Dec14  Nov14  Oct14  Sep14
Aug14  Jul14  Jun14  May14
Apr14  Mar14  Feb14  Jan14
Dec13  Nov13  Oct13  Sep13
Aug13  Jul13  Jun13  May13
Apr13  Mar13  Feb13  Jan13
Dec12  Nov12  Oct12  Sep12
Aug12  Jul12  Jun12  May12
Apr12  Mar12  Feb12  Jan12
Dec11  Nov11  Oct11  Sep11
Aug11  Jul11  Jun11  May11
Apr11  Mar11  Feb11  Jan11
Dec10  Nov10  Oct10  Sep10
Aug10  Jul10  Jun10  May10
Apr10  Mar10  Feb10  Jan10
Dec09  Nov09  Oct09  Sep09
Aug09  Jul09  Jun09  May09
Apr09  Mar09  Feb09  Jan09
Dec08  Nov08  Oct08  Sep08
Aug08  Jul08  Jun08  May08
Apr08  Mar08  Feb08  Jan08
Dec07  Nov07  Oct07  Sep07
Aug07  Jul07  Jun07  May07
Apr07  Mar07  Feb07  Jan07
Dec06  Nov06  Oct06  Sep06
Aug06  Jul06  Jun06  May06
Apr06  Mar06  Feb06  Jan06
Dec05  Nov05  Oct05  Sep05
Aug05  Jul05  Jun05  May05
Apr05  Mar05  Feb05  Jan05
Dec04  Nov04  Oct04  Sep04
Aug04  Jul04  Jun04  May04
Apr04  Mar04  Feb04  Jan04
Dec03  Nov03  Oct03  Sep03
Aug03  Jul03  Jun03  May03
Apr03  Mar03  Feb03  Jan03
Dec02  Nov02  Oct02  Sep02
back to main page

the diamond geezer index
2021 2020 2019 2018 2017
2016 2015 2014 2013 2012
2011 2010 2009 2008 2007
2006 2005 2004 2003 2002

my special London features
a-z of london museums
E3 - local history month
greenwich meridian (N)
greenwich meridian (S)
the real eastenders
london's lost rivers
olympic park 2007
great british roads
oranges & lemons
random boroughs
bow road station
high street 2012
river westbourne
trafalgar square
capital numbers
east london line
lea valley walk
olympics 2005
regent's canal
square routes
silver jubilee
unlost rivers
cube routes
Herbert Dip
capital ring
river fleet

ten of my favourite posts
the seven ages of blog
my new Z470xi mobile
five equations of blog
the dome of doom
chemical attraction
quality & risk
london 2102
single life
april fool

ten sets of lovely photos
my "most interesting" photos
london 2012 olympic zone
harris and the hebrides
betjeman's metro-land
marking the meridian
tracing the river fleet
london's lost rivers
inside the gherkin
seven sisters

just surfed in?
here's where to find...
diamond geezers
flash mob #1  #2  #3  #4
ben schott's miscellany
london underground
watch with mother
cigarette warnings
digital time delay
wheelie suitcases
war of the worlds
transit of venus
top of the pops
old buckenham
ladybird books
acorn antiques
digital watches
outer hebrides
olympics 2012
school dinners
pet shop boys
west wycombe
bletchley park
george orwell
big breakfast
clapton pond
san francisco
children's tv
east enders
trunk roads
little britain
credit cards
jury service
big brother
jubilee line
number 1s
titan arum
doctor who
blue peter
peter pan
feng shui
leap year
bbc three
vision on
ID cards