17 January 2014
As Londoners’ brace themselves for average fare increases of 3.1% from Sunday, tube union RMT today exposes a barrage of “misinformation and downright lies” from the London Mayor which tie together the issues of job cuts, ticket office closures and fare increases which will hit the lowest paid and the most vulnerable the hardest. The union has also exposed a plan, buried deep in TFL documents that will see the City condemned to inflation- busting fare increases for the next seven years.
In a recent Survation survey of a 1000 passengers 71% of all travellers and 78% of regular commuters expressed the view that current fares on the London Underground were “too high”.
RMT says that it was pressure on the Mayor from the results of that survey, combined with the union and passenger campaigns, that led to him announcing a so called fare freeze last December for 2014, as described in an “exclusive” in the Evening Standard on 3 December 2013
But the freeze is nothing of the sort. It is a sizable increase that far outstrips current wage increases and as an “average” will hammer those who can least afford to pay.
• Single journeys within Zone 1 rise by 10p to £2.20, a 4.8 per cent rise. A single bus fare with Oyster goes up 5p to £1.45, while the cash fare stays at £2.40.
• Weekly Travelcards jump up 4.1 per cent overall, in line with national rail services. A weekly Zone 1-6 card will rise 4.3 per cent from £55.60 to £58.
• People paying cash, usually the poorest, will see a single fare in Zone 1-3 rise 20p to £4.70.
• The Mayor has also made it clear that he is playing off his so-called “fares freeze” against job cuts and ticket office closures, services he promised to protect before he was elected.
Now RMT research has uncovered a ticking bombshell under London transport users. The small print of Transport for London’s Draft Business plan for the next ten years, presented to the Transport for London Board on 11 December, reveals that after 2014 fares will be going up in excess of inflation until 2021. The plan says,
“The Mayor announced his decision on fare increases for January 2014 on 3 December; this will be an average of RPI + 0%. For the purposes of this Business Plan, annual increases of RPI+1% have been assumed for future years. The actual increases for these future years will be decided by the Mayor in due course.”
RMT General Secretary Bob Crow said:
“Far from ushering in a freeze on fares this Sunday, the Mayor’s entire transport strategy is dependent on above inflation fare increases for seven years tied in to a programme of job cuts, attacks on safety and the closures of ticket offices that will combine together to make services a no-go zone for the vulnerable, low-paid, those with disabilities and women travelling alone late at night.
“The facts are that the Mayor has lied about keeping ticket offices open, has lied about freezing fares and is now at it again on the consequences for safety and services of the jobs cuts programme that RMT members have voted to fight. The fight to stop this relentless assault on transport users and transport staff is well and truly on.”