Despite London mayor Boris Johnson recently announcing that travel fares will be frozen next year, a quick calculation shows that they will in fact rise by as much as 4.8%, even though salaries are still steadily declining in real terms.
According to the announcement, public transport fares were to be changed on the basis of the retail price inflation rate for July, which was 3.1%. However, in real terms, a journey with a contactless card will cost £1.45 from January, up 3.6% from the current £1.40. Also, the fare for travelling on the tube and the overground in Zone 1 will rise by as much as 4.8% – from £2.10 to £2.20.
Weekly, monthly and yearly travelcards will also be more expensive, by between 3.9% and 4.3%. These are used by around half of people who use the public transportation system in the city. In fact, it looks like the fare freeze will only be applied to Zone 1 and Zone 2 underground prices outside of peak hours. The price hike will generate around £115 million over a year, according to calculations from Transport for London, with £39 million coming from higher bus fares and £68 million coming from the Tube, the Guardian reports.
At the same time, the cost of living in the capital is continuing to rise, even though the latest inflation figures were optimistic. What’s more, London’s housing market is booming which has led to an increasing number of people losing their homes. With an average disposable income of around £2,000 and an average rent for a one-bedroom apartment outside the city centre at £900 per month, it’s hardly surprising that more and more people are finding it hard to keep their homes.