Assembly votes to amend Mayor’s budget

28 January 2015

London Assembly Members today passed an amendment [1] to the Mayor of London’s draft budget, which, if adopted, could save money for 25,000 outer London commuters [2].

From the beginning of 2015, off peak rail passengers using Oyster or contactless Pay As You Go (PAYG) outside Zone 3, saw their minimum daily cap shoot up.

Caroline Pidgeon AM MBE, who proposed the amendment, said:

This year’s fare package is hitting 25,000 people every day with staggering rises in off peak fares.

Hiking up off peak daily caps by as much as 38% is terribly unfair. I expect it will also drive more people onto peak time services leading to even more crowded commuter trains.

Today the London Assembly has told the Mayor that instead of hitting people in outer London with fares rises of two or even three pounds a day it is far better to forego the 1 pence a day cut in the council tax he is proposing.

The ball is now in the Mayor’s court on this issue. I hope he has the good sense to listen to the London Assembly and remove the appalling rise in fares targeted solely at people in outer London.”

Valerie Shawcross AM CBE, who seconded the amendment, said:

Boris Johnson’s decision to do away with the daily off-peak PAYG cap for outer London has left 25,000 people paying up to 38% more for their travel.

Despite promising to limit fare rises to 2.5%, the Mayor seems shockingly unaware of the impact his changes have had. Assembly Members have given the Mayor the opportunity to right this wrong.”

Darren Johnson AM, who also seconded the amendment, said:

The Mayor should be trying to encourage people to use public transport in zones 4-6, and to use it more at off-peak times to ease congestion. I hope he takes our views on board and re-introduces the Pay As You Go caps in his final budget.

The full text of the amendment is here.

Notes for Editors:

The amendment was approved by 16 votes for to 9 against.

The Mayor’s written response to a question from Caroline Pidgeon AM, for Mayor’s Question Time 21 January 2015.

Watch the webcast

This meeting was the first part of a two-stage budget setting process. At the first stage amendments may be approved by simple majority and must be considered by the Mayor. The Assembly will consider the Mayor’s final budget at its meeting on 23 February; the final budget may be amended by a two-thirds majority.

The budget setting process is set out in Schedule 6 of the GLA Act 1999 (as amended).

As well as investigating issues that matter to Londoners, the London Assembly acts as a check and a balance on the Mayor.

For media enquiries, please contact Alison Bell on 020 7983 4228. For out of hours media enquiries, call 020 7983 4000 and ask for the London Assembly duty press officer. Non-media enquiries should be directed to the Public Liaison Unit on 020 7983 4100.