Caroline Russell by Chris King Photography

News from Caroline Russell: Fares freeze leaves Londoners in the cold - travelcard costs soaring

17 October 2019

The Mayor was pressed today by Caroline Russell AM on the rising cost of travel in London despite his fares freeze at Mayor’s Question Time. She forced the Mayor to admit he has no plan for affordable fares that will address the rising cost of travelcards.


Figures she revealed today show that anyone commuting daily from zone 3 or further out into central London using a travelcard will be paying at least £200 a year more for their travel in 2020 compared with 2016.


A recent London Assembly survey found that a quarter of Londoners objected to the cost of public transport in London because it was too expensive. In addition, a third said they would use public transport more if it was more affordable. [1]


Caroline Russell AM also asked the Mayor for discounts for key workers who often have longer, more expensive commutes in London. She continues to support the call from the Royal College of Nursing for discounts to be extended to nurses.

Green Party London Assembly Member Caroline Russell said:

The Mayor’s heavily promoted Bus Hopper fare and frozen single fares on Transport for London services are no good if you’re living in zone 4 and rely on a zone 1-4 travelcard that’s gone up £250 since 2016. Even if you’ve moved to contactless, daily and weekly caps are set at travelcard prices.


Earlier this year I found that a quarter of people in outer London felt forced into car ownership. This is due not only to a lack of services, but the high fares charged by the Mayor. It is unsurprising that a quarter of Londoners say that they object to the rising cost of transport in London, and a third say they would use public transport more if it wasn’t so expensive.


The Mayor should use every power to make transport in London affordable. The rising cost of travelcards takes more money away from those who need it the most. He should seriously consider extending discounts to nurses.

Fares freeze leaves Londoners in the cold

Notes to editors

The original mayoral decision on the fares freeze expected an increase in bus travel, equating to two million extra journeys. Latest figures show a decrease of 94 million journeys per year since 2015-16. [3]


Travelcard sales are rapidly declining as their cost increases. [4] Despite this, Londoners continue to pay travelcard rates for their travel when they reach a daily or weekly cap using Oyster cards and contactless payment. [5]

Analysis conducted by Caroline Russell AM examined the cost of Travelcards based on fares in 2016 and expected fares (based on RPI) for 2020. Assuming people buy 46 weekly travelcards or hit 46 weekly caps over a year, this means commuters will face the increases below in 2020:



2016 weekly travelcard

2016 weekly travelcard fares for 46 weeks

2020 weekly travelcard (based on RPI)

2020 weekly travelcard fares for 46 weeks

% change from 2016 to 2020

Increase for 46 weeks travel in 2020 compared to 2016






+ 11%

+ £170.20






+ 12%

+ £202.40






+ 12%

+ £253.00






+ 12%

+ £299.00






+ 12%

+ £317.40


A graphic of these costs against a geographical map of fare zones in London is available for download below.


The Mayor was reminded by Caroline Russell AM today that in recent figures a quarter of journeys were being made by Londoners using a travelcard.

Caroline is available for interview.

Link to YouTube clip:


[1] London Assembly Transport Committee Survey: Why don't Londoners like travelling on public transport?

[2] Royal College of Nursing London Housing Survey 2016, page 8

[3] TfL Annual Report 2018-19, page 22

[4] TfL FOI Request Travelcard and Single Fare Statistics

[5] TfL Pay as you go caps

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