MQT on 2009-09-09
Session date: 
September 9, 2009
Question By: 
John Biggs
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


In light of the July RPI figure, and your previously stated policy, will you be reducing fares in 2010?


Answer for Fares

Answer for Fares

Answered By: 
The Mayor

I have made clear my determination to keep fares affordable and competitive in comparison with other major cities while ensuring we sustain our crucial investment that is boosting the capacity and reliability of our transport system for passengers. Turbulent economic times must not be allowed to throw us off this course.I have already introduced concessionary fare schemes for older people, veterans and people claiming Income Support and Job Seekers Allowance, as well as reduced fares for anyone travelling off peak. As a result, around 40% of those who use London's buses now do so either free of charge or at a concessionary fare. These important measures will remain.I set fares annually in light of the circumstances of the time. There is no fixed formula and it's always a very tough decision, particularly now given the impact of the economic downturn on many Londoners. But as you yourself have said (in the Budget and Performance Committee's recent fares report), I also cannot ignore the fact that there are new and very substantial pressures on TfL's finances. This includes falling ridership, dealing with the collapse of Metronet and the consequences of the deliberate policies of the previous administration which held down fares below what the TfL budget and the delivery of services actually required.The first priority is obviously cutting further TfL's own costs. Already we have released £2.4 billion in savings over the Business Plan period, there is a continuous exercise to cut more costs across the whole organisation, and we are searching for more so as to deliver the extensive transport improvements London needs while demonstrating clear value for money.I will take all of the current circumstances into account as I make my decision on fares, which I will announce later this year.