Keeping fares low for Londoners

MQT on 2016-05-25
Session date: 
May 25, 2016
Question By: 
Florence Eshalomi
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


In recent YouGov polling, it was revealed that Londoners' No.1 priority for the Mayor is keeping the cost of public transport low. How much will your proposed transport measures save the average London public transport user?


Answer for Keeping fares low for Londoners

Answer for Keeping fares low for Londoners

Answered By: 
The Mayor

Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London):  Thank you, Chairman.  For the avoidance of doubt, I intend to be the Chair of the TfL Board.


Londoners have endured an overall 42% increase in fares over the eight year term of my predecessor.  No one will pay a penny more in 2020 on TfL fares than they do now.  This will save the average household around £200 over my four-year term.  Some people will save much more.  For example, a regular user of a bus and tram seven-day pass will save around £400.  This comes on top of the bus Hopper that I announced on my second day in office.  It will be introduced in September 2016, making life cheaper and easier for millions of Londoners.


I am committed to being a Mayor for all Londoners.  That means helping Londoners by alleviating the pressure of ever increasing transport costs.


Florence Eshalomi AM:  Thank you, Mr Mayor.  I feel a bit bad that I did not congratulate you, but as a follow south Londoner I am really happy to see a south Londoner.


Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London):  I have made a note, Flo!


Florence Eshalomi AM:  I am happy to see a south Londoner as the Mayor.  Again, congratulations.  A number of my residents across Lambeth and Southwark definitely welcome the fare Hopper.  It is something I was using when I was studying at university in Holland.  It is so great to see we are going to have that in the UK and London now.  That is going to benefit so many people.


In terms of real costs, Mr Mayor, are you aware of the Government general grant cost and that London is the only world city that does not receive that operational subsidy?  Do you think this is fair?  Will you be asking the Government to reverse this decision?


Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London):  This was in the last Budget.  There should be a quid pro quo.  If central government is taking money away from London it should be giving us more devolution and more powers to make sure we can address what it has taken away.  One of the things I will be talking to the Government about - I have already met with the Chancellor on one occasion - is giving more devolution to London.  Business rates is one area where it is devolving power.  The Government deserves credit - not for taking money away from London - for devolving powers away from Whitehall; whether it is to Scotland, Wales or Greater Manchester.  My point is that it is not mission accomplished for London.  We do need more devolution to London.


Florence Eshalomi AM:  Regarding more devolution and looking at the cost - and it is great to see you will be chairing TfL - in terms of the cuts and fare freeze it is going to result in a real term fare freeze of 10% for Londoners, in contrast to the 13% that it went up under your predecessor.  Where there are concerns around increasing infrastructure costs around the whole transport network, how are you able to do this where your predecessor failed?


Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London):  There is a difference with a fulltime mayor with the political will to get things done.  This, for me, is not a stepping stone to another job.  I have asked the TfL Commissioner to undertake a root and branch review of the organisation, to ensure this freeze will be delivered without affecting investment.  You are right, we need both an affordable and modern transport system.  I am the only Mayor who has been a Transport Minister before.  I am going to use that experience to make sure we continue to invest in the infrastructure of our city.


Florence Eshalomi AM:  Thank you.