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2016-11-03 MAY-001
Mayor of London

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Sadiq Khan calls on the Government to match his fares freeze, as rail passengers face ‘unacceptable’ 5% fares hike in January


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Mayor of London

Sadiq Khan calls on the Government to match his fares freeze, as rail passengers face ‘unacceptable’ 5% fares hike in January
_______________________________________________________________


date
3 November 2016
source Mayor of London
type Press release



The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, is today calling on the Government and train operating companies to follow his lead and freeze fares for London’s disgruntled rail passengers, as new analysis shows that some fares on London’s suburban rail services could increase by as much as five per cent this January.

Delays, cancellations and overcrowding have increasingly become the norm on London’s suburban rail routes, and the Mayor described the services offered by Southern as an ‘embarrassment’ earlier in the year.

Today the Mayor is warning that likely rises of up to five per cent a year on some suburban lines will be another 'kick in the teeth' for long-suffering passengers and he is calling on Londoners to heap pressure on the Government and the train operating companies.

Unlike TfL pay as you go fares, which the Mayor has frozen for the next four years, rail fares across the UK are expected to increase by 1.9 per cent in January 2017, which was the RPI figure for July 2016, and will almost certainly rise every year up to 2020 and beyond.

However, a Government loop-hole means that train operating companies can also decide to increase fares by 10p each journey, rather than by RPI, meaning some pay as you go fares could increase by as much as five per cent this January.

Last year, all train operating companies operating in London chose to increase pay as you go fares in London by 10p, rather than RPI. This meant:

• A peak pay as you go fare from Charlton to Greenwich increased from £1.90 to £2 in January 2016 – an increase of 5.2%. A similar 10p increase in January 2017 would see this fare rise by 5% in January 2017. (around £50 per year for the average passenger)

• An off-peak pay as you go fare from Sidcup to London Bridge increased from £3.10 to £3.20 in January 2016 – an increase of 3.2%. A similar 10p increase in January 2017 would see this fare rise by 3.1%. (around £50 per year for the average passenger)

• A peak pay as you go fare from Hayes (Kent) to Catford increased from £2.70 to £2.80 in January 2016 - an increase of 3.7%. A similar 10p increase in January 2017 would see this fare rise by 3.6%. (around £50 per year for the average passenger)

• A peak pay as you go fare from Beckenham Junction to London Victoria increased from £3.80 to £3.90 in January 2016 – an increase of 2.6%. A similar 10p increase in January 2017 would see this fare rise by a further 2.6% to £4.00. (around £50 per year for the average passenger)

Many of the increases in rail fares this January are expected to be on Southeastern services within London, the first franchise that could come under TfL control in 2018 under the Mayor’s plans for rail devolution.

The Mayor has today called on the Government to follow his lead and freeze fares across London’s suburban rail services. Given increasing predictions of rising inflation, the Mayor is protecting Londoners from the Brexit fall out and calling on the Government and train operating companies to do the same.

He also reiterated his commitment that if TfL were to take control of London’s suburban rail services in the future, his fares freeze would apply to these journeys.


Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan –

“For far too long, Londoners using our suburban rail routes have been getting a terrible service – with delays, overcrowding and cancellations becoming the norm. Commuters will understandably be furious when they hear that fares on some routes face being hiked by another 5 per cent this January. It’s another kick in the teeth for long suffering rail passengers.

“The Government should say enough is enough, and make these train operating companies match my TfL fares freeze fares on London’s suburban rail lines next year. Given the poor level of service, it’s simply unacceptable for the Government to stand-by and let fares increase by up to a staggering 10 per cent on some of the lines in just over a year. I’m calling on Londoners to heap pressure on the Government and the train operating companies to finally show they’re on the side of passengers. ”


Shadow Minister for London, Andy Slaughter MP -

“Londoners are delighted the Mayor is keeping his promise to freeze fares and keep down the cost of travel, but this is undermined by the Government letting private rail companies hike up suburban fares even above inflation. On top of the abysmal service passengers are getting from companies like Southern Rail, this shows train operating companies are neither able nor willing to provide efficient, affordable transport.”


Steve Reed, MP for Croydon North -

“Rail passengers across London have been suffering with increasingly poor services for a number of years now. It is completely unjustifiable for the Government to allow any further fares hikes, when more and more passengers can’t get a seat or can’t get to work on time.”

Lianna Etkind, Campaign for Better Transport -
“Passengers using suburban rail services in London and the South East, especially those on Southern, are extremely angry at having to pay thousands of pounds a year to use trains which are consistently late, cancelled or overcrowded. Another fares rise in January is a kick in the teeth for the beleaguered commuters who continue to suffer on these routes.
“The Government should freeze fares for all passengers, and put in place a long term plan to devolve suburban London routes to TfL."


Background info:

How are fares rises calculated?

- Under fares regulation, Government sets a broad framework for fares but each train operator is responsible for actually setting the fares on its routes. Within London, National Rail fares follow common zonal fare scales set by the London TOCs collectively.

- Under their agreements, each train operator (or the London train operators together in the case of fares within London) may currently increase any individual regulated fare by no more than RPI or 10p – whichever is higher - each year.

The Mayor has announced a four-year fares freeze on all TfL services in London, which comes into force in January 2017. An average household will save around £200 over the four years.

For example, regular users of the 7 Day Bus & Tram Pass will save around £400 over the four year term. In 2020, a bus journey will still cost £1.50 and a Tube journey from Finsbury Park to Oxford Circus will still cost £2.90 in the peak and £2.40 at all other times.

Last month, the Mayor presented the Secretary of State for Transport with the business case for the further devolution of London’s suburban rail services to Transport for London (TfL).

The plan sets out how a better integrated and more reliable suburban rail network would improve services for millions of passengers, and ensure any fares freeze would also apply to devolved suburban rail routes. https://www.london.gov.uk/press-releases/mayoral/devolution-plans-to-deliver-transformed-services

The DfT’s timetable for existing franchises means that southeast London suburban services could be transferred to the Mayor when the current franchise ends in 2018, followed by southwest London suburban services in 2020 once capacity works at Waterloo are complete. Suburban services running to London Bridge and Victoria serving south central London, and to Moorgate serving parts of north London, would transfer when that current franchise ends in September 2021.


Railhub Archive ::: 2016-11-03 MAY-001





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