Londoners first day back to work from the holidays yesterday came with an added pleasure of above-inflation fares increases.
Boris Johnson has yet again overseen a rise in fares on the capital’s transport network, with passengers on the underground, buses, trams, light rail and commuter trains having to fork out an average a 4.2% more for their journeys. He also doubled the cost of hiring a bicycle. This is despite an election pledge in April that fares ‘will go down in an honest and sustainable way under me’.
Adding insult to injury, the increase came on the same day Boris released his draft budget for 2013/2014. The document, which sets out spending for the Greater London Authority and its group agencies like TfL and the Metropolitan Police, slashes the Fire Brigade’s budget by £14m and the police’s by £262m. It also includes a cut to Band D council tax of 1.2%, or £3.72 a year. When the Mayor offers a paltry 7p per week cut in council tax to compensate for cuts to the services that keep us safe and massive rises in transport fares , it’s no wonder the London Assembly Labour Group branded the budget plan ‘an insult to Londoners.’