Fares set to rocket to pay for major transport upgrades

Tube and bus fares will rocket by an average of seven per cent next year to pay for London Mayor Boris Johnson’s to plough a record �12bn in the Capital’s transport network, it has been confirmed.

The price hike covers also covers London Overground, Docklands Light Railway and Trams and are said to have been set out two years ago in his Business Plan.

Revenue will “maintain essential day to day public transport services and help continue record investment in London’s extensive transport network,” said the Mayor’s office.

All free and concessionary travel for older people, students, Veterans and disabled Londoners has been protected in full with 40 per cent of bus passengers still able to travel free or at cut rate.

The rise is by Retail Price Index (RPI) plus two per cent. In July the RPI figure was set at five per cent.

“Every effort has been made to ensure that this is distributed as evenly as possible across individual fares” said a Mayor’s spokesman.

Mr Johnson claims that despite Government public spending cuts his campaign has secured their �12bn “unprecedented investment” in London’s transport network over the next four years, an increase from �4bn over the previous Labour administration.

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Current investment includes upgrades to the Tube, now carrying a record 1.1billion passengers a year, delivery of Crossrail, and the maintenance of London’s improving bus network now carrying almost 2.3bn passengers a year .

Further extensive improvements have also been made on the Newham-serving DLR and London Overground

Mr Johnson said despite some of the toughest economic times in living memory, he has secured unprecedented levels of investment for London’s transport network.

He trumpeted: “Not since the days of our Victorian forefathers has there been improvements of this scale which includes upgrades and capacity increases ahead of 2012 and beyond to Crossrail.”

And there is a commitment to slash �7.6bn at TfL, of which over two thirds have now been secured.

“This is a fares package that continues my aim to put Transport for London’s finances on a steady footing, moving us away from the boom and bust approach undertaken by my predecessor when we saw a succession of draconian increases and knee-jerk, unaffordable pre-election freezes,” he said.

What regionally it has paid for includes the completion of the Jubilee line upgrade, promising faster, more frequent and reliable journeys; completion of the DLR Stratford International extension with four new stations: an extension of the East London line to Highbury & Islington; expansion of the Barclays Cycle Hire eastwards; completion of the London Overground rail network giving London’s first orbital railway and linking 20 of London’s 33 boroughs; work to improve the Metropolitan, Circle, Hammersmith & City lines; a new real time service for bus passengers using web and SMS to follow arrivals at individual bus stops and progress of new East-West Crossrail stations in central London