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London train, tube and bus fares to rise by 6% in 2012

 

London train passengers were given a small early Christmas gift by the Chancellor when he reduced planned train fare rises by two per cent.

Before today’s announcement, regulated fares, which include season tickets, had been due to rise by an average of eight per cent in January 2012 – three per cent above the RPI inflation figure.

But Mr Osborne said an RPI plus three per cent rise, introduced by this government, was “too much” and that the increase would be limited to RPI plus one per cent.

This will mean that the average rise in January will be six per cent and that will also be the figure for the Tube and for London buses.

Mr Osborne said the reduction, which will be funded by the government, would “help the millions of people who use the trains”.

He said fares were already expensive and had been set to go up well above the inflation rate to pay for the much-needed investment in new rail projects and new trains.

Labour’s London mayoral candidate Ken Livingstone said: “What Londoners need is a fares cut, and a commitment to hold down the fares - not George Osborne and Boris Johnson confirming yet another big fare increase.

“Today’s announcement by the Tory Mayor and Tory Chancellor means rising travelcard costs and no end in sight for farepayers.

“George Osborne and Boris Johnson have shown complete ignorance of the pressures on ordinary people but I will cut fares and set a course that ensures a fairer deal for Londoners.”

Caroline Pidgeon, leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group, said Boris Johnson had been overruled by the Chancellor.

“Any decision to overrule Boris Johnson’s excessive fare package is welcome, and will be particularly well received by those on the lowest incomes,” she said.

“In some respects Boris Johnson has been saved from himself. The decision exposes just how out of touch he is with Londoners. But what really matters is that Londoners will not be hit so hard in the New Year.

“I hope the Mayor will now couple the fare rise in January with measures to specifically help the lowest income Londoners to travel to work.

“A one-hour bus ticket and real action on tackling the scandal of Oyster overcharging are vital to help London’s hard-pressed travellers.”

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