Mayor’s ‘fares freeze’ claim melts away

Londoners are paying fares up more than £300 since Sadiq Khan came to power pledging a freeze.

The new fare increases today mean passengers are paying up to £317 more a year compared to 2016.

Green Assembly work has exposed that, despite Mr Khan’s election pledge that “Londoners won’t pay a penny more for their travel” in 2020, passengers have seen an average 12% increase in fares since he became Mayor of London.

The partial freeze only covered individual journeys, so anyone using weekly, monthly and annual travel cards has still seen annual rises. This means the reality for a nurse commuting in to St Bartholomew’s Hospital from West Drayton in Zone 6 has been a fare increase of £317.40 since 2016.

As costs continue to rise it’s clear the next Mayor needs to go back to the drawing board on how to ensure affordable public transport, which is an essential part of tackling the climate emergency.

As Green Mayor of London, I would oversee a radical overhaul of the transport system to flatten out fares across the city and ensure people like our hard-working nurses can afford to get to work.

Part of the problem is Mr Khan keeping the Congestion Charge frozen since 2014, which has contributed to the costs of driving in central London remaining largely the same, providing no incentive to switch to public transport.

And, although the current Mayor has introduced an additional small Ultra Low Emission Zone charge, fuel duty for drivers has also been frozen by the government for nine years in a row.

My Assembly colleague Caroline Russell has called for a more coherent approach to unlock London’s trains and buses and unclog Londoners’ lungs.

She says: “London needs a joined up approach if we are to tackle the climate crisis by allowing people to ditch their cars and use public transport.

“Greens in City Hall will take a fresh look at what Londoners need in order to get around the city, by unlocking green public transport for everybody, even if they are on a low income.

“Creating an efficient, environmentally-friendly system will in turn unclog Londoners’ lungs from the polluting vehicles currently jamming up our roads.”

The Centre for London report Fair access: Towards a transport system for everyone also backs our call for a review of fares.

Analysis conducted by Green Assembly Member Caroline Russell examined the cost of Travelcards from 2016 to 2020. Based on the cost of buying 46 weekly travelcards over a year this means increases, she has found huge increases over four years:

Soaring fare costs under Mayor Khan

Weekly travelcard 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 Increase Increase for 46 weeks
Z1-2 £32.40 £33.00 £34.10 £35.10 £36.10 + £3.70 +£170.20


Z1-3 £38.00 £38.70 £40.00 £41.20 £42.40 + £4.40 +£202.40


Z1-4 £46.50 £47.30 £49.00 £50.50 £51.90 + £5.40 +£252.90
Z1-5 £55.20 £56.20 £58.20 £60.00 £61.70 + £6.50 +£299.00
Z1-6 £59.10 £60.20 £62.30 £64.20 £66.00 + £6.90 +£317.40