Boris Johnson's massive stealth fare rises: One Day Travelcards to rise by up to 74 per cent

Boris Johnson will oversee massive fare increases (Photo: AP)
Boris Johnson will oversee massive fare increases (Photo: AP)

The price of the Zone 1-2 one-day Travelcard will increase by almost 18 per cent in January – around four times the rate of inflation. The rise is one of a series of unnoticed, but hugely above-inflation, fare rises in One Day Travelcards and Oyster price caps that will hit thousands of users with rises of up to 74 per cent.

The rises are far higher than the average rise of 6.8 per cent briefed to the media today. A Zones 1 and 2 one-day off-peak Travelcard, a very popular ticket, will go up from £5.60 to £6.60 – a hike of 17.8 per cent.

Other one-day Travelcards (peak and off peak) will also rise by up to £1. The Oyster price cap on pay-as-you go fares will rise in each case by the same amount. The majority of One Day Travelcards currently sold will be withdrawn entirely – TfL calls it a “simplification.” The only one day cards now available, peak or off-peak, will be for zones 1-2, zones 1-4, and zones 1-6. This will mean further enormous rises for some users, particularly in the peak, who will be forced to pay for zones that they do not need.

Those travelling in the peak in zones 1-3, for instance, can currently buy a One Day Travelcard for £8.60. After January, they will have to buy a Zone 1-4 card costing £10. This is an increase of 16 per cent. Those travelling in the peak in zones 1-5 can currently buy a One Day card for £12.60. They will now have to buy a Zones 1-6 card for £15 – a rise of 19 per cent.

There aren’t off-peak versions of the 1-3 and 1-5 cards now, so off-peak users in these zones are less badly affected (they will still, of course, have to pay the general increase in the price of One Day Travelcards.)

However, One Day Travelcard users, peak and off-peak, who do not need to travel into Zone 1 will be worst hit of all.

The Zones 2-6 One Day Travelcard will be withdrawn. Users will have to buy a zones 1-6 Travelcard instead. In the peak this will mean a rise in price from £8.60 to £15 – an increase of 74 per cent. In the off-peak it will mean a rise from £5.10 to £8.00 –  an increase of 57 per cent.

All these changes are tucked coyly away in a “note to editors” near the bottom of TfL’s press release. The full prices of all the new cards are not given in the release, but they are shown below. The release also says that the new Oyster daily price caps on pay-as-you go fares will “mirror” the new Travelcard prices. Come January, some travellers are going to get very nasty shocks indeed.

One last little surprise: there is also a 50 per cent rise in the child One Day Travelcard, for children who need to use the Tube, from £2 to £3.

Boris has had a very easy ride from the press today – they don’t seem to have noticed these particular changes yet.

Update: TfL issued the following statement tonight and gave the full list of new prices (which are not shown in its press release.) “The fares package for 2011 will see fares rise on average by RPI plus 2 per cent as proposed last year. This is the minimum overall increase to protect vital investment in transport infrastucture and to protect frontline services.

“As with any fares package, there are some fares which rise more than others, while others will be frozen or fall.  One day off peak Travelcards have risen to bring them in line with other Travelcard prices, but are always cheaper than four off peak Tube journeys.  Using Oyster pay as you go will also always guarantee the lowest fare.

“Some very lightly used outside Zone One Travelcards have also been withdrawn and replaced with a Zone 2-6 Travelcards.”

One Day Travelcard prices

Product                                  Price Now           Price from Jan

Zone 1-2 offpeak                 5.60                      6.60

Zone 1-2 peak                       7.20                      8.00

Zone 1-4 offpeak                 6.30                      7.30

Zone 1-4 peak                      10.00                    10.00

Zone 1-6 offpeak                 7.50                       8.00

Zone 1-6 peak                      14.80                     15.00

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