|Murad Qureshi AM Queries Travel Fares in the Capital|
Considers inflation only travel fare increase an electioneering stunt
Murad Qureshi, Labour Assembly Member, is not impressed by the Mayor's recent announcement. He writes:
The Mayor’s announcement that travel fares in the capital will increase in line with inflation will no doubt be spun by City Hall as Boris doing his bit to help struggling Londoners with the cost of living.
Unfortunately for the Mayor and his team, though, Londoners’ don’t have such short memories. While this temporary respite (if a rise in fares even counts as respite) is welcome, Londoners will see this move for what it is – electioneering only a few months before a General Election.
Boris Johnson repeatedly pledged to keep fares low, but hasn’t been straight with Londoners. In his six years as Mayor, only twice has he limited fare increases to inflation only. Indeed, he has now overseen a 40% rise in average travel costs - 13% higher than inflation. Bus passengers have suffered in particular, with a 65% rise in the cost of Pay as You Go fares under Boris –up from 95p to £1.49 per trip.
With the Mayor planning to all but vacate City Hall and become an MP in 2015, he is set to leave behind a rotten legacy of inflation-busting fare rises across his period in office. Commuters in Hounslow for example, have had to stump up an extra £373.00 per year for an annual zone 1-4 travel card since he came to power in 2008. This is Boris’ true legacy.