Wharfers return to increase in fare prices

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The new year got off to an expensive start for commuters as those heading back to work faced transport fare rises of up to 13 per cent.

The latest above-inflation fare hikes, which came into effect on January 2, will see passengers feeling the pinch with Tube, DLR and Overground, peak-time journeys in zone 1 rising from £1.80 to £1.90 and for zones 1 to 3from £2.70 to £2.90.

Some travelcards - like the zone 2 to 6 card - have been scrapped, meaning people who paid £5.10 for a card will now have to buy a zone 1 to 6 card for £8.

A spokesperson for the Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: "The poorest do not pay anything to travel on London's Tube and buses because of generous concessions expanded and protected by the Mayor. The modest rise for others is vital to ensure the investment necessary to deliver a public transport network fit for the 21st century."

Labour mayoral candidate Ken Livingstone and Val Shawcross AM have condemned the rises, saying they believe the combination of the rise in fares and the VAT rise will squeeze the standard of living in London.

Former mayor Ken Livingstone said: "Take a look at the 44 per cent bus fare rise since Boris Johnson came to office to understand just how Tory priorities are wrong. Boris Johnson and George Osborne are two Tory peas in the same pod, forcing Londoners to pay through the nose for Tube, rail, bus and tram travel.

"These latest hikes are completely unfair and unnecessary."

Labour Assembly member Val Shawcross said: "Last year Boris Johnson and George Osborne made a cut of £2.1billion to the London transport budget. That's a £300 cut in transport investment for every Londoner.

"The consequences of Conservative transport cuts are clear: ordinary Londoners hit in the pocket by record fare rises in order to pay for Boris Johnson and George Osborne's desire to cut public services."

East London Assembly Member John Biggs is also concerned for working Londoners.
He said: "Once again, it's bus passengers who are feeling the pinch of these increases.

When Boris Johnson became Mayor, it cost 90p for a single pay-as-you-go Oyster bus journey - it will now cost £1.30. At the same time, we know Transport for London is reducing the bus subsidy and even cutting the miles that our bus services will cover - we are simply paying more and getting less".

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