Mayor's Fare Freeze Dubbed 'Con'

London Assembly member claims just 30% of commuters will benefit

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Conservative London Assembly Tony Arbour has condemned Mayor Ken Livingstone's package of transport fares for 2008. This week the Mayor announced that he was freezing fares or either allowing them to rise by the rate of inflation.

"However, as with most things we hear from City Hall, the devil was in the detail – and what a devil it is!" claims Arbour.

"Firstly, the so called “freeze” on single fares using Oyster or cash, although welcome, follows price increases since Ken Livingstone was re-elected in 2004. However, this freeze will only be felt by 30% of the travelling public. The other 70%, the vast majority of Londoners who use Travelcards, will see an increase in the cost of public transport.

"The Mayor said this week that Travelcard fares will go up by the rate of inflation. But what he doesn’t want you to realise is that the inflation rate he’s using to increase fares is double the cost of living - as officially measured by the Government. His increase is 3.8% because he is using the Retail Price Index measure of inflation. But if he were using the official Government figure, called the Consumer Price Index, the increase would be only 1.8%."

He continued "It’s cynical of Ken Livingstone to say that Travelcard prices are increasing at the rate of inflation, when his Government dumped this way of measuring inflation 10 years ago. He should come clean and admit prices are going up in real terms and that Londoners are the ones who are going to pay."


November 2, 2007