Thousands of Tube and rail passengers face fare increase from next year

Changes to the fare system will include scrapping off-peak daily caps

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The Independent Online

Thousands of Tube and rail passengers in London are to be hit with "significant" fare increases from next year.

Changes to the fare system due from January 2, which Transport for London earlier this week said will save 600,000 customers hundreds of pounds a year, will leave some passengers paying almost 38 per cent more.

The fare changes have been billed as a £20m giveaway benefitting the capital's part-time and flexible workers, with daily caps reduced to become one fifth of the cost of a Seven Day Travelcard to Zone 1.

The changes however include scrapping the off-peak 'pay as you go' daily cap.

This means passengers who have previously benefitted from an Oyster daily cap of £8.50 to travel from zone 6 into zone 1 in off-peak times will see it increase 37.6 per cent to £11.70.

Off-peak passengers in zone 5 meanwhile will see their daily cap increase 28.2 per cent per cent to £10.90.

Caroline Pidgeon, leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group, told The Independent: "The devil is always in the detail when it comes to the Mayor’s fare proposals.

"Hidden away in the Mayor’s fare package is the harsh fact that people from outer London, such as Uxbridge and Kingston, and who only start their journey after 9.30am will from the New Year face significantly higher fares when using Oyster pay as you go."

On Tuesday TFL announced the fare changes, which it said would bring daily caps in line with the cost of monthly and annual tickets.

The changes mean passengers travelling between Zone 1 and 2 on Oyster 'pay as you go' at peak times will see the all-day cap reduce from £8.40 to £6.40.

Those travelling in peak times between Zone 6 and 1 meanwhile will see their cap reduce from £15.80 to £11.70.

Peak Zone 5 passengers will see their cap fall from £15.80 to £11.70.

Overall fare prices will rise on average by 2.5 per cent, in line with inflation.

Shashi Verma, TFL's director of customer experience, said: "The 2015 fares package is handing £20m a year back to pay as you go customers, especially those on part time or zero hours contracts.

"London is the only city in the world to offer capping on fares and by restructuring the daily caps, 200,000 customers a day will benefit from lower fares with most of the 6million Oyster pay as you go customers benefiting from the cap at some point throughout the year. 

"When doing such a large fares restructure, we do recognise that some customers will pay more. We estimate that around 25,000 customers a day will pay a higher fare, ranging from as little as 5p to the highest at £3.20. 

"These customers will still be able to benefit from off peak single fares, which will now also apply to national rail journeys coming into central London during the evening peak, as they do for London Underground journeys already. 

"The new fares for 2015 give a better deal for Londoners, responsive to the changing work patterns many people in the capital now have."

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