Labour London Assembly Member Val Shawcross AM today accused the Mayor of being “staggeringly out of touch” after it was revealed that his ‘solution’ to the fare increases of up to 38% faced by thousands of commuters in Outer London will only help a tiny proportion (15%) of those affected.
The figures were revealed in a letter from the Mayor to Budget Committee Chairman John Biggs AM which showed that 85% (around 15,000 passengers) paid an average of £1.40 more around once a week. The Mayor’s solution however is to issue refunds to those who incur higher charges twice or more each week meaning the vast majority of passengers hit by the Mayor’s decision to remove the off peak zones 4-6 PAYG cap will not be helped by this climb-down.
An amendment to the Mayor’s Budget which would have reversed the decision to scrap the off peak zones 4-6 PAYG cap secured the support of the majority of Assembly Members but not the two-thirds majority necessary to force the change. Labour, Green and Liberal Democrat AMs voted in favour of the amendment with Conservative AMs voting against despite previously speaking out against the Mayor on this issue.
Labour’s London Assembly Transport Spokesperson, Val Shawcross AM said:
“By scrapping the off peak PAYG cap Boris Johnson condemned thousands of outer London travellers to fare hikes of up to 38%. Now he is proposing a ‘solution’ which by his own admission will only help a tiny number of those affected.
“For the Mayor to suggest he has fixed this problem when his actions are leaving thousands of outer London commuters facing massive fare hikes shows how staggeringly out of touch he is. What Londoners need from the Mayor and his colleagues is a real solution not a political fig leaf which comes nowhere near resolving the problem Boris has created. Instead what they have been left with is a bafflingly complex system of refunds, which will only benefit a tiny proportion of travellers.”