The New Year sees more financial pain for rail and bus users across Norwood as fares on trains from West Norwood & Gipsy Hill and buses are rising yet again. Since the Mayoral elections in 2008 fares have been hiked far ahead of inflation.
The cost of a single bus journey by Oyster has gone up by 44% from 90p when Ken Livingstone was Mayor to £1.30 under Boris Johnson – a single cash fare on the bus is now £2.20; travelcards have also gone up with the annual cost of a 1-4 travelcard up by £249 since Boris became mayor.
On 2nd January, just as people make their way back to work after the Christmas and New Year break, fares have gone up again. The fare hikes come after Boris Johnson has wasted money on vanity projects like a new Routemaster bus and scrapping the congestion charge for drivers in Kensington and Chelsea whilst we, in West Norwood, Upper Norwood & Gipsy Hill, count the cost in higher fares to get to work.
The increases come in the same week as the Tory coalition has put VAT up to 20%, the highest it has even been and 5% higher than the reduced rate that Labour introduced during the recession.
Val Shawcross, our London Assembly representative says: These huge fare rises leave residents asking why the Mayor chose to spend millions redesigning a new ‘doubledecker’ bus, and why he chose to lose money by scrapping the Congestion Charge extension in west London.
They may also question why in October the Government decided to cut funding for London’s transport system by 21%. These are all political choices, with people in our area paying the consequences.