The Thick of It


Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Creative accounting from Gilligan again

According to Andrew Gilligan in yesterday's Evening Standard, Ken Livingstone was responsible for raising London's public transport fares by one third in 2007 (when a zone 1 cash single increased from £2 to £3). Of course, this ignores that cash fares were increased to persuade more people to use Oyster Cards instead. Oyster fares were frozen last year.

By 2005 (three years ago) over 80% of tube and bus journeys were made on Oyster cards, report contractor Transys.

Gilligan has fired a political shot at the former mayor in trying to bolster the current one after Boris Johnson announced large rises in public transport fares.

Update: information on former mayor Ken Livingstone's fare changes for the start of 2008, when cash fares did not increase. Season tickets did rise, though this is because they include payments to the rail operators in London, who are not regulated by the Mayor.


Anonymous said...

Oyster fares were NOT frozen last year. In January 2007, the single bus Oyster fare rose by 25 per cent - from 80p to £1. In September it was reduced to 90p - still a 12.5 per cent increase, three times the rate of inflation. Oyster Travelcard fares and most Oyster Tube single fares were also raised last year.

Timmymc said...

Perhaps I need to point out that Oyster bus fares had been £1 in the past, so the 80pence fare was itself a reduction.

Travelcards are up because they pay for mainline rail services too, which the mayor doesn't control.

My point was the Gilligan said that Livingstone increased cash fares overall, when in fact hardly anyone uses cash on buses or the tube anymore. Anonymous, if you are a Londoner, you should know that. Even tourists now predominantly use Oyster.

Anonymous said...

Again, just not true: the Oyster bus fare was never £1 until Ken increased it to that level. The *cash* fare was £1 - but that was increased first to £1.50 and then to £2. And, as I say, most Oyster Tube single fares were raised last year - the Travelcard rises reflected those. The fantasy world inhabited by the Ken Livingstone fan club lives on!