Reading Ken Livingstones article in the Evening Standard today
He raises some excellent points that Boris Johnson Londons conservative mayor has been very tactical by scrapping the western zone of the congestion charge in London. This is cleverly where alot of his tory based voters originate in and will be very pleased with this move i'm sure. But to counter balance this move Boris has hiked up tube and bus fares up by huge amounts.
What's wrong with the way fares are being handled now is that people on average incomes are feeling the pinch.
The richest have an unyielding champion in the Mayor, who only last week was saying he was worried about criticism of the bankers, and warned that the tax levels of the rich could not continue.
But who is standing up for those on average incomes and those in the suburbs?
The Mayor's fare increase is a direct transfer of resources. Between £50-£70 million of income has been lost by axeing the western half of the congestion charge zone. Today's fare increase raises almost exactly the same amount.
Over the past three years we've got used to soaring fares. Since Boris was elected he's raised the price of a single bus journey on our Oyster cards by 44 per cent and pushed up weekly bus and tram passes relentlessly, now up to £17.80, an increase of 40 per cent.
There can't really be any justification for that in hard times. To pile such increases on hard-pressed Londoners in such a difficult period verges on the immoral.
It also means thumping outer London hard. From today a weekly travelcard for zones one to four will be £249.46 a year more. An annual six-zone travelcard will cost £232 a year more, breaking through the £2,000 barrier. A zones one and two monthly travelcard will crash through the £100 barrier for the first time.
Whether in City Hall or Whitehall, Conservatives seem to prefer measures either to help the richest Londoners or vanity projects such as the “new bus for London”, or aiding polluters, or piling on the misery with VAT.
The Campaign for Better Transport and celebrities such as Michael Palin are now at the forefront of demands for fairer rail fares. They are right. Fares policy is out of touch.
Tube, bus and rail fares are more unfair than at any time since London was given back its democratic voice.
Ken raises some excellent points and if he carries on these lines i think he shall pick up some support from frustrated and angry commuters who have had enough of fare rises's every year.
There is just a complete lack of investment in the tube of late which has lead to delays and signal failures. As someone who lives close to London i take a interest in London as it is our capital city and matters a lot to the country and how it runs. As to tourists it is often what people see first when arriving in the country. Having affordable public transport is a key issue for me as a disabled person as i more than a lot of others rely on the public transport. Being priced off this angers me alot.
I urge you all to take a look aat this website here which i've signed up to to campaign for fairer fares for all. I feel this is important for keeping Londoners happy.