The Gloves Come Off – The End of the Travelcard?

The latest salvo in the funding negotiations for TfL has been launched by the Mayor, Sadiq Khan.  It comes after the government refused to allow a Greater London boundary charge for vehicles, a levy on delivery drivers, or the return of £500m of VED car tax paid by Londoners to City Hall.

The headline proposal is that TfL will withdraw from the Travelcard scheme.  It’s not clear exactly what this will mean, but it’s likely that travelcards from places outside the zones will no longer be available.  This will mean that people will have to use Oyster or contactless PAYG when they arrive in London.  This is clever because it means that the burden of this change will largely fall on people from outside Greater London, many of whom have conservative MPs.  Discontinuing in boundary travelcards would be painful for Londoners, although it appears that daily and weekly caps will remain so a renewed push towards PAYG will limit the effect.

Another proposal is to increase the single fares from zone 1 to Heathrow on the Piccadilly line, bringing it into line with the fare structure on TfL Rail.  The same zonal caps would still apply so workers at the airport will not be as affected as travellers who only go one way.

It’s also being suggested that the Oyster deposit will rise by £2 to £7.  This is odd because the deposit was replaced by a fee nearly two years ago.  The fee is returned as PAYG credit if the card is still being used after a year.  Obviously those who don’t keep their cards will lose out more with this proposal.  Again, the main losers here are likely to be visitors because Londoners will generally keep their card as they’ll be using it all the time.

Finally from an Oyster perspective is the proposal which will impact me the most.  The age eligibility of the 60+ Oyster card giving free off-peak travel will rise by 6 months every year for the next twelve years.  And away from direct transport costs there is also likely to be an increase in the council tax levy for TfL and the Metropolitan Police.

All these measures are just proposals at this stage and they will be consulted upon before implimentation.

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