Hackney Liberal Democrats have announced a campaign against the re-zoning of Shoreditch High Street Overground station.
Before the re-development of the EastLondonLine, two years ago, Shoreditch station was in zone two (which is cheaper). When the line was re-developed it was moved into zone one, making travel from Shoreditch more expensive than it used to be.
The campaigners say that the re-zoning is unfair to local commuters. The Liberal Democrats website states: “The East London Overground line serves some of the poorest areas of London including Dalston and Haggerston. Hackney Lib Dems think it is unacceptable to charge low-waged commuters so much extra to get to work”.
The Oyster peak fare on within Zone 2 is £1.40; the peak fare passing through Shoreditch High Street (Zone 1) is £2.50. This means a commuter using Oyster prepay pays £1.10 extra on each peak time journey. The Liberal Democrats are challenging Transport for London to change Shoreditch High Street back to Zone 2.
Liberal Democrat campaigner, Ben Mathis, stated: “Classifying Shoreditch as central London serves no purpose except to fleece commuters travelling between Hackney and South-East London.”
He added: An additional £44 a month on travel might not sound much to Boris and Ken, but it could be a whole day’s wages to many of the people using this service. We are calling on anyone who uses this service to join our campaign and show the Mayor that Hackney commuters are not his cash cow.”
Shashi Verma, TfL’s Director of Customer Experience, said: “The new London Overground Shoreditch High Street station is physically located closer to the City and other stations within Zone 1, whereas the old LU station was further east. The zoning of Shoreditch High Street was one of the conditions of a funding agreement imposed by the DfT when they committed funding for the East London Line extension. The extension has actually reduced fares to some destinations with Oyster pay as you go fares now set on the TfL, rather than National Rail, tariff.”
“TfL charges the Zone 1 pay as you go fare from Shoreditch High Street station to Hoxton, Haggerston and Dalston Junction in the north and Whitechapel, Shadwell, and Wapping stations in the south. This will mean passengers will be charged £1.90 all day rather than £2.50 at peak times and £1.90 off-peak. Hoxton is classified as on the boundary of Zone 1/2, enabling it to be reached for £1.30 from the north in the off peak and £1.40 during peak periods”.
Ken Livingstone did not address the specific issues of the re-zoning of Shoreditch but he said, “Conservative Mayor Boris Johnson has committed bus, tube and train users to 20 years of above inflation fare rises which mean Shoreditch residents are paying hundreds of pounds a year more just to travel.”
“If I’m elected Mayor next May I’ll cut fares, saving the average commuter in London £800 over four years. I’m pledging to introduce an overall fares cut of 5% in the autumn of 2012 and ensure there are no further fare rises at all in 2013. In January 2014 and in subsequent years, fares would rise by no more than the price of RPI inflation.”
Campaigners agree the upgrade and extension of the Overground has improved connections from and to Hackney but it is too expensive for commuters.
The campaign petition is available online at www.ourcampaign.org.uk/HackneyOverground