Commuters across the East London Line boroughs are feeling the pinch as they return to work following the introduction of new transport fares on Sunday.
An average increase of 2.7 per cent in fares for Transport for London was introduced on 19 January, with an additional 3.1 per cent increase on National Rail fares.
A spokesperson for TFL said that the new fares: “will help protect current levels of reinvestment in the transport network, delivering greater capacity and more reliable services.”
However Bob Crowe, General Secretary of the Rail, Maritime and Transport Union, said: “Far from ushering in a freeze on fares today as he has claimed, the Mayor’s entire transport strategy is dependent on above inflation fare increases for seven years tied in to a programme of job cuts, attacks on safety and the closures of ticket offices that will combine together to make services a no-go zone for the vulnerable, low-paid, those with disabilities and women travelling alone late at night.”
ELL took to the streets of Lewisham to speak to residents affected by the rise.
Ugiabgbe Omokhe, 19, student, Lewisham
“Fares have almost also doubled for my journey to university. It’s really expensive for me now, as a student it’s very hard. I have to spend less and create a new budget plan.”
Rachel, 65, New Cross
“I’ve been in this country for over 40 years. Every year they increase it, nothing wrong with that, but increase the wages as well, for those who are working so that everything can be a little bit balanced. Food is too expensive, you can manage clothing and shoes but you can’t manage food – you have got to eat. High prices on what you are going to buy with the little you earn, it’s not good.”
Sebastian, 27, Art History lecturer, Camberwell
“It’s rubbish it’s not good, it’s so expensive. I moved to New Cross about 10 years ago and the single bus fare was 60p, 80p something like that. It’s gone up so much since then and the service has definitely not improved in quality, so I reckon the fares should go right back down.”
Ms Samuels, 30, charity worker, Brockley
“I have to switch everything to minimise costs and save money. My price for off-peak was previously a little over £7, and now with the price inflation it is over £9—a £2 increase. All this is chaos.”
Rhymer Rigby, 42, freelance journalist, Brockley
“Is it a reason a ride my bike instead? Well, to some extent. London has very expensive transport. Do I think it should be subsidised more? Probably, because there are all sorts of unquantifiable goods like taking traffic off the road, but I doubt the political world will do anything about it, it’s a difficult one. But I do like the London Overground.”