Off-peak passengers travelling to Heathrow Airport via London Underground and the new Elizabeth line are facing fares increases of up to 30%, in an attempt to reduce Transport for London’s spiralling deficit.
The change, from September 4, mainly affects overseas tourists and visitors starting in Zone 1, but it is reckoned that it will raise an extra £27 million a year.
TfL has noticed that there is no real variation in usage from the centre of the capital throughout the day. It insists that rail continues to be one of the most affordable and sustainable ways to travel to the international airport.
The cost of a standard Piccadilly Line ticket goes up from £3.50 to £5.20, and Elizabeth line journeys from £10.80 to £12.80. Anyone buying a new Oystercard will now pay £7 instead of £5.
There is no price increase for journeys ending at stations short of Heathrow, such as Hatton Cross, Hounslow West and Hayes & Harlington. TfL is also looking at restarting its discounted travel scheme for airport staff.
TfL points out that ticket prices have only increased by 13% since 2016, compared with 42% in the previous eight years. Oystercard rates have also been pegged since 2011.
It has also been pointed out that the 28% government subsidy for fares in London compares very poorly with over 60% in Paris, New York, Hong Kong and Singapore.
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