Bob Neill condemns steep rise in off-peak fare

As many of you will have noticed first hand, there has been a dramatic increase in the price of an off-peak travelcard since January, with prices rising over 30 per cent for adults travelling to or from outer London zones. Quite understandably, this unreasonable hike in fares has dismayed a large number of residents across Bromley and Chislehurst, many of whom are reliant on the local rail provision to get from A to B on a regular basis.

Although the change may seem negligible for those who only occasionally use the service – a rise of £3.10 for adults – this amount soon adds up to a fairly hefty increase when considered across the entire year. Taken in this context, a passenger only buying the fare once a week would still find themselves £161.20 worse off after twelve months.

I think the very large majority of us can appreciate the need to continuously revise prices to keep standards up, however I believe, in this case, Transport for London (TfL), who are ultimately responsible for setting the price, have drastically underestimated the sheer number of people who use this type of ticket to get around London. It is both damaging and unfair for a whole number of reasons, and will, I fear, dissuade many people from making journeys, both for work and pleasure, that they otherwise would have made.

As a result, I have written to TfL Managing Director Mike Brown to express my concern at this ill-thought-out change, asking him to outline the rationale behind the increase in price, and urging him to review the rise as a matter of urgency. I have attached below a copy of my letter, and will, of course, post any updates on my website as and when I can.