As fare rises hit Barnet and Camden commuters returning to work today, Londoners have a clear choice in 2012

Barnet and Camden  residents were today suffering a fourth year of inflation-busting fare increases from Boris Johnson, as new research shows that fares in London are now costing over a quarter of minimum wage take home pay.

Today is the first working day back under the new high fares package. It hits Barnet and Camden residents hard at a time when people are facing a squeeze on their quality of life and the London economy continues to struggle under George Osborne’s failed policies.

Ken’s Fare Deal would wipe out Boris Johnson’s planned increases for 2012 and saving the average Barnet and Camden commuter £1000 over the next four years.

Under the Conservative  mayor the cost of a single bus ticket has risen by a massive 50 per cent since 2008, whilst the price of a monthly zone 1-2 Travelcard is up 21% costing £230.40 per year more, and the price of a zones 1-6 Travelcard is up a fifth.

New figures from the House of Commons library show that this means an office manager in central London earning £25,600 living in zone 1 or 2 would have to work for three weeks and three days before the cost of their travel was covered. A cleaner on the minimum wage (£11,730) would have to spend 27 per cent of their take home pay in order to pay for a weekly zones 1-6 Travelcard. A newly qualified nurse working in inner London (£25,411) and living in Zone 4 would have to have to work for 5 weeks and a day before they’d paid for their travel, whilst a shop assistant earning the London Living Wage (£16,013) would have to spend 21 per cent of their take home pay to be able to afford to pay for a weekly zones 1-6 travelcard.

Andrew Dismore, Labour’s London Assembly candidate for Barnet and Camden  said:

“Before residents even arrive at work this morning they will have felt the pain of a fourth year of above inflation bus, tube and train fare hikes under Boris Johnson.

“This is the wrong fare rise at the wrong time, taking money out of people’s pockets when the London economy is struggling and when people are very hard pressed.

“The impact applies across Barnet and Camden  and London as a whole and across ages and income brackets. Yet every year the Mayor rakes in more income from fares than his budgets and business plans says he will.

Ken Livingstone said,

“It’s time for change. Exactly four months today Londoners will face a very clear choice – a Labour mayor who will cut the fares, or a Tory mayor who raises fares, forcing many to spend a quarter of their wages merely getting to and from work. In elected in May I’ll cut the fares saving the average Londoners £1000 over four years.”