Mayor announces real terms fares freeze and extends free travel for children

12 November 2015
"I'm delighted that we're able to yet again freeze overall fares in real terms for our passengers "

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson MP today announced a real terms fares freeze on Transport for London (TfL) services, as he also revealed an extension of free travel for children to National Rail services in the capital.

From 2 January, fares on TfL services are set to rise by one per cent, in line with the July Retail Price Index (RPI), however a number of fares, including single bus fares and all but two pay as you go single Tube fares, will be frozen. Travelcard season tickets will increase by slightly less than one per cent.

It is the third year in a row that the Mayor and TfL have been able to provide a real terms fares freeze while balancing the need to modernise the network. The revised changes to fares are expected to raise £43m a year for TfL - an increase of one per cent and a vital step as TfL increasingly looks to cover its operating costs from fares and other income.

Today, the Mayor also unveiled a deal to extend free travel for children under 11 years old on all National Rail services in the capital, and announced that Stratford and a number of its adjacent stations will move from Zone 3 to the Zones 2/3 boundary in a boost to east London.

Hundreds of thousands of families across London are set to benefit every month after TfL committed to provide £500,000 a year to the Train Operating Companies to enable free travel for under 11s. Currently, young people under the age of 11 travel for free on TfL's buses and trams, and on the Tube, DLR, London Overground and TfL Rail services when accompanied by a fare-paying adult. However, there is no similar offer on National Rail services, causing frustration and confusion for customers with fares differing at neighbouring stations. From 2 January, all National Rail services in London will be free for Zip photocard holders who are under 11 years old after TfL agreed to cover the cost.

In a move to recognise the shifting economic map of London towards east London, the Mayor has also announced that Stratford and a number of adjacent stations, including West Ham, Canning Town and Stratford International (DLR), will move from Zone 3 to the Zones 2/3 boundary. Rezoning these stations will benefit more than 100,000 people per week and will ensure customers travelling to Stratford from central London will never require a ticket valid in Zone 3.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson MP, said: `I'm delighted that we're able to yet again freeze overall fares in real terms for our passengers. It's the third year in a row that we've been able to offer this great deal, allowing us to keep the cost of travel down while continuing our vital programme to modernise the network.

'Hundreds of thousands of families will also benefit now that we've struck a deal to extend free travel for under 11s across all rail services in London. By securing this deal on National Rail services, we are taking away the fares confusion for so many and opening up wider travel in the capital for families to enjoy.'

Key elements of the 2016 fares package include:

  • The pay as you go single bus fare is frozen at £1.50 while the one day bus cap increases by 10p to £4.50, the same as the cost of three single fares. The overall increase in bus fares is 0.8 per cent.
  • On the Tube, London Overground, the DLR and TfL Rail, pay as you go single fares in Zones 1-6 are frozen, with the exception of Zone 1 only and Zone 1-2 off-peak fares, which will increase from £2.30 to £2.40. The overall increase on these services is 1.1 per cent.
  • All other current concessionary fare schemes will be maintained in their current forms.
  • The all day caps, which were reduced last year to 20% of the 7 Day Travelcard price in Zones 1-6, will increase by 10p.
  • The Off-Peak Zones 1-6 Travelcard and the Anytime Zones 1-4 Travelcard will increase from £12 to £12.10 while the Anytime Zones 1 to 6 Travelcard will increase from £17 to £17.20.
  • Travelcard season ticket prices increase by just under one per cent on average in line with the guidance from Secretary of State for Transport that no regulated National Rail fare should rise by more than RPI next year.
  • On the Emirates Air Line, the single fare for adult pay as you go users and Travelcard holders is increased by 10p to £3.50. All other Emirates Air Line fares - including child fares and cash fares - are frozen.

The new fares will come into effect from 2 January, and customers will be able to buy tickets, including season tickets, at 2015 prices until 1 January 2016.

Jon-Rhys Foster, Chair at the British Youth Council said: `With the cost of living continuing to affect families, we are delighted with the news that National Rail travel, throughout the Capital, will now be free for under-11 Zip photocard holders. The scheme will help young people to travel and give a much needed boost for our national campaign to increase youth access to concessionary travel across the country.'

London TravelWatch Chair, Stephen Locke said: `We are pleased to see free travel for children under 11 being extended to all National Rail services in London - another step towards a simplified fares structure which will increase consistency across travel modes in London and reduce confusion for passengers.'

Last year the fare package included a significant restructuring of one day fares to make it fairer for part-time commuters or people on zero hours contracts who could previously pay significantly more per day than Travelcard season holders. The lower all day pay as you go caps are now benefitting over 200,000 part-time commuters a day and over 700,000 a week.

TfL is increasingly covering its operating costs from fares and other income. It has cut costs by 15% while delivering a £16bn savings and efficiencies programme over the duration of its business plan to 2020/21. TfL also has ambitious plans to generate £3.4bn in non-fares commercial revenue by 2023 to reinvest in London's transport, supporting jobs and economic growth.

To view detailed fares tables visit

To view the Mayoral Decision, visit

Stratford, Stratford High Street, Stratford International DLR station, West Ham and Canning Town, Star Lane and Abbey Road will be rezoned as boundary Zone 2/3 from Zone 3.

Concessions are :

  • Children under 11 travel free (subject to a maximum of 4 accompanying an adult)
  • 11-15 Oyster photocard
  • 16+ Oyster photocard
  • 18+ Student Oyster photocard
  • Job Centre Plus Travel Discount Card
  • Bus & Tram Discount photocard
  • Veterans Concessionary Travel
  • 60 + London Oyster photocard (men and women up to female pensionable age)