Travelcards to be axed? Transport for London consider options

Transport for London have raised the possibility of killing off one-day Travelcards after the issue was previously raised in funding discussions with central government.

A consultation has launched over a year after axing one day cards was raised in December 2021 and covered on this site.

During funding discussions between then Transport Secretary Grant Shapps at the Department for Transport and TfL, demands had been made to cut costs. Removing daily Travelcards was one of them.

Elizabeth line one of major forms of transport covered by Travelcards

Usage has declined with the advent of contactless caps though Travelcards remain popular for tourists and those travelling into London.

Proposed changes mean an end to these one-day child and adult tickets:

  • Group Day Travelcards
  • London Family Travelcard
  • Discounted Day Travelcards bought using National Railcards

Cuts

In return for central government funding, a number of measures needed to be offered to the Department for Transport. Others were considered such as increasing the threshold for free travel for those aged 60 and older.




Temporary changes in usage times were made permanent in January 2023.

The crux of many changes is that TfL was somewhat of an outlier for major world cities in being so reliant on fare income due to government policy.

London more reliant on fares compared to other cities worldwide. Click to view comparison

If fare income reduces as it did after 2020, there’s less ability to balance the books or mitigate via other funding streams so new measures are pushed forward.

In addition Transport for London do not see £500 million in annual revenue from London drivers – paid in Vehicle Excise Duty – spent on roads in the capital. It heads to central government who allocate that sum outside the city.

Shapps had stated during funding discussions: “I do want to reiterate that we regard any proposal to transfer Vehicle Excise Duty income from the Exchequer to TfL as, in effect, a permanent government grant.” So it won’t happen.

The then-Transport Minister had also called for the expansion of ULEZ, which his party colleagues are now arguing against.

Shapps called for ULEZ during previous funding negotiations

While daily Travelcards could be killed off, weekly and monthly Travelcards would continue to be sold.

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I've lived in south east London most of my life growing up in Greenwich borough and working in the area for many years. The site has contributors on occasion and we cover many different topics. Living and working in the area offers an insight into what is happening locally.

4 thoughts on “Travelcards to be axed? Transport for London consider options

  • How ridiculous is that many many people use Daily travel cards to travel in to London and even around London whether for work or leisure. Sadiq Khan Mayor of London and the TFL Management Team really do not have a clue. He wants people on public transport and to ditch their cars. But he continuously makes cuts to services and makes more expensive for people to travel in to London.
    ULEZ is just another way of raising money for TFL after it was hit by a financial crisis.
    If Sadiq Khan really cared about pollution and people’s health he would invest in public transport, improve bus services across Greater London and make it easier and cheaper for people to travel on public transport in to and around London with our the need to keep changing buses..
    The Superloop buses and now talk of a DLR extension to Thamesmead are last ditch attempts to save his career. There is no money for a DLR extension to Thamesmead. The Greenwich Transit express bus route from Thamesmead to Greenwich never came to fruition..

    Reply
  • One major problem for TFL is the £2bn annual salary bill for all employees earning over £50k when benefits, pensions, bonuses and taxes are factored in

    Reply
  • Got a source for that Marc? Though above £50k doesn’t even seem that much in a city like London factoring national insurance paid by employers etc. However as part of the funding agreement TfL have also cut hundreds of jobs.

    The real issue is that one of the world’s main centres of power, economies and a megacity is not well funded by central government as most are or allowed much power to be truly independent, again as many cities in the world are, so its at the mercy of government who want to play games rather than grow the economy.

    Reply
  • We dont even really have 24hr public transport outside of London. Dutch cities have hourly express trains between them at night and public transport costs seem way more reasonable in Europe compared to the UK. Often employers in NL give a travel card as part of the benefits of employment and you can use it 24/7 not just for commuting.

    Reply

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