A Happy New Year to all my followers and welcome back to 100 Journeys!
New Years Day in the early small ours on the Underground is always an interesting one. It can be expected that there will be merriment, rowdy passengers, amusing hats and funny costumes and that the floors of all the trains are strangely sticky. This year was no exception. As is the annual treat from TfL that all travel between 23:45 and 04:30 is free.
It’s a nice gesture, sure, but maybe it’s one born out of guilt – considering that a mere 24 hours later the public is hit by the annual fare increase…
Conveniently for us, someone or something at TfL had cocked up. On January 2nd the gates were once again flung open as the oyster system started to malfunction, leaving TfL no choice but to offer a morning of free travel until it was fixed. A “glitch” in the matrix was blamed but you can bet your last 10p that someone didn’t enter the correct values for the fare increase… Around £250,000 of lost fare revenue was estimated to have gone down the drain in just 6 hours.
The increase sees most fares go up by 10p.
On Sundays, Bank Holidays and Night Shifts I drive to work, not because it’s any easier and sometimes it’s not even quicker but because it’s cheaper. In 2016 it will cost me £5.60 to get to work off peak. Granted I only drive in when the congestion charge and parking is free, but we’ve got to a point where it’s sometimes cheaper to use personal motor transport over public! How is that in anyway going to encourage people to use their cars less? It’s hardly promoting London as a green and environmentally friendly city.
TfL and The Mayors Office, you can keep your free New Years travel – what we really want is a fairly and cheaper fare structure!