Just a few days after delivering the welcome news that the London Living Wage was to increase by 3% to £8.55 an hour, the city’s mayor Boris Johnson has announced an inflation busting public transport fare rise of 4.2% starting January 2013.
But Londoners and tourists who’ve adopted the Barclays Cycle Hire scheme as a means to get around are in for a big shock: membership and access fees are to double in the new year.
Transport for London laid out hefty increases for the scheme, which has seen huge growth since it was launched in July 2010. The number of regular journeys has increased by 35% from 6.7m to 9.1m between Oct 2010-Sep 2011 and Oct 2011- Sep 2012, while the number of casual journeys during that period has more than doubled from 1.5m to 3.5m.
According to a TfL statement: “24 hour access will increase from £1 to £2, weekly access will rise from £5 to £10 and yearly membership will move from £45 to £90. Annual members will pay as little as 24p per day for unlimited journeys under 30 minutes. The majority of cycle hire trips are made within the free 30 minute usage charge period and additional charges for late return, non return and bicycle damage will not increase.”
The fare rises are forecast to raise another £134m per year for TfL. According to the transport body this money will be used to make “a significant investment in the capital’s roads, increasing investment in cycling and cycle safety projects and ramping up work to improve the deep Tube lines.”
Projects earmarked for cyclists include the extension of the Barclays Cycle Superhighway route 2 and the construction of a new Superhighway between Victoria and Lewisham.
If you use the Barclays Cycle Hire scheme, would these price changes affect your usage? Please give your feedback in the comments section below.