New Year sees “double whammy of insult” to Kingston commuters from Tory Mayor

Kingston’s Executive Member for Transport Cllr Bob Steed, has publicly criticised the London Mayor’s “insulting” decision to withdraw free travel on New Year’s Eve for parts of the capital without Tube services, on top of the increased cost of TfL fares to local residents in 2010.

Liberal Democrat Cllr Steed said: “The Conservative Mayor of London took the decision to stop funding free rail travel this New Years’ Eve, unfairly penalising parts of London, such as Kingston, without tube stations.

Outer Londoner residents snubbed

“Following the New Year’s snub to outer London residents, the Mayor has now introduced his inflation-busting hike to the cost of taking public transport. It is frankly a double whammy of insults to the residents of this borough.”

He explained: “This year, many commuters living in Kingston will be facing pay freezes on top of an increased cost of living from the Government’s VAT rise. It is important that the cost of getting to work, especially on environmentally sustainable public transport, is kept affordable.

Staggering inflation busting 20% fare rise

“But the London Mayor is showing his true blue Tory colours with the 2010 fares decision. He is increasing single bus fares on Oyster cards by a staggering 20% - while freezing most weekly, monthly and annual Travelcards. The new fare scheme will punish regular low-income bus users, adding hundreds of pounds to the annual commuting costs for many Kingston residents, whilst keeping travel costs low for those who can afford to fork out for an annual pass.

“The Mayor’s extra income is not even being used to invest in much needed transport infrastructure in South West London. The revenue will simply cover the costs of scrapping the Western extension of the congestion charge, and Boris’ embarrassing vanity project of the new route master line of buses.

The Executive Member added: “Liberal Democrats in Kingston demand that transport fares are made fair. I also say that the Conservative Mayor of London must never again add insult to injury by claiming to work in the interests of outer London boroughs.”

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