Journeys that start or end at Heathrow and involve Zone 1 have now become peak fares, meaning a £2 increase in fare price for many travellers.
From this week, all Tube and Elizabeth line fares for journeys that go through Zone 1 and start or end at Heathrow Airport will be charged at peak rate. From the same date, the charge for a new Oyster card will increase from £5 to £7.
Due to the financial challenges caused by the pandemic, Transport for London (TfL) has required extraordinary funding from Government to continue its operation of the transport network.
According to TfL adult pay as you go fares from Zone 1 to Heathrow on the new Elizabeth Line will cost £12.80. The cost of four adults will amount to £51.20, only slightly cheaper than the door-to-door service offered by the licensed black taxi industry which would cost around £70 to Heathrow Terminals 1, 2 and 3 on the meter.
In December 2021, the Mayor outlined a number of fares options that were being explored to comply with the Government's funding conditions and, since then, TfL has undertaken Equality Impact Assessments and engaged with stakeholders. Following this, it has been agreed that the changes to Heathrow fares and Oyster charges should be implemented from 4 September 2022 to help achieve Government requirements and support TfL's target to achieve financially sustainable operations by April 2023.
Journeys to the airport that avoid Zone 1 would continue to have an off-peak fare, while journeys ending at stations before Heathrow, like Hatton Cross, Hounslow West and Hayes & Harlington will also not be affected by the changes.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “Raising more money from fares was a condition of our funding deal with Government. This fare increase was chosen as one which would have a lower impact on Londoners currently worried about the cost of living, and to ensure that journeys that avoid zone 1 will not be affected, helping to protect those living near and working at the airport.”
Shashi Verma, Chief Technology Officer at TfL, said: “Changes to the fares to Heathrow and the increase to the Oyster card fee are necessary to comply with the Government's funding conditions. These will help to ensure that TfL can reach financial sustainability as soon as possible.
“Both TfL and the Mayor remain committed to keeping fares as affordable as possible. The Hopper fare for buses and trams as well as daily and weekly fare capping continue to help keep down the cost of travel across London for everyone.”