Boris Johnson heckled at Finsbury Park after travel fare rise

Fares on public transport in London will rise by an above-inflation average of 5.6 per cent in 2012.

Fares on public transport in London will rise by an above-inflation average of 5.6 per cent in 2012.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson announced the lower than planned rise, stating he had secured �136million from the government “to help the capital’s commuters”.

The Mayor was heckled as he arrived by bike at Finsbury Park station in north London to make the announcement.

Supporters of Mr Johnson’s mayoral rival Ken Livingstone donned Boris look-alike face masks and chanted.

Sporting shorter-than-usual blond hair, Mr Johnson remarked that he liked the demonstrators’ masks but had little time for their call for fare cuts.

“Labour cuts would mean reductions in services. They would jeopardise bus routes and the 24-hour (senior citizens) freedom passes,” he said.

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“It would be criminal to cut infrastructure investment. Every penny of this extra cash will go towards keeping fares as low as possible.

“That is very good news in the current economic climate and, even better, the unprecedented level of investment to improve London’s transport network will continue unabated.”

The single Oyster pay-as-you-go bus fare rises by just five pence to �1.35.

A weekly bus pass rises by �1 to �18.80.

Average Tube fares will rise by six per cent.

A one-day zones 1-6 Travelcard will rise to �15.80 (anytime) and �8.50 (off-peak).

A weekly Travelcard for zones 1-6 will go up from �50.40 to �53.40.

Transport for London says that over the next year investment will lead to the completion of the Victoria line upgrade, extension of the Barclays Cycle Hire scheme eastwards, the first of the Mayor’s ‘New Bus for London’ on the roads, completion of the London Overground rail network and air-conditioned trains across the Circle and Hammersmith & City lines.

There will also be work to improve the Metropolitan, Circle, Hammersmith & City lines, new signalling upgrade for the Northern line, upgrade of the A406 at Bounds Green and progress on new Crossrail stations at Paddington, Bond Street, Tottenham Court Road, Farringdon, Liverpool Street and Whitechapel.

Critics have attacked the level of the fare rises for 2012.

Mr Livingstone said: “Under enormous pressure from Londoners for a fare cut, the Tories have come up with another fare rise, making Londoners hundreds of pounds a year worse off and meaning a single bus fare by Oyster is now up 50 per cent under this Mayor.

“London has a moonlighting mayor with a second salary worth �250,000 and it is little wonder that he is so out of touch he thinks this fare rise is what people want.”

The Liberal Democrat mayoral candidate Brian Paddick said: “This Mayor still seems to be in a race to increase fares more than electricity and food prices at a time when most of us can’t afford it.

“Londoners may be less worse off than they thought, but they are still paying to massage the Mayor’s ego, for cable cars across the Thames and Routemaster buses that hardly any Londoners will benefit from.

“Come on Boris - if you scrapped the vanity projects you could freeze the fares.”

* Tell us what you think. Should fares be frozen or cut, or are fare rises necessary in the current economic climate to allow investment to continue? Is the lower than expected average rise something to be pleased about? Add your comments below.