London

London mayor considers increasing fare evasion fines

Oyster card and Tube map
Image caption Any card which is not properly swiped when exiting stations is charged the maximum possible fare of £6

The fine for fare evasion on London's Tube lines and buses could be increased from £50 to £80, it has been revealed.

London mayor Boris Johnson is seeking views on the proposals, with the aim of introducing the rise from 2 January.

It follows the estimated amount of revenue lost by Transport for London (TfL) due to fare evasion hitting a three-year high of £63m during 2010.

Officials believe this increase was caused by the economic downturn, along with increased bus passenger numbers.

The estimated amount lost by TfL due to fare dodging on London's buses rose by more than £7m to £39.5m in 2010 and on London Overground from £700,000 to £2.5m.

Docklands Light Railway rose from £1.3m to £1.4m.

However, evasion on the Tube fell from £22.3m in 2009 to £19.6m in 2010.

The estimated amount of revenue lost by Transport for London reached a historic high of £71m in 2005.

Caroline Pidgeon, Liberal Democrat chairman of the London Assembly transport committee, said Mr Johnson had failed to tackle the issue.

"Boris Johnson promised Londoners that he would cut fare fraud, especially on buses.

"The fact that fare evasion, especially on buses, increased in 2010 under Boris Johnson is shameful."

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