London transport fares to rise by 5.6% in 2012

Fares on London's transport network will increase by an average of 5.6% in 2012, the mayor of London has said.

Boris Johnson had said in September there would be a rise of 7%. However, he said a £130m grant from the government now meant the rise would be lower.

He said the increase was necessary to ensure upgrades could continue and for concessions to be protected.

But Labour and Liberal Democrat groups have criticised the fare rise.

The Tube, buses, London Overground, Docklands Light Railway (DLR), boats and tram services will be affected.

Single Oyster bus fares will go up by 5p, while a seven-day bus and tram pass will increase by £1.

Speaking on BBC London, Mr Johnson said the rise would be just above inflation.

He added: "In tough times it is very important to be able to bear down on fares as much as possible."

The mayor said if fares did not increase, the impact would be "compounded" in the following years.

He added: "If you don't invest in London transport it will simply bust apart at the seams."

Later, at a press event at Finsbury Park Station, the mayor was hounded by supporters of Ken Livingstone wearing Boris Johnson face masks.

Mr Johnson said that he liked the demonstrators' masks but had little time for their call for fare cuts.

The Labour and Lib Dem groups said it was unfair to introduce the fare rises at a time when Londoners were struggling to cope financially.

Mr Livingstone, Labour's mayoral candidate, said: "A single bus fare by Oyster is now up 50% under this mayor."

He added: "With some vision and hard work this fare rise could have been avoided."

Lib Dem 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."

The RMT union claimed the fare rises were a "robbery".

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