Londoners rage against tube fare increase

Londoners are furious at their Mayor after he announced a significant increase of the city transport fares.

In January 2010, London tube fares are going to rise significantly. With this new addition to his programme, Boris Johnson is losing his popularity among the population.

In February 2002, three Public Private Partnerships had taken over the rehabilitation of the London Underground infrastructures. According to a Department of Transport report, this plan was set to “deliver the stable funding the Tube needs”.

But last Thursday Boris Johnson announced Transport For London would be “trying to pay for this, while coping with the deepest recession for 30 years”. Some Londoners are extremely angry at that decision but there is no place for them to be heard.

Long-time Londoner Bill believes “Boris has no idea about what real Londoners want or need”. Dave also does not hesitate to rant on the decision: “Rich boy Boris has no idea how people are struggling to stay afloat”. The increase is directly going to affect people’s expenses in a time where the crisis is still felt by the majority.

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Both the public and the unions struggle to get their voices heard by Mayor Johnson. Londoner Karl says “price increases will discourage more people and lead to lower revenues.” Just like Karl, the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) workers’ union “firmly believes that any increase in fares above inflation will be damaging and will drive passengers away from the system deepening the financial crisis at TFL”.

Val Shawcross, Labour’s party Transport spokesman, said he opposed Johnson’s decision but he could understand the reasons of the government for allowing such an increase in the fares. No alternatives were suggested from the opposition.

The question remains as to whether Boris Johnston will be open for discussion among the various opinions in the coming months, which is very unlikely.

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