Transport for London considers scrapping Day Travelcards

Day Travelcards may be abolished by Transport for London, as it continues to seek savings to meet the terms of the government’s latest funding settlement.

Travelcards are printed tickets which allow unlimited travel on most TfL services except river boats, where the fares are discounted by a third, and they are also available from many stations outside London, providing a day return journey to the capital and unlimited travel inside the London zones by TfL or National Rail services.

They can also be bought within the TfL area, when they are valid for travel in the London zones.

However, TfL needs to raise more money in response to the current funding settlement which the government agreed at the end of August last year. The deal included base funding of about £1.2 billion until March 2024, and provides a financial safety net if passenger figures and revenue do not continue to recover.

But there was still an unfunded gap in the budget which TfL was now ‘working hard to identify how we will fill’, according to former transport commissioner Andy Byford.

TfL has now launched a consultation. It said: ‘Our funding agreement with government requires TfL to develop and implement changes that will generate between £0.5-£1.0 billion per year of additional revenue from 2023.

‘As part of this, we identified potential changes to fares structures and ticketing that could help contribute to generating this additional income.’

TfL added that it had considered withdrawing from the Travelcard scheme entirely, but has decided that weekly and longer-term Travelcards can continue. The consultation closes on 23 May.

UPDATE: Transport charity Campaign for Better Transport said abolishing Day Travelcards would be ‘a step backwards’. CBT’s Norman Baker added: ‘Public transport works best when you can use one ticket for your whole journey. Withdrawing Day Travelcards would be a step backwards, reducing the availability of integrated ticketing.’

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