Transport for London
Journeys that start or end at Heathrow and involve Zone 1 will become peak fares
Changes to Tube and Elizabeth line fares from 4 September as a result of conditions Government placed on TfL for extraordinary funding during financial challenges of the pandemic.
- Both the Tube and Elizabeth line continue to be one of the most affordable and sustainable ways to travel to Heathrow airport from Central London
- Introduction of peak-only fare to Heathrow reflects absence of regular periods of low demand for airport while ensuring that journeys that avoid Zone 1 still have an off-peak fare
- Fee for new Oyster card will also increase by £2
From Sunday 4 September 2022, all Tube and Elizabeth line fares for journeys that go through Zone 1 and start or end at Heathrow Airport will be charged at peak rate. From the same date, the charge for a new Oyster card will increase from £5 to £7.
Due to the financial challenges caused by the pandemic, Transport for London (TfL) has required extraordinary funding from Government to continue safe and efficient operation of the transport network. Significant conditions have been put on this funding.
In December 2021, the Mayor outlined a number of fares options that were being explored to comply with the Government's funding conditions and, since then, TfL has undertaken Equality Impact Assessments and engaged with stakeholders. Following this, it has been agreed that the changes to Heathrow fares and Oyster charges should be implemented from 4 September 2022 to help achieve Government requirements and support TfL's target to achieve financially sustainable operations by April 2023.
Journeys to the airport that avoid Zone 1 would continue to have an off-peak fare, while journeys ending at stations before Heathrow, like Hatton Cross, Hounslow West and Hayes & Harlington will also not be affected by the changes.
The changes will be introduced after the school summer holidays to ensure that families travelling to and from Heathrow, as well as summer visitors, avoid additional costs where possible. TfL is also working to re-start the discounted travel available to airport workers across all Team Heathrow employers. All pay as you go journeys will also continue to benefit from daily and weekly capping and all concessions, including free travel of under 11s, will remain in place.
The Mayor's Hopper fare also means that unlimited bus and tram journeys for the price of a single journey can be made providing they are made within an hour of first touching in. TfL will continue to monitor bus services in the Heathrow area as part of wider, ongoing work to ensure bus services in London meet customer demand.
The operations of an airport mean that demand for stations at Heathrow does not conform to the usual peak periods seen across the rest of the network. The changes to Tube and Elizabeth line fares to Heathrow and the £2 increase for an Oyster card are expected to generate additional income of up to £27m per year calculated up to 2027-28 and support TfL's target to achieve financially sustainable operations by April 2023.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, recently said:
“Raising more money from fares was a condition of our funding deal with Government. This fare increase was chosen as one which would have a lower impact on Londoners currently worried about the cost of living, and to ensure that journeys that avoid zone 1 will not be affected, helping to protect those living near and working at the airport.”
Shashi Verma, Chief Technology Officer at TfL recently said:
“Changes to the fares to Heathrow and the increase to the Oyster card fee are necessary to comply with the Government's funding conditions. These will help to ensure that TfL can reach financial sustainability as soon as possible.
“Both TfL and the Mayor remain committed to keeping fares as affordable as possible. The Hopper fare for buses and trams as well as daily and weekly fare capping continue to help keep down the cost of travel across London for everyone.”
For more information, please visit tfl.gov.uk/fares
Notes to Editors
- The Mayoral Decision for the permanent changes to the Heathrow fares and Oyster card fee can be viewed here - https://www.london.gov.uk/about-us/mayoral-decisions?order=DESC
- The adult pay as you go fares from Zone 1 to Heathrow Airport are:
|Peak fare||Off-peak fare||Increase|
- The changes in Elizabeth line fares to and from Heathrow are unrelated to the start of trains running directly from Reading and Heathrow to Abbey Wood and from Shenfield to Paddington in November 2022.
- Customers travelling to Heathrow and buying paper tickets should select 'Heathrow Rail' stations when travelling on the Elizabeth line to ensure they travel with a valid ticket.
- In the eight years prior to 2016, TfL fares increased by more than 42 per cent. This increase refers to the cumulative increase across all ticket types, including Travelcards and caps, from 2008 to 2016. Since 2016, fares have only increased by 13 per cent in total (including Travelcards and caps). Both the Mayor and TfL are committed to keeping public transport as accessible and affordable as possible but no decisions on the fares package for 2023 have been made yet.
- The fee for an Oyster card has not increased since 2011. Any Oyster card bought before 4 September 2022 would still be eligible for a reimbursement of the £5 fee paid if the card is still in use after 12 months. Any deposits on Oyster cards purchased before 23 February 2020 will also continue to be returned to the customer when the card is surrendered.
- In December 2021, the Mayor outlined a number of fares options that were being explored to comply with the Government's funding conditions, estimated to deliver between £60-80 million in additional revenue to TfL per year
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