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Sadiq Khan to trial all-day off-peak fares for Friday journeys in London | UK News


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Sadiq Khan has announced a £24m plan to slash peak time train fares in London on Fridays.

Mr Khan asked Transport for London (TfL) to trial off-peak fares all day on Fridays for three months in a bid to increase passenger numbers and boost the economy.

While TfL figures show midweek travel on the Tube is at 85% of pre-Covid levels, the figure for Fridays is just 73%.

On TfL and mainline rail services in London, peak fares apply on weekdays between 6.30am and 9.30am and between 4pm and 7pm.

Commuting by Tube from Zone 6 into Zone 1 at peak times costs £5.60 per journey. During the trial, the same route would cost commuters £3.60.

Mr Khan said he wants “everyone to be able to make the most all week of living or working in London”.

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The London mayor then said: “London has really bounced back since the pandemic, but the lack of commuters returning on Fridays is a clear exception – with a major knock-on effect on our shops, cafes and cultural venues.

“That’s why I’ve asked TfL to trial off-peak fares on Fridays, and I encourage Londoners to get involved.

“A trial will help us to see if it’s an effective way of increasing ridership and giving a welcome boost to businesses as we continue to build a better, fairer, more prosperous London for everyone.”

Kate Nicholls, chief executive of industry body UKHospitality, added: “There’s no doubt that Fridays have suffered as a result of changes to working patterns since the pandemic, and hospitality businesses have felt that loss of commuter trade.

“Responding to these challenges with innovative trials like off-peak Fridays is exactly the type of flexible approach needed to boost journey numbers and stimulate footfall in our venues.”

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Fares frozen & £250m more in funding

It comes a week after the London mayor announced TfL fares will be frozen until March next year, paid for by allocating £123m of Greater London Authority funding.

TfL will also receive £250m in extra funding from the government, which will be invested into new projects

Rail minister Huw Merriman said the £250m deal would have “a tangible, positive impact, not just for people travelling in and around the capital, but also the millions who visit every year”.

TfL welcomed the funding, saying it was “grateful for the support,” but it still claimed the network was being hit by a “continuing shortfall in funding” from Whitehall to pay for its day-to-day operations.

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