Sadiq Khan, the Labour Mayor of London, is exploring withdrawing Day Travelcards, Child Day Travelcards, Family Travelcards, and Weekend Travelcards – the paper tickets that give passengers unlimited travel on all Transport for London services.
Travelcards remain very popular as a choice for travel. Over 12 million Day Travelcards were sold last year alone. They are particularly beneficial for those travelling into Central London from the fringes of Greater London and Surrey.
Should Mayor Khan go ahead with these plans, travelling into and around London would become far more complicated. Passengers would still be able to use an Oyster or Contactless payment, but they would be required to pay each time they use a bus, train, or the tube until they reach a daily cap. On top of this, children would need to use and top up a ZIP card.
Lots of commuters use the Oyster or Contactless payment, but stats show that up to 20% of people may not have access to technology to use Contactless or monitor Oyster transactions. For these residents, many of whom are elderly, the Travelcard is their only way to get about in a cost effective way.
Removing these travelcard options will make it more expensive for passengers when the cost of living is already too high.
All of this comes on top of Labour's ULEZ expansion - something I have vigorously opposed. Mayor Khan claims he wants to improve air quality by reducing car usage, yet is trying to implement a change that would incentivise using private vehicles by removing public transport as an option for thousands of those journeying into and around London.
That can't be right.