London's Mayor has come under attack after announcing that bus and Tube fares in the capital will rise by an above-inflation 7% next year.
Boris Johnson confirmed that from January 2012 fares on London's Tubes, buses, London Overground, Docklands Light Railway (DLR) and trams will go up by July's RPI figure of 5%, plus 2%.
Mr Johnson said: "Despite some of the toughest economic times in living memory, I have secured unprecedented levels of investment for London's transport network totalling Â£12 billion over my four- year term of office. Not since the days of our Victorian forefathers has there been improvements of this scale which includes upgrades and capacity increases ahead of 2012 and beyond to Crossrail.
"Income from fares is vital to ensure the ongoing health of London's transport network, keeping services running for the billions of passengers who rely on them day in, day out.
"This is a fares package that continues my aim to put Transport for London's finances on a steady footing, moving us away from the boom-and-bust approach undertaken by my predecessor when we saw a succession of draconian increases and knee-jerk, unaffordable pre-election freezes.
"This year, as Londoners begin to experience the benefits of that investment through more frequent and reliable journeys, I am also once again able to protect all free and concessionary travel for people who rely on public transport most, including older people, disabled veterans and those on lower incomes.
"I understand that any increase in tough times is difficult. This is a package that has sought to balance the needs of today's passengers whilst ensuring we continue apace with plans to overhaul London's transport system in the face of unprecedented demand."
Caroline Pidgeon, leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group, said: "This is the fourth year of fare misery that Londoners will face under Boris Johnson.
He has already hit Londoners hard by hiking up bus fares from 90 pence to Â£1.30 for a single fare since he arrived at City Hall. Today's further rise will really hit hard many people, especially those on low incomes."
Labour's London mayoral candidate, Ken Livingstone, said: "London already has some of the highest fares in the world but, instead of putting squeezed Londoners first, Boris Johnson is sticking to further stealth taxes on people even as he argues for tax cuts for the rich. Under the Tories, Londoners are less well-off with every day that passes."Suggest a correction