Ticket prices could rise sharply when line joins Overground (From East London and West Essex Guardian Series)
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Commuters could be charged up to twice as much to travel on the Chingford to Liverpool Street line
The cost of season tickets could rise dramatically when Transport for London (TfL) takes over the Chingford to Liverpool Street train line.
The massive price hike looks set to apply when the line, which runs through Highams Park and Walthamstow, becomes part of the Overground network next year.
Commuters currently have the option to buy tickets to travel between stations, which make the cost of weekly, monthly, or annual season tickets considerably cheaper than if they were charged by zone, as on other TfL lines.
The cost of a Greater Anglia standard adult annual season ticket from Chingford to Liverpool Street will cost £1,560.00 as of january 19.
However, if the line becomes zonal, commuters on the same journey will see a 37 per cent increase to £2,136.00 for a standard adult annual zone 1 to 5 season ticket.
A standard adult annual season ticket from Highams Park (zone 4) to Liverpool Street (zone 1) costs £1,216.00. The same journey will cost £584.00 extra if commuters are forced to buy a standard adult zone 1 to 4 annual travelcard.
Chingford MP Iain Duncan Smith is to request a meeting with TfL bosses to discuss the issue.
He said: “I think that we would want to look at this very carefully and talk to TfL about what exactly they would be looking to do with the fares, as it would be wrong to see such a swinging increase.
"I will be requesting a meeting with TfL very shortly and will press them for assurances.”
Councillor Thom Goddard, of Chingford Green ward, admitted there is concern over the possible price hike.
He said: “This is a worry and I have written to TfL for clarification, but had no response.
“I also asked them why Chingford Rail Station is Zone 5 but Chingford Bus Station is Zone 4.
“If Chingford Rail Station was brought in line with the bus station this may save our commuters some money.”
TfL’s Director of London Overground, Mike Stubbs said: “We are working with the Department for Transport and Abellio Greater Anglia to deliver a full transfer in 2015.
“It is our intention that these services will become part of the London Overground network, which is now one of the most reliable railways with some of the highest levels of customer satisfaction across the UK.
“We are currently in the process of determining what further improvements need to be made at stations and on trains on the routes and a programme to deliver these once the railway has transferred.
“However, from day one TfL and its operator will deliver passenger benefits such as staff at all stations during hours of service and full integration with TfL services including travel information and planning tools.”
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