Updated: Jan 25
People living in the vicinity of Heathrow Airport have reacted angrily to the news of a possible 60% increase for Piccadilly Line services at Heathrow.
On December 15th, Transport for London announced proposals to charge a new premium fare on Piccadilly Line journeys from central London to Heathrow underground stations (Heathrow Terminals 2 & 3, Heathrow Terminal 4 and Heathrow Terminal 5). The Government will review the proposals prior in January and provide feedback to TfL ahead of a new funding agreement deadline on 4 February.
Journeys using the Piccadilly Line from Heathrow to stations within Zone 1 will see Peak prices implemented all day, rather than just in morning and evening rush hours. This new premium will see the price of an Off-Peak journey using Contactless payment or Oyster Card increase by a staggering 60%.
Currently it is unclear if this new fare will apply at weekends and is subject to consultation, impact assessment and decision-making processes before implementation, though further detail of these processes are not yet available.
Whilst fare increases for 2022 are not yet confirmed, it is expected there could be an increase of 5% on the current charges, meaning the percentage increase for these journeys could in fact be higher.
In addition, existing TfL rail journeys from Heathrow to Zone 1 already incur a premium fare of £10.40 for an Off-Peak single using an Oyster card or Contactless.
A key reason TFL need to raise money is because, to enable key workers to get to their places of employment, it ran at a loss during the first lockdown. This put the organisation into a situation where it needed support from central government to keep going. The UK Government
Jane Taylor, Chair of Harmondsworth and Sipson Residents Association, commented:
“Not all users of Heathrow’s Underground stations are directly associated with the airport. To many local residents in villages close to Heathrow, the Piccadilly Line is part of their everyday commuting route to their place of work outside current peak times or allows easy access to services and facilities which are not found in the villages around Heathrow.
“To make us pay 60% extra to go into London is unacceptable at the best of times, let alone when we are already trying to budget for the recent dramatic rise in the costs of heating and food.”