ThisIsMoney.com said:CASH fares on the London Underground and the capital's buses are to rocket by a third. A single zone 1 Tube journey will soar from £3 to £4. A cash fare on the bus will go up from £1.50 to £2 next January.
Mayor Ken Livingstone has ordered a dramatic rise in the fares in an attempt to force passengers to use pre-pay Oyster cards. Fares bought on the electronic cards are not expected to go up at all - reinforcing the drive to increase their use.
However, the move sparked anger today as it means the cost of travelling one stop on the Tube will have quadrupled in two years. Brian Cooke, chairman of London passenger watchdog TravelWatch, said the rise would mean the transport system in London becoming 'far too expensive for visitors and tourists'.
He described the cost of £4 for a single one-station trip as 'astronomical', adding: 'We are extremely concerned about the rise in cash fares. There are still not adequate facilities for tourists and users to buy discount tickets so it will hit them really hard.'
Roger Evans, Tory transport spokesman for the London Assembly, added his condemnation. 'We have been expecting fare increases for a long time - but not as large as this. One of the main concerns is that it will drive people away from public transport and back into their cars. There is already evidence of this happening.' The rise in cash fares forms part of Mr Livingstone's overall plan to eliminate cash use on both Tube and bus.
In January this year the cash cost of travelling in zone 1 on the Underground went up by £1 to £3 but for those using pre-paid tickets the cost was £1.50.
About 370,000 cash journeys are made every day out of the 6.4m journeys on buses in the capital but the pre-pay Oyster card has been a massive success for TfL. More than a million pay-as-you-go Oyster card journeys are made each day, and 2m Oyster season ticket journeys.
They cannot currently be used at 250 rail stations across London. This will not be resolved until 2008, when card readers are fitted at all rail stations in zones 1 to 6.
Today commuters said the rises were excessive. Jon Daniels, a 36-year-old sales manager from Wokingham, said: 'It will just encourage people to drive again.' Charlotte Shore, 28, of Basingstoke, said: 'They are putting up the C-charge and if they put fares up, what are we supposed to do? They just don't want anyone to come into London.'