Newham Recorder Big Debate: Has Sadiq Khan broken his fares freeze promise to commuters in Newham?

After succeeding Conservative Boris Johnson as Mayor of London last month, Labour's Sadiq Khan has been accused of not delivering on his flagship fares freeze policy for Transport for London (TfL) users.

Criticism came after it was revealed his fares freeze wouldn't include Travelcards and season tickets, with the Guardian revealing this means 450,000 of London's public transport users won't benefit from the freeze.

But supporters of the new mayor claim a freeze on Travelcards is out of his hands, and only more devolution to City Hall could empower him to intervene.

And the mayor's four-year freeze on single tickets and pay-as-you go services will benefit up to 11 million passengers.

This week, our Big Debate asks how commuters from the borough should feel about the perceived U-turn of the mayor, asking if this is a promise broken.

Andrew Boff, London-wide Conservative Party Assembly Member

Sadiq Khan's promised public transport fares freeze for four years was met with delight and scepticism.

No-one wants to pay more for travel. But GLA Conservatives realise the financial constraints facing TfL. We didn't see how his promise could be kept. So it was little surprise this month when he revealed his freeze excludes travel cards and season tickets, applying only to pay-as-you-go fares – a devastating blow to tens of thousands of people who elected him for his flagship fares freeze. He claims he never intended to include Travelcards and season tickets, but didn't make this clear when writing in January: “Londoners won't pay a penny more for their travel in 2020 than they do now.” In the same Evening Standard article he lamented the impact of Travelcard price increases on hard-working Londoners. So his claim the freeze was “promise made, promise delivered” appeared hollower than ever.

He'll get away with breaking his pledge by blaming the government and pointing to technicalities in his manifesto – despite one of his Labour GLA colleagues misunderstanding his policy. His disregard for Londoners was evident when he refused to apologise for any confusion, insisting his policy was clear from the outset. His actions look like little more than him wriggling out of a promise he always knew he couldn't keep.