The Mayor of London has approved an increase in TfL penalty fares, in a crackdown on fare evaders.

The penalty fare on all Transport for London (TfL) services is set to increase from £80 to £100 to deter fare evasion, reduced to £50 if paid within 21 days.

Newly released data reveals that TfL prosecuted 19,614 people for fare evasion in 2023 - an increase of 56 per cent on the previous year.

TfL says that money from fares is "vital" for investment in safe, clean and reliable public transport.

Wimbledon Times: TfL have also announced they will make body worn cameras an 'essential' part of staff kitTfL have also announced they will make body worn cameras an 'essential' part of staff kit (Image: TfL)

With fare evasion estimated to cost TfL around £150 million annually, they aim to ensure that evaders themselves, rather than fare or tax payers, carry the cost of fare evasion.

This follows the Department for Transport’s decision to increase the penalty fare to £100 across National Rail.

TfL has also made body worn video (BWV) cameras part of the essential kit for all frontline customer-facing staff - with fare evasion often a trigger for violence towards staff.

Research shows that the risk of assaults on colleagues can almost halve when wearing a BWV camera.

The latest data on fare evasion reveals that TfL investigated 421 people for habitual fare evasion in 2023, who made more than 50,000 fraudulent journeys across the London Underground network, leading to a loss of more than £300,000 in fare revenue.

Prosecutions were carried out in 190 cases, 189 of which resulted in guilty verdicts.

Wimbledon Times: Fare evasion can often trigger violence or aggression towards staffFare evasion can often trigger violence or aggression towards staff (Image: TfL)

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: "TfL relies on revenue from fares to be able to deliver the safe, clean and reliable public transport that Londoners deserve.

"Fare evasion deprives us of much needed revenue and so I welcome this tough new action from TfL to increase enforcement and ensure more fare evaders are brought to justice."

Siwan Hayward, TfL’s Director of Security, Policing and Enforcement, added: "The overwhelming majority of our customers pay the correct fare, however a minority do attempt to travel without a valid ticket.

"Fare evasion robs Londoners of vital investment in a safe, frequent and reliable transport.

"Anyone who fare evades will be caught and have to pay the consequences.”