Transport for London sponsorship would freeze fares, report asserts

Transport for London (TfL) is being urged to consider sponsorship deals across its public transport network, in order to freeze fare increases, londonist.com reports.   

This time next year, those making their way to a conference venue in London might need to change at ‘Nike at Oxford Street station’ or exit at ‘Virgin Euston’, if the recommendations in a new report are adopted.

Members of the Conservative London Assembly have complied a document which suggests that sponsorship of the tube could result in no fare increases for three years. It’s an idea that 74 per cent of Londoners are reportedly in favour of, given the expense associated with using public transport in the capital.

The idea isn’t new, it has been proposed in the past but was rejected as it was thought that passengers might be get confused. On the contrary, the group thinks the opposite will happen.

“If Harrods were to sponsor Knightbridge in some way, or if an airline was to sponsor underground stations at Heathrow, the opposite effect is possible: sponsorship could help people find their destination more easily,” the report read.

Questions have been raised pertaining to the extent of sponsorship which passengers would find acceptable. ‘Corporate trimmings’ on the platforms might be fine, but the renaming of the entire tube map would probably cause an outcry – a point upon which TfL’s chairman, Daniel Moylan agrees.

According to marketingweek.co.uk, he has previously asserted his doubts about such a scheme, saying he was ‘instinctively uncomfortable about renaming long-cherished tube stations’. Mayor of London, Boris Johnson has previously vetoed the idea, so the Assembly will have to do some convincing to do.