Long-suffering commuters on the London Underground could be spared future price hikes in the cost of their tickets through sponsorship of the networks lines and stations, according to a new report published by the Conservatives.
It is estimated that up to £136m a year could be raised by such a system, sufficient to freeze fares for a full year, whilst a more ambitious target of £204m would cap rises at inflation for three years.
Untapped Resource: Bearing Down On Fares Through Sponsorship, asserts that 82 per cent of Londoners would back such a move – although the ultimate decision rests in the hands of the mayor, Boris Johnson.
Report author Gareth Bacon said: "TfL is well behind the curve on this one. We have the potential to command tens, if not hundreds of millions of pounds through sponsorship deals on stations, lines, trains and bus routes.
"Sponsorship is already used on metro systems across the word in places like Madrid, Dubai and New York. TfL must follow in these footsteps if London's transport network is to remain as one of the best too."
A TFL spokesperson ruled out the idea however, observing that the cost of switching maps and signs made a deal of that nature unfeasible.
TfL's director of commercial development, Graeme Craig, said: "The mayor has in the past ruled out the renaming of stations, largely due to the cost of changing the thousands of signs and maps across the network.
"We already do deals short of actually renaming stations or lines, including giving over whole stations like Canary Wharf to advertising by one organisation.”