Letter to The Right Honourable Patrick Mcloughlin MP Secretary of State for Transport – following today’s meeting.
The Right Honourable Patrick McLoughlin MP
Secretary of State for Transport
13th June 2016
Dear Mr McLoughlin,
Thank you for meeting with Crispin Blunt MP and myself today, we appreciate the time you set aside to hear our case on behalf of Redhill route passengers.
Apologies for covering the detail again but it is important to reiterate these for the commuters along the Redhill route.
I believe you understood our point that the Redhill route (including Reigate) has suffered considerably more than any other part of the Brighton Main line. The figures for six months (Oct 2015 to Mar 2016) show that the Peak Hour PPM along the Redhill route was just 17%, with the average lateness for trains of 13 minutes plus a significantly higher number of cancellations, due to the skip stopping by late trains. This was recorded before the problems of the strikes which has now made the service apocalyptically bad and almost unusable.
We are glad you agreed this is not an acceptable situation and that our members are suffering severely. This is also preventing investment in the Reigate constituency and local companies are looking to move away from the area as staff cannot get to work due to the problems.
We also appreciate that you accept that the service from the Redhill Route has been diminished over the last 10 years, with the loss of fast services to London Bridge, 5 out of 9 high peak services cut to London Bridge and almost all services to Brighton removed. The draft proposed service in 2018 further reduces the quality of service from the Redhill route below that of 2011, so that all of our members/constituents suffering is to get a worse service from the investment being made at London Bridge.
We asked your team if they could look at Redhill receiving 8 trains per hour as a base service as was originally expected in the Sussex RUS from Network Rail, rather than the 6 slower trains per hour in the latest GTR proposal. Redhill is the 4th biggest station on Southern’s routes outside London after Brighton, Gatwick Airport and Haywards Heath.
Lastly the unfair fare situation which you have agreed to look at. Currently there is over £1,000 difference on annual London Travelcards from stations just a few miles from Redhill. To resolve this, RRDRUA have proposed the extension of Zone 6 to Redhill route stations including Reigate, which we estimate would cost the DfT £6m, which is very small when compared to the £375m that was paid by our local franchises to the DfT in 2014/15 and the £1bn paid as a subsidy to TfL.
Thank you again for your time and we look forward to your response.
For and on Behalf of Reigate, Redhill and District Rail Users’ Association
Chairman – RRDRUA