GTR Southern surprise thousands of Redhill, Reigate and Horley rail users at Christmas with a sneaky 14% Fare Increase!

GTR Southern surprise thousands of Redhill, Reigate and Horley rail users at Christmas with a sneaky 14% Fare Increase!

  • Many fares along the Redhill route subject to stealth increase of up to 14% on Monday 10th December which has not been communicated to passengers.
  • This increase is on top of the previously announced 3.6% annual increase due in January – thus together hard-pressed commuters will find their fares will rise by 17%.
  • A further example of the unfair fare treatment applied to passengers on the Redhill route

Commuters on Monday morning will, without warning, find a special Christmas present from Southern, some of their daily trains will have transferred to Thameslink and their “Southern Only” tickets will not be valid on the replacement trains, forcing them to pay higher fares on the new Thameslink services. Both Thameslink and Southern are operated by the same parent company GTR.

And to add further misery to commuters the new ‘improved’ Thameslink services have less seats than the Southern trains they replace.

Clair Read on the RRDRUA Facebook group who travels daily from Horley said:

Horley is currently only served by Southern trains so we’ve all bought Southern only season tickets. The new January timetable says that one of the only 2 direct rush hour trains to London Bridge will be changed to Thameslink. So, we’ll have to pay an extra £288 +3.3% fare increase to receive that same (dis)service that we do now. It’s just another way for them to squeeze extra money out of us. We can’t buy a Thameslink only ticket as the trains home are all Southern 😠.”

GTR are offering to replace cheaper “Southern Only” tickets with more expensive ones, as the majority of tickets used are “Southern only” this creates a price rise as there will no longer be Southern Services. No Solution in place even for Season Ticket Holders of “Southern Only” tickets bought in good faith that the service would continue.

The “Department for Transport” are fully complicit in this change, it is there responsibility to prevent this kind of problem from happening. The DFT have directed the change of service provider but not engaged on the effects with local passengers. RRDRUA have written several times to make them aware of this enforced price rise and also on the “Redhill Hump” where fares from Redhill route are between 11 and 40% higher than other nearby stations in the first place. DfT have refused to engage or even assist local passengers on this.

We have written to Chris Grayling Secretary of State and have met with Paul Maynard Transport Minister. Mr Maynard promised a solution for the Redhill route in September but has not yet made any suggestions.

In 2015, over 3,300 Redhill Route passengers petitioned for London Zone 6 pricing to make the fares fair from the Redhill route. Oyster readers have been installed along the line but are the only Oyster readers in use that do not guarantee the lowest fare and often paper tickets are cheaper – adding to the loss and confusion felt by thousands of Redhill passengers daily.

Stephen Trigg RRDRUA Chairman said “The DfT again let down Redhill passengers with more overpriced tickets, we need Travelcard Zone 6 along our stations now and definitely before May next year when even more trains go to Thameslink and many more passengers receive this back-door Fare increase.”


Stephen Trigg
07801 552 915
Chairperson – Reigate, Redhill and District Rail Users Association

Notes to Editors:

The unfair Redhill pricing hump – this is where prices rise by 47% from Stations along the Redhill route after London Travelcard zones and then fall by 15% as you reach Sussex. Meaning Redhill Passengers pay more than Sussex passengers who services are faster and more regular into London

Stations in order from London Cheapest Annual

Z1-6 Travel Card

% Increase by Station from Coulsdon % Increase by Station from Redhill
Coulsdon South £2,492.00
Redhill £3,652.00 47%
Horley £4,204.00 69% 15%
Gatwick Airport £3,448.00 38% -6%
Three Bridges £3,448.00 38% -6%

Thameslink – Southern services to London Bridge are being taken over by Thameslink in May 2018. As part of this shift key peak trains are changing in December 2017.

Price Comparisons – showing how fares are changing

2018 Prices Shown Current From 10 Dec Cost %
Ticket Price Ticket Price Increase Increase
Horley to London Bridge GTW to LBG (Southern only) £2,524.00 GTW to LBG (Any) £2,820.00 £296.00 12%
Horley to Z1-6 Travelcard GTW – Z1-6 (Southern only) £3,944.00 GTW – Zone 1-6 Travelcard £4,504.00 £560.00 14%
Redhill to London Bridge GTW to LBG (Southern Only) £2,524.00 RDH to London Terminals £2,804.00 £280.00 11%
Reigate to London Bridge Dorking West to LBG (Southern only) £2,564.00 Rei to London Terminals £2,844.00 £280.00 11%

GTR have this advice on their Website in the small print 

In the FAQ section here [Screenshot].

“My train is changing from a Southern service to a Thameslink service. Is my ticket still valid?

If your ticket says ‘Not Gatwick Express’ or ‘Any Permitted’ then you can continue to travel as usual. If you have a ‘Southern only’ ticket, this will not be valid on the new Thameslink trains and you will either have to travel on an earlier or later Southern service or change your ticket for a ticket that says ‘Not Gatwick Express’ or ‘Any Permitted’. Please speak to the staff in the ticket office on how to do this.”

Petition calling for Zone 6 :


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