Essentially there are 4 key issues currently impacting travel on the trains in our area currently:
- Our ‘unfair’ fares that create the ‘Redhill Hump’ and lack of availability of Oyster/Contactless at Reigate.
- Issues with infrastructure (Regiate’s platform can’t take the Thameslink Trains, and Stoates Nest Junction restricts the number of trains that can cross it.
- No ‘industry compensation’ for Reigate/Nutfield
- Trains missing form the May 2018 timetable (still)
While it hasn’t all been in the public domain we’ve been working with Crispin Blunt our local MP and RRDRUA President on many of the issues above for some time. Frustratingly when the RRDRUA makes progress with a transport minister their inevitably loose their job and it all starts again.
Continually promised action in meetings with ministers and the DFT (many of which RRDRUA committee members have attended over the years) Crispin has like us reached the limits of his frustration. Acting on this he secured an adjournment debate in the House of Commons raise our issues.
Jo Johnson then had to address the issues raised by Crispin, which are a matter of record in the house.
In brief summary:
- Fares – Whilst not suggesting Oyster zones would happen, and instead suggesting modern ticketing with pay as your go or smart card payment is the future – he did confirm that the ‘Redhill Hump’ would be addressed before the end of the current GTR contract. And this would start in January. We have no further detail of this yet – but it’s a big win. Either by reduction or fare freezing our fares will be brought in line with those around us.
- Reigate Platform 3 – This has been included in the scope of the project or the Brighton Mainline upgrade. Whilst it won’t happen over night, it’s on the books for consideration – a new longer platform at Reigate would allow the return of direct London Bridge services via Thameslink.
- Industry Compensation – No movement on this what so ever. Reigate/Tonbridge line passengers. Or those that purchased Dorking tickets are excluded, and are still excluded.
- The May 2018 Timetable – Jo Johnson said that in December 18 more trains will be added to our services through Redhill/Merstham. And we assume some of these will also stop at stations south of Redhill too. Conveniently there are 18 trains currently missing form our weekday timetable. Weekends are of course still very much missing in action.
We’ve made some big progress today with big thanks to Crispin Blunt MP for securing the debate and representing our issues.
If you have any comments or questions please let us know.
Finally apologies if you made it to Westminster for the debate at 5pm. Whilst Parliament has a set start time – all business follows the last business. And an earlier debate was short a number of speakers which brought us forwards – we had little notice this would happen.