FARES FROM REDHILL ROUTE

For Daily Tickets our best understanding to date follows:

Redhill Route stations don’t generally have “return” tickets to Victoria or London Bridge but a London Terminals ticket instead. So it is normally better to buy a Gatwick Southern only ticket to just one terminal. If you need the flexibility of multiple stations then buy the standard Redhill ticket.

However there is one ticket the Redhill Route to Victoria Super off-peak return at £9.00 is very cheap but only allows travel to Victoria off-peak and is nit usable between 16:00 and 19:03 from Victoria (19:10 Horsham is first train it is allowed upon after peak).

Also use on Thameslink is tricky question, some say they are valid as Thameslink and Southern are the same train operators but some say not. I think it would be a very mean inspector that prosecutes considering our trains have turned Thameslink only in December.

Oyster has added to this complexity. Single fares to Victoria are cheaper than Redhill to London Terminals tickets and Gatwick tickets. So if you are going just to Victoria or London Bridge Oyster works and is cheaper. If you are going to add more travel like a tube and a bus you have to think carefully.

However once you The caps seem to be £29.80 Peak and £19.00 off peak. If you are travelling off-peak it seems best to buy a paper ticket at £16.00 All-Zone travelcard from Redhill Route stations (Salfords/Horley is £17.00, same as Gatwick), especially as all but the Victoria one mentioned above would allow you to travel from 16:00 to 19:00 whereas Oyster makes that Peak time. Oyster would cap your fares at £16.00 unless you travel on anything between 16:00 and 19:00 when it’ll cap at £29.80.

It appears that Oyster also has a higher cap than Contactless for off-peak

Oyster can save you if you do limited journeys and one of your journeys is off-peak.

Also you can cut fares by avoiding Zone 1 and touching the pink readers. However on a journey I planned I found that via Zone 1 was cheaper than using the pink readers at West Brompton for off-peak journeys only : so confusing

I think you need a degree in Maths and logic to really understand all this. So that’s my best explanation as I understand it all currently. I’m sure many will find cheaper hacks – please post them if you do so everyone can use them

Chairman’s Report on AGM 21 04 2016

Summary of AGM reports

As is usual as it takes a while for the minutes to be transposed and checked I thought I’d give my impressions from the AGM as a stopgap until the minutes are available later in the year.

We had a good turnout of Members at the AGM and they heard from Crispin Blunt – MP Reigate and Banstead, Alex Foulds – Passenger Services Director GTR Southern, Phil Hutchinson – Head of Strategic Planning GTR and Mike Smith – Route Enhancement Manager, Network Rail South East Route

Thanks to Gillian Ryan and Michael Fife for organising the evening and running membership, Elizabeth Warren for running round with the microphone and Robin Grant, Sara Pont and Stephen Rolph for generally helping.

We opened the meeting with the normal official business, approving the committee and accepting the treasures and membership reports. I missed ratification of new Association Terms of Reference which will be passed by email now.

In my Chairman’s address I highlighted the following: –

  • The lack of positives along the Redhill Route for Passengers
  • 10 Years of Pain for the Redhill route passenger service
    • 2006/7 – loss of regular Brighton trains
    • 2007/8 – loss of fast trains to London Bridge
    • 2012 – loss of first peak train to London Bridge
    • 2014 – loss of 5 peak services to London Bridge
    • 2015 – loss of half of direct services to London Bridge o 2015 – Loss of half of Crawley services
    • 2015 – Loss of most South Coast trains – Arun Valley
  • GTR taking over Southern as existing company running Thameslink – all our train services under a single train company run from Whitehall by the Department for Transport
  • RRDRUA took a petition with over 3,000 signatures asking for Fair Fares for Redhill route. The Under-Secretary of State (Claire Perry) actually complemented our proposal in a Parliamentary Debate
  • Despite positive comments from the Under-Secretary the final response from the DfT was disappointing – saying we wouldn’t be considered until all similar stations are looked at then extending Oyster Zones to Dartford, Hertfordshire, Brentwood and Swanley.
  • It is important to remember that DfT are the decision makers for our route not GTR Southern/Thameslink. DfT did not respond to request to attend our meeting
  • Current level of services is abysmal
    •  Lack of on-time arrival of peak services
    • Regular cuts by skip stopping
    • PPM much worse along Redhill Route
  • It is clear that the Redhill Route is the MISERY route of Southern
  • We have asked for an action plan for the Redhill Route but we are still lost in Brighton line strategies
  • Platform 0
    • Project has been cut back from 4 through platforms to just 3 due to budget reductions
    • In our opinion bad decision to make platform 1 a bay platform for GWR services
    • Concern about risk when there are last-minute platform changes with 500 plus passengers having a last-minute swap of platforms through the subway. Not really enough space

Fairs Fare – Crispin Blunt MP

Our local MP Crispin Blunt stood up to update us on the Fares Fair campaign

  • Assisted with submission of Petition
  • Used a debate in Parliament to discuss the Redhill Route prices
  • Continuing to put pressure on Department for Transport

Crispin is also a regular rail user and added personal views on how bad the service is.

Communications – Alex Foulds

I’d hoped this section would give an opportunity for GTR Southern to talk about improving communications and what they have done but very little new information was forthcoming.

Platform 0 Redhill, Platform 3 Reigate and SOLUM regeneration – Mike Smith

At RRDRUA we have been very disappointed that budget restrictions on signalling has meant this scheme has been massively reduced with Platform 1 being made a bay platform to allow Platform 0.

This means that platform 0 will become the main Northbound platform but will be just a plain platform with no facilities – no toilets, customer points or coffee shop so a major downgrade for passengers waiting.

For us the bigger concern will be when peak trains are swapped platforms between 0 and 2 which as we know happens a lot. The average train in the morning peak gets around 500 passengers so that number would have to leave one platform and go through the subway which we feel is potentially dangerous overcrowding.

Network Rail said they didn’t make any allowances and that it would not happen very often.

The potential for a third platform at Reigate was discussed. In 2018 there will be no through services to London Bridge as the new 12 car trains cannot fit in the station (nor at Tonbridge) by taking some of the car park a third platform can be added and trains to London Bridge restarted.

Network Rail have funding for feasibility stage only and they hope to have more funding to be able to build the platform in 2022.

We were also informed that Stoats Nest is unlikely to get a flyover again due to Budget cuts and thus Redhill trains will be forced along the slow lines meaning that more delays and slower journeys are our prospect.

The regeneration of Redhill station is still due to go ahead but awaits agreement between Solum and GTR about platform facilities and car parking. GTR have not agreed with Solum’s proposals.

Reliability – Alex Foulds

As usual this was an animated discussion where the emotions were very high. However, no real progress was made or promised.

2018 Timetable – Phil Hutchinson

As Chairman of RRDRUA I am very interested in the Dec 2018 timetable as it is the next major change to our services and will set the basis for the next 20 years. Thus it is important we engage with GTR and the DfT to ensure our best interests are covered.

At RRDRUA we have developed a service pattern we intend to fight for in the negotiation of this timetable: –

  • 8 trains an hour from the Redhill route
  • 2 fast & 2 slow to Victoria and 2 fast & 2 slow to London Bridge/Thameslink
  • The Fasts to London Bridge/Thameslink would be the Horsham to Peterboroug services that call at Horley, Salfords, Earlswood and Redhill then fast to East Croydon and London Bridge.
  • The Fasts to Victoria would pick up at Horley in one half hour and Coulsdon South in the other half hour and extend south of Gatwick to Brighton, enabling a half hourly express service from Redhill route to the South Coast. (these are an extension of our current Horsham to London Bridge services)
  • The Slows to London Bridge would be the existing Three Bridges to Bedford services and would call at Redhill, Merstham, Coulsdon South, Purley, East Croydon, Norwood Junction and on to London Bridge/Thameslink.
  • The Slows to Victoria would start at Tonbridge or Reigate and call at Redhill, Merstham, Coulsdon South, Purley, East Croydon, Clapham Junction and Victoria.
  • We will campaign for the Victoria slows to split at Redhill, every half hour going to Reigate (doubling the number of Southern trains at Reigate) and then alternate half hours to Tonbridge or Gatwick Airport. The Three Bridges portion allowing hourly services from Earlswood, Salfords and Horley to Victoria which they only currently get during the peaks.

Phil spoke and he stated we would only get 6 trains per hour and the missing service would be the fast to Victoria which he said could not be timetabled. Thus the fast train to London will no longer be to Victoria but to London Bridge. Also the reward of faster trains to London for Reigate customers because they lost their London Bridge service has been very short lived.

He did say they are looking at the 2 trains per hour to Reigate as per our suggestion but wouldn’t promise.

GTR Customer Disputes – Alex Foulds

There has been a lot said about this the ticket office program and the Conductor dispute. Alex explained the plans from GTR and why they are proposing the changes. A lot has been written in the press about this topic and there is little to add.

Thank you to those that attended the meeting and I hope my impressions of the meeting are of interest. Full minutes will be distributed as soon as they are available.

Agenda for AGM at 7:30 Thursday 21st April 2016

Part 1 – Official (7:30-7:45)

  1. Minutes of Previous AGM (distributed prior to meeting)
  2. Election of Committee
    • Stephen Trigg (Chairman)
    • Gillian Ryan (Treasurer)
    • Michael Fife (Committee Secretary)
    • Robin Grant (Horley)
    • Martin Emery (Merstham/Nutfield)
    • Christopher Daniels (Website/Off-Track)
    • Elizabeth Warren (Reigate)
    • Sara Pont (Media)
    • Stephen Rolph (Salfords)
    • Hannah Walsh (Redhill)
  3. Treasurer’s Report
  4. Ratification of Association Terms of Reference
  5. Chairman’s Address

Part 2 – Fares (7:45-8:00)

  1. President’s Address and Fair Fares Update – Crispin Blunt MP
  2. Questions and Answers on Fares

Part 3 – GTR (8:00-8:15)

  1. Southern/Thameslink – Communications to Passengers – Alex Foulds
  2. Questions and Answers – Communications

Part 4 – Network Rail (8:15-8:35)

  1. Network Rail – Platform 0 (Redhill) / Platform 3 (Reigate) / Redhill rebuild (SOLEM) – Mike Smith
  2. Questions and Answers – Infrastructure

Part 5 – GTR (8:35-8:50)

  1. Southern/Thameslink – Reliability – Alex Foulds / Mike Smith
  2. Questions and Answers – Reliability

Part 6 – GTR (8:50-9:10)

  1. Southern/Thameslink – Dec 2018 timetable improvements – Phil Hutchison
  2. Questions and Answers – Timetable 2018

Part 7 – GTR/Transport Focus/LTW (9:10-9:25)

  1. Ticket Office Plan and Conductors on trains Plan – Alex Foulds /
  2. Questions and Answers – Customer Service

Part 8

  1. General Questions and Answers

Government slap in the face for Redhill area commuters

Passengers who use the Redhill route into London have been dealt another slap in the face, following the Government announcement of a drop in ticket fares for stations included in its multi-billion pound CrossRail scheme.

Transport for London (TfL) recently announced that commuter stations soon to be part of CrossRail will see fares fall by up to 40%. Redhill route passengers travelling into London still pay significantly higher than many stations further out of the capital.

Redhill Route rail users:

  • pay higher fares than passengers from East Grinstead or Three Bridges
  • pay almost 50% more than stations within TfL travel zones
  • have been explicitly denied any compensation from the Government for four years’ poor service whilst London Bridge works are carried out

Steve Trigg, Chair of Reigate, Redhill & District Rail Users Association (RRDRUA), said:

“This is another slap in the face for Redhill area passengers. The Government could reduce fares from our stations, but they have refused. Meanwhile, we see huge fare drops for fellow commuters along the CrossRail Route. “This is a postcode penalty for anyone living in the Redhill area, from a government who has invested nothing in our rail line but creates misery for our commuters with grand schemes in London. Redhill route fares to London are over £1000 a year more than fares from nearby stations. It’s time the Government listened, stopped us subsidising others and gave us Fair Fares.”

RRDRUA is urging everyone to sign their petition for Redhill-area stations to be included in TfL Oyster Zone 6, which would reduce ticket costs for anyone travelling into London. The petition is available online: http://tinyurl.com/og3lenh

ENDS

For further information (media enquiries only) please contact:

Sara Pont
RRDRUA Media Officer
07759634595
pressofficer@rrdrua.org.uk

SUSSEX OUTLINE ROUTE PLAN – DRAFT RESPONSE

This is our draft response to the Sussex Outline Route Plan, for which comments are invited.

You can download the full text of the Sussex Outline Plan – Draft Response (pdf 154 KB).

RRDRUA response to South East Route: Sussex Area Route Study Draft 2014

Reigate, Redhill and District Rail Users’ Association established in 1983 represents the passengers from the stations along the Redhill route, Reigate and Nutfield. We have obtained Feedback from our members on these comments through direct emails and through our Facebook page (with 500 plus followers) and have ensured they follow the majority view. We have restricted our comments on areas that affect our route.

Rail Users in our district have three main concerns about our local Rail provision:

  • Unfair Fares
  • Service Provision
  • Regular Delays to services much of which is due to inadequate infrastructure

The Route Study Draft covers the last two areas.

For Redhill area users the train service has been regressing due to lack of investment in infrastructure and by creating additional stops on fast services and withdrawing others. Reigate currently only has an hourly service to London off-peak and none in the evenings or Sundays. Redhill trains are calling at additional stops and the Coast services are planned to be withdrawn in Dec 2015.

The most significant flow of passengers is towards London but other major employment areas requiring commutes from Redhill area include Gatwick, Crawley, Horsham, Haywards Heath, Burgess Hill and Brighton. From December 2015 the last three will no longer have a direct service plus Crawley and Horsham will be restricted to slow trains only increasing journey time by 40% and a cut of 50% in services. There is a strong level of leisure travel to London, Crawley, Gatwick and Brighton.

We are concerned that the route study looks at the Redhill route as a small part of the Brighton Main Line rather than as a route in its own right needing services to various destinations. Using the Network Rail Station Usage Statistics for 2013/14 shows that at least 10% of passenger traffic south of East Croydon on the BML originates from the Redhill route and we feel it should have individual consideration.

We are also concerned that the Route Study is not using correct figures in respect of the Redhill Route. It states that trains during morning peak are 85-100% utilised for seating capacity with some standing.

We ran a survey on our Facebook group for a week in December 2014 asking customers to define the usage on trains they were travelling in by 5 levels:

1. Seats available
2. A little standing near doors
3. Door area full standing
4. Standing right through the carriage (including aisles)
5. Too packed to let people on

We had over a hundred responses and the conclusion was that almost all trains departing from Redhill route stations between 6:30 and 8:00 were at Level 4 or above which would suggest 100% of seating used and significant standing. This shows that you are making estimates from figures that are not representative of the situation and we ask that you rework your figures to allow for this before making final conclusions.

Reducing Delays at Redhill

The main reasons for delays caused by problems at Redhill stem from the lack of investment for several years. Three key examples are: –

Example 1: When splitting trains in the evening in Platform 3 the following train cannot enter from the North of the station due to a lack of crossover after last signal before station. This has meant on numerous occasions long delays occur on failure to split because the following train is stuck and can’t be diverted to platform 2, and in cases where a fix cannot be found, often has to pass through the station on the through roads meaning passengers have to double back at Earlswood (an unmanned station in the evenings without facilities for hundreds of passengers suddenly arriving).

Example 2: The throat at the south of the station is not well organised so Trains queue up south of the station. The key reason is because trains from Tonbridge cannot enter platform 2 at the same time a northbound train from the mainline arrives in platform 1. Gatwick services leaving platform 1B also block the main line. This congestion regularly adds 5 or 10 minute delays to trains. This is made worse by a speed restriction between Earlswood and Redhill meaning trains cannot get to full speed.

Example 3: Severe Lack of capacity in the subway means that it can take over 5 minutes for passengers to get off platform 3 in the peak and thus some may miss services for Reigate or Tonbridge that are starting from platform 1a.

Platform 0 will provide extra space for Reading – Gatwick trains to reverse without blocking platform 1 or 2, but to improve reliability of services and thus address the concerns of Rail Users at Redhill it will be necessary to improve the layout of the station throats at both ends of the station.

We strongly support the work to improve the layout of tracks at Redhill and consider it vital to the good performance of services at Redhill that the station throat work is included in CP6. It is our preference for it to be done in December 2017 along with the works for platform 0 as not only would mean reduction of costs for Network Rail as only setting up preliminaries and closing Redhill once, but will also reduce disruption for passengers to a single period of major works. It is our view that this work would also increase reliability of Thameslink services through Redhill in Dec 2018 when they are fully introduced.

We would request that these issues be considered again and a review of the Cost/benefit analysis be done to both have the new platform and throat be worked together and the benefit of the existing plan looked at in line with the larger overcrowding on trains from Redhill than considered previously. It appears the analysis has only been made in respect of an additional semi-fast train from Haywards Heath – this does not provide the benefit of a half hourly train to Brighton that is desired from Redhill so the extension of this service to Brighton should be considered.

Station Facilities Capacity at Redhill

As noted in Example 3 above there is insufficient capacity in the subway particularly when exiting from platform 3 off a peak hour train. We would like to see a review made to ensure that there is sufficient capacity at Redhill to enable clearance of platforms in reasonable time – in particular looking at the former Post Office Bridge to see if it can be converted to a footbridge between platforms. This will become more necessary once platform 0 is brought into service.

Turning Capacity for Reigate (Reigate platform 3)

We are strongly supportive of an additional platform at Reigate for 12 coach or less trains. Reigate is both an employment centre in its own right plus a commuter town currently underserved by trains to and from London. Currently the service is 2 direct trains in the peak and an hourly direct off peak service during the day to London Bridge with no evening or Sunday service. Since introduction of the off-peak London Bridge service, station usage at Reigate has increased by over 236% now showing 1.7 million entries a year making it a much larger station in need of additional services.

We believe that Reigate should have two London bound trains per hour during off-peak, evening and all weekend. Thus the station should have capacity for at least 2 electric trains per hour all day to London. However using platform 2 means that the terminating trains are blocking the line for Reading – Gatwick services. So the provision of Platform 3 in the location of the current siding for terminating trains should be a high priority to increase capacity.

This could be achieved by moving the crossover closer to Redhill and converting the siding into a terminus platform road allowing for 12 coach trains but not necessarily with platform along full length perhaps initially limited to 4 coaches for now and use SDO for 12 coach trains to keep costs down. That way it can be used by 12 coach trains in emergency only but creates provision for 4 coach trains all day without blocking the Reading-Gatwick North Downs trains.

It could be possible to extend the existing platforms but both platforms would need to be made bi-directional with scissor crossovers either end of the platforms so North Down’s trains can use either platform. As the local Rail user association we prefer the 12 coach platform and do not support this option.

Peak Service to London

It is noted that in Fig 2.7 for 2018 services it shows 4 peak trains per hour from Redhill Route to London Bridge and 4 trains per hour to London Victoria which has been proposed previously as the required optimum service.

However paragraph 2.3.1 states that only 2 trains per hour will be provided to Victoria as per Govia’s current 2018 plans. We have not been informed of this and would like more details so we can understand the impact. The current service is 4 London trains per hour in the peak so this will be a 50% reduction in provision and considering the current overcrowding from the Redhill route stations on these services this is not acceptable. We would appreciate proper consultation on this before any Route Study or timetable is set for 2018.

As an additional note the table 3.13 (2018 high peak hour) shows 4 trains to Victoria and capacity of 4,752 when in reality it will be 2 trains and a capacity of 2,376 which compares to 2,871 today (which is in fact wrong as the table states 3 trains and there are 4 trains currently – 3×8 coach 377 and 1×12 coach 377 which results in even more capacity to be lost). A sharp reduction of capacity. This note needs correcting if the Caption is correct.

In any case we strongly reject any reduction in the service level from Redhill to Victoria in the peak.

Capacity Created for Services to the Coast from Redhill

The Route Study suggests that the Redhill route should get a semi-fast train through Haywards Heath before 2030. The loss of direct services to the South Coast in the proposed December 2015 timetable will be keenly felt at Redhill along with the 50% reduction in Crawley/Horsham services and moreover with a 40% decrease in fastest journey times.

As commented above we are very keen for the leisure and commuting travel south from Redhill to be considered by this route study

We are supportive of the Semi-fast train but strongly require that it should be running as soon as possible and extended to Brighton. The loss of connectivity to the south from the Redhill route has made it effectively a dead end branch rather than the through services it should have.

Stoats Nest Junction

A key cause of delays at Redhill is the crossing on the flat of the South bound fast line at Stoats Nest and we very are supportive of the flyover proposal. We note this is for Northbound trains only and means the slow lines will be crossed at a flat junction still but the slow lines are relatively low usage so risk of delays is minimal.

We believe this will also increase capacity on the South bound main line through the Quarry route as it will remove delays for Northbound trains to cross in front of Southbound trains thus reducing potential conflicts. This doesn’t seem to be allowed for in the cost benefit analysis.

Additionally the provision of this flyover would also allow more services to run along the fast lines from the Redhill route from Stoats Nest to East Croydon, reducing the need to run along the slow lines where significant congestion occurs due to the branches to Caterham, Tattenham Corner and Oxted routes merging with the slow lines, enabling these lines to run extra services. This is important to increase traffic along the Redhill route and to increase speed from Redhill to London

We thus strongly support the provision of the flyover at Stoats Nest. We would also like confirmation that the benefits include those listed above which we believe would improve the cost/Benefit return of the work.

East Croydon and Windmill Junction

We strongly support the proposals to create a grade separated junction at Windmill Junction by allowing the London Bridge main lines to go on a new flyover.

We also strongly support the additional platforms at East Croydon to reduce congestion which has become a key issue.

Other Issues

Victoria – we support the proposals to improve the track work and signalling to the station to enable trains to access the station and depart faster.

Clapham Junction – we support the plan to re-signal the area to ensure lower headway between trains. All trains should stop at Clapham Junction including the Gatwick Express.

ATO – East Croydon to London – again we strongly support this idea to increase train capacity and enable more services to be run.

North Downs Services

We support the idea of more and faster trains along this corridor as long as the Dorking and Reigate stops are continued. These additional services should not be considered until Reigate has two trains per hour to London and Redhill has services to the South Coast reinstated.

We look forward to discussing these points in greater detail with you and if you require any further details or explanations please feel free to contact us.