Redhill commuters pay fares more than four times higher than European counterparts

[This article was edited on 21 January to add fares including London travel, as suggested by Reigate, Redhill and District Rail Users Association.]

As the campaign to bring the railways back into public hands is back in the spotlight [1], Reigate and Banstead Green Party highlighted that Redhill commuters are not just paying over the odds compared to travellers from Gatwick but fares more than four times higher than for comparable journeys in mainland Europe.

A commuter with an annual season ticket from Redhill to London terminals pays £2,696.00 a year for their 19-mile journey. For an annual season ticket including London Zones 1-6, the fare from Redhill is £3,464.00.

For similar length journeys and also for annual tickets, their European counterparts pay [2]:

  • in France, from the commuter town of Ballancourt-sur-Essonne to Paris (24 miles), £566.89
  • in Spain, from Collado-Villalba to Madrid (22 miles), £603.70
  • in Germany, from Strausberg to Berlin (21 miles), £714.13.

All of these examples are less than a quarter of the Redhill to London equivalent. And all these tickets allow for travel in the capital, as well as to the mainline terminal.

Redhill’s Green Cllr Jonathan Essex said: “Redhill train travellers are getting a poor deal from privatised rail companies – with any profits steaming out of the window to shareholders, ironically including the French nationalised rail company!” [3]

Meanwhile, one of the privatised South East train companies – Govia Thameslink Railways Ltd – is proposing cutting 400 guard/conductor jobs from its trains, leading to fears of increased risks to passenger safety [4].

Cllr Essex said, “In a bid to cut costs and make more profits, services are often poor and unreliable, as well as expensive. And now passenger safety could be compromised by a driver-only service on the Thameslink trains. Let’s hope our local MPs Crispin Blunt and Sam Gyimah support Caroline Lucas MP’s Bill to finally get rail back on the right track.

“And it’s vital that while the benefits of Oyster touch-in-and- touch-out are welcome, the repeated demands of Reigate, Redhill and District Rail Users Association for fair fares from the Redhill area are met.”

 

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  1. Green MP Caroline Lucas is due to lead the second reading of her Private Member’s Bill in the Commons this Friday (January 22). And last week, Reigate MP Crispin Blunt challenged the Rail Minister over local rail performance and fares at a Westminster Hall debate. http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Commons.
  2. European fares are converted from Euros so may vary.
  3. SNCF (the French state rail company) has a majority stake in Keolis, which is a minority partner in the Govia operating company, which runs the Thameslink, Southern and South Eastern train services.
  4. Information on guard cuts in a letter (January 18 2016) from Mick Cash, General Secretary of the RMT Union, to Cllr Jonathan Essex.

 

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2 Comments

  1. Posted January 21, 2016 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    If all the European tickets include travel onwards in the capital you should be comparing with a Redhill to London Zones 1-6 fare which is £3,464.00 and is the more normal season ticket purchased from Redhill

    At Horley it is £3,988 and I think Horley has a much more comparable service to the French equivalent.

    • admin
      Posted January 21, 2016 at 9:24 am | Permalink

      Thanks Steve, that is helpful. I agree your comparison is better. I had used the fare to ‘terminals only’ as I didn’t know how many zones to include. I’ll amend the article. Thank you.

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