More government broken promises let down long-suffering Reigate and Redhill rail users

January 5, 2019 8:16 AM
By Greg Ardan

Redhill Train Station ()

For many years, rail users from Reigate, Redhill and surrounding local stations have endured a torrid time. On top of the appalling service, disruptions and timetable fiascos, London commuters have suffered from fares which are higher than those from other stations in the surrounding area - the "Redhill hump". Local campaigners have fought to have this anomaly reduced for years.

On 18 October 2018, following work from the local rail association, the situation was raised in the House of Commons by Reigate's (Conservative) MP Crispin Blunt. In his response Jo Johnson, then Minister for Transport, said: "today I can make a commitment that we will see this issue [Redhill Hump] resolved by the end of the current franchise in 2021, with a reduction in fares coming into effect from this coming January". That's now. Crispin Blunt's website and other sources were quick to publicise the success that he had achieved, and recent leaflets from the local Conservative Party have also quoted this is a positive result.

However, now that January has arrived, almost all rail fares from Reigate, Redhill and other local stations such as Merstham and Earlswood have instead increased by around 3%, in line with fares across the rest of the country. We understand these fares have been set by the Department for Transport to be used by the train operating companies.

Local rail users have once again been let down. We call on Crispin Blunt, Chris Grayling, and the Conservative Government to resolve this matter urgently. We deserve better than these broken promises.