In the same week that rail users here in East Surrey are being hit by fare increases of 1.8% they are also having to suffer an appalling reduced timetable due to industrial action with the prospect of virtually no trains running at all next week. This is on top of 18 months of shocking service. Your local Liberal Democrats are calling on Chris Grayling the Transport Secretary and Sam Gyimah the local Conservative MP to act now to resolve the issues we face here in East Surrey.
David Lee, Liberal Democrat prospective parliamentary candidate for East Surrey says "Our area's main rail service provider Southern Rail has forced residents and businesses to struggle going about their daily routines as a result of the appalling service. This had included failing rolling stock, their inability to employ enough train drivers, poor timetabling around major work and more recently the industrial action."
David Lee goes on to say "To date Sam Gyimah has failed to challenge the government or Southern. This is not good enough. I do not condone the strike action, but what was a relatively small dispute has been allowed to mushroom into the chaos we are seeing this week. Govia Thameslink Railways who run the Southern franchise need to be stripped of their contract to run the service as they are clearly not capable of doing so. Sam should be demanding this of his Transport colleagues and speaking up for the residents of East Surrey"
John Orrick, Liberal Democrat County Councillor for Caterham on the Hill says "It was shocking that for the urgent question tabled in parliament regarding the poor Southern Service Sam didn't even turn up, despite the fact East Surrey is one of the worst affected areas."
Fares have increased this week by on average 1.8%. This now means an annual ticket from Oxted to London Bridge will set you back £2280, Caterham to London Victoria will be £1852, and Horley to London Victoria a staggering £3268. All of these fares don't include the extortionate car parking charges levied in some cases adding around an extra £1000 on top of the train fares. Alongside these price hikes, Sam Gyimah and his transport colleagues have introduced a compensation scheme for those impacted by the delays but it is not funded by Southern but funded by tax payers here in East Surrey!"
David Lee has today written to Sam Gyimah calling for him to speak up for the rail users in our area. "Welcoming extra capacity on Southeastern and Southwestern train services and introducing bus services on key routes is a laughable response to the issues we face in the coming weeks."
"The people of East Surrey want, expect and deserve a train service that they can rely on. It is time for the Conservative MP's in the Areas affected to stand up for their long-suffering residents. Sam, do something!"