Heidi Allen, MP yesterday welcomed news of GTR’s offer to extend additional industry compensation to non-season ticket holders who suffered disruption by the May timetable chaos.
Regular travellers, who made a minimum of three days’ return travel in any week, Monday to Sunday from the period 20th May to 28th July will now be able to claim compensation based on the value of tickets purchased.
Heidi had been extremely vocal about the need for GTR to extend their compensation offer in her recent dealings with them and with the Department for Transport. As early as 26th June, Heidi sent a joint letter with neighbouring MP’s Sir Oliver Heald and Jonathan Djanogly demanding recognition for non-season ticket holders in any compensation offer. She repeatedly pressed the issue with GTR and the Department for Transport and was delighted to be told by the Minister’s office earlier this week that an announcement was imminent.
Heidi said ‘I am delighted that the new CEO Patrick Verwer has listened to passengers and decided to extend the compensation scheme to regular travellers. This is a welcome indication that GTR are listening and acting on feedback since 20th May timetable change’.
Heidi continued ‘It is now right that GTR and the DfT go one step further and apply a fare freeze from January 2019 until our train services are back up to levels promised during the May timetable restructure and have stabilised for at least 3 months.’ Heidi again appealed to parliamentary colleagues up and down the Great Northern line route for help in pressing the matter and today sent a letter to the DfT demanding that a fare freeze is implemented until benchmarked targets are met.
Heidi and colleagues, Bim Afolami, MP for Hitchin and Harpenden, Sir Oliver Heald, MP for North East Hertfordshire, Stephen McPartland, MP for Stevenage and Jonathan Djanogly, MP for Huntingdon wrote: ‘Given services are still not where they should be, we ask that you also give urgent consideration to a ‘fare freeze’ for the long-suffering passengers of the Great Northern franchise who have endured a dreadful summer of cancellations, delays and over-crowded services. Passengers should not be expected to routinely pay more for less...We cannot ask hard pressed commuters to fund a fare increase on the back of this performance. A fare freeze, held in place until benchmarked improvements of three months are sustained, is a proportionate and reasonable way to acknowledge the suffering endured by these passengers.’ To read the full text of the letter follow the link at the bottom of the page.
Heidi is due to meet with CEO Patrick Verwer in early September, and will again press for a fare freeze on behalf of commuters. She will also be asking to see plans for promised improvements to her rural stations’ timetables due to be introduced at the end of September to boost services for Ashwell and Morden , Foxton, Meldreth and Shepreth. South Cambs commuter services from Royston and St Neots will also be on the agenda for discussion.
|Fare Freeze Letter to Rt Hon Chris Grayling||306.23 KB|