A hike in train fares by 1.8% in Polegate today (2 January) has been condemned by the woman hoping to be the town’s next MP.
The Rail Industry announced rises of an average of 2.3% across all networks, meaning that a monthly season ticket from Lewes to London Victoria will top £400 while commuters are still facing ongoing delays and disruptions to services.
Kelly-Marie Blundell, who is the Liberal Democrat Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Lewes, said, “Thousands of people across Lewes, Newhaven, Polegate and Seaford have suffered immensely over the last 18 months with continued disruption to rail services. To find out that the fares are going up next year, with no resolution to service problems in sight, is a kick in the teeth.
“With up to 80% of our trains cut over the summer, and ongoing problems since the services were allegedly restored, I have yet to travel in one week without service disruption.
“Constituents are rightly fed up with the Conservative Government's failure to address the problem and take the service contract away from Southern Rail.”
Commuters have been offered compensation for ongoing delays with the Government's proposal of up to a month of travel on Southern Rail, but Kelly-Marie believes this is too little, too late, “The Government's offer of a so-called month of compensation is using tax payer's money to paper over the cracks in an appalling service.
“Southern continue to report profits, but it is the tax payer who is losing out twice – first paying for the service they deliver, and then paying out the compensation for the failure to deliver that service.
“Quite simply, Southern cannot run a railway and the Conservative Government should strip them of the contract.”