Rayleigh and Wickford MP Mark Francois has reacted to the recent news that rail fares next year are likely to increase by in excess of 3%, by repeating his call to train operator Abellio Greater Anglia to give a discount to commuters, in return for all the disruption they have suffered on the Southend to Liverpool Street line in recent years.
Mark met some months ago with Greater Anglia Managing Director Jamie Burles and Head of Public Affairs Jonathan Denby, at which he expressed his strong frustration at the amount of disruption that passengers on the line have had to suffer, due to engineering works in the evenings and at weekends. At that time Mark called for a discount for commuters to take account of this but Abellio Greater Anglia did not agree.
However, as rail fare increases are based on the Retail Prices Index (RPI) which is currently running in excess of 3%, this means that a 3% plus increase in rail tickets is likely to apply from early next year. Under these circumstances, Mark felt that the company should reconsider their position and grant a discount to long suffering commuters.
Commenting on his call for a discount, Mark Francois said:
“I regularly receive letters and emails from constituents who have had bad experiences on Abellio Greater Anglia, most recently following an incident a few weeks ago where a points failure and track side fire meant that many people trying to go home in the evening did not reach their destination until the early hours of the morning. My constituents have had to put up with a lot from Greater Anglia and Network Rail and I really believe the company should acknowledge their long suffering frustration by offering a discount when commuters renew their season ticket. I do hope that - this time - the company will look sympathetically on this request.”