Peter Kyle MP: Fighting for lower rail fares

I never stop trying to make life better for rail passengers, because I know just how badly the poor service has affected our community over the past few years.

Recently I’ve been campaigning on one really simple thing the government could do, now, to give us all a break – they could cut prices.

For us, there is only one set of tracks and one rail operator, but three separate pricing structures – Gatwick Express, Southern, and Thameslink. It’s crazy because they’re all doing the same journey on the same tracks by the same company, but charging different amounts.

If we’re going to have one massive company on our route, then let’s have some benefit!

So recently I used an opportunity in Parliament to ask for all of the pricing to be levelled down to the lowest prices, which are currently Thameslink. I’ve checked and this can be done with no changes to technology or to ticket machines. It could be done today - if only ministers cared!

Frustratingly, Transport Secretary Chris Grayling didn’t even come close to addressing my question, and instead tried to change the subject. But of course I wasn’t willing to let it go, so I spoke to the Rail Minister Jo Johnson later that day and raised it again. I’ve also written to him and will be meeting him soon, so watch this space!

Of course this is just one small part of my ongoing campaign for a better rail service. I’ll also be chairing another meeting of our All Party Group in Parliament with Southern bosses this month, and locally we’re holding a meeting with rail management, councillors and campaigners as part of our mission to get vital improvements for Aldrington station.

As always, I won’t stop fighting until we get the reliable, comfortable and efficient service passengers deserve.

Peter Kyle is the Labour MP for Hove.