Liberal Democrat District Councillor Vic Ient is putting forward an emergency motion at this week’s Lewes District Council full council meeting on Wednesday at 6pm. The motion asks councillors to support him in condemning the rail fare increases on Southern Railway region because of the dreadful service.
The motion says:
“The Lewes District Council deplores the fact that the Rail Delivery Group on behalf of the rail operators is putting up rail fares by an average of 2.3% this coming January 2017 this being especially painful for southern railway commuters bearing in mind the abominable service provided by the rail operator GTR/Govia. Accordingly, this council requests that the Secretary of State for Transport cancels any fare increase on Southern Railway for the next 12 months.”
Cllr Vic Ient said. “It was when Govia/GTR took over the Southern region network that the service level began to drop off. Services have been deteriorating since March 2015, long before the current dispute started.”
Commenting on the Conservative Government offer for season ticket holders he said
“It’s all very well for the Department for Transport to offer a ‘discount’ to season ticket holders but with the increase in fares this only works out at about £300 per year against a season ticket costing about £4000! The government isn’t offering any compensation for all other rail users who equally have to endure the problems caused by Govia/GTR”.
Kelly-Marie Blundell, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate for Lewes, who is calling for Southern Rail to be stripped of the service contract, welcomed the motion;
“Unregulated fares in some cases will go up by a lot more than 2.3%. This is a slap in the face for the travelling public.
“The compensation scheme papers over the cracks in an appalling service. And the tax payers pay twice – once for the service, and once to compensate people for the failings in that service.
The Government needs to put the network Southern works across into ‘special measures’ just in the same way they would a school or a hospital that wasn’t performing.”