…although I know for people who travel to work on our rail network it’s not happy at all.
I’ve just got home after meeting commuters at Hove station with a group of Labour campaigners. Because today rail fares went up again by more than a hundred pounds for season tickets holders and we wanted to listen to them about their experiences.
Rail fares have gone up a whopping 34% since 2010. But that’s just part of the story. At the same time the cost of living has also gone up and two things have fallen: wage growth and rail performance.
The fact that people are paying so much more for rail travel and the service has got so much worse is a source of despair and rage for many. I know because I hear it directly from so many of you.
I’ve worked more on this than any other single issue since I became your MP, and please believe me that it crushes my spirit that improvement is so slow and our service remains so unreliable.
£320m has been invested in our line to London over the last year – this is thanks to the pressure brought by a group of cross-party MP’s I set up with Sir Nicholas Soams. But we have been very clear that this level of investment must be maintained for another three years if we’re going to deliver the robust service you need and deserve. Believe me I am fighting for that.
Labour has a popular policy to renationalise the rail network. In the coming few months I’m going to be doing an awful lot of work on how this can be used to deliver more investment but also power to passengers. There isn’t just one type of public ownership and I want to fight for a medal that will deliver investment, reliability, and also passenger power.
Sir Nicholas and I have already requested a meeting with the Secretary of State for Transport to discuss Southern and Thameslink performance, I expect this to happen very soon and of course I’ll update you when it happens.
I’ve never promised that change can come quickly on such a massive infrastructure project, but we should be getting more than this. Government should start by telling the public what will improve, and when. I’ve been asking them this in teh Commons for a long time now but they refuse to give data which we can hold them to account for going forward.
I promise I will never stop working on this until we get the service our city needs. I have now met too many of you and heard too many deeply upsetting stories for me to do anything else.
I truly hope you had a restful Christmas break and fun over the New Year. All the best, Peter