Cattle-class travel and rising fares: raw deal for Greenwich

As people in Greenwich return to work after the Christmas and New Year break, your local Conservatives are raising our concerns about levels of over-crowding on the trains and rising rail fares.


• From January, train fares on South Eastern Trains are rising by an inflation-busting 3.9% for season and saver tickets, and 3% on cheap day returns and long-distance fares.

• In a report published by the rail watchdog before Christmas, rail capacity is forecast to rise by only 2% over the next decade, but passenger numbers are estimated to soar by almost a third.

• New figures also published by the Government reveal that over-crowding on commuter trains coming into London has doubled in the morning rush hour since 1996. On South Eastern Trains, over-crowding in the morning has risen by an extra 333 passengers since Connex were running the service 10 years ago.

As people return to work after the Christmas break, they face the raw deal of above-inflation rises in rail fares but more over-crowding. The latest fare increases hark back to the days of British Rail – when the trains got too full, they hiked the prices. We fear that history may be repeating itself now that the Government has taken back direct control of the railways.

Improving quality of life is one of the key challenges that David Cameron has pledged are a priority for Conservatives. If we are to address the issue of road congestion and traffic jams, encouraging the public to use the train is essential. But the prospect of ten more years of cattle-class rail travel will do nothing to tempt people out of their cars.