Crispin Blunt’s debate in the House of Commons today was the opportunity to publicly present the many issues specific to the rail service to Redhill, Reigate, Merstham, Earlswood and Salfords within the well-rehearsed serious Southern rail service problems that have plagued the line since the London Bridge work investment began in 2014.
The last specific debate he had secured was on 12 January 2016. However there have been many private meetings with Ministers, officials, and rail service providers too numerous to list in the intervening period. The last one was on Tuesday 9 October. Whilst Crispin has energetically supported the collective work of Southern Rail MPs on the wider issues systemic to the line, there are a series of Redhill district specific issues which have made the service worse for his constituents than any other. Until this debate, none of these issues had been addressed despite four years of representations.
Following today’s debate Crispin commented, “Today we have secured the resolution of the one issue that had no prospect of ever being addressed by future investment eventually. Removing the structural unfairness of the rail fares to Redhill, Reigate and District will bring permanent benefit to generations to come of local rail users. It required difficult issues to be resolved by officials which is why it has been so difficult. It required both strong, sustained, informed pressure and a strong ministerial team to make it happen. I am very grateful for the years of work by the officers of the Reigate & Redhill and District Rail Users Association and in particular Steve Trigg. His analysis and advice has been invaluable.
The next objective is to push the Reigate platform extension up the list of projects. We must keep pressing on other issues such as oyster and pay as you go and we must press hard for the 2012 timetable improvement undertaking we received in 2014 to be delivered. Substantial rail investment in the Brighton Mainline, notably the Croydon bottleneck, the public consultation on the proposal starting this week, will eventually reduce journey times and produce more service capacity. Finally though we have some good news for today’s rail travellers.”
You can read Crispin's full speech at today's House of Commons debate here: https://www.blunt4reigate.com/news/parliamentary-adjournment-debate-con…