CRISPIN BLUNT CALLS ADJOURNMENT DEBATE IN HOUSE OF COMMONS TO DEMAND ACTION ON REDHILL LINE RAILWAY SERVICE
Following repeated correspondence over the summer with Chris Grayling, Secretary of State for Transport, Crispin Blunt had a meeting with the Rail Minister earlier this week to address a series of issues particular to the Reigate and Redhill District rail users, in addition to the wider issues of the generally appalling service standards on the line.
These included timetabling, fares, compensation, platform investment, and access to Oyster, among others. Some of these issues have been being discussed in detail with previous Rail Ministers for over 4 years to no avail. This meeting produced nothing that could be reported to rail users except that the DfT remained resolute that no compensation would be available to Reigate station users following the 2018 summer timetable debacle. The irony that it was the removal of the London Bridge service from Reigate in those timetable changes that forced Reigate users to use the failing Thameslink services from Redhill, and yet are ineligible for compensation, appeared to be entirely lost on the Minister and his officials.
In response to this, Crispin Blunt has successfully applied for a short debate in the House of Commons Chamber next Thursday 18th October at 5pm. This will enable him to publicly make the case for at least some resolution of the issues particular to our area. In reply the Rail Minister will have the opportunity to publicly explain whether he has been able to find any amelioration or even a real prospect of improvement in the local service, from which his department receives all the fare income.
The minister’s reply on behalf of the Transport Secretary will condition whether Crispin as both MP for Reigate and President of the Rail Users Association will be able to continue to express confidence in Chris Grayling’s management of the Department for Transport.
Crispin Blunt commented “Along with thousands of local rail users, led by the Redhill and Reigate District Rail Users Association (RRDRUA), I am now at the end of my tether at the repeated and long-standing refusal by DfT to listen to our genuine concerns and address the unique and ongoing problems facing our local rail service. This failure has serious implications for the local economy and the well-being of local residents”