This morning I was invited on to the BBC Surrey Breakfast Show to talk to James Cannon about a letter signed by 58 councillors from across Reigate & Banstead, Croydon and Tandridge all about the poor rail service that our communities have been experiencing.
You can listen to our conversation above. Far too often it feels like the welfare of passengers is right at the bottom of GTR’s list of priorities when they’re making decisions about engineering works or service changes. We and our residents feel that balance is wrong, and it’s that shift that we’re advocating for.
There were Christmas engineering works that went through to early January, canceling most Victoria trains. Then in early January we were told they would continue ‘until further notice’ with no end in sight!
Now how are you expected to plan your life around that? Local people have got lives to lead, childcare to sort and jobs to get to. Turning up for a regular train, crossing your fingers and hoping for the best each morning just isn’t good enough.
So many of us in Surrey and Croydon are rail commuters. We can’t go to a different company if we get poor service. The train that’s on the track is the one we have to get! So we’re at the mercy of these companies who are not currently delivering the quality of service expected by our residents.
Many thanks for your leadership on this issue Mario. It's been a really tough period for many Surrey commuters these last few months with some London commutes doubling from 1 to 2 hours with poorly connected services and changes - making it a very long day indeed!
- Cllr Luke Bennett - Surrey County Councillor for Banstead, Woodmansterne and Chipstead - 16th February 2022