Clive, who is a member of the influential Transport Select Committee, rang National Rail enquiries after a constituent complained that their monthly season ticket had increased by 67 percent. He discovered that Southeastern Trains are charging the same peak time fares for travelling from Eltham, in zone four, to Kidbrooke and Blackheath, in zone three, as they are for travelling to New Cross which is in zone two. “This means that passengers are being charged £4.00 for a peak return to Blackeath from Eltham instead of £3.30” Clive explained.
Clive says, “It got worse when I asked the price of a season ticket from Eltham to New Cross and the cost of the same ticket to go to Blackheath. The price for New Cross is £48 and the price for Blackheath is £60.70.
When Clive’s constituent complained, Southeastern tried to justify their price increases rather than look into them. “The fact that travelling from Eltham to New Cross a passenger must pass through Blackheath seems to be completely lost on Southeastern” said Clive.
Since the New Year fares on London rail fares have moved to a zonal system where prices are based on the number of zones a journey crosses or enters. Clive adds, “The changes to zonal train fares are in preparation for the Oyster Card and is bound to throw up some anomalies, but this is sheer incompetence”.
“It is clear that Southeastern have been overcharging my constituents” said Clive “and they must put this situation right at once and compensate passengers who have lost money in this way”.
Clive has written to the Government minister responsible for the railways asking him to help sort this mess out.