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Letter to Editor: Harlow resident questions cost of rail prices

Politics / Fri 8th Oct 2021 am31 07:26am

Editor,

I WAS interested to read that Robert Halfon MP has lobbied Greater Anglia to make improvements to all of the train stations in Harlow and cut the cost of commuting.

It correct to say that it is up to Greater Anglia to improve stations. However, as Robert Halfon must already know, the operator has no say on the cost of tickets for commuters. It is government that sets prices.

He is quoted saying “The new flexi tickets will make a big difference as Harlow commuters return to their regular journeys”

Is this true?

Although the Conservative government promised big discounts with the new flexi tickets for workers who no longer have a daily commute, for many, the deal is no better than other options that were already available.

These supposed ticket discounts have been dismissed by consumer groups and ticketing experts who say they will only drive more travellers back into their cars.

The ticket permits eight return journeys over a 28-day period. Once all the journeys are used, a new ticket can be purchased for another eight journeys.

Despite the boast of cheaper tickets, they are based on a Byzantine system of price calculations that only offer meagre savings for certain journeys and in some cases prove to be more expensive!

To get cheaper fares, Mr Halfon will have to lobby the Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps. I suspect his pleas for a better deal will be met with silence as Shapps is the man who sanctioned a whopping 2.5% increase in the price of season tickets.

Name and address supplied

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