Mark Prisk MP wrote the following letter to Grant Shapps, the Secretary of State for Transport, after plans to increase rail fares were announced:
First of all congratulations on your appointment. You & I have previously worked together on local railway campaigns, so I am delighted to see you now in the Department.
I write about the news that train franchisees will be seeking fare increases of up to 3% from the new year. The current service levels for both Greater Anglia and GTR do not warrant rises in fares. There have been a continuing series of delays and cancellations for my commuters on both services, affecting Bishop’s Stortford, Hertford, Ware & Sawbridgeworth and the nearby areas. The passengers on the Hertford East branch line have had a particularly torrid time with very poor punctuality and no sign yet of the promised improvements. It’s not much better for Bishop’s Stortford or at Hertford North.
I am aware that some of those improvements under current franchise agreements assume some fare increases, but I would strongly urge you to make clear to the franchise holders that they have to deliver a reliable service first. That would be the case in almost any other industry and its time it was the case for trains. I know you share many of my concerns so I am hoping that you will now act to give my constituents some relief.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Mark Prisk FRICS MP
(Hertford & Stortford)
Updates to follow.