Sevenoaks rail passengers face yet another eye-watering rise in fares come the New Year, well above the rate of inflation, making it one of the most expensive commutes in the country mile for mile, as shown below. The justification given is that it is being invested in improvements.
Local Tory MP Sir Michael Fallon has weakly responded by calling on Network Rail to consider further solutions to rising rail demand, such as extending train carriages, increasing carriage size, and striking a better balance of seating and standing room for passengers on-board.
However, Sevenoaks Lib Dems say we already have 12 car trains, the carriages are built at 20 meters to fit the track, and we also don’t think it’s safe to stand on trains hurtling along at 70 mph!
On the line to London we want new signalling to raise trains per hour on the Tonbridge – Orpington line from 18 to 20 or 22 (Thameslink will be 24).
We want options to use Darent Valley line more intensively – as it has the only spare capacity.
We also need more London terminal capacity – it is full to bursting. The best bet to get this is working with TfL – but that means sacking minister Chris Grayling, which some of his local Tory colleagues have likewise called for! He advocates rail devolution for the North, while stifling it in the South of England. Inconsistent or what?