Rail re-zoning campaign full steam ahead

Liberal Democrat MP Edward Davey has announced plans to reignite his push to have Kingston and Surbiton rail stations re-zoned into zone 5.

Edward Davey believes the case re-zone Kingston and Surbiton rail stations into zone 5, from zone 6 is stronger than ever – a move that could save commuters thousands of pounds.

If successful, the price of most tickets into central London from Surbiton and Kingston would fall, offsetting a 7 per cent rise in fares due to take place in January.

Mr Davey said he wanted to “deal with the big injustice that commuters from Surbiton and Kingston suffer.”

In a recent meeting between Mr Davey, Zac Goldsmith, MP for Richmond Park and North Kingston and Theresa Villiers, Transport Minister, an agreement was made to look into the issue.

Mr Davey has also consulted with an economist, Dr Tim Leunig on these issues to discuss the potential impact on local train operators.

Mr Davey believes that the re-zoning would have little impact on these companies and that he is “not asking them to lose revenue overall, it’s just a question of where that revenue comes from.”

If Mr Davey is successful, the average price of an annual travelcard would fall from £2016 to £1880, a difference of £136, and people travelling into London at peak  times could save as much as £2 per day in single train fares.

Those travelling out of Kingston and Surbiton away from London may lose out if the stations are re-zoned, as fares would increase for these passengers, but Mr Davey said the move would save money for the majority of local residents.

“There will be a small number of people who will end up paying a little bit more but those people are likely to make quite a lot of journeys into London as well. The vast majority I think will gain from it.”

Kingston and Surbiton stations are 12 miles from London, and are closer in than 23 other stations which are in zone 5.