Sarah Jones, Labour’s parliamentary candidate for the marginal seat of Croydon Central at next year’s General Election, is launching a campaign tomorrow that could save commuters living in the constituency and who travel into central London for work more than £300 per year on their annual season tickets.
“The zone switch would cut fares for Croydon commuters, with savings of up to £336 a year for an annual Travelcard,” Jones says on the campaign’s website. “And it would make geographical sense, as the zone map carves out Croydon for no good reason other than to make more money.”
Jones also argues that by re-assigning the two stations into Zone 4, it will assist with the economic growth of the town centre once the £1 billion Hammersfield development of a mega-mall and some homes comes on stream.
At present, commuters who travel into the centre of the city from Woolwich Arsenal, Hounslow Central, Southgate and Morden all do so by paying Zone 4 fares – as do those who use Norwood Junction.
But West Croydon station is in more pricy Zone 5.
East Croydon is in Zone 5 and is 9.3 miles from Trafalgar Square. West Croydon is just nine miles from the heart of London. Chigwell station is 11.7 miles east of central London and Hounslow Central is 10.6 miles to the west; both are in Zone 4.
A seven-day Travelcard covering Zones 1-5 costs £53.40, while the cost for Zones 1-4 is just £45. An annual Travelcard for Zones 1-5 costs £2,136 while the equivalent cost for Zones 1-4 is £1,800.
Commuter economics often play a significant part in people’s choice of home location, while if the new Westfield and Hammerson mall is located in Zone 4, being less “remote” will also be a factor in its favour in attracting shoppers, diners and cinema-goers.
South Croydon Station, which is also (just) in the Croydon Central constituency, has not been included in Jones’s campaign, even though it is also closer to central London than other stations to the west or east of the capital presently in Zone 4.
Jones is seeking signatories to a petition at http://www.zone4croydon.com/ and will be leafleting at East Croydon on Monday morning. “Local papers will be there on Monday to take a picture,” she told supporters. How quaint.
Other considerations aside, the campaign should prove to be a populist vote-winner: if successful, Jones can claim the credit; if the commonsense proposal is refused, Labour will be able to blame the Tory Mayor of London and his Conservative supporters such as Steve O’Connell, the Assembly Member for Sutton and Croydon.
The current Croydon Central MP is Gavin Barwell, who does not live in his constituency and since he was elected nearly five years ago, has regularly driven by car to work at Westminster.
When the vote-winning Jones Zone 4 campaign was explained to one of a diminishing band of Barwell supporters, they said, “Oh, crap.”
Coming to Croydon
- David Lean Cinema: Ilo Ilo, Oct 28
- SNATH free film festival, Scratchley Hall, Oct 28
- CODA’s Wind In The Willows, Charles Cryer, Carshalton, Oct 29-Nov 1
- SNATH free film festival, Lord Napier, Oct 29
- David Lean Cinema: Belle, Oct 30
- SNATH free film festival, Norbury Park tennis club, Oct 30
- NHS free health fair, Central Parade, New Addington, Oct 31
- SNATH free film festival Halloween event, Stanley Halls, Oct 31
- World War I centenary concert, Ruskin House, Nov 2
- MOPAC policing meeting, Surrey Street, Nov 4
- Personal safety training for volunteers, Nov 4
- St Giles School opening morning, Nov 5
- Grange Park bulb-planting event, Nov 8
- Brook recording studio open day and party, Nov 9
- Albert Einstein – Relativity Speaking, Spread Eagle, Nov 12-15
- Oval Tavern Folk Club, Nov 14
- South Croydon business breakfast, Nov 15
- Personal safety training for volunteers, Nov 17
- Norwood Society Talk: Lambeth’s Archives, Nov 20
- Choose Your Own Documentary, Spread Eagle Theatre, Nov 21-22
- The Last Sense of Sudden, Spread Eagle Theatre, Nov 27-29
- Ghost Stories for Christmas, Spread Eagle Theatre, Dec 3
- Fog Horn Funnies, Spread Eagle Theatre, Dec 6
- Coulsdon Yulefest, Dec 6-7
- Oval Tavern Folk Club, Dec 7
- South Croydon business breakfast, Dec 13
- South Croydon business breakfast, Jan 24
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