Jones campaigns to reduce commuter fares by £336 a year

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.

london-underground-tube-mapJones, together with the Lambeth South MP, Steve Reed OBE, has started a petition to get West Croydon and East Croydon re-assigned into Zone 4 under Transport for London’s regional fares map.

“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.

Sarah Jones: zoning in on Barwell

Sarah Jones: zoning in on Barwell

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 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.”

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2 Responses to Jones campaigns to reduce commuter fares by £336 a year

  1. Nick Davies says:

    One might remember that a Southern issued rail only season from Croydon stations (E/W/S Croydon and Waddon) to Victoria is £36.60 pw / £1,464 pa and for any London terminal £40.50pw / £1,620 pa. Given the shape of central London many from Croydon can walk to work from their arrival terminal as quickly as getting the tube or bus. That option isn’t open to those who live on a tube line.

    On another point, the anomaly between say Hounslow or Chigwell and Croydon arises from the fact that central London was originally split into two zones, City and West End, and the fare from Chigwell to the West End or Hounslow to the City would have been broadly similar to the fares from Croydon to either.

    That not to say one shouldn’t redraw the zone boundaries to Croydon’s benefit; it’s been done for other stations in the past.

  2. Pingback: Weekly round-up of London’s railway transport news

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