Southern Fail play Scrooge this Christmas

11 December 2017

Mick Whelan, general secretary of ASLEF, the train drivers’ union, has slammed Southern Rail’s ‘sneaky’ fare increase as the Christmas present no commuter wants.


Mick said: ‘Ebenezer Scrooge would be proud of this wheeze. GTR, without warning, switches some of its services from one of its companies, Southern, to another of its companies, Thameslink, and sneaks in a 14% fare increase at the same time. All without any warning! Happy Christmas, commuters!


‘When I heard what they were up to – which was only this morning, because they were so embarrassed they kept it very quiet – I thought you couldn’t make it up.


‘But it’s frightening, the way the privatised train companies treat passengers with such contempt. That’s why we need Britain’s railways brought back into public ownership.’


GTR Southern sprung its nasty surprise on passengers this morning along with a sneaky 14% fare increase. The shock rise – which was not announced to hard-pressed commuters – is on top of the inflation-busting 3.6% annual increase due in January.


GTR transferred some services on the Redhill, Reigate and Horley routes from Southern to Thameslink – GTR owns both companies – from Monday 10 December.


Passenger groups complained that their ‘Southern only’ tickets are not valid on the replacement trains. The ‘new improved’ Thameslink services actually have fewer seats than the Southern trains they replace.


One commuter, Iain Kernaghan, tweeted: ‘Yet another rip off from GTR – swap services between brands, don’t accept the old brand’s tickets and charge more for the same journey.’

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