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Brighton Pavilion MP Caroline Lucas’s rail deal plea for the part-timers
An MP is calling on rail bosses to introduce a part-time season ticket on the Brighton to London mainline.
Speaking at a public meeting, Caroline Lucas, MP for Brighton Pavilion, warned commuters are being “priced off the railways”.
She is now urging those in charge to introduce a planned part-time season ticket on the busy line.
Transport minister Norman Baker announced the scheme earlier this month – adding it would be trialled on a London commuter line.
It would allowpeople who work three or four days a week to benefit from the same savings which come from buying a monthly or yearly ticket.
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At present, season tickets cost the same, no matter how many days people travel in and out of London. It means those who commute five days a week or more save money, while those who come in fewer days pay more per journey.
Dr Lucas said: “Fares are too high generally, but the current system is utterly unfair on anyone whocommutes less than five days a week. Many of these are parttime workers, often with childcare commitments, based in Brighton and travelling to London. It’s good the Government has recognised the system needs to adapt to the realities of modern working life and I really hope Brighton can be part of the pilot.”
Speaking at the meeting at Brighton’s Old Ship Hotel, the Green MP said rail fares had become an issue of “social justice”.
She added: “People are literally being priced off the railways, this is a real equality and social justice issue, as well as an environmental one.
“Some commuters are no longer able to afford to get to work.
“More and more passengers are acknowledging our railways need to be run as a public service, with people in mind, not profit.”
Mr Baker, Liberal Democrat MP for Lewes, announced the planned part-time season ticket scheme.
He added: “Why should there be a season ticket for people who work five days a week but leaves people out of pocket if they work three or four days a week?
Where’s the justice in that?”
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