This is the text of Sir George's letter to the Managing Director of South West Trains, following the announcement of increases in off-peak rail fares.
Mr Stewart Palmer
South West Trains
Friars Bridge Court
41-45 Blackfriars Rd
London SE1 8NZ 20 March 2007
Our Ref : HOC3506
Thank you for your letter dated March 19th about the above.
I cannot say that this is welcome news, and it doesn’t address the main problem that confronts my constituents – namely overcrowding on the trains in the rush hour.
Have you thought of giving a discount to those who travel on the very early trains, in order to draw forward some of the traffic that takes place in the bulk of the rush hour?
A major disincentive towards travelling off-peak remains the absence of car parking and it would be useful, at a convenient point, to have a progress report on the plans that are being made to increase capacity at the four stations in my constituency.
Finally, the earliest train that one can catch to benefit from the lowest tariff from Andover is the 11.04am. I would have thought that the peak would have ended well before this, and I wonder if you might consider pulling forward the time at which the super off-peak kicks in?