MP Lucy Frazer joins revolt against train service change that could hit commuters in the pocket - a petition has already gained 400 signatures

PUBLISHED: 19:36 29 April 2018 | UPDATED: 19:36 29 April 2018

Lucy Frazer at a presentation in 2015 by Network Rail at the Lighthouse in ?Ely? to learn more about the proposed doubling of the line and to speak to residents to hear their initial views. The doubling is being done to improve the capacity of the freight trains but it will also make it easier to make the case for a station in Soham.

Lucy Frazer at a presentation in 2015 by Network Rail at the Lighthouse in ?Ely? to learn more about the proposed doubling of the line and to speak to residents to hear their initial views. The doubling is being done to improve the capacity of the freight trains but it will also make it easier to make the case for a station in Soham.

Archant

MP Lucy Frazer has attacked a decision to bring forward a rail service from Ely to London by 13 minutes that will add an extra £15 to the journey.

Govia Thameslink propose to switch the 08.58 off peak service to King’s Cross to 08.45 so users will need to buy an anytime day return for £46.30 instead of an off peak day return of £31.20.

And for commuters from Ely into Cambridge it would mean an off peak day return of £4.60 rise to £7.10.

Ms Frazer, the MP for SE Cambs, says she has written to the chief operating officer at Govia Thameslink “to challenge the proposal”.

She said the first off peak return would not depart until 09.17.

Her campaign backs that of Lauren Thomas who launched a petition on change.org calling for the off peak to be re-instated.

Lauren, who has collected 400 signatures, said; “For years I have been catching the 8:58 train from Ely in to Cambridge. This is an off peak train, that I am allowed to take my bike on with me.

“However, from May, Great Northern Rail is changing their timetable, so that the popular 8:58 will no longer exist. Instead, commuters can buy a peak ticket for the 8:45 train (a price increase of nearly £30 a month) or they can catch the new off-peak 9:17, which would see most people getting into work at nearly 10am, a situation that many employers may not tolerate.

“Oh, and of course you’re not allowed to take a bike on the newly formed 8:45.”

She added: “If I want to take my bike with me, I have no choice but to catch the 9:17, but I simply cannot start work so late. I genuinely don’t know what I’m going to do at this stage.

“There are many people who catch the 8:58 train because they work far from the station and need to take their bikes with them to get to work. This decision by GNR, which seems to have happened with no influence from the commuters affected, is going to have a huge negative effect on many people. And this will only get worse as Ely continues to grow.

“So I’m calling on GNR to either bring back the 8:58 train, or make the 8:45 train in to Cambridge an off-peak service.

Ms Frazer said: “These new services would obviously cause problems for many of those who currently use the 08:58 train to reach work (Cambridge) by 09.30” she said.

“The proposed 08:45 service would cost more as a designated peak service and would not allow the transportation of bicycles and the later 09:17 off peak service is too late for many commuters.”

She is asking those affected to contact her by email at lucy.frazer.mp@parliament.uk.

She added: “The emails and feedback will help strengthen the case I am making and help me to stand up on your behalf.”

One constituent described the change as “outrageous”.

He told the MP: “Thank you Lucy for highlighting this blatant attempt to penalise the commuter without a justified benefit for another rise in the cost!

“It is certainly not a way to encourage people to choose an alternative to the A10.”

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