Dartford MP returns to the House of Commons to ask the Transport Minister for more support for rail commuters

Dartford MP Gareth Johnson today (Monday) returned to the House of Commons to ask the Transport Minister for more support for local rail commuters.

Mr Johnson said: “Can I ask the Minister what discussions he has had with rail operators like Southeastern over season ticket holders who have got just a couple of months left on their season ticket but because of the virus have been unable to travel, but are ineligible for a refund.

“These commuters have suffered quite considerably and it would be welcome news if there was some assistance available for them.”

In response Transport Minister Chris Heaton-Harris said: “The Government actually have been talking to train operators throughout this whole process, as he would expect, but we do not have plans to extend season tickets and season ticket holders are already entitled to request a refund in accordance with the national rail conditions of travel.

“Over 100,000 season ticket holders have already claimed refunds totalling £150m in the current Covid travel restricted period.”

Following the questions, Mr Johnson said: “There have been a fairly large number of Dartford’s commuters who are not eligible for a refund to their season ticket when it is nearing the end of its valid period. I strongly believe that Southeastern should provide some form of compensation for these people who have not been able to travel due to the current crisis.

“Dartford is a commuter town and we are therefore hit hard when this sort of problem arises for commuters and this should be recognised in the refund scheme.”