Train company Southern says 'no' to Zone 6 for Epsom Station
Epsom's MP has demanded a meeting with the head of train company Southern after it refused to include the town in Zone 6.
The rejection came in the form of a letter to Chris Grayling from the stakeholder relations manager, who said it was planning to introduce a new smart card system across the network, but had no plans to extend Zone 6 to Epsom.
The slap in the face arrived as our online petition on the issue approaches 2,000 signatures.
Mr Grayling has now asked to meet Southern’s chief executive, Chris Burchell, in person to "argue the case for change".
He said: "I wouldn’t have started this if I thought it was an impossibility.
"Tattenham Corner and Epsom Downs stations are both in the zone and we need to keep building pressure for the change for Epsom.
"Transport for London and South West Trains have written back indicating reasonable support, so it is just now a case of Southern being convinced."
Mr Grayling said he will meet the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, soon to discuss the issue with him.
In a letter to Mr Burchell this week the MP said: "I was disappointed to say the least to receive a fairly dismissive response to what was a very serious request, which has widespread backing locally.
"I am aware from our previous conversation of your plans to introduce a smart card across the network, though this is clearly a medium-term project for non-season ticket holders in this area.
"The issue regarding Epsom and Zone 6 is a very different one.
"The current situation where both Tattenham Corner and Epsom Downs stations are in Zone 6, as the last stations on what are suburban lines, but Epsom, which is the point of terminus of a significant number of suburban trains and is more centrally located, is outside Zone 6 seems inexplicable.
"This causes regular inconvenience and confusion to travellers, to the extent that you have signage placed at Epsom station saying that oyster cards are not valid and it is not in Zone 6.
"There is overwhelming support locally for the change to be made among residents, commuters and businesses and the completion of the re-development of Epsom station seems a highly appropriate time to remedy the situation and to create a more logical structure to the local map."