London is a very large and busy place to live and work, so travel must be efficient and reliable. The train services are a great means of quick transport for everyone. There is an ongoing campaign to extend zone 6 and oyster travel to Staines, Ashford, Sunbury and Shepperton, called ‘Spelthorne in the zone’ which is hoped to make travel easier and cheaper to residents of these areas. So is this worthwhile?

The campaign has been going on for a very long period of time and began a couple of years ago when Olivia Rybinski and Patti Taylor worked together to start the movement. So far the campaign has attracted over 6,000 signatures as well as backing from major businesses such as Thorpe Park and Heathrow Airport.

Last July 2017, a public meeting was held where councillors, Spelthorne business forum leaders and Borough MP Kwasi Kwarteng discussed the economic impacts for train users and businesses in the area.

The aim of this campaign is to ensure cheaper and easier travel, as many people journey to Feltham by oyster then have to buy a ticket to their next destination which can be inconvenient. This will also reduce traffic jams, as more people will travel using public transport rather than their own cars. Places in Spelthorne will become more desirable to live in, and work in, if the travel is low-priced, which is good for many businesses.

I spoke to Jessie O’Keeffe, a year 10 student, who travels from her home in Ashford to her school in Isleworth by train every day. She said, “I think it would be very helpful to extend zone 6 and also a lot cheaper. The train fare is £2.25 every day, which also rises 5p every year, but I live too far to get the bus. If I could use my oyster, travelling to and from school would be made so much easier.”

Many people are eager to know the outcome of the campaign which is to be announced by March 2018.

Grace Davies

Gumley House Convent School