Questioning the Transport Secretary on Rural Railway Ticket Pricing

A number of constituents have contacted me about this issue. I know many of my constituents commute to places like Nottingham, Derby and Birmingham for work and they have queried the anomalies in ticket pricing that exist when travelling from the more rural stations in the constituency, particularly Ambergate, which provides an invaluable rural service to my constituents. However, these quirks in the ticketing system make travelling from Ambergate less attractive to my constituents, so I took the opportunity to raise this issue with the Secretary of State Patrick McLoughlin.

You can read the full text of our exchange below:

Nigel Mills MP: One issue with encouraging the use of Ambergate station in my constituency is the strange fare system. Even though a fare to the next station is relatively cheap, the cost of a fare to Birmingham from both stations can be very different. Is there any way that the Secretary of State can fix the fare system to get rid of its anomalies?

The Secretary of State for Transport, Patrick McLoughlin MP: I know Ambergate station very well, as the line goes up to Matlock and down to Derby. There are indeed anomalies in ticket purchasing on that line, and I am only too well aware of such frustrations. My hon. Friend makes a valid point, which I certainly want to look at. There are huge opportunities in ticketing, including with the development of smart technology.

I welcome the Secretary of State’s response, and welcome the development of smart technology especially as Amber Valley is home to a number of unmanned rural stations, where this would be a very welcome improvement on the current service. I am hopeful that the Secretary of State can look into this issue and resolve the current issues my constituents have contacted me and raised concerns about. With the rising cost of fares, I want to make sure my constituents are able to get the best deal and steps to improve the system would be welcomed by many.