20th May 2011
Maidstone Greens have slammed the McNulty review as potentially disastrous for Maidstone's commuters, suggesting that Maidstone does not need fare increases and less station staff, but more investment, more regular and faster trains and a direct line to the City.
Stuart Jeffery, Maidstone Green Party: "Roy McNulty thinks that slashing subsidies, privatising more of the infrastructure and increasing fares will help reduce ticket prices. Maidstone already suffers from a slow and expensive service that has seen appalling cuts in recent years. McNuulty's plans will make our service worse.
"Getting rid of station staff may seem a neat way of saving money, but the reality is very different. We will be faced with more confusion and less information. Remember what happened in the snow last year when even at current staffing levels, information was hard to find. We need more staff, with more information to improve the service.
"Increasing fares for our commuters will be a real slap in the face and is completely contrary to the aim of reducing prices. It is like going to war for the sake of peace. Fares from Maidstone are already ridiculous, they need to be reduced not increased. The way to reduce prices and ensure financial viability is to get more passengers by getting people out of cars and on to trains. We can only do this by making trains more appealing, more reliable and travelling to the place where people need to go.
"Privatisation has brought nothing but increasing costs to this country, however we should expect nothing less of Lib Dems and Conservatives who are wedded to the principle of putting markets before people."