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Ashford MP Damian Green asks Boris Johnson to push for flexible train tickets

A Kent MP has called on Boris Johnson to help commuters return to London as the country eyes a return to a 'new normal' working life.

Ashford MP Damian Green called on the Prime Minister to pressure train companies to provide flexible season tickets to the capital to match office hours post-lockdown.

Speaking during Prime Minister's Question Time at the House of Commons this afternoon, Mr Green said that he felt that "those who can get back to work safely in their offices should do so".

However, he argued that "realistically, many will only want to do so for two or three days a week."

"Can I urge [Mr Johnson] to use his considerable powers of persuasion to encourage the rail industry to immediately introduce flexible season tickets so that those people are not tied into traditional work patterns?

"This is both to help many thousands of commuters in areas like mine in Ashford but also to help save the rail industry."

Responding, the Prime Minister said that Mr Green "was right in saying that the government were working at pace with rail companies to try to deliver new products in terms of ticketing which ensure not just better value, but will also enable people to get back to work in a more flexible way."

Kent MPs with former Transport Minister Chris Heaton-Harris (fifth from left)
Kent MPs with former Transport Minister Chris Heaton-Harris (fifth from left)

A flexible season ticket has been at the heart of a campaign from MPs across Kent for more than a month.

In late July, all bar one of the county's members of parliament wrote to Southeastern to ask them to introduce such a system.

The letter, which was only missing the signature of Gravesend's Adam Holloway, implored the company to copy Great Western Railways' plans.

Mr Holloway later explained his name was not on the letter as he claims it was already submitted before he had heard about it, before adding he supports the idea of three day season tickets.

Read more: All the latest news from Ashford

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