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Join our Commuters Charter campaign

Today the KM Group launches our Commuters’ Charter campaign.

People across our county are battling as the cost of travel continues to rise to unprecedented levels.

Commuters' Charter logo
Commuters' Charter logo

Whether it be the high price of fuel, rail travel or the coming Dartford Crossing toll increase, people are under pressure.

Added to this is the increase in cost of the school bus Freedom Pass and the decision to exempt post-16 students from it – meaning hard-pressed parents will be hit hard.

We want to evoke the memory of Peasants’ Revolt leader Wat Tyler, who led thousands of ordinary Kent folk to London to confront unfairness.

Like then, the people of Kent don’t want any favours. They don’t mind working hard and playing by the rules. All they want is a fair go; a decent crack of the whip.

The aim of this campaign is to highlight the problems such people are facing.

Canterbury West train station
Canterbury West train station

From hauliers to shoppers, commuters to business people, the increasing costs affect everyone.

The Freedom Pass will not be extended
The Freedom Pass will not be extended

We will be approaching the county’s 17 MPs and asking them to join our campaign.

With yours and their help, we want to build a dossier of discontent which we can take to Westminster and County Hall.

We will also be giving tips on how you can save money, plus other great features.

It is important that as many people as possible from across the county to join us, because Together we make a difference.

How to get involved

We need you to play your part by telling us of your experiences and of how your lives are being affected.

Facebook Logo
Facebook Logo

Are you a motorist battling to afford to run a vehicle? Are you a struggling business person worried for the future?

Do you pay high train charges for a poor service? Are you going to be hit hard when Dartford Crossing charges rise to £2?

Are changes to the young persons’ Freedom Pass going to cost you hundreds of pounds a year just to send your children to school/college? At www.facebook.com/KentCommute we want to build a massive community where people can back the campaign and tell their own stories, including pictures and video.

We will also be using this group as an online petition to show how deeply people feel about this issue. On Twitter, we want people to let fellow commuters know of 'live’ problems like high petrol prices at a particular station or trouble with their train service. You can find us at www.twitter.com/kentcommute

The Sheerness Times Guardian has begun 'tweeting'
The Sheerness Times Guardian has begun 'tweeting'

The campaign will also be covered extensively here on KentOnline.

  • Make sure you tell us where you live in the county and supply your contact details where possible.

Kent business is backing the campaign.

Members of Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce have been voicing their concerns over high fuel costs.

Jo James, Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce chief executive
Jo James, Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce chief executive

Chief executive Jo James said: “We strongly support this campaign. Whilst the most severe impact is obviously felt by companies like hauliers and others directly involved in transport, the ramifications spread throughout the operation of the whole business community.

“In this time of economic constraint, we are having to cut costs wherever possible, and the added burden of excessive fuel costs can simply negate the efforts made to economise in other areas.”

Staff were doing more home working and arranging meetings and journeys to minimise time and travel costs.

Ms James added: “Neither businesses, nor individuals, can be expected to manage already constrained budgets in the face of constantly rising fuel costs.”

The Government looks to small firms to create jobs lost in the public sector. But the 6,700-member Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) in Kent and Medway, is worried fuel and other cost hikes are raising barriers to growth.

Andrew Aves, Federation of Small Businesses Kent organiser
Andrew Aves, Federation of Small Businesses Kent organiser

Small hauliers are facing higher overheads from all sides. Fuel is not only more expensive but insurance is also going up while rebates are going down. One FSB member ­a - “Man with a Van” - is paying 25 per cent more for courier cover.

FSB development manager, Andrew Aves, said: “It’s great to see the KM Group fighting rising fuel and other costs which are hitting all small firms across the county.

“Rising overheads are not what we need in challenging economic times. We have been urging the Government to do all it can to eliminate barriers to job creation and growth, and the soaring cost of transport and distribution is one of the key issues it needs to address.”

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