PRESS RELEASE: Sevenoaks Town Council expresses concern regarding changes to off peak rail fares in Sevenoaks

Published: 19 December 2023

Sevenoaks Town Council has expressed its concerns regarding the restrictions on use of off-peak fares from Sevenoaks introduced on 3rd December 2023, which have resulted in unacceptable fare increases for many rail travellers.


At the meeting of the Town Council held on 11th December 2023, the Town Council considered and endorsed a report from the Sevenoaks Rail Travellers Association which highlighted:

  • The change to off-peak times so that five morning trains between 09:05 and 09:27 are now charged at peak
  • That off-peak tickets are no longer valid back from London between 16:00 and 19:00
  • The lack of public consultation or advance notice of the changes
  • The complications of and confusion around the new fare system resulting in people paying more for tickets than they should
  • The fact that some fares from further out of London (e.g., Tonbridge) are cheaper than fares from Sevenoaks
  • Complaints from passengers to a London terminus that they are having to buy a Travelcard and therefore compelled to pay £3+ to TfL for services they do not use
  • The changes being justified as part of the lead-in to contactless fares although without any of the benefits the contactless system was supposed to bring

The Town Council is in full agreement with the concerns expressed by Sevenoaks Rail Travellers Association and has written to the Department for Transport requesting:
  • That changes to fares be suspended until the Department for Transport, train operators and Transport for London are ready to deliver a system which includes benefits as well as costs for most users
  • Proper consultation and public information before the introduction of the full Spring 2024 contactless scheme

Linda Larter MBE
Town Clerk/Chief Executive
19th December 2023