A CAMPAIGN to rezone East and West Croydon stations started by Labour politicians earlier this week has been backed by their Conservative opponents.
Croydon Central MP Gavin Barwell and Steve O'Connell, GLA member for Croydon and Sutton, have both pledged their support for the Zone4Croydon campaign, which aims to get the stations rezoned from Zone 5 to 4.
The move, launched on Monday by Croydon North MP Steve Reed and Sarah Jones, Labour's prospective candidate for Mr Barwell's seat, could save commuters to central London up to £336 on their annual travelcard or £8.40 weekly.
Mr Barwell and Mr O'Connell have together requested a meeting with Transport for London (TfL) director Sir Peter Hendy and Mayor of London Boris Johnson to seek their support for a review of the zone boundaries across London.
Mr Barwell said he "fully supported" any initiative to reduce the spiraling costs for commuters in Croydon, but pointed out that it was an issue in other areas of London too.
"Whilst I agree with the principle behind the campaign, if you look at the current Transport for London zones, other parts of south London that are a similar distance from central London such as Sutton, Cheam and West Wickham are also in zone 5.
"It's not credible to pretend that this is just a Croydon problem - and indeed it's in our interests to involve other areas that are similarly unfairly treated."
Mr O'Connell said he would work to get Mr Johnson to add his weight to their call for a wider rezoning to take place.
"The concern that Steve [Reed] and Sarah are showing for the plight of commuters is admirable, and we all want to help alleviate the costly burden of public transport."
"That's why I think it's important that we get the thinking behind this campaign right. Firstly, they are wrong to suggest that the Mayor of London controls this area, in actual fact it's run by the Department for Transport and not Boris Johnson and second, as Gavin says, it's not just Croydon that finds itself on the wrong side of the zone boundary."
A spokeswoman for TfL said requests for rezoning were dealt with on a case-by-case basis, "addressing the cost and benefit to all those involved."
Before any rezoning can take place, the station's operators, TfL for West Croydon, and Southern for East Croydon, must get each of the Travelcard train operators to agree to the change before making a formal proposal to the Department for Transport, which could take at least a year.