THE campaign to move Croydon into public transport Zone 4 has been dealt a blow.
Croydon North MP Steve Reed raised the issue in parliament last week, but was told the Government could not back the proposal because it was a matter for Transport for London.
The Zone4Croydon campaign was launched by Mr Reed and the party's prospective parliamentary candidate for Croydon Central, Sarah Jones, in October.
More than 1,000 people have signed their petition supporting the change, which could save commuters to central London £336 on their annual travelcard.
The idea was debated in the House of Commons last Tuesday (November 25) after a question from Mr Reed to Robert Goodwill MP, parliamentary under-secretary of state for transport.
Mr Reed called on the Government to offer backing to the campaign, which he said would help support ambitious plans for redevelopment in Croydon, including the Westfield-Hammerson development.
He said: "Re-designating Croydon's two central stations in the heart of this regeneration zone as travel Zone 4 would help underline how close the area is to central London, as well as making Croydon more attractive to investors, businesses, home buyers, workers and visitors."
Mr Reed also said there was "ample precedent" for stations being rezoned if a "persuasive" social and economic case was made and pointed out that there were several stations further from central London than East Croydon that were in a cheaper zone.
"There will be much-needed savings for people travelling into central London, but no increase in fares for people travelling into Croydon from further south," he added.
But Mr Goodwill did not commit to backing the proposal, saying it "was a matter for Transport for London and the train companies".
He also pointed out eight stations in Zone 5 were closer to central London than East Croydon.
It would "not be appropriate for the Government to comment at this stage" on the merits of rezoning Croydon, he added.
Mr Goodwill said a "robust business case" would need to be put forward by the train operating companies, including Southern.
"Reducing the cost of travelling from a station reduces the revenue brought in by that station, and that can add up to millions of pounds a year," he added.
"Ultimately, those costs would be covered by the taxpayer. A loss at Croydon might need to be compensated by raising fares elsewhere."