OXFORD West and Abingdon MP Layla Moran has called on the Government to do all it can to encourage Great Western Railway to continue to participate in a rail discount scheme.

She has expressed her concern that GWR’s decision to end its support for easitNETWORK will lead to commuters switching back to using cars.

Oxford Mail:

The MP previously wrote to the managing director of the rail firm, calling for compromise.

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Tabling the motion, she said: “I hope all MPs who can support this motion do, to send a strong message to GWR that their decision is concerning when we are in the midst of a climate emergency.”

The easitNETWORK is a social enterprise focused on encouraging more people to travel sustainably.

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Oxfordshire County Council launched the scheme in spring 2013.

Since launch more than 200,000 commuters in the locality have been able to benefit from the initiatives delivered to members including discounted rail and bus travel.

GWR spokesman John Carter said: "Our membership of the Easit scheme was designed to help encourage shifts from road to GWR services in the Thames Valley. From December many of the services we were targeting with this offer transferred to TfL Rail, and we reassessed our involvement on that basis. We want Easit customers to continue to travel with us."

He added: "We first started using Easit ten years ago as a discount marketing ‘card’, initially designed to encourage incremental growth in train use among people who drove to work on specific Thames Valley journeys. It offers subsidised travel through employers on contra peak shorter flow journeys in the Thames Valley.

However, given 50% of the services we were targeting were transferred out of our network in December (to TfL), we reviewed our involvement with Easit last year – particularly looking at how effective the discount was at driving modal shift from car to train. This showed that journeys generated by Easit do not appear to be driving additional train journeys."