He is sponsoring a debate calling on rail companies to introduce “flexible season tickets” for commuters who travel to work three or four days a week.
At present any commuter who travels to work by train more than three days a week will find it cheaper to buy a season ticket – valid seven days a week – than pay for individual journeys.
It is an issue Mr Cartlidge, who lives in his constituency and travels to Westminster by train most days, has championed since being elected in May last year.
He said: “I know that there are a significant number of people from Suffolk who commute to London but travel three or four days a week but have to buy a full season ticket.
“It seems wrong to charge people to travel to work seven days a week when in some cases they are travelling less than half of that time.”
Mr Cartlidge said work patterns were changing for many people – they were able to work from home one or two days a week or they chose to work only four days a week.
Some rail companies are looking at introducing part-time season tickets, including some of the bidders for the new Anglia railway franchise that is due to start in October.
Annual season tickets are 40 times the cost of a weekly ticket – ensuing that an annual ticket is cheaper than the weekly alternative, even when the average five weeks’ holiday a year is taken into account.
Mike Hewitson, head of policy at the independent watchdog Transport Focus, said: “We have a complex fares system and passengers tell us that they want more choice when it comes to buying tickets.”
Published in the EADT.