Train Ticket Enquiry Launched Following Tom Church's Campaign
- Overhaul to make tickets easier to use
- Customers not always aware of how to get the cheapest tickets
- Rail Delivery Group encouraging split ticketing
Rail tickets could be overhauled to be fairer and easier to use.
Following Tom Church's national campaign to highlight rip-off train fares, a public consultation is being launched by the industry to suggest ways of simplifying the system, which will lead to a report containing proposals for the government to consider.
This could include making it clearer how to get the cheapest tickets- such as split ticketing and booking far in advance.
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The Rail Delivery Group, RDG, which represents private train operator and the Government-owned Network Rail, said the industry’s suggestions will aim to be revenue neutral, with no change in average fares and no extra support from tax payers.
Paul Plummer, RDG chief executive, said, “The industry doesn’t have all the answers, which is why we want to hear views from passengers, communities, and businesses in all parts of the country.
“There have already been improvements and more are on the way, but this consultation will enable us to create a clear road map with the country so that we can make the right changes for the long term more quickly.”
Tom Church, co-founder of LatestDeals.co.uk who has been campaigning for cheaper ticket prices and clearer information to get the lowest prices said, "I'm happy that finally the British public is being heard. Peak time train tickets are a rip-off, and there needs to be clearer information on how to get cheaper tickets. I've been campaigning for this now for over two years and we've only now got it on the table as a discussion point. It's no where near finished, but the people in power are listening."
Only one in three passengers were ‘very confident’ that they bought the best value ticket for their last journey, according to research commissioned by the industry.
Just 29% said they were ‘very satisfied’ with their ticket buying experience.
Anthony Smith, chief executive of passenger watchdog Transport Focus which is partnering with RDG on the consultation, said, “Fare and ticketing systems need to suit the way we travel now, there is a huge demand for smarter ticketing.
“Opening the debate on reform options is overdue.”
The ticketing system is underpinned by regulations which are unchanged from the mid-1990s, and have not kept up with technology or how people work and travel.
Now, around 55 million different fares exist, including anomalies like split ticketing.
Rail companies say they are already making improvements to fares where they can, such as cutting jargon and providing clearer information about peak and off peak times.
A Department for Transport spokesperson said, “We want passengers to always be able to get the best possible deal on their ticket and we welcome the industry’s commitment to review fares.”
The consultation opens on the 4th June, with a report expected in late autumn.