Fares, rail policy and DfT news

21.11.16

GTR to produce report on feasibility of flexible ticketing

Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) will produce a report on the feasibility of “innovative flexible ticket types” throughout the franchise, the transport minister said today.

Answering a written question from Baroness Randerson, the Liberal Dem spokesperson for transport in the Lords, Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon said GTR had conducted a trial on the Horsham to London and Radlett to London routes.

Under the trial, passengers with a season ticket who travelled at off-peak times were offered cashback for each journey undertaken.

Lord Ahmad said: “A feasibility report detailing the costs and benefits of introducing innovative flexible ticket types throughout the franchise will be provided to the department shortly. Officials will then discuss with the operator how to proceed with this.”

Last week, Campaign for Better Transport called on the government to take “urgent action” to deliver part-time season tickets to reflect increasingly flexible working patterns.

GTR has also been subject to controversy owing to extensive delays, cancellations and passenger complaints. The latest PPM figures, published on Friday, showed that it has now spent two years at the bottom of the performance table.

A GTR spokesperson said that the company would give the report to the Department for Transport next month and that they could not reveal the contents before then.

In his written answer, Lord Ahmad also highlighted the South Western and West Midlands franchise competitions, both of which include the expectation that bidders will commit to introducing flexible tickets.

(Image c. Andrew Matthews)

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Comments

Noam Bleicher   22/11/2016 at 11:05

The solution offered is still hugely biased towards season ticket holders who already receive a whacking great discount when compared to Anytime Returns. A much simpler system would be to offer carnets of 10 or 20 return tickets priced at something like 1/4 of the weekly season. Anyone working three or fewer days a week would benefit, as would people making journeys every week or two. The current situation, where a weekly season is only 1.7 x the Anytime return on some flows, is ludicrously unfair.

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