Fares, rail policy and DfT news

28.03.18

ORR: ‘More to be done’ to ensure passengers get best ticket for journey

New easier to use machines and clearer language have helped more passengers buy the right ticket for their journey from station vending machines, according to research by the Office of Rail and Road (ORR).

Mystery shopping research revealed that the proportion of users who would have bought the most appropriate ticket for their journey had increased by 11% since the last survey in 2017, to 91%.

Of those who may have bought the wrong ticket, 6% would have paid too much - a reduction from 13% last year - and 3% would have not had the necessary flexibility on their ticket, which was down from 6% last year.

The improvements have come following the results of the ORR 2017 Ticket Vending Machine (TVM) research, when the rail regulator called on train companies to improve the service they provide to passengers.

Following that research, the ORR also called on train companies to commit to a TVM Price Guarantee, refunding the difference to travellers who bought a more expensive ticket than necessary.

All 17 companies have now reportedly signed up to this guarantee.

The ORR has said that it will work with train operators to ensure that they continue to improve the information they provide to passengers via TVMs to make ticket buying clearer and easier.

Stephanie Tobyn, ORR deputy director for consumers, explained that passengers should be able to buy the most appropriate ticket for their journey without being “baffled by confusing terminology and innumerable options.”

She added that although the ORR is pleased with the positive developments so far, there is still more to be done for those users who are not getting the best ticket for their journey.

“The industry has made significant progress and we want to see companies acting on the results of our survey and continuing to roll out improvements to ticket machines to provide a better service to their passengers,” Tobyn concluded.

Top image: Torsten Dettlaff 

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