Latest Rail News

07.06.12

Widespread passenger confusion over fares

The ORR has done its own research into passenger confusion over ticketing and fare options, reinforcing the message found in other studies that many people find selecting and buying tickets “confusing and frustrating”.

The terminology – peak, off-peak, Advance tickets, and so on – is not always well-understood, and many passengers miss out on the best-value tickets through confusion over their options.

The research involved questioning 1,600 rail passengers acrossGreat Britain. In all, 45% said the fare system is too complicated to understand, and there remains massive confusion about the Advance tickets: 70% of on-train interviewees did not know the key fact about the tickets, which is that they are valid only on the one specified service.

The ORR said it has been working with ATOC to address findings, pushing for the provision of better ticket information for passengers.

It noted that work has started to improve the information presented to passengers on websites, at ticket vending machines, and on tickets, making it clearer and more comprehensive.

ORR Chair, Anna Walker, said: “If passengers do not have the information they need, they can end up paying more than is necessary or find themselves being penalised for having the wrong ticket. Lack of clarity or certainty that they are getting the right ticket can also undermine passengers’ confidence and trust in the railways.”

ORR’s report, including ATOC’s detailed response, can is at: www.rail-reg.gov.uk/upload/pdf/ticket-complexity-report-june-2012.pdf

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