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Government ‘dragging its heels’ on part-time season tickets

Part-time rail commuters could save more than £1,500 a year if the government “honoured” its pledge to introduce flexible season tickets, rather than “dragging its heels”. 

The Campaign for Better Transport (CBT) stated that the government committed itself to trialling part-time season tickets, but there has been very limited progress announced on implementation. 

Campaigners from the CBT’s 15 organisations have, today, delivered a joint letter to the secretary of state for transport calling for part-time worker season tickets to be introduced. 

New research carried out by CBT compared the price of full-time season tickets and a part-time equivalent on popular commuting routes into major cities. Those commuting to part-time jobs in London from the south east would be an average of £1,500 a year better off. Part-time commuters to Birmingham would save around £600, with those commuting to part-time roles in Manchester and Bristol saving £460 and £765 respectively. 

Martin Abrams, public transport campaigner at CBT, said: “The days of everyone working 9 to 5, Monday to Friday are long gone but government hasn't kept up and is dragging its heels over season tickets for part-time workers. 

“The result is part-timers who catch the train to work paying huge sums for tickets they don't use, and in some cases being priced out of jobs altogether. Government needs to stop dithering and make sure all train companies introduce season tickets for part-time workers across the network as a matter of urgency.” 

The Department for Transport began consulting on fairer ticketing in March 2012, and in October 2013 pledged to trial part-time season tickets on a London commuter route. Although the trial was originally intended to run in 2014, no date has been set for it to begin and no line has yet been agreed. This is despite the government publishing research in May 2014 showing part-time season tickets would benefit many employers

A Department for Transport spokesman said: “We are aware that people are increasingly working more flexible hours and require a public transport system that best suits their needs. 

“Following our announcement last year, we are currently developing a trial of part-time season tickets, which will look at how we can give passengers a better deal. We expect to announce more details later in the year.” 

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