Latest Rail News

18.02.19

Rail industry proposes ending peak-tickets in ‘radical’ overhaul of rail fares

Train operators have called for a major reform of the rail fare system which would scrap peak and off-peak ticket pricing and support the rollout of ‘tap-in, tap-out’ travel nationwide.

The Rail Delivery Group (RDG) called its proposals a “once-in-a-generation” reform of the fares system, and the industry’s first contribution to the Williams Review.

Targeting a currently “outdated and outmoded fares and ticketing system,” the body said it wants to eliminate the “cliff edge” between peak and off-peak prices and possibly scrap them all together which it said will reduce overcrowding.

The radical proposals include a “best fair guarantee” from the rail industry, meaning that customers will automatically pay the cheapest fare available at the time of purchase and effectively ending the need for ‘split-ticketing.’

A weekly fare cap that allows commuters to avoid paying for their season tickets on days they don’t use it has long been called for by campaigners and is included in the proposals, as is a national roll out of the tap-in tap-out system currently used in London.

The RDG said the proposals would see some fares go down and some go up, with the overall effect being “revenue neutral,” and said the reform programme could be rolled out over the next three to five years.

A consultation with Transport Focus found that eight out 10 wanted the system overhauled, and the RDG now wants preparatory work to begin; and for the government, industry, and passenger groups to review the regulation alongside a series of real-world trials.

Paul Plummer, chief executive of the RDG, said: “The result of our nationwide consultation is clear – customers have different needs and want an easy to use range of rail fares to meet them. Our proposals can deliver exactly that – creating a system that better fits how people live and work today.

“Reconfiguring a decades-old system originally designed in an analogue era isn't simple, but this plan offers a route to get there quickly. Ultimately, it is up to governments to pull the levers of change.”

Mike Cherry, Federation of Small Business national chairman, said: “Many small businesses rely on the rail network, so it’s key that the current out-of-date fares system is improved.

“The system needs to be brought into line with the more flexible way businesses work. This will allow companies to access the best deals when travelling, as well as making it easier to travel – and businesses to trade - across the regions of the UK.”

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

related

Rail industry Focus

View all News

Comment

The challenge of completing Crossrail

05/07/2019The challenge of completing Crossrail

With a new plan now in place to deliver Crossrail, Hedley Ayres, National Audit Office manager, major projects and programmes, takes a look at ho... more >
Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

04/07/2019Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

The move to decarbonise the rail network involves shifting to cleaner modes of traction by 2050. David Clarke, technical director at the Railway ... more >

'the sleepers' blog

Maximising efficiency requires investment in data, but it’s rewards for rail could be extensive

14/11/2019Maximising efficiency requires investment in data, but it’s rewards for rail could be extensive

Rail Technology Magazine’s Matt Roberts explains the significant role data can play within the future development of the rail industry. Standing as a cornerstone of the UK transport network, the rail industry is forever striving to in... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >

Interviews

Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

24/06/2019Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

Andrew Haines, the Chief Executive of Network Rail, has told the Today programme on Radio 4's BBC’s flagship news programme that he would not rule out his organisation issuing future r... more >
Advancing the rail industry with management degree apprenticeships

08/05/2019Advancing the rail industry with management degree apprenticeships

In answering the pressing questions of how current and future generations of managers can provide solutions to high-profile infrastructure projects across the UK, Pearson Business School, part of... more >