Rail franchises operators & contracts

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Targeting a currently “outdated and outmoded fares and ticketing system,” the body said it wants to eliminate the “cliff edge” between peak and off-peak prices and possibly scrap them all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Small Business national chairman, said: “Many small businesses rely on the rail network, so it’s key that the current out-of-date fares system is improved.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 technology magazine tv

more videos >

latest rail news

Northern leaders warn Treasury against scrapping under-fire HS2

23/05/2019Northern leaders warn Treasury against scrapping under-fire HS2

Scrapping HS2 would be a “disaster” and would undermine Britain’s “national prosperity for decades to come,” more t... more >
Network Rail unveils new regional managing directors

23/05/2019Network Rail unveils new regional managing directors

Network Rail has announced five new regional managing directors as part of its “evolution” towards a more passenger-focused approach.... more >
£800m worth of rail haulage contracts awarded by Network Rail

22/05/2019£800m worth of rail haulage contracts awarded by Network Rail

Network Rail has awarded contracts for rail haulage and the operations of its engineering trains and seasonal treatment services for Control Peri... more >

editor's comment

23/01/2018Out with the old...

Despite a few disappointing policy announcements, especially for the electrification aficionados amongst us, 2017 was, like Darren Caplan writes on page 20, a year generally marked by positive news for the rail industry. We polished off the iconic Ordsall Chord (p32), hit some solid milestones on Thameslink (p40), progressed on ambitious rolling stock orders (p16), and finally started moving forward on HS2 (p14) ‒ paving the way for a New Ye... read more >

last word

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

This summer, Arriva Group's CrossCountry and the Scout Association joined to launch a new partnership to promote rail safety among young people. Chris Leech MBE, business community manager at the... more > more last word articles >

'the sleepers' daily blog

Meeting clients, suppliers and stepping forward

23/05/2019Meeting clients, suppliers and stepping forward

The Midlands 30-year plan will deliver many economic benefits and will need a wide and diverse supply chain to deliver some of the key projects. We caught up with long running sponsors of TransCityRail, Bridgeway Consulting Limited, specialists in Site & Ground investigations, Geomatics and Infrastructure, to discuss why networking events ... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >

comment

The railway franchising model is broken, and passengers are paying the price

13/05/2019The railway franchising model is broken, and passengers are paying the price

Meg Hillier, MP for Hackney South and Shoreditch and chair of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), gives her view on the state of the UK’s ... more >
NSAR: Tackling the digital skills shortage

13/05/2019NSAR: Tackling the digital skills shortage

The National Skills Academy for Rail (NSAR) chief executive Neil Robertson returns to write for RTM, this time, to assess the digital skills shor... more >
Delivering cost-effective electrification

13/05/2019Delivering cost-effective electrification

David Clarke, technical director of the Railway Industry Association (RIA), sets out the findings of a new report on how rail electrification can... more >
5G: An opportunity to revolutionise on-train connectivity

13/05/20195G: An opportunity to revolutionise on-train connectivity

Simon Holmes, group head of digital (engineering) at FirstGroup, introduces us to the 5G solution being delivered for the rail sector.  ... more >

rail industry focus

View all News

interviews

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 projec... more >