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Rail industry to help make buying train tickets easier

The rail industry has unveiled new measures to provide passengers clearer and more transparent information on buying the right ticket.

A new code of practice to informing train companies and licensed rail retailers of best practice guidelines has been developed by the rail regulator, which has worked closely with TOCs, rail retailers, Passenger Focus and the Department for Transport.

Built around four key principles, it is designed to ensure that the information provided by train companies and licenced rail retailers gives passengers greater confidence when choosing the best value ticket for their journey.

The principles are: 

  • Principle one – retailers should provide passengers with the information they need to make informed decisions;
  • Principle two – retailers should provide the information that passengers need in a way that is clear, intelligible, unambiguous and timely;
  • Principle three – the information retailers provide should be accurate, truthful and should not be provided in such a way as it might deceive, even if factually correct; and
  • Principle four – retailers should make it clear what tickets are/are not available at each sales channel and the basis on which they identify and recommend tickets to passengers.

Rail Delivery Group, which represents Network Rail and train operating companies, said that the industry recognises that it needs to work even harder to provide growing numbers of rail passengers with better information to improve their confidence when choosing their ticket.

The new code, to be rolled out from today, forms part of a wider and ongoing programme to make it easier for passengers to buy and use the best value ticket for their journey. It follows the announcement in January that train companies have redesigned the familiar orange rail ticket to provide better and clearer information.

Later this month, train companies will begin labelling self-service ticket machines to provide better information for passengers on the range of tickets that each machine sells.

Michael Roberts, director general of RDG, said: “While the number of people using the railway continues to rise, the industry recognises that it can do more to improve the information it gives to passengers about buying and using their ticket.

“The new Code of Practice for retailers shows how the industry is working more closely together to give people greater confidence that they are getting the right ticket for their journey.”

ORR chair Anna Walker added: “The code will clarify what information passengers can expect from train companies and other ticket sellers on the different types of fares, any restrictions that apply, and key terms and conditions, including compensation and refund rights.

“We want to see passengers empowered with clear, transparent information on tickets and fares, this will help raise their confidence in rail travel as they'll know they've made the right choice for their journey. ORR will monitor the industry on meeting these obligations and work with ticket sellers to ensure compliance to the code.”

(Image source: Yui Mok/PA Wire)

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