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Rail leaders call summit to discuss ticketing issues

The Rail Delivery Group (RDG), which represents Network Rail and train companies, is bringing together industry and government leaders to discuss ticketing and fares.

The RDG said it wants to see reform of the fares system, new rules for rail journey planners to include slower and cheaper options, a review of rules around routeing and pricing, and simplification of fares restrictions.

Most of the proposals need government approval, and the RDG said it is discussing proposals with the DfT that would reduce and simplify the number of fares available.

Jacqueline Starr, the RDG’s managing director of customer experience, said the RDG wants to “speed up” the work that is already being done.

“The rail industry can do more to make buying a ticket less complex and confusing for passengers,” she said. “We want to help people get the best possible information and to be confident that they are buying the right tickets for their journeys.”

Earlier this week, an investigation by The Times found that many passengers were paying up to £85 more than they needed because rail firms hadn’t shown the cheapest ticket options on two-thirds of cross country routes.

In his first appearance before the Transport Select Committee, Paul Maynard, the new rail minister, said that the ticketing system needs to be made fairer and more transparent.

He added that one of his first actions as a minister was to meet with Paul Plummer, CEO of the RDG, about the introduction of smart ticketing.

The Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) has developed a ten-point plan to improve ticket machines after an Office of Rail and Road report found passengers complaining that they were confusing to use.

(Image c. Lauren Hurley from PA Wire)

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Joel   29/07/2016 at 13:21

Is this the Jacqueline Starr who dismally avoided answers about cheapest rail fares still not being easily accessible and failure to label Ticket Vending Machines to show cheaper fares available at ticket offices, when she was on the BBC Radio4 'Today' programme earlier this week? She showed her interest isn't 'customer experience' in terms of passengers, as her real customers are the Train Operating Companies who pay her. What will another 'summit' achieve when the last one led to government instruction which TOCs are still ignoring, and contributed to the departure of yet another transport minister in sheer frustration of no power to bring these operators under control.

Noam Bleicher   30/07/2016 at 09:36

We will never get anywhere until we wipe the slate clean and start with a regime of mileage-based single fares, based on the Off Peak Day Return, halved. This would stop the need for split ticketing and stop the gross unfairness whereby people making single or three-legged journeys are charged twice as much as those making return journeys. Yes you'd need to overlay a peak premium, and some kind of mileage taper to prevent fares to Scotland going through the roof, but this is not beyond the wit of man.

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