Campaign for Better Transport has shared the findings of its new fares and ticketing report with representatives of the rail industry at the Railway Industry Association.
A fare future for rail: A blueprint for fares and ticketing reform (published 31 October) calls for urgent reform to provide a fairer system with simpler ticketing which makes booking easier and provides better value for passengers.
Amongst other things, Campaign for Better Transport wants to see a ‘Best Price Guarantee’ trademark introduced on all tickets to reassure passengers they are always getting the best value fare for their journey; a government-funded trial of low-cost public transport passes (like in Germany and France); and a Rail Miles frequent traveller scheme which rewards passengers the more they travel by train.
The report makes 16 recommendations which would help deliver four key aims to create a fairer system with simpler ticketing which makes booking easier and provides better value for passengers.
A panel of industry experts, moderated by Campaign for Better Transport’s Norman Baker, discussed the report’s main findings and the need for industry to pursue the ‘root and branch’ reform of ticketing as mentioned in the 2021 Great British Railways: Shapps-Williams Plan for Rail.
Attendees heard from Milda Manomaityte, Innovation Director at Railway Industry Association; John Backway, Head of Ticketing and Digital Services at Rail Delivery Group; Matthew Peake, Director of Public Policy and Government Relations at Trainline; David Pitt, Vice President of UK Rail at SilverRail; Gideon Salutin, Researcher and Social Market Foundation; and Declan Whelan, Director of Fares Strategy at Great British Railways Transition Team.
Norman Baker, from Campaign for Better Transport, said: “Our research has revealed a fares system riddled with unnecessary complications, bizarre rules and wild inconsistencies which is creating a barrier to train travel. This shouldn’t be the case. We want to see a simpler, fairer, easier and better value system that makes travelling by train a pleasure not a chore.”
Image credit: Campaign for Better Transport