In Brief

Rail firms plan train ticket shake-up to ensure fairer fares

Rail Delivery Group aims to tackle anomalies including ‘split ticketing’

Rail companies in the UK are planning a massive overhaul of the train fares system in a bid to make ticketing fairer and easier to understand.

The Rail Delivery Group (RDG), which represents Network Rail and other train firms, announced today that it has commissioned audit firm KPMG to advise on a public consultation into “root-and-branch reform” of rail fares regulation. 

Some 55 million different fares are currently available on Britain’s train networks. This has led to a number of long-standing ticketing anomalies, including charging a peak-time fare when half of a trip is on an off-peak service, and “split ticketing” - when it is cheaper for a customer to buy multiple tickets to cover different stages of a single journey, rather than just one ticket, reports The Daily Telegraph.

The public consultation will look at ways to simplify the system, with the proposals to be published in a report in late autumn that the Government will then review, says the Daily Mail.

The RDG, which has teamed up with passenger watchdog Transport Focus for the review, says an overhaul of the system is long overdue.

Writing in the Telegraph, RDG chief executive Paul Plummer says: “Well-intentioned but ultimately frustrating regulations have failed to keep pace with technology or how people work and travel today. Long-standing anomalies are becoming bigger problems for our customers today, impacting on businesses and the communities served by rail.

“Unpicking the regulation of a £10bn-a-year fares system so critical to our country’s infrastructure and prosperity won’t be easy, and there are no straightforward solutions. Our customers and the economy deserve better. It’s time to deliver the modern, fit for purpose fares system Britain needs.”

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