What’s in store for the UK’s big rail fare shake-up
“The Department for Transport recently announced far-reaching changes to UK rail fares in an attempt to make it easier for passengers to buy the cheapest tickets. Trials on selected routes are due to start in May and could lead to the most radical overhaul of the fares system in more than 30 years. In February a set of radical changes were jointly announced by the government and key rail industry bodies as a measure to modernise archaic rail fares and routing structures that hamper passengers from finding the cheapest tickets available.
“The Department for Transport (DfT), together with the Rail Delivery Group (RDG), Transport Focus, Which? and the Office of Rail and Road (ORR), published an all-encompassing Action Plan that promises simplified ticket options, more user-friendly ticket machines, and easier journey planning. The proposals come after long-standing criticism from passenger advocacy groups regarding the highly complex ticket pricing structure, which has become one of the leading causes of passenger dissatisfaction when it comes to UK rail travel.
“Transport Focus’ 2016 National Rail Passenger Survey showed that only 47% of passengers were satisfied with the value for money of their ticket. Satisfaction with value for money by individual routes within train operating companies varied between 33% and 84%.