2 improvements to ensure passengers get a better deal on rail fares

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  • confidence in railways given a boost as smart ticketing continues to be rolled out to modernise the network
  • Transport Secretary Grant Shapps backs fares trial which provides a simpler and more flexible system for passengers
  • fare trials and smart ticketing key to reforms for a modern, customer focused railway

Passengers will benefit from simpler, cheaper fares and improvements to ticketing as part of changes introduced and announced today (29 August 2019).

‘Contactless’ Pay As You Go (PAYG) journeys are being introduced for journeys at Potters Bar, Radlett and Brookmans Park as part of the Department for Transport’s smart ticketing rollout – helping to create a truly passenger-focused railway.

The department has also backed a new trial announced today that will significantly boost customer confidence and flexibility in booking train tickets, with the potential to also save passengers money.

LNER will begin trials in January 2020 of a new fare system designed to make travelling on trains simpler and clearer. Return tickets will be removed on trial routes from London to Leeds, Newcastle and Edinburgh, and in their place passengers will be able to purchase cheaper single-leg tickets, which will be more in line with half the price of a return journey.

For example, passengers currently travelling between London and Edinburgh buying a ticket at the station pay £146.40 for a Super Off-Peak Single ticket or £147.40 for a Super Off-Peak Return ticket. Under this trial, the cost of a Super Off-Peak Single would be £73.70.

Smart ticketing video

Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps said:

These announcements are vital for providing passengers with a more convenient, flexible and fairly priced experience.

New ‘contactless’ Pay As You Go journeys at Potters Bar, Radlett and Brookmans Park will help make travel cheaper, quicker and easier, with our smart ticketing roll-out also set to benefit passengers at Luton Airport and Welwyn Garden City later this year.

We are also taking action to simplify fares as LNER begins single-leg fares trials next year. This will save many people money with substantially cheaper single tickets, boost customer confidence, and ensure passengers up and down the country get the modern transport service they expect.

The rollout of PAYG ticketing follows ambitious plans made by train operators in 2018 to enable smart ticketing at stations across almost all of the network, with all franchised operators offering smart cards and/or barcode ticketing.

This is the result of over 5,000 upgrades to ticketing equipment at stations across the country.

This follows the Department – together with the rail industry – launching the brand new 16-17 Saver to give young people a better deal across the railways and help them and their families save an average of £186 every year.

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