Passengers currently using cross-country train routes could save up to £260 per journey under a new trial being rolled out, set to simplify rail fares for passengers.
The Rail Delivery Group (RDG)which represents train operators admit that the scale of 16 million UK ticketing options on offer to passengers are simply “baffling”. The trial announced by RDG should end split ticketing and simplify fare options for UK passengers. The scheme may also be rolled out overseas if successful.
Business travellers who travel between London and Glasgow, or London and Edinburgh using Virgin trains will be the first to benefit from clearer, simpler pricing structures. The RDG claim that it would be more transparent, and possibly cheaper if single rail tickets were regulated by the government and passengers only need to purchase one single ticket for their journeys, no matter how complex.
This news is welcomed by the seasoned business travellers as rail journey times could also be slashed. At the moment, passengers travelling between London St Pancras and Sheffield also travel via Grantham. This route not only takes longer, it is also of extra expense to the passenger. Such fares date back to the pre-privatisation era of British Rail and will be addressed during the roll out of the upcoming trial.
Jason Geall, American Express Global Business Travel vice-president for Northern Europe, said: “Buying rail tickets has been unfairly complex for commuters and travellers for far too long.
“This initiative is very good news. The number of different ticketing combinations and the large number of different train operator companies make the system difficult to understand.
“In future, travellers and agents should be able to book a return journey – Glasgow to Lyon, for example – across different train operator companies, on one ticket in a single transaction.”
The agreement to simplify fares was outlined by the Department for Transport last year after the Commons Transport Select Committee criticised the “complexity and lack of transparency” of rail ticketing.