Sunday 1 December 2019 10:30 pm

Labour to cut rail fares and create 'London-style' ticketing for the UK

Labour will reform the country’s rail ticketing system to create a one-stop shop for tickets if elected, while also promising to cut fares by 33 per cent.

The party wants to create a uniform “London-style” ticketing system that allows contactless payments and sets out fares on a zonal basis.

Read more: Train companies to hike rail fares as commuters brace for strike chaos

Currently there are 55 million different fares across individual private operators, according to the Rail Delivery Group (RDG).


While shadow transport secretary Andy McDonald called the current rail ticketing system “exploitative” and “bewildering”.

The plans could spell trouble for third-party sellers offering a similar service, such as trainline.com.

The company was listed on the London Stock Exchange in June and has revenues of £200m-a-year.

Labour will also cut regulated fares drastically, if elected, to ensure a 33 per cent drop in prices.

The party is also promising free travel for everyone aged 16 and under, and a discount for part-time workers if it is elected.

The suite of policies come as a larger part of Jeremy Corbyn’s plan to re-nationalise rail.

“Taking back control of our railways is the only way to bring down fares and create a railway network that is fit for the future,” he said.


“Labour will bring about real change on the railways because we are on the side of passengers.”

The RDG, which is a trade body of the UK’s rail companies, has labelled the plans as a “red herring”.

A spokesperson said: “Rail companies have been calling for some time for changes in regulation to enable an easier to use, better value range of fares but it’s a red herring to suggest that reforming fares needs a change of ownership.”

However, the group also said it would support a reduction in fares as long as “it is funded on an ongoing basis so that investment to improve the railway can continue”.

Since 2004, successive governments have introduced above inflation increases to season tickets in a bid to more of the cost on passengers instead of taxpayers.

RDG announced on Saturday that rail fares would increase by 2.7 per cent next year.

This is marginally below the latest retail price index (RPI ) figures.

Read more: Christmas travel chaos looms as South Western rail staff prepare to strike

Transport secretary Grant Shapps said the public “simply cannot trust Corbyn to deliver what he claims.

“The Conservatives will improve punctuality by integrating parts of the rail network, make ticketing and pricing more transparent and will invest £500 million in reopening branch lines closed under Labour,” he said.

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