Monday 21 June 2021 3:55 pm

New flexible season tickets on sale from today

Commuters can from this morning purchase new flexible season tickets designed to allow people to travel two or three days a week.

The new flexible season ticket will allow passengers to travel for eight days in any month-long period, and can be used from 28 June.

National Rail say that the ticket will offer a minimum discount of 20 per cent for passengers compared to a regular season ticket.

Passengers can use the National Rail website to calculate the savings they can make from such tickets.

The introduction of the new carnet-style tickets is part of the government’s much-vaunted revamp of the UK rail network.

It comes after a year in which passenger numbers have tumbled to historically low levels as a result of the pandemic.

With many employers transitioning to a so-called “hybrid” method of working, the new season tickets are designed for workers who no longer have to travel every day for work.

Transport Focus chief executive Anthony Smith said that the new tickets would begin to get travellers back on the railways.

“Our research with passengers showed us there was strong demand for a new ticket that suited people who expected to commute less frequently in future.

“This is a positive step towards much-needed longer-term reform of how rail tickets are sold. We also welcome the waiving of admin fees for changing tickets, which will help rebuild passenger confidence”, he told the BBC.

But Norman Baker from Campaign for Better Transport, said that the new tickets were a “missed opportunity”.

“Finally, after years of campaigning people who commute part time are being offered an alternative to full-time season tickets. Unfortunately, these new flexible tickets do not appear to offer the kind of savings we had hoped for and are not comparable to the discounts for people commuting full time”, he said.

“There appears to be no standard level of discount and in some cases the flexible season ticket could end up being more expensive than the day return option.”

London Travelwatch welcomed the new tickets, but said that the “jury was still out on whether they would entice people back onto trains”.

“It is also really important that the terms of use, particularly around delay repay compensation are clear and consistent with those of other season tickets to avoid confusion for passengers”, the body said in a statement.

Labour’s London Assembly Transport Spokesperson, Elly Baker AM, said the move “fell far short of the widespread reform that the fares systems needs”.

“Even as a short-term measure, it does little for Londoners as the discounted tickets do not apply to journeys made between stations in the capital.

“This means that commuters travelling into work two days a week on busy routes, such as from Romford to Liverpool Street, won’t see any benefits.