Reaction as new flexible season tickets for rail passengers go on sale
Transport groups and rail passengers in the south have been giving their verdict on new ‘flexible’ rail season tickets which have gone on sale today.
The new type of tickets will allow travel on any 8 days during a 28 day period. It’s aimed at providing more flexibility for staff who now don’t need to commute into an office every day.
How does it work?
The new Flexi Season ticket gives customers 8 days of travel in 28 days - any time between two named stations.
The 8 days of travel doesn’t need to be specified in advance, giving part-time commuters more flexibility to travel when they want and need.
The Flexi Season ticket will offer a minimum of 20% discount on an equivalent Monthly Season ticket, offering savings for commuters travelling during peak times, 2-3 days a week.
The paperless tickets are on sale now and can be used from Monday 28th June.
At Reading station today, passengers gave their reaction to the new ticket.
Analysis by the Department for Transport claims that commuters who travel on only two days a week could make the following savings in a year compared to the cost of daily tickets:
over £260 from Woking to London
over £60 from Southampton Central to Winchester
Some transport groups have criticised the new tickets. Former transport minister Norman Baker, now an adviser at Campaign for Better Transport, said they "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."
Graeme Douglas, who commutes from Faversham in Kent into London, is also disappointed with the benefits the new tickets may bring.
Chief Executive of Transport Focus, Anthony Smith, says new tickets are a step in the right direction but are not enough on their own. He says “this should be the first of many initiatives like this.”