Are you set to commute part-time when you return to the workplace? The introduction of new, flexible season tickets could make it more affordable.
The government has announced a complete overhaul of England’s rail system, including the creation of a new, state-owned body, Great British Railways (GBR), which will set timetables and prices, plus sell carnet-style flexible tickets.
The carnet-style tickets will allow travel on any eight days in a 28-day period, saving part-time commuters hundreds of pounds per year on certain routes.
“For many, the idea of travelling five days a week to the office is fast becoming a relic of the past,” Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said. “The future is flexible: passengers want a simple, stress-free option, and new flexible tickets make fares fairer. As we kickstart the biggest reform of our railways in a generation, we’re committed to creating a modern railway that works for its passengers.”
How will the tickets work?
The flexible tickets will be available to commuters across England on June 21, for use by June 28, the government has announced. This is to coincide with the expected easing of lockdown restrictions and the removal of the “work from home” advice.
The tickets are designed primarily for those who commute two or three days a week, to “reflect the long-term decline in the use of traditional season tickets, with a change in working practices having been accelerated by the outbreak of Covid-19”.
The paperless tickets will allow travel on any eight days in a 28-day period, with passengers able to tap smartcards or scan mobiles at the station, with no need to select the days of travel in advance.
How much could I save?
The Department for Transport said potential annual savings compared with buying daily tickets for passengers who commute two days a week include:
– Woking to London: More than £250
– Liverpool to Manchester: More than £220
– Stafford to Birmingham: More than £160
For people commuting three times per week, potential savings include:
– St Albans City to London: More than £220
– Bromsgrove to Birmingham: More than £120
– Weston-Super-Mare to Bristol Temple Meads: More than £90
Full details of routes and savings will be available before the tickets go on sale on June 21.