When we launched our The Way Forward campaign last year, we urged the Government to lead the way with a national campaign and incentive scheme to encourage people back on board public transport post-Covid. That’s why on Tuesday, we welcomed the launch of the first ever nationwide rail ticket offer, The Great British Rail Sale, as a major campaign success.
The Great British Rail Sale is of course only a temporary incentive that’s far from perfect, but it’s a great start and could pave the way for more long-term changes to fares and ticketing. Our hope is that it will show the Government that cheaper fares can mean more passengers AND more income, and convince the Treasury that the way to increase income from fares is to make them cheaper, not keep ratcheting them up and driving people off the railway. For this to happen though we need as many people as possible to take up this offer so it’s a success.
Of course this is only one of the measures we have been calling for to help make rail travel more attractive and affordable, we also want to see:
- An end to massive annual fare rises
- A wholesale rejigging of fares and ticketing to respond to new travelling patterns
- Much better use of public money by Network Rail (and subsequently Great British Railways) to get more improvements for the same money
- Far fewer engineering works at times people want to travel
- Better timetables so that journeys are faster and smoother.
For now though let’s show the Government that when rail travel is more affordable, more people will choose it. If you’ve been putting off a trip due to the cost, or just want to get out and about by rail again, now’s your chance to grab a bargain and support the long-term future of the railways.