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Campaigners call for flexible season tickets for part-time workers during National Work Life Week

21 September 2015

As part of National Work Life Week (Monday 21 – Friday 25 September) Campaign for Better Transport is calling on the Government and train operating companies to introduce flexible season tickets as a matter of urgency to help the UK’s eight million part-time workers.

Martin Abrams, Public Transport Campaigner at Campaign for Better Transport, said:

“Millions of people work flexible hours or part-time to fit in with family commitments, but our current ticketing system is failing to reflect this change in the workforce. There is almost zero flexibility in our fares and ticketing systems to make rail travel affordable for this vital army of workers. We want to see a ticketing system that reflects modern working patterns and makes rail travel a viable choice, not just for the UK’s millions of part-time workers, but also for the thousands more who are currently prevented from working due to the cost of the commute.”

Currently, there is no equivalent of a season ticket for part-time workers. This means that part-time workers must buy expensive one-off tickets, or season tickets which they then waste on the days they don't work. If a four day a week annual season ticket was available it could save commuters coming into London £800 on average, with a three day ticket saving an average £1600 a year. Commuters travelling into Manchester could save £230 on a four day ticket and £465 on a three day one. Bristol commuters could save almost £400 on a four day ticket and £780 on a three day ticket.

In the UK eight million people work part-time, four million of those flexibly with over 750,000 on zero hours contracts. 75 per cent of part-time workers are women. 

Campaign for Better Transport has launched a petition on its website which calls on the Government to stop dragging its feet and introduce the flexible ticketing trial it promised in 2013 and which has yet to be delivered.

Deborah Granville, Campaign Manager at Working Families, the leading work life balance organisation which organises National Work Life Week 2015, said:

“Balancing work and family commitments is tough, but being able to work flexibly or part-time can really help. With such a large number of UK workers now choosing to work this way, it makes sense that there is a train ticket which reflects commuters’ needs, whilst opening up the possibility of more flexible working to thousands more.”


For further information please contact Alice Ridley on 020 7566 6495 / 07984 773 468 or alice.ridley@bettertransport.org.uk

Notes to Editors

1.     National Work Life Week runs from 21 to 25 September 2015 and is organised by Working Families, the UK’s leading work-life balance organisation. The charity supports and gives a voice to working parents and carers, whilst also helping employers create workplaces which encourage work-life balance for everyone  The legal advice service for working parents is available on 0300 012 0312  or email advice@workingfamilies.org.uk www.workingfamilies.org.uk

2.     Working on the basis that a four day per week annual season ticket would cost 4/5 that of the current annual season ticket, with a three day a week one costing 3/5 and a two day a week one costing 2/5, below are examples of the average savings on routes into the selected cities.

  4 day a week saving on the current annual season ticket 3 day a week saving on the current annual season ticket 2 day a week saving on the current annual season ticket
Trains into London £799.86 £1599.72 £2399.58
Trains into Birmingham £318.16 £636.32 £954.48
Trains into Manchester £232.72 £465.44 £698.16
Trains into Bristol £391.68 £783.36 £1175.04
Trains into Leeds £270.96 £541.92 £812.88
Trains into Liverpool £226.72 £543.44 £680.16

The full fares data from which these averages have been calculated is available here:

London fares data

Birmingham fares data

Manchester fares data

Bristol fares data

Leeds fares data

Liverpool fares data

3.     The UK has the fifth highest rate of part-time workers in Europe according to the annual EU Labour Force survey 2014. http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/web/products-datasets/-/tesem100

4.     Campaign for Better Transport’s part-time ticketing petition is available here: http://www.bettertransport.org.uk/part-time-tickets-petition

5.     The Department for Transport announced a trial of flexible ticketing in 2013, which was due to start the following year https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-to-invest-in-flexible-ticketing-trial

6.     Campaign for Better Transport is the UK's leading authority on sustainable transport. We champion transport solutions that improve people's lives and reduce environmental damage. Our campaigns push innovative, practical policies at local and national levels. Campaign for Better Transport Charitable Trust is a registered charity (1101929).

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