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With rail fares set to rise again, Campaign for Better Transport calls for flexible season tickets for part-time workers

27 December 2015

With regulated rail fares set to rise on 2 January, Campaign for Better Transport is calling on the Government to do more to help part-time workers with the cost of their commute and introduce flexible ticketing as a matter of urgency.

Martin Abrams, from Campaign for Better Transport, said: “This year’s rise is lower than in previous years, but will still mean fares have gone up 25 per cent since 2010. But it’s not just that fares are too expensive, the whole ticketing system is too complex and fails to reflect modern working patterns. Passengers are still waiting for flexible ticketing promised by the Government two and a half years ago. The lack of flexible ticketing, which many other European countries already have in place, means that rail travel is still an expensive luxury for the millions of people who work part-time and for the thousands more who are currently prevented from working due to the cost of the commute.”

Campaign for Better Transport has launched a petition on its website which calls on the Government to stop dragging its feet and introduce flexible ticketing as promised.


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

Notes to Editors

  1. Regulated fares, including season tickets, will go up by RPI 1.1 per cent on 2 January 2016 meaning the average season ticket now costs 25 per cent more than 2010.
  2. Campaign for Better Transport’s part-time ticketing petition is available at: http://www.bettertransport.org.uk/part-time-tickets-petition
  3. In September 2013 the Government announced its £80 million South East Flexible Ticketing (SEFT) programme to introduce smart Oyster-style ticketing across south east England and pilot a flexible, part-time season ticket on a commuter route into London. So far no trial has happened and the Government has failed to commit to a timescale for introducing flexible ticketing, meaning the UK’s eight million part-time workers continue to miss out on discounted travel.
  4. 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

  1. 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).
  2. Campaign for Better Transport research in August 2015 found 20 European countries where some sort of flexible ticketing is available, including Germany, France, Ireland, Portugal and Estonia.
  3. 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).