Department for Transport
Year of action on railway starts with new fares trials
Govia Thameslink Railway and LNER in flexible ticket trials to inform rail improvements.
- new fares trial for GTR passengers and start of LNER trials, providing more flexible tickets and informing wider improvements across the rail system
- government to establish new ‘fares trials fund’ to establish further fares trials across the country
- trials to provide evidence base in advance of the independent Keith Williams Rail Review, which will provide recommendations focused on creating a simpler, more effective railway system
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has today (2 January 2020) told passengers to expect a year of action towards creating a rail industry relentlessly focused on improving their experience.
Steps to pilot new fares systems have been announced today, designed to support people who want to travel and work flexibly.
A new fares trial on Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) will provide passengers on certain routes with the opportunity to purchase better value tickets aimed at part-time workers, reflecting modern working patterns.
The government will also establish a new ‘fares trials fund’, to kickstart further trials this year across the country. These will help thousands of passengers save money, and provide the foundations for reform.
Reforms of the rail system will be set out in a white paper this year, responding to the recommendations of Keith Williams’ root and branch review of our rail network. The recommendations will include plans for a more modern rail system, including ending the complicated franchising model to create a simpler, more effective system.
Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, said:
This government will improve the railway system to ensure the focus is always on putting passengers first.
This commitment begins with the launch of innovative fares trials, to help explore the benefits and costs of a clearer, more flexible and fairer fares system.
Delivering such significant change will take time, but passengers can have total confidence that these trials will help provide the evidence needed to develop wider reforms to the fares system and a significantly better service.
The announcement of GTR trials coincides with the start of trials on LNER today, enabling passengers to purchase cheaper single-leg tickets on services from London to Leeds, Newcastle and Edinburgh.
Previously a passenger travelling between London and Edinburgh purchasing a ticket at the station would have paid £150.50 for a Super Off-Peak Single ticket or £151.50 for a Super Off-Peak Return ticket from 2 January. Under this trial, the cost of a Super Off-Peak Single is now £75.75.
The chair of the government’s root-and-branch rail review has set out that his recommendations will focus on making the current system simpler and more convenient for passengers.
Independent Chair of the Williams Rail Review, Keith Williams, said:
My review’s proposals will make recommendations aimed at modernising the railway, creating a system that’s built for its passengers.
The trial launched today will help to shape my recommendations for a fairer, more flexible and modern service, which better reflects the way people want to travel.
The move comes as the government freezes regulated fares in line with inflation for the seventh year running. Since 2014 fares have, on average, remained below the annual inflation cap.
The government has also helped cut the cost of fares for a generation of passengers through the new 16-17 and 26-30 ‘millennial’ railcard, and will be rolling out a new veteran’s railcard to give 700,000 former servicemen and women a third off their rail costs.
Latest News from
Department for Transport
Third generation mariner to turbocharge the future of maritime’s brightest talent24/01/2020 15:25:00
New Maritime Skills Commission to develop skills in the sector.
Pacer competition winners will transform trains for northern communities24/01/2020 10:25:00
Three winners to receive a Pacer carriage for community use.
Disabled passengers set for more accessible journeys at sea23/01/2020 13:05:00
New accessibility guidance for maritime operators.
Government fulfils promise to veterans with new railcard23/01/2020 10:19:00
Military veterans to get cut-price train travel to help boost job prospects and bring them closer to family and friends.
Rail update on South Western Railway22/01/2020 16:51:00
Provides an update on South Western Railway and outlines precautionary measures being taken by the department to ensure the continuation of services.
Funding for on-street chargepoints doubled to help charge up electric vehicle revolution22/01/2020 12:10:00
Residential street chargepoint funding doubled and plans increasing access to real-time information released.
RMS Titanic wreck to be protected under historic treaty with US21/01/2020 15:10:00
International agreement comes into force to protect the culturally significant wreck site.
Regional Air Connectivity Review: aviation minister visits Liverpool John Lennon Airport to launch UK tour of regional airports21/01/2020 10:10:10
Department for Transport seeks views of local airports on regional connectivity.