Rail chiefs to hold summit on simplifying train fares


Plans to make train fares easier to understand will be discussed by rail leaders and Government officials after it emerged that passengers are not being shown the cheapest tickets for two-thirds of cross-country routes.

The Rail Delivery Group (RDG), which represents train companies and Network Rail, announced it will hold a summit in a bid to introduce new rules for online journey planners to include slower and cheaper options, as well as reform how train routes are priced.

On 33 out of a sample of 50 journeys, it is possible to obtain a cheaper fare than the one advertised on nationalrail.co.uk - which describes itself as the "definitive source of customer information" - an investigation by The Times found.

Savings of at least £85 can be made on some journeys by splitting tickets, where a passenger buys several tickets for destinations along their route rather than one for the entire trip.

Jacqueline Starr, RDG managing director of customer experience, accepted that the rail industry "can do more" to make buying a ticket less complex.

She said: "We want to help people get the best possible information and to be confident that they are buying the right tickets for their journeys.

"We have already begun conversations with the Department for Transport about changes to regulation that are needed to enable this but want to speed up this work in the best interests of our passengers."

New rail minister Paul Maynard said earlier this week that he is "already looking at" the issue of how tickets are sold, and insisted that "passengers should always be able to get the best deal".