Half of British rail passengers 'paying too much for tickets'


Four in 10 rail passengers 'paying too much for tickets'PA

A new survey has revealed that four in 10 rail passengers are paying too much for train tickets.

Rules governing different train times and tickets are proving so confusing that passengers are paying over the odd for their farea.

Tickets are divided into peak (most expensive), off-peak (cheaper), and advance (least expensive), but a survey carried out by the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) of more than 1,600 passengers found that 37% did not realise that if they missed the train they booked on an advance ticket, they are likely to be forced to pay again for another service.

Definitions of peak times also vary between operators, adding to the confusion of ticket pricing; the survey revealed the 41% of passengers are actually paying too much.

Chairman of the ORR Anna Walker told the Telegraph: "If passengers do not have the information they need, they can end up paying more than is necessary or find themselves being penalised for having the wrong ticket.

"Lack of clarity or certainty that they are getting the right ticket can also undermine passengers' confidence and trust in the railways."

And Norman Baker, the rail performance minister, said changes were needed. "I firmly believe that buying a rail ticket should be a straightforward transaction, not an obstacle course.

"Passengers should be able to confidently choose from a range of fares, finding the best one for their journey without having to understand every nuance of the fares and retail structure.

"When people do decide to travel by rail, they want a train ticket, not a lottery ticket."

But Michael Roberts, the chief executive of the Association of Train Operating Companies, said changes have been made to simplify the ticket-buying process, telling the Telegraph: "Despite tough financial times, more and more people are choosing to go by train because they are able to find a good value ticket for their journey.

"A lot has been done to make things as straightforward as possible for passengers and we are committed to doing better."

Do you feel confused about what to choose when purchasing train tickets? Leave your thoughts below...

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