New national flexible season tickets launched in England
New flexible rail tickets will give commuters more freedom and flexibility, matching modern working habits.
New national flexible rail tickets, matching modern working habits and saving passengers hundreds of pounds, are now available to commuters across England.
The launch of flexible season tickets is the first step in the reform of the railways, as part of the recently launched Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail.
The paperless tickets will allow travel on any eight days in a 28-day period, with passengers able to tap smartcards or scan mobiles at stations, with no need to select the days of travel in advance.
From today (21 June 2021) commuters can visit an updated online ‘season ticket calculator’ website, which will point people to the best tickets for them based on their journey, working pattern and individual needs, ensuring they get the deal that suits them. Tickets will be valid from 28 June 2021.
Furthermore, to encourage more passengers to travel by rail, until 31 December 2021, train companies will also offer a ‘book with confidence’ guarantee, allowing people to rebook journeys or receive rail vouchers without an admin fee if their plans change.
Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, said: “Our railways work best when they are reliable, rapid and affordable. As we kickstart the biggest reforms to our railways in a generation, flexible season tickets are the first step. They give us greater freedom and choice about how we travel, simpler ticketing and a fairer fare. With a season ticket calculator to see which option works best for you, and a book with confidence guarantee to make journeys stress-free, the future of fares is flexible.”
Robert Nisbet, Director of Nations and Regions at the Rail Delivery Group (RDG), said: “We’ve worked with government to introduce the new Flexi Season ticket, which goes on sale today (21 June 2021), to give commuters the freedom and flexibility to divide their time between home and the office. The rail industry is helping people travel and book with confidence by providing better journey information, boosting cleaning and helping them change a booked journey fee free should their circumstances change.”
This new national offer also reflects the long-term decline in the use of traditional season tickets, with a change in working practices having been accelerated by the outbreak of COVID-19.
South Western Railway’s (SWR) Commercial Director, Peter Williams, said: “This product will offer the flexibility and value for money that so many of our customers need in the aftermath of a pandemic which has fundamentally altered working patterns. We are also pleased to be part of the ‘Book with confidence’ initiative, which enables our customers to change the date and time of Advance tickets for free. We have all got used to plans changing quickly and unexpectedly, and we want to do all we can to ensure that our customers don’t lose out when they do. As these and other improvements show, we are determined build back a better and more flexible railway, fit for the post-pandemic world.”