New flexible train tickets catering to passengers travelling to work two or three days a week are available to book from today.
The paperless tickets offer travel on any 8 days in a 28-day period – with no need to select the dates in advance.
The government says the new passes will save commuters hundreds of pounds, providing greater choice and flexibility.
Commuters can now visit an updated online ‘season ticket calculator’ online – which highlights the best value tickets based on their journey, working pattern and individual needs.
The flexi-tickets have been introduced as part of a planned shake-up of rail transport in Britain – with a new body Great British Railways (GBR) integrating the railways and setting most fares and timetables.
GBR is expected to take over the rail system from 2023 – but the new flexi-tickets have been introduced earlier to accommodate current work habits of visiting the workplace two or three times per week.
Government analysis said that 2 day-a-week commuters from Liverpool to Manchester, for instance, could save over £230.
To encourage more passengers to travel by rail, train companies will also offer a “book with confidence guarantee” until December 31 – allowing people to rebook journeys or receive rail vouchers without an admin fee if their plans change.
However, Tony Miles, rail expert and contributor to Modern Railways magazine, told the BBC that people needed to understand the new system offered a limited number of journeys.
“These really aren’t season tickets – this is a bulk purchase of tickets,” he explained.
“A season ticket effectively gives you unlimited travel. The big difference with this is you’re buying a fixed number of journeys at a discount price but if you decide at a weekend to do some extra journeys that will start ticking off your credit.”
More information is available on the National Rail website.
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