All train operators have called for a change to be made to the fare system, removing peak and off-peak tickets and replacing them with a ‘tap-in, tap-out’ system.
This reform would be a significant move and would be the first contribution made to the Williams Review from the industry.
The current system is old and out-dated and so, the void between peak prices and off-peak prices has to be scrapped as it is believed that this will also prevent overcrowding. For customers, this means that they will pay the cheapest fair available when they purchase and will remove the need to split tickets.
Campaigners have called for a weekly fare cap to be introduced to prevent commuters from paying for a season ticket which includes days they do not travel and as part of this, there has been a call for a national roll out of the tap-in, tap-out system that is used in London.
This would mean that some fares would drop in price while some would go up but on the whole, the effect would be revenue neutral, with the programme being rolled out over the next 3-5 years.
It has been found that 80% of people want the changes to be made and now the Rail Delivery Group want to get things moving. This will mean that the government, industry and passenger groups will have to consider the regulation and how it aligns with a number of real-world trials.
The chief executive of the Rail Delivery Group, Paul Plummer has said that the consultation on a nationwide scale has revealed that customers have different needs and so, they want rail fares that are easy to use and understand. These proposals can meet these needs, with a system that fits around the way in which people live and work.
However, changing the old system is not a simple task but the plans that have been proposed can ensure that they get there quickly, but the government has to play its part in making these changes happen.
There is a belief that the system needs to fall in line with the way in which businesses work because so many rely on the rail network. This will make it possible for companies to make use of the best prices when travelling while making travel a lot more efficient, ensuring businesses can trade easily across many regions of the UK.