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New national flexible season tickets

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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 allow travel on any eight days in a 28-day period, with passengers able to tap smartcards or scan mobiles at the station, with no need to select the days of travel in advance.

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.

To encourage more passengers to travel by rail, for the rest of this year 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.”

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.

Matthew Fell, CBI Chief UK Policy Director, said, “CBI members have told us that hybrid working is likely to be the long-term norm for many firms, with employees splitting their week between home and onsite working. It is therefore essential that public transport networks reflect these new habits.”