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Rail plan could make life cheaper for Cardiff commuters

 

Proposed changes to railway ticket and fare systems have been put forward

A PLAN to overhaul traditional train tickets and fares could make travelling “easier” and “cheaper” for Cardiff commuters.

The Rail Delivery Group, which represents the UK’s railway companies, says a tap-in tap-out system, along with a weekly cap like the one used by the London Underground, would benefit commuters and those with flexible work schedules.

Commuters would use their bank card across Britain as they enter and exit stations and the fare would be automatically calculated.

The Cardiffian spoke to commuters about the proposed overhaul, many were not aware of the potential changes but thought they would benefit from them.

Steven Byrne, who often travels from Cardiff to Manchester, said: “I welcome anything to take us forward.

“They have transformed Cardiff so anything to further improve our transport and make it easier and cheaper is good news to me.

“Especially if I save time and money on purchasing my tickets.”

Ellen Barker, a regular commuter from Barry to Cardiff, also agreed with the change to the ticket and fare system.

“It seems the ticket prices can be extortionate at times,” she said.

“Changes to make my journey fairer and easier – as well as others – can only be good. Let’s hope it works.”

The principles of the proposal are said to ensure fair pricing, simplicity and flexibility.

The “once-in-a-generation” reform would change peak and off-peak travel making prices more flexible and cheaper at most times, the RDG claims.

However, they say there may be a potential increase at the edge of current peak times.

They also suggest long-distance travellers will benefit from the system as it aims to stop people from having to buy split-tickets to get cheaper fares.

Over-crowding would also be addressed by the potential “spreading of demand across the day.”

The Cardiffian spoke to commuters about the proposed overhaul, many were not aware of the potential changes but thought they would benefit from them.

Steven Byrne, who often travels from Cardiff to Manchester, said: “I welcome anything to take us forward.

“They have transformed Cardiff so anything to further improve our transport and make it easier and cheaper is good news to me.

“Especially if I save time and money on purchasing my tickets.”

Ellen Barker, a regular commuter from Barry to Cardiff, also agreed with the change to the ticket and fare system.

“It seems the ticket prices can be extortionate at times,” she said.

“Changes to make my journey fairer and easier – as well as others – can only be good.

“Let’s hope it works.”

Transport for Wales operate the railways throughout Wales

Transport for Wales says it expects the new scheme to begin rolling out in the next couple of years – but was unable to provide further comment at this time.

The proposals come as a result of a consultation held by RDG and Transport Focus, an independent passenger watchdog.

Paul Plummer, chief executive of the Rail Delivery Group, said: “Customers have different needs and want an easy to use range of rail fares to meet them.

“Our proposals can deliver exactly that – creating a system that better fits how people live and work today.”

The consultation – of almost 20,000 people – shows that eight out of 10 people want the current system to be changed.

It also showed that 35% of non-rail users are put off using trains due to the existing fare system.

Anthony Smith, chief executive of Transport Focus, said: “Passengers want to see root and branch reform to the outdated and outmoded fares and ticketing system.

“Starting a rolling programme of reform, which, with all parties working together, has the potential to be rolled out operator by operator across the network over the next three to five years.”

The RDG says that rail companies want to work with the government now to begin implementing the reform of tickets and fares.

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