Will Forster

Lib Dem Spokesperson for Woking and Councillor for South Woking Learn more

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Government Minister to look at Lib Dem proposal for train ticketing

by willforster on 22 June, 2020

The Lib Dems and I have succeeded in getting the Department for Transport to look into flexible rail tickets to help commuters getting back to work after the coronavirus pandemic.

With traditional season tickets unlikely to be attractive for many commuters in the future, the Lib Dems have called on the Government and train companies to provide more flexible ticket options including ‘carnet’ ticketing.  Carnet ticketing would provide for 10 or 20 single journeys at a discount on the individual ticket price and crucially would allow much more flexibility than traditional season tickets.

During the lockdown working from home has become a new routine for many people and now, as the lockdown is gradually lifted, it is clear that many of these workers are unlikely to revert to 5 day-a-week commuting.  Moreover, with restrictions on capacity on the rail network likely for the near future, a new approach is needed to support commuters.

Despite all the challenges of social distancing it is vitally important that we have public transport systems which work for people.  The alternative would be more cars on the road, more congestion and more air pollution.  We cannot allow that to happen.

Travelling by train must continue to be a cost effective and attractive option for people.  Many Woking residents have no choice but to commute to work via train, and that is why the Lib Dems and I are pushing both the Government and South Western Railway to introduce ticketing options which combine the convenience and better value of season tickets with greater flexibility.

In response to the Lib Dems’ request, the Rail Minister, Chris Heaton-Harris, confirmed that the Government has agreed to look at better value ticketing options for part-time and flexible rail commuters.  The Minister recognises that this is increasingly important in the post-Covid world.  He has undertaken to work with the rail operators to introduce options such as carnet ticketing as quickly as possible.

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