Tuesday 29 June 2021 / 10:30 PM Jim McMahon

Government’s post-pandemic ‘flexi tickets’ leave commuters paying 150% more for train travel

Government’s post-pandemic ‘flexi tickets’ leave commuters paying 150% more for train travel


Some commuters face forking out nearly 150% more for train travel if they use the Government’s post-pandemic flexible season ticket scheme.


The tickets, which ministers claim “match modern working habits” and “will save passengers hundreds of pounds” could in fact cost rail-users up to £50 a day extra on some key routes – despite being touted as a way to encourage people back into the office after months of home working.


Labour has compared the cost per day of annual season tickets and the Government’s new flexi season ticket on more than 50 train routes.


The analysis shows:


  • Some commuters will be paying 149% more per day to buy a flexi season ticket rather than an annual season ticket


  • The biggest cash difference is between Swindon and London, where the cost of an annual ticket works out at £37 per day, compared to £91 per day for the flexi ticket – more than £50 difference.


  • In Transport Secretary Grant Shapps’ constituency of Welwyn Hatfield, the cost of a flexi season ticket per day from Hatfield to London is £16.66, compared to £11.41 for an annual pass. That’s a difference of £5.25, or 45%.


  • On some popular commuter routes, such as Petersfield in Hampshire to London, it works out cheaper to buy an annual season ticket (unlimited travel pass) and not use it on some days than a flexi one, even if you’re only planning on travelling into London three days per week.


Jim McMahon MP, Labour’s Shadow Transport Secretary, said:


“Ministers had a real chance to make train travel a more realistic and affordable option for families who have already been hit hard in the pocket and are struggling to make ends meet after struggling through the pandemic.


“It is staggering that they are now lauding a scheme which in fact makes it more expensive for many people and hoping nobody notices.


“This failure will discourage people from getting back on to the network when restrictions ease, which will be vital for getting the sector on a stable footing.”