One of the government’s first announcements of 2020 is a recognition that the world of work is changing. Rail season tickets are to be extended to part time workers.
Part time workers will be able to access cheaper train fares in 2020.
One of the government’s first announcements of the new year is a plan to introduce flexible season tickets for people who work part time.
Currently anyone working less than five days a week either has to buy a full price season ticket if they commute by rail. Alternatively they can pay for separate tickets on the day they travel. But that is significantly more expensive than the price regular commuters pay.
The new system of flexible season tickets is expected to be trialled on the Thameslink routes that run through London at first. It’ll be rolled out more widely if it’s a success.
Last year it was revealed that sales of season tickets were plummeting. That change was largely put down to the increase in flexible working. So Transport Secretary Grant Shapps plan for the new flexible versions is largely being driven by circumstances. But part time workers will welcome it as a recognition by the government that working patterns are changing.
However it remains the case that the vast majority of commuters travel by car.
The move was unveiled on the same day as new rail fare increases came into effect across the board. Commuters have to swallow a 2.7% increase in the cost of travel on the first day back after the Christmas holidays.
Grant Shapps pledged that the trial of flexible season tickets along with other new schemes aimed at addressing the difference between single and return fares were part of a government push towards “a clearer, more flexible and fairer fares system”