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Rail industry demands 'tap-in, tap-out' and capping changes on London fares

The rail industry has called on the government to radically overhaul the fares system into London after a consultation revealed thousands are in favour of improvements.

The Rail Delivery Group, which represents all of Britain’s railway companies, has published proposals which include a ‘best fare guarantee’ and ‘tap-in, tap-out’ technology with a weekly price cap which could save money for thousands of flexible workers.

The proposals come following a consultation where 85 per cent of 20,000 respondents wanted the fares system improved.

Paul Plummer, chief executive of the Rail Delivery Group (RDG), representing train operators and Network Rail, said: “The result of our nationwide consultation is clear – customers have different needs and want an easy to use range of rail fares to meet them.

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

The proposals, titled ‘Easier Fares for All’, call on the government to roll out ‘tap-in, tap-out’ pay-as-you-go fares with the same price capping system currently in London fares zones. Of the 3,200 respondents to the consultation based in the South-east, 92 per cent wanted a price cap to be considered.

Those who currently buy season tickets could save money when they don’t work five days a week or work flexible hours, as they will not be committed to paying on-peak fares every day when using a pay-as-you-go system.

Trials are also set to take place to test the plans.

If the proposals are adopted, the rail industry could offer a ‘best fare guarantee’, so customers can pay the lowest fare available where and when they buy it.

Anthony Smith, chief executive of independent passenger watchdog Transport Focus, which led the easier fares consultation jointly with RDG said: “Passengers want to see root and branch reform to the outdated and outmoded fares and ticketing system. “Trials will provide reassurance and allow passengers to understand the impact of the changes.”

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