UK rail services could soon scrap return train tickets for ‘single-leg pricing’

Catching the train can be a handy way to reach a staycation spot in the UK or for a fun day out.

While rail tickets can be expensive – sometimes more so than flights – you don’t need to turn up at the station hours before departure.

Plus, hopping on a train can be far quicker than driving around Britain.

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Unfortunately, those who love to hop on the railway may be shocked by the recent news that UK return fares may be scrapped.

New digital ticketing is thought to be being introduced in a reform of the British rail system with announcements on what this entails coming this week.

It seems return tickets, which often mean a discounted price for two ways, are set to be scrapped.

According to the Telegraph, return fares will be abolished in favour of “single-leg pricing”.

The hope is that the price of two singles will equal the current return fare rates.

Single-leg pricing was trialled in 2020 by east coast train operator LNER.

Mark Harper, the Transport Secretary, will reveal if the new fares are to be expected in an outline for “Great British Railways” (GBR) this week.

GBR is to be a new public body that will bring track and train operations into one central administration that oversees timetables and tickets – thought it has faced criticism.

It’s thought that Mr Harper will also raise the idea of using better technology and pricing strategies to simplify rail travel.

The Guardian claims this may even mean using smart cards – like the Oyster card – around the UK.

The change comes as the public has criticised the governments failure to resolve rail strikes around the nation.

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Inflation, pay battles and the after effects of Covid have left operators in a fares shortfall of around £2billion annually.

This means that emergency contractors have kept the rail industry going rather than franchises.

Southeastern, Northern and LNER are currently being run by the governments own operator.

Critics have demanded longer-term solutions to the problem going forwards.


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