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Great Western Railway proposes flexible season tickets

Paloma Kubiak
Written By:
Paloma Kubiak

Great Western Railway has proposed two flexible season ticket types to cater for workers returning to the office part-time following the coronavirus pandemic.

The rail group is proposing to introduce a three-day per seven-day season ticket as well as 12 tickets which can be used per month.

However, the level of discount, routes and time-frame for the scheme are yet to be confirmed. A GWR spokesperson said the proposal will need to be agreed by the Department for Transport.

It comes as a number of other train firms are looking at ways to get people travelling post-pandemic as prime minister Boris Johnson urged citizens to get back to work.

On Friday, Johnson addressed the nation and said: “From 1 August, we will update our advice on going to work.

“Instead of government telling people to work from home, we are going to give employers more discretion, and ask them to make decisions about how their staff can work safely.

“That could mean of course continuing to work from home, which is one way of working safely and which has worked for many employers and employees.

“Or it could mean making workplaces safe by following Covid-secure guidelines. Whatever employers decide, they should consult closely with their employees, and only ask people to return to their place of work if it is safe.”

Earlier this month, watchdog Transport Focus wrote to the Secretary of State for Transport calling for a better value fare and ticketing system as workers’ usual commute is likely to alter in the aftermath of the health crisis.

This could include more flexible season tickets or ‘carnets’ which offer a discount for multiple journeys when bought upfront for people returning to the office to work part-time as the pandemic alters the typical Monday-Friday commute.

Transport Focus chief executive, Anthony Smith, wrote: “A new railway needs a 21st century retail offer, especially when it may need to stimulate demand and persuade passengers to return.

“Changing work patterns will increase demand for flexible season tickets. People working from home for two-three days a week will not want to pay for a traditional season ticket offer but will still expect some recognition that they are a regular, if less frequent, traveller.”