Rail firms must offer discount tickets for parttime workers campaigners say

Passenger groups have urged all rail companies to offer discount tickets for part-time workers after South Western Railway introduced a ten-ticket discount.As the way people work evolves, with more staff than ever opting to work remotely from home once or twice a week, many commuters say they feel ripped off.Campaigners have argued that it is unfair for a flexible, part-time or remote worker to pay for five days a week of rail travel when they only commute three or four times – especially considering the rising cost of transport.South Western Railway  has launched a discounted carnet ticket for those who travel regularly but not enough to benefit from a season ticket.Customers get a 5 per cent discount when buying 10 one-day tickets for use between the same origin and destination stations. Maria Caulfield, MP for Lewes, said: “Part time season tickets are something many of my constituents have been calling for. With flexible working and the ability to work from home, many now only travel two to three days a week to work by train.“However there are no options currently on the Southern Rail network for them to buy a part time season ticket. This would make a huge difference to the cost of commuting for thousands of passengers in Lewes.”The Campaign for Better Transport agreed, adding: “The way that companies sell season tickets hasn’t evolved with the way people work.”The government has recently announced a review into the railways, and many commuter groups have argued that ticketing needs to be made simpler and more affordable.Darren Shirley, Chief Executive of Campaign for Better Transport, said: “The rail ticketing system has failed to keep up with the changes in the way people work. With the growth in part-time working, and working from home, the rail industry needs to adapt its ticketing approach to make commuting by train more palatable and affordable for those not working full time.“Train companies need to ensure that their part-time ticketing options are meaningful and save passengers money compared to a 7-day season ticket or buying tickets each day.”A complete overhaul of fares and ticketing is long overdue – the Government’s recently announced root and branch review of the railways needs to make ticketing simpler, fairer and more affordable.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.

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