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Rail fare reforms must be driven by passengers, Which? says

The Rail Delivery Group, a rail company umbrella organisation, launched a fares consultation in June with watchdog Transport Focus.

Rail passengers have struggled for too long with a confusing ticketing system and poor service, consumer campaign group Which? says.

Campaigners say trust in the rail industry is at an “all time low” and want reforms which are passenger-led.

Which? has called for improvements after rail company bosses said they had received nearly 20,000 responses to a public consultation on Britain’s train fares system.

“Rail passengers have struggled for too long with a confusing ticketing system, poor service and severe delays and cancellations,” said Alex Hayman, Which? Managing Director of Public Markets, on Monday.

“The Government and industry need to prove that they are serious about making rail work for passengers.

“With trust in the industry at an all-time low, it is vital that any reforms in the sector are truly passenger-led.”

The Rail Delivery Group, a rail company umbrella organisation, launched a fares consultation in June with watchdog Transport Focus.

Bosses say they will make proposals for an “easier” fares system to ministers and hope the consultation will help them understand “what the country wants to see”.

A few months ago passengers were offered a guide to buying rail tickets which was 14 pages long.

National Rail’s “guide to tickets” listed four “main types of ticket”; outlined eight discount railcards; devoted two-thirds of a page to “anytime tickets – fully flexible” tickets; spent most of a page explaining “off-peak – semi-flexible” tickets; gave detail about “GroupSave” tickets, “group travel”, “Rover and Ranger” tickets and “combined rail and bus tickets”; and a section headed “getting the cheapest fare” contained an explanation which was more than 120 words long.

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