Ministers urged to dish out discounted train tickets to get passengers back on railways

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MINISTERS are being urged to dish out cut-price rail tickets to get passengers back on the railways.

Watchdogs want deals to mimic Rishi Sunak’s “Eat Out To Help Out”.

Rail fares are set to increase again today

And they are also pushing for a “carnet” scheme, which offers discounts for multiple journeys, to encourage rail travel following the Covid pandemic.

Anthony Smith, chief executive of independent watchdog Transport Focus, said: “Our research tells us almost two in three former rail commuters expect to work from home more.

“So the Government needs to get train firms to offer cut-price deals, carnet-style bundles [of ten tickets for the price of eight], flexible season tickets and better value-for- money fares across the board.

“Like the ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ deal, we need a ‘Head Out to Help Out’ campaign.”

Transport Focus’s call for action is outlined in its new report, Fairer Fares: The Future Of Rail Commuting.

Passengers told the pressure group that any discounts need to be substantial to be genuinely attractive.

One said: “Even when the office reopens, I expect I will be going there fewer than two days a week.

“There’s no flexible ticket for regular part-time travellers.”

Another commuter added: “Changing work patterns will probably result in most of my job being based from home.”

The average season ticket across 183 UK routes costs £3,067. And rail fares are set to increase again today.

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