Passengers ‘confused and frustrated’ by train tickets

Friday, 08 June 2012 10:58

By Kay Carson

Many train passengers in the UK find selecting and buying tickets a confusing and frustrating process, according to a rail watchdog’s survey.

The Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) said that some travellers do not understand ticket jargon such as ‘peak’, ‘off-peak’ and ‘advanced’, while others have difficulty finding and buying the most cost effective fares.

Nearly three quarters of passengers polled were not confident what ‘off-peak’ times were and 45 per cent said the fare system is too complicated.

Two in five people surveyed said they had previously purchased tickets and later found they could have made the journey on cheaper tickets.

And among those travelling on an ‘advance’ ticket, 37 per cent did not realise that if they missed their train, and travelled on a later train, they would normally have to buy a new ticket.

ORR chairman, Anna Walker, said: “If passengers do not have the information they need, they can end up paying more than is necessary or find themselves being penalised for having the wrong ticket.

“Lack of clarity or certainty that they are getting the right ticket can also undermine passengers’ confidence and trust in the railways.”

More than 1,600 rail passengers were polled on trains, online and as part of focus groups about their experiences of choosing and buying rail tickets.


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