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Author Topic: The Consultation is On!  (Read 1740 times)
didcotdean
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« on: June 04, 2018, 09:39:23 am »

Consultation has started here: https://www.britainrunsonrail.co.uk/fares

Haven't had a chance to read through it myself but reportedly everything is in the option mix: elimination of season tickets in favour of a cap; elimination of peak / off-peak distinction; obviation of split ticketing; fares determined by speed and/or distance ...

EDIT: there is also a pdf version: https://www.britainrunsonrail.co.uk/files/docs/English_Version_v2.pdf
« Last Edit: June 12, 2018, 04:04:39 pm by grahame » Logged
grahame
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« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2018, 09:58:40 am »

Consultation has started here: https://www.britainrunsonrail.co.uk/fares

Haven't had a chance to read through it myself but reportedly everything is in the option mix: elimination of season tickets in favour of a cap; elimination of peak / off-peak distinction; obviation of split ticketing; fares determined by speed and/or distance ...

EDIT: there is also a pdf version: https://www.britainrunsonrail.co.uk/files/docs/English_Version_v2.pdf

Can't see an END date on those links ... if someone could find one / follow up please ('ve limited access today) .... Thanks!
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didcotdean
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« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2018, 10:14:16 am »

10 September.
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grahame
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« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2018, 10:20:48 am »

10 September.

Thanks - will probably split thread and add consultation to calendar tonight (unless someone beats me to it)
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stuving
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« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2018, 10:45:57 am »

The text of that (in its PDF form) says:"This survey, which is part of a joint consultation between the rail industry and passenger watchdog Transport Focus,...". Elsewhere, it seems to refer to itself as "this consultation".
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grahame
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« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2018, 01:27:10 pm »

10 September.

Thanks - will probably split thread and add consultation to calendar tonight (unless someone beats me to it)

Done!

Split from http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=19779.0

From Association of British Commuters [Southern, Facebook] A post and a follow up

Quote
In #Metro today. Seriously how dodgy and disgraceful is this!!! Passengers to be asked if they would pay more for better service? Unbelievable! NO is the answer.#RDG #chrisgrayling #transportfocus #anthonysmith #jojohnson #railminister
HAVE your say here - if anything the fares should be reduced at least by half
https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/EasierFaresConsultation

Quote
Dear all please read the survey carefully- the questions are structured in a manipulative way. Bottom line is they want to increase the fairs and want to manipulate passengers to agree to it
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bignosemac
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« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2018, 04:12:42 pm »

Where was the question about increased state subsidy to reduce fares across the board?
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grahame
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« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2018, 05:52:53 pm »

I find it interesting that on the same day that the Rail Delivery Group announce their fare consultation, Transport for Wales release details of the new Welsh franchise which includes a number of fare changes which will add yet more variety and differences between England and Wales ...
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welshman
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« Reply #8 on: June 04, 2018, 06:51:02 pm »

People's Republic of Wales obviously.  Grin
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CyclingSid
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« Reply #9 on: June 05, 2018, 07:41:19 am »

Whatever the outcome, I hope the implementation is better than the new timetables.
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grahame
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« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2018, 04:03:55 pm »

Media release: https://www.britainrunsonrail.co.uk/media-releases/134-rail-industry-seeks-root-and-branch-reform-of-rail-fares-regulation.html

Quote
Decades of well-intentioned but outdated regulation have led to a range of fare options that have not kept pace with technology or how people work and travel today.

Industry, with independent watchdog Transport Focus, will launch a public consultation spanning the country to establish a road-map for change to update fares regulation and make things easier for customers
Any proposals from the industry will be designed to be neutral in overall revenue terms and would require working with governments to implement
Alongside major upgrades to services, an easier-to-use range of fares is key to delivering the industry’s long-term plan for change and improvement
An easier to use range of fares will aim to maximise the benefits to customers, businesses and the economy of improvements in ticket-buying technology
Britain’s rail companies, a partnership between the public and private sectors, are launching a public consultation to seek ‘root and branch reform’ of fares and ticketing regulation.

The announcement follows new research by KPMG which shows that only one in three (34 per cent) rail customers is very confident that they bought the best value ticket for their last journey and fewer than one in three (29 per cent) were very satisfied with the experience of buying their ticket. Reform has the potential to transform the buying experience for customers, making it easier for people to be confident they are getting the right ticket.

Well-intentioned but ultimately counterproductive regulations underpinning rail fares have remained unchanged from the mid-1990s, when the 1995 Ticketing Settlement Agreement spelled out how fares should be set and sold. It assumes all customers will buy their ticket by visiting a ticket office and sets out in detail how customers must be able to buy a ticket from each of the 2,500 stations in Britain to every other station in the country.

Since then, further layers of requirements have been added through individual franchise agreements, with little or nothing taken away. This means that long-standing anomalies* are becoming locked in resulting in bigger problems for customers, and there are now around 55 million different fares. As a result it has become increasingly difficult for rail companies to guarantee the right fare. Regulations have failed to keep pace with the rise of smartphone technology or how people work and travel today, with part time working and self-employment having increased by over a third in 22 years.

Updated, fit-for-purpose fares regulation would enable the right changes for the long-term. That’s why the industry will be working with Transport Focus, the passenger watchdog, to launch a public consultation next month to hear the views of businesses, passenger groups, stakeholders, employees and the public on what a future range of fares should look like.

The consultation will help the industry to establish a road map which delivers against these principles. The industry wants to then work with governments to make fares simpler, easier and more trusted while continuing to enable investment in the railway.

To help frame the consultation, the Rail Delivery Group, which brings together all rail companies, has commissioned an independent report from KPMG to identify key principles which are driven by what customers and the country need from the railway. These principles should underpin a fares offering that is fit for the future and include:

Being transparent, predictable, fair, trusted, easier to use and value for money for customers;
Offering integration with other modes of transport;
Offering personalised, flexible fares which best serve customers in different markets;
Enabling growth, innovation, efficiency and choice; and,
Providing funding for investment and avoiding the need for additional taxpayer subsidy.
A final report will be informed by the consultation and will make proposals to governments with options for fares reform. The industry’s proposals will be designed to be neutral in overall revenue terms with no change in average fares, and therefore not requiring any extra taxpayer support for the railway. A fares offering which is trusted, though, has the potential to attract more people to travel by train which would support investment in rail or give governments the option to change the balance between taxpayers and farepayers for funding the railway.

The change the industry is calling for comes on top of improvements it is already making to fares where it can, and by working with governments. These include cutting jargon, clearer information about peak and off-peak times and better information about how people can use their ticket, part of a fares action plan agreed between industry, passenger groups and government. This is alongside the on-going roll-out of smart-ticketing, which will also help make it easier for people to buy the right ticket. But these changes alone will not go far enough in making things better for customers.

Commenting, Paul Plummer, Chief Executive of the Rail Delivery Group, said:

“As part of the industry’s plan for change, we want to work in partnership to drive root and branch reform of well-meaning but out-dated fares regulation. Working together, we want to develop proposals to reform fares and regulation to make it easier for our customers to get the right ticket, enhancing trust in the system and supporting continued investment to improve the service.

“Unpicking the regulation of a £10bn-a-year fares system that underpins such a vital public service means there are no quick-and-easy solutions. The change that’s needed won’t be easy and the industry doesn’t have all the answers, which is why we want to hear views from passengers, communities and businesses in all parts of the country.

“There have already been improvements and more are on the way but this consultation will enable us to create a clear roadmap with the country so that we can make the right changes for the long-term more quickly.”

Anthony Smith, Chief Executive of Transport Focus, said:

‘Rail passengers want a simpler, more understandable and modern fares system which matches the way we now travel. Opening up the debate and looking at the pros and cons of various reform options is welcome. Transport Focus will make sure the passenger voice is heard in these debates.’

Mike Cherry, National Chairman at the Federation of Small Businesses, said: “Small business owners, their staff and customers need to know they are getting the best deals when they travel by train.

“We look forward to working with the industry to help develop proposals for meaningful reform that benefits our members and rail customers right across the UK.”

Today’s announcement is an example of the industry delivering on the commitments it made in its cross-industry plan – launched last year – to deliver simpler ticketing and better value for money for customers, and to keep changing and improving for the economy, customers, communities and employees. Examples include the start of 18-months of unprecedented improvements with the opening of London Bridge and plans for an independent ombudsman to go-live this autumn.

Jane Gratton, Head of Business Environment at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:

“Businesses rely heavily on the rail network and will welcome this long-overdue review of the fares and ticketing system. Increasingly confusing, frustrating and unfair, the current system needs to be brought in line with the more nimble and flexible way in which firms now operate. It’s the obvious next step to ensure people gain maximum benefit from the ongoing investment in our railways.”

Notes to editors

The hashtag for the consultation will be #easierfares.

Last October, the partnership railway of the public and private sectors published a long-term plan for change – In Partnership for Britain’s Prosperity. It included a commitment to increase customer satisfaction by developing practical proposals for the reform of fares.
 
The 1995 Ticketing and Settlement Agreement can be found on the RDG website – chapters 4 and 6 set out how fares should be set and sold.
 
In addition to changes already underway as part of the fares action plan which will improve the buying experience for customers, over the next six months, the industry will be looking to run a number of trials to test options for a future fares structure.

Also, train companies will be selling more advance fares on the day of travel and more train company websites and apps will display information about when advance fares are running out. The industry will also be continuing to simplify and improve the information printed on orange tickets.
 
* Examples of some of the long-standing anomalies which are becoming increasingly apparent include:
‘Through-ticket peak-time premiums’, where a customer takes a journey involving more than one leg. The first leg is on a peak-time train and the second leg is on an off-peak service. The customer might be charged a peak-time fare for the whole journey because regulation means train companies have to offer one through-fare. For example, a passenger travelling from north to west via London can end up paying for a peak fare for their entire journey when half their trip is on an off-peak service.
Inflexible 7-day, monthly or annual season tickets, where smart ticketing could offer better products to passengers who work part time. Because smart schemes have been required to sell the same products as the paper tickets, this is often not possible.
 
The advent of digital ticketing and smartphones means there is potential to retail tickets in a way that lets more customers buy tickets where and when it suits them, and be confident they are paying the right fare. However, the inflexible nature of the current underlying fares structure and regulation limits the possibility to do this.
 
The rail industry, working with KPMG, has undertaken a detailed pre-consultation policy scoping review process to define the parameters of this ticketing and fares reform consultation which is available on the RDG website.
 
Data on self-employment and part-time working is based on ONS April 2018 labour market statistics.
 
Timeline of consultation process:
Public consultation opens – Monday 4 June
Public consultation closes – Monday 10 September
Final report – Late autumn
 
The proposed consultation is not about the overall balance between farepayers and taxpayers since this choice is rightly a matter for governments.
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RichardB
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« Reply #11 on: June 13, 2018, 08:29:42 am »

A post on the Southern Electric Group's Facebook page pointed to this blog which has some interesting observations on the consultation  https://diamondgeezer.blogspot.com/2018/06/easier-fares-consultation.html?m=1
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WelshBluebird
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« Reply #12 on: June 13, 2018, 10:21:06 am »

A post on the Southern Electric Group's Facebook page pointed to this blog which has some interesting observations on the consultation  https://diamondgeezer.blogspot.com/2018/06/easier-fares-consultation.html?m=1

His blog is usually pretty good in general!

Back onto topic, I specifically agree with his conclusion of "but in a consultation which can only keep average fares the same, what's the betting that the potential losers ultimately drown out the potential winners?"
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grahame
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« Reply #13 on: July 31, 2018, 03:12:52 pm »

The "Fares Consultation" .... below is a summary of the questions being asked.  It would be very intersting to see member's opinions too so I will add a series of polls ...

What fare base options should be considered? - Poll [here]
What basket / overall scheme philosophy would be your preference? - Poll [here]
Choices on how you buy tickets- Poll [here]

Remember - 10th September 2018 is the closing date of the real consultation.

At this stage, I am not proposing any input from the forum as a group / organisation to the consultation - however, should this thread and the polls reveal a significant interest and a view held by the vast majority of members, we could re-visit that.  I would certainly suggest individual members with strong views complete the consultation directly.



It has been suggested thar the current structure of fares on Britain's railways could be improved, should be improved, or is in desparate need of improvement, depending on your view.  The Rail Delivery Group (for the rail industry) and Transport Focus are currently undertaking a survey of views to find out about the type of systm and structure people want to see.  The home page of this consultation is at https://www.britainrunsonrail.co.uk/fares . You may take the survey online at https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/EasierFaresConsultation/ . There is also a printable copy of the consultation at https://www.britainrunsonrail.co.uk/files/docs/English_Version_v2.pdf which I suggest you read before answering online so that you know all the questions and options ahead of filling anything in.

Part 1 is about Fare restructuring.  The introduction reads:

We know that rail fares can sometimes be confusing to customers and we are interested in your views about how rail fares should be structured in the future. To what extent do you think each of the following options should be considered in re-structuring rail fares?

In answering these questions please assume that:
• The overall average rail fare remains the same as now.
• Fares may be structured in a different way (so that some people pay more, some will pay less and others will pay the same as they do now).
• The consultation does not advocate any of the options you will be presented, but seeks your views on a range of scenarios. All the options presented are broad concepts which would require further consideration and refinement.

You are asked to say whether each of the following should be considered in restructuring rail fares - each comes with a piece of decsripting text, and a choice of "Definitely consider" / "Maybe consider" / "Do not consider" / "Don’t know/No opinion"

Fares based on distance travelled
Fares based on the level of service received
Fares where the cost is the same at all times of day and for all days of the week
Fares based on time of booking
Fares based on the amount of flexibility required
Fares designed so that it is unnecessary to buy a ‘split-ticket’ in order to get the cheapest deal.
Fares based on encouraging travel to fill up empty seats
Fares based on loyalty to regular travellers
Fares which provide savings for certain groups in society
Fares where both the outward and return journey fares are based on time of day travelled

There is then a further "basket" question  asking for a choice between three options ("Reforming rail fares will involve balancing the needs of different customers and it is unlikely that a single approach will suit everyone. Which of the three options described below best reflects your preference for the range of rail fares available?")

Option A: No discounted tickets, standard ticket price lower than now
Option B: Discounted fares same as now, standard ticket price same as now
Option C: Greater discounts than now, standard ticket price higher than now
And you may also select "Don't Know / no opinion".

Part 2 is about buying a ticket

We are interested in your views about how passengers should be able to look for, buy and receive rail tickets. To what extent do you think each of the following options should be considered?

In answering these questions please assume that:
• The range of rail fares is easier to use than it is at the moment and that the average rail fare remains the same.
• Some people pay more whilst some pay less.
• The options presented are broad concepts which would require further consideration and refinement.

Should a ticket cost the same however you buy it?
Should there be a smart card systems with a price cap?
Should online accounts be available which could be used for rail and other of types of public transport ?

Part 3 is for "Any other thoughts" - free format input boxes asking for

Comments on the factors which you think should influence rail fare structures e.g. peak/off-peak fares; advance fares, or anything else.

Comments on the factors which you think should influence how tickets are purchased e.g. online purchase, electronic ticketing, or anything else.

Any other comments.

The survey concludes with questions about your travel habits, your postcode area, email, age, ethnicity, gender, any disabilities.  A different set if you're answering for an oranisation.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2018, 03:33:28 pm by grahame » Logged

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grahame
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« Reply #14 on: August 03, 2018, 06:46:17 am »

Many thanks to those who have voted in our polls already.  For those who have not yet, your opinions over the weekend would be appreciated - our polls close on 7th August.  This is a nationwide (RDG / TF) consultation, so our area inputs will be combined with many others, but still worth completing the main consultation.

Our polls:
What fare base options should be considered? - [here]
What basket / overall scheme philosophy would be your preference - [here]
Choices on how you buy tickets - [here]

Background - http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=20153.0

Remember - 10th September 2018 is the closing date of the real consultation.
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