train fares

There are 55 million different train fares in the UK

So how do we make it simpler?

The public is being consulted to work out how to make the train system simpler.

What it means: You know that feeling when you're trying to buy a train ticket, and you can't work out whether to get a return, a super-off-peak-day-return, a super-duper-group-saver-plus-dog-with-your-boyfriend, or two singles?

Apparently there are 55 million different options for rail fares in the UK. In a rail system which is already operated by lots and lots of different companies. It's a mine field and, unsurprisingly, only one third of rail commuters were "very confident" they'd found the best deal for their journey.

The 'privatised' rail system – when the rail network is run by a lot of different companies, or 'franchises' – means that those companies can introduce different products, or pricing systems (things like a group saver, for example) to get people on to their train – it's part of what's called the free market.

But it's also kind of in the government's interests to have some say over how much train tickets can cost. Railways are really important in getting people and goods around the country – if it costs people too much to get from one place to another, they could stop moving about so much, which can cause the economy to be concentrated in certain areas. That's a big argument people use when they say the railways should be 'renationalised' – or run by one government-owned company.

Read the full story (Sky News)

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