End of the Supersaver special weekend discount rail return

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The Independent Online

The 90 different types of railway ticket now available will be reduced to six by the autumn in response to complaints from passengers, train companies announced yesterday.

The Association of Train Operating Companies said its plan aimed to ensure that all tickets fall into the following groups:

Buy any time/travel any time

Buy any time/some travel restrictions

Buy in advance/travel any time

Buy in advance/some travel restrictions

Multi-journey (season tickets)

Other/special.

The association's commercial services director, Philip Benham, said there was still more work to do in arriving at the right names for the new ticket categories, which would make them instantly recognisable to passengers and would be used throughout the rail network. "We are also investigating the best possible way to inform passengers of their benefits," he said. "We aim to have this new structure in place by September."

Sir Alastair Morton, chairman of the government's Shadow Strategic Rail Authority, said that his organisation had been talking to train companies for some time about the issue. "I welcome their positive announcement," he said. "They have addressed the desired objectives."

Less-complex fares and use of new technology, such as smart cards, were identified as important considerations in guidance to bidders for the current round of franchises, he said.

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