Part-time train tickets must be introduced to help workers, says transport campaign group

Inflexible ticket fares mean some part-time workers cannot afford trains

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The Independent Online

Train companies and the Government must make train fares more flexible to accommodate part-time workers and tackle gender inequality, a campaign group urged on Wednesday.

The Campaign for Better Transport (CBT) has said that “inflexible” ticket fares are calculated to cater to full-time workers, meaning some part-timers cannot travel to work by train, or must settle for unnecessarily high ticket prices.

As women make up almost 75 per cent of the part-time workforce, the issue disproportionately affects women, according to the CBT.

CBT public transport campaigner Martin Abrams said: “Our working patterns are changing, but you wouldn't know it if you catch the train to work.

"Many part-time workers in Britain have no alternative but to pay over the odds for a full-time season ticket they don't need.

"Others have been priced off the railways altogether. We urgently need affordable tickets to meet the needs of our growing army of part-time workers.”

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Mr Abrams added that other countries already accommodate part-time workers with railcard schemes and flexible tickets, which "make it easy and affordable for everyone to get to work".

”As nearly three-quarters of part-time workers are women, this isn't just an economic issue, but a gender equality one.

“The Government needs to work with train operators to make commuting by rail affordable and accessible for all," he added.

A spokesman for rail industry body the Rail Delivery Group said: "Britain's railway has been transformed over the past 20 years and we now have the fastest-growing railway in Europe with near-record levels of passenger satisfaction.

"The industry is always looking to improve services and attract passengers and is exploring ways for people to buy tickets that reflect changing lifestyles and make the most of new technology."

Additional reporting by  PA