Flexible Season Tickets Are Now On Sale, Here's How They Work

Commuters travelling two or three days per week now have more options.

Are you set to commute part-time when you return to the workplace? The introduction of new, flexible season tickets could make it more affordable.

The carnet-style tickets allow travel on any eight days in a 28-day period, potentially saving part-time commuters hundreds of pounds per year on certain routes. The scheme is primarily designed for people who travel two or three days a week.

“For many, the idea of travelling five days a week to the office is fast becoming a relic of the past,” transport secretary Grant Shapps said. “The future is flexible: passengers want a simple, stress-free option, and new flexible tickets make fares fairer. As we kickstart the biggest reform of our railways in a generation, we’re committed to creating a modern railway that works for its passengers.”

Marc Scruton via Getty Images/iStockphoto

How do the tickets work?

The flexible tickets, which can be bought from June 21 and used from June 28, will allow travel on any eight days in a 28-day period.

Passengers can use an updated season ticket calculator at nationalrail.co.uk to find out which ticket they should purchase based on their route and working pattern.

The new tickets are designed primarily for those who commute two or three days a week, to “reflect the long-term decline in the use of traditional season tickets, with a change in working practices having been accelerated by the outbreak of Covid-19”.

The new tickets are paperless, allowing passengers to tap smartcards or scan mobiles at the station, with no need to select the days of travel in advance.

How much could I save?

The Department for Transport said potential annual savings compared with buying daily tickets for passengers who commute two days a week include:

– Woking to London: More than £250
– Liverpool to Manchester: More than £220
– Stafford to Birmingham: More than £160

For people commuting three times per week, potential savings include:

– St Albans City to London: More than £220
– Bromsgrove to Birmingham: More than £120
– Weston-Super-Mare to Bristol Temple Meads: More than £90
– Chelmsford to Stratford, east London: More than £350.

Full details of routes and savings are available via National Rail.