Other key measures announced by the government include:
- A single remuneration system for operators in England is created. This provides a “simple system” for passengers to access information and request refunds. No further details are available yet on how this will work or when it is expected to launch. We’ll update our guide on train delays as we know more. Currently, every single train operator has its own refund policy.
- There will be one “significant” introduction of Pay As You Go, contactless and digital ticketing on smartphones.
- A new public body called “Great British Railways” is set up. This will integrate the railways, own the infrastructure, collect tariff revenues, operate and plan the network, and set most tariffs and timetables. However, this is not a nationalization of the railways, and individual, privately owned train operators will remain. Tickets are also being sold on a new Great British Railways website.
It is unclear whether this will apply across England, Scotland and Wales (Northern Ireland rail fares are managed by Translink, the company that operates Northern Ireland’s public transport) and whether the current system of regulated and unregulated fares will be maintained. We asked DfT and will update this story when we know more.
However, third-party ticket sites can still sell these new tariffs.
Commenting on the news, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said, “I’m a firm believer in rail, but for too long passengers haven’t had the level of service they deserve.
“By creating Great British Railways and investing in the future of the network, this government will deliver a rail system the country can be proud of.”