THE RAIL Delivery Group and Transport Focus are to launch a public consultation to seek ‘root and branch reform’ of fares and ticketing regulation. RDG says ‘well-intentioned but ultimately counterproductive regulations underpinning rail fares’ have not changed since the establishment of the 1995 Ticketing Settlement Agreement. It is seeking to establish ‘updated, fit-for-purpose regulation’, dealing with long-standing anomalies and accounting for developments such as smartphone technology and changing travel patterns. The aim is for the consultation to help the industry ‘establish a road map’, after which it will work with governments to simplify fares.

An independent report from KPMG has already been commissioned by RDG to highlight key principles that should underpin the reform. RDG says a final report will be informed by the consultation and will make proposals to government. It adds that the proposals will be designed to be neutral in overall revenue terms, with no change in average fares.

Under the plans, a public consultation is due to launch in early June and close in September, with a final report making recommendations to government produced in the late autumn.