THE British government has introduced national flexible rail tickets designed to meet the needs of commuter passengers.

An online season ticket calculator was introduced on June 21 to help users look for the cheapest option as tickets went on sale the same day for use from June 28.

The paperless tickets will allow travel on any eight days in a 28-day period, with passengers able to tap smartcards or scan mobiles at the station with no need to select the days of travel in advance. It is claimed this has the potential to save users hundreds of pounds while also offering greater choice and flexibility.

Also introduced is a new ‘book with confidence’ guarantee on Advance tickets enabling passengers to rebook journeys or receive rail vouchers without an admin fee if their plans change. This lasts until December 31 this year and is designed to encourage more people onto the rails.

The Department for Transport (DfT) claims this is the first step in the reform of the railways as part of the recently launched Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail.

Secretary of state for transport Grant Shapps said: “Our railways work best when they are reliable, rapid and affordable.

“As we kickstart the biggest reforms to our railways in a generation flexible season tickets are the first step. They give us greater freedom and choice about how we travel, simpler ticketing and a fairer fare.”

CBI chief UK policy director Matthew Fell said: “members have told us that hybrid working is likely to be the long-term norm for many firms, with employees splitting their week between home and onsite working.

“It is therefore essential that public transport networks reflect these new habits.”

“The introduction of flexible season tickets will help to ensure rail travel remains an affordable and realistic option for commuters, while future-proofing a network which has a key role to play in the UK’s decarbonisation ambitions.”