Rail Delivery Group's test changes to train fares are a "disservice to their customers", says Martin Lewis, MoneySavingExpert.com


Cutting your costs, fighting your corner

Strictly under embargo until 00:01H Wednesday 1 February 2017

Responding to the Rail Delivery Group’s test changes to the rail fare system, Martin Lewis, founder of MoneySavingExpert.com said: “It’s quite simple. When you book a rail ticket, whether it’s in a station or online, people should be given the cheapest price available at that time for their chosen journey.

“These changes will not make that happen. While it is certainly a move in the right direction, people cannot have the confidence that if they book a ticket, they will be paying the best price.

“The changes do include split ticketing, but only where you change train. And most of the big ticket train savings come where you don’t change – literally where you get on a train and have 2, or 3, or 4, or 15 tickets for the constituent parts of the journey, rather than 1 ticket. So it’s the same train, same time, even the same seat, just the cost is less. For example, for a London to Durham return, the cheapest anytime return ticket was£301. Yet splitting at York each way (without getting off) makes the ticket £82, a saving of £219.

“Now there are two ways to fix the system. Either they get rid of the ridiculous, arbitrary and illogical pricing structure that currently means the split-ticketing anomaly happens on a very regular basis right across the country, or if they’re not going to do that, at least make a system that makes it easy for people to work out which split tickets are the cheapest and then buy them and use them easily.

“If we at MoneySavingExpert are capable of making a tool to do that, as we have done, surely the big rail companies must be able to do it too, as they have access to the primary data. Not doing so, is a disservice to their customers.”

Notes to editors

For more information, see the MoneySavingExpert.com Cheap Train Tickets guide.


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About MoneySavingExpert.com: MoneySavingExpert.com is dedicated to cutting consumers’ bills and fighting their corner. The free-to-use consumer finance help resource aims to show people how to save money on anything and everything, and campaigns for financial justice. Set up in 2003 for just £100, its free-to-use, ethical stance quickly made it the UK’s biggest independent money website, according to internet ranking site Alexa.com, and the number one ‘Business and Finance – Business Information’ site, according to Hitwise. It has more than 12 million people opted-in to receive the weekly Martin’s Money Tips email, and more than 14 million unique monthly site users who visit more than 24 million times a month. In September 2012, it joined the MoneySupermarket.com Group PLC.

About Martin Lewis: Martin Lewis OBE, Money Saving Expert, is the journalist and consumer campaigner who created MoneySavingExpert.com, the UK’s biggest money website. He’s the UK’s most internet-searched man, Citizens Advice’s Consumer Champion of the Year, and has spearheaded major financial justice campaigns including bank charges reclaiming (over six million template letters downloaded) and PPI reclaiming (over five million) and a successful large-scale campaign to get financial education in schools. He has his own prime-time ITV programme, The Martin Lewis Money Show, as well as regular slots as resident expert on Good Morning Britain, This Morning and Radio 5 Live, among others.He was appointed OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in June 2014.