Labour promise on cheapest train tickets

By Aled Thomas and Alex Stevenson

Rail passengers will have the right to be sold the cheapest possible ticket under a Labour government.

The as-yet unpublished Labour manifesto will include the right for passengers to claim a refund if they are not offered the cheapest possible fare, with any disputes being ruled on by the rail regulator.

“We want to carrying on improving the service further still,” transport secretary Andrew Adonis told BBC News 24.

“One of the reforms we want to bring about if we’re re-elected in this election is not only to expect train operators to sell people the cheapest fare but to give passengers the right to the cheapest fare. If they are sold a fare that isn’t the cheapest, they can actually get their money back in full.”

A survey by Which? magazine said that the cheapest tickets are offered to less than half of people enquiring. Researchers were not told about cheaper train firms, off-peak fares or season ticket savings.

The number of rail travellers is higher now than at any time since 1945, but many passengers complain about opaque ticketing pricing policies.

Lord Adonis said the Office of Rail Regulation would be expected to play a role in the procedure which would help passengers reclaim the cheapest fare possible.

The Tories say they would revamp the rail franchising system to give a better service.

The Lib Dems have pledged that fares would rise by less than inflation.