Not sorting out the complex fares system is former Secretary of State for Transport Patrick McLoughlin’s one regret from his time in the post.
Speaking at the annual George Bradshaw address in London on February 25, McLoughlin said: “In wishing Transport Secretary Grant Shapps every success in the role, I hope he will forgive a tiny piece of advice: making the fares fairer would be a fantastic legacy.
“I’m not one for regrets, but as I look back on my years in the Cabinet as Transport Secretary, with the benefit of hindsight, I wish I had done more to grasp the nettle of fares reform.”
The former SoS, who was in the post from September 2012-July 2016, said the fares system no longer reflects passenger expectations, nor the modern world of work.
He said that had he been able to introduce a more logical system, it would have encouraged more people onto the rails, creating more funding that could then be spent on the railways.
“This is more than a hunch, by the way. There is polling which shows a third of the railway’s potential customers are put off by complex ticketing. As they say, hindsight is a wonderful thing,” he added.
For the FULL story, read RAIL 900, published on March 11, and available digitally now.