Greater Anglia working to improve value from ticket machines

An increasing number of ticket machines have been installed across East Anglia.

An increasing number of ticket machines have been installed across East Anglia. - Credit: Archant

Rail travellers using ticket machines should find it easier to get the best-value fares by March this year after talks between the industry and the government.

And Abellio Greater Anglia said it was already working to ensure its ticket machines which have been installed at an increasing number of stations across the region are able to offer passengers the best-possible fares.

Reforms will be introduced to stop customers paying over the odds for journeys from self-service machines when cheaper options are available.

The changes are aimed at ending the anomaly in prices available at the counter, where staff have access to the complex database of fares, discounts and promotions, and the more limited options in the automated service.

Rail minister Claire Perry said: “I am absolutely determined that passengers should get the best possible deal for every journey.

“There is no excuse for poor-quality information, restricted ticket choice or confusing screen directions at ticket machines.

“I welcome the fact that the industry has responded to the challenge with some positive actions which will be rolled out by next March.”

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A spokesman for Abellio Greater Anglia said ticket machines already offered the widest possible range of fares – but more work was planned to ensure they prompted passengers about using railcards as well.

He said: “I don’t know what was discussed with the government, but we work hard to ensure that passengers get the best ticket and the best value for every journey they take.”

Michael Roberts, head of industry body the Rail Delivery Group, said: “While industry research shows the vast majority of customers find the correct fare using ticket machines, we know there is more we can do to make them better.

“With more and more people buying from ticket machines, we are already working on a range of improvements. Planned changes include better information on the range of tickets offered by machines, new products and improving the clarity of on-screen information.”

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