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Money, Save It

Could the new flexible train season ticket save you money?

A train in operation.

Railway commuters can now buy a flexible train season ticket, that will allow them to travel over any eight days, within a 28-day period. But will it save you money? Here’s everything that you need to know:

What is it?

This pass is a new, paperless ticket, that will allow you to travel with greater flexibility. You can travel over any eight days within a 28-day period and you won’t be required to select the days of travel in advance. This means that it’s a great option for those that have gone back to the office for part of the week.

With this new pass, you’ll be able to tap you smartcard, or scan mobiles at the station. On the day of travel, you’ll have to ‘touch in’ using the yellow reader on a gate, a ticket machine, or the National Rail Smartcard app. You’ll then free to complete your journey. As it’s all done electronically, you won’t have to remember to put a physical season ticket in your pocket each morning. You can just tap and go!

Will it save me money?

If you’re travelling into the office four or five days per week, then you’ll find it more cost effective to purchase a standard season ticket. Those that are in once per week should also stick to a standard day ticket.

But analysis shows that if you’re travelling into the office two or three times per week, you could save with the flexible train season ticket. This is because it works out cheaper than buying a series of day tickets.

Here’s what you could save on your route if you’re working for two days in the office:

  • Woking-London: over £260
  • Liverpool-Manchester: over £230
  • York-Leeds: over £210
  • Stafford-Birmingham: over £170
  • Southampton Central-Winchester: over £60

Here’s what three-day-a-week commuters could save on these routes:

  • Chelmsford-Stratford: over £350
  • St Albans City-London: over £230
  • Bromsgrove-Birmingham: over £110
  • Weston-Super-Mare-Bristol Temple Meads: over £90

If you want to know how much the new flexible train season ticket could save you on your commute, then use the season ticket calculator.

Why now?

During the pandemic, millions of people have been working from home on a full-time basis. As restrictions have began to lift, workers have started to return to the office. But millions of companies have decided to adopt a more hybrid working model, with employees splitting their time between working from home and the office. This new flexible train season ticket has been launched to respond to this trend in working.

Robert Nisbet, Director of Nations and Regions, at the Rail Delivery Group, said: “We’ve worked with government to introduce the new Flexi Season ticket, which goes on sale today, to give commuters the freedom and flexibility to divide their time between home and the office.”

Another reason for introducing this new ticket is that sales of traditional season tickets have gone down over recent years. People are working from home more and from the office less. This trend has been accelerated by the coronavirus pandemic.

Where can I buy my flexible train season ticket from?

You can purchase one of these new flexible train season tickets on rail websites and apps. Some train ticket offices will sell them too.

As these tickets are paperless, you’ll need a either a smartcard or barcode ticket on a smartphone.

Hacks: Will a flexible train season ticket save me money?