RAIL passengers should find it easier to claim compensation for delays and cancellations from this month as new digital train tickets are being rolled out across the UK.
It’s thought the move will mean nine in 10 journeys are now available with a digital ticket rather than a paper one, according to trade body the Rail Delivery Group (RDG).
This could mark the end of the traditional orange paper train ticket.
Some stations already allow rail users to swipe in and out of the barriers using digital tickets from emailed barcodes and smartcards, which work in a similar way to Oyster cards.
But software updates at more barriers and the installation of more digital readers taking force at the end of this month should mean more stations can go digital.
This month will see Blackfriars, City Thameslink, East Croydon, London Bridge, Shenfield, and Watford Junction go digital while Bathgate, Edinburgh Gateway, Glasgow Argyle Street and other Scottish stations will go digital in May and June.
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This website is managed and operated by self-confessed rail travel enthusiasts. It works with Raileasy find the best tickets to save time and as much money as possible.
The website is free to use but if you do find a cheap ticket it will add 15 per cent of the saving on to the cost of your ticket. Non-split tickets can be booked without a charge.
This site has partnered with the Trainline.com so it will search through the cheapest fares listed.
It’s free to use and for most journeys there’s an option to print your ticket off at home to save time queuing at the station.
The idea is that going digital shouldn’t cost any more, and there’s also no fee or deposit required to get a smartcard – unlike with an Oyster card.
Obvious benefits should mean less time queuing for tickets in stations as you can buy and download the digital tickets online, as well as a drop in the amount of paper being wasted.
But the RDG says these digital tickets should also make it easier to claim compensation for delays with users claiming directly from their ticket account with “one-click compensation”.
C2C, Gatwick Express, Great Northern, Southern, and Thameslink already operate this one click service for digital train ticket users, while Northern and Virgin use a similar service.
It’s hoped that the rise in digital tickets will mean more train providers make it easier for passengers to claim online, although there’s nothing forcing them to do so.
Mike Hewitson, head of policy at rail watchdog Transport Focus, says the move to go digital will make life easier for passengers.
He said: “Transport Focus research demonstrates many rail passengers want a smarter ticketing system that they can understand and trust, is simpler to use, better value for money and offers choices that suit the way we travel now.
“Passengers will welcome the choice and convenience smart ticketing technology can offer.”
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The RDG also wants to introduce pay-as-you-go tickets for digital rail fare users – something it’s currently looking into alongside the Government.
In another digital move, train passengers can now get live updates on delays and cancellations to their Facebook Messenger.
Plus, here’s how to get the cheapest tickets on UK rail journeys by splitting your tickets and finding hidden fares.
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