Will the new flexible season ticket save commuters money?

Will the new flexible season ticket save commuters money?
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Covid-19 has changed the way many of us work. And after a year of remote working, lots of employees are looking to adopt a more flexible approach going forwards. In response to this, National Rail has launched a new flexible season ticket targeted at commuters who plan to only travel to work two or three days a week.

Is it a good deal? We break down whether or not it will actually save you money.

What is the new flexible season ticket?

The new flexible season ticket is now available to buy. Aimed at workers who only plan to travel by train two or three days a week, the new ticket can be used for eight days in any 28-day period.

The big plus is that there is no need to select the days of travel in advance. As many of us are adapting to flexible working arrangements, we may not be ready yet to commit to set days.

So instead, the flexible season ticket allows you to pick eight days to travel during the month as and when you need to.

Will it save you money?

While it may be easy to think this is exactly the thing you need in your life, it’s worth taking a step back and asking ‘will it actually save me money?’

National Rail has created an online ‘season ticket calculator’ to help. You can use it to work out the cheapest option, as the flexible season ticket may not be right for you.

For example, if you are only planning on going into the office one day a week, then a day ticket is still your best bet. If it’s two days a week, then the flexible season ticket could be a good fit.

However on some routes, if it’s three days, it may still make more sense to get an annual season ticket.

The government has estimated you could save between £60 and £350 a year on selected journeys. But it will entirely depend on where you are travelling from and to, and how often. So using the season ticket calculator is a great way to identify what will work for you.

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How is it different from an annual season ticket?

In reality, these new flexible season tickets aren’t actually season tickets. They are more of a bulk purchase of tickets.

This is because there is a finite number of journeys that you can take each month with the flexible season ticket. It’s not unlimited travel like you get with an annual ticket.

So if you do any extra journeys at the weekend, you will be ticking off the number of journeys you can make that month.

It’s also worth noting that the flexible season ticket is only available for travel in Standard Class. There is no First Class option.

How can you buy one?

You can buy a flexible season ticket at your chosen retailer’s website or mobile app. Alternatively, you could register for one at some ticket offices.

They will come as either a Smartcard or Barcode ticket. So you can just ‘touch in’ at the gate in the station when you travel.

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