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2002-03-25 ATO-001
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Network railcard changes will go ahead


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ATOC
Association of Train Operating Companies
Network card



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ATOC

Network railcard changes will go ahead
_______________________________________________________________


date
25 March 2002
source ATOC
type Press release



The Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) today confirmed that a change to the Network Railcard will proceed as previously announced.

The change, announced earlier this month, only applies to Network Railcards bought from 2 June this year. Adult tickets bought for weekday travel using a Network Railcard purchased on or after this date will be subject to a minimum fare of £10. Existing Network Railcards and those renewed before 2 June will not be subject to the minimum fare. The minimum fare does not apply to weekend or bank holiday travel. The cost of the Railcard and the child fare are not affected by this change.

The confirmation came after train companies which honour the Network Railcard met at ATOC today to evaluate the feedback and proposals that passengers and their representatives have provided over the past four weeks.

Commenting on todays meeting, ATOC Director of Commercial Services, Philip Benham, said: "Todays decision was very difficult. We know it is not popular with many Network Railcard holders as they have provided some fairly frank views to us over the past four weeks.

"When ATOC announced this change back on March 1st, we said the Network Railcard was costing the operators between £5m to £10m a year, adding to Londons peak overcrowding problem and restricting the train companies own efforts to grow the off-peak market. We announced a four week period where we would listen to passengers views and if proposals were received that addressed these issues, we would be more than happy to consider them. Unfortunately, no practical alternative proposals that could have addressed the issues were put forward, and so the train operators have chosen to press ahead with this decision.

"What has become apparent through the letters and e-mails we have received is that many people are unaware of the numerous products already available to encourage off-peak travel. These include special arrangements for key groups such as young people, people over 60, families and children, passengers with disabilities, job seekers and those travelling as groups. A wide selection of TOCs own off-peak fares and other promotional tickets completes this picture.

"Train companies remain strongly committed to working together to deliver new products to encourage off-peak rail travel, which has grown by 30 per cent over the past five years."

-Ends-

ATOC Press Office 020 7904 3010

Notes to editors

Network Railcard

The Network Railcard can be purchased from train stations in the South East at a cost of £20. It currently provides one third off tickets purchased for travel after 10.00am on Mondays to Fridays. No restrictions apply at weekends and on bank holidays. Children receive a 60% discount off the child fare (min £1). Network Railcards purchased prior to 2 June will operate under these conditions of use for the period of their validity.

Adult tickets bought for weekday travel using a Railcard purchased from 2 June 2002 will be subject to a minimum fare of £10. The minimum fare will not apply at weekends and on bank holidays.
The Network Railcard is valid on services provided by all London train companies: (c2c, Chiltern Railways, Connex South Eastern, First Great Eastern, Silverlink, South Central, South West Trains, Thameslink, Thames Trains, WAGN). It is also valid on Island Line and some Inter-City services to and from London with further restrictions (GNER, Midland Mainline, Virgin Trains, Wales and Borders Trains, Wessex Trains, First Great Western).

There are currently 362,000 Network Railcard holders.



Railhub Archive ::: 2002-03-25 ATO-001





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