Operators must start to meet the needs of Annual Season Ticket holders in and around London says passenger watchdog

25 October 2017

Every year over 1 million commuters living in and around London pay more than £2billion on season tickets to travel to and from their place of work. Yet research published today by London TravelWatch shows that many commuters feel unrewarded for their loyalty, with the majority unaware of the full range of tickets available to them, and some paying more than they need to for their daily commute.

As many commuters prepare to renew their annual tickets towards the end of the year, the independent watchdog wants transport operators to:

  • give a better service to loyal annual season ticket holders
  • do more to explain the benefits of season tickets
  • help customers decide whether season tickets are still the best option for them
  • offer more travel perks, such as extending discounted travel, to reward loyalty
  • provide adequate plastic season ticket cards instead of poor quality paper tickets

Chair of London TravelWatch, Arthur Leathley commented: 'It is clear from our research that commuters feel like they are being taken for granted by operators despite paying thousands of pounds to travel to and from work. Sometimes the cost of annual tickets can make up a quarter of take-home pay.'

For many, the renewals process has become automatic, with little information and help available to ensure they are not paying more than they need to. As working habits and travel times become more flexible, and contactless payment is easy, there are many people who no longer need annual tickets, but they don’t have the right information to decide.

Arthur continued: 'In a lot of cases commuters could get better value for money if they were made aware of extras included with their season tickets such as a Gold card. We hope that operators will realise that many of our recommendations could be quick wins for them and look forward to working with them to improve options for passengers.'

The research also found that many commuters prefer to make large purchases face-to-face in a welcoming environment as they would when they buy other expensive items such as financial services or cars.

Further information

  • London TravelWatch is the operating name for the London Transport Users Committee. We are the official watchdog representing the interests of transport users in and around London, and independent of the transport operators and government. London TravelWatch is sponsored and funded by the London Assembly, part of the Greater London Authority.
  • Follow London TravelWatch on Twitter and You Tube.
  • For more information, please contact the London TravelWatch press office on 020 3176 5941 or 07734 055494.
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