Government ‘working at pace’ with rail firms to launch flexible season tickets

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said the Government is “working at pace” with rail companies to launch flexible season tickets for commuters.

It could see three-day season tickets introduced in a move to get employees back into offices, and at Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday afternoon, Boris Johnson confirmed talks are underway.

It comes as the Government continues to launch its major push to get people back commuting and into city centres, with Mr Johnson answering a question from Damian Green, Conservative MP for Ashford.

Mr Green said: “Many [people] will only want to [go into the office] for two to three days per week. Can I urge [the Prime Minister] to use his considerable powers of persuasion to encourage the rail industry to introduce immediately flexible season tickets so that those people are not tied into traditional work patterns.

“Both to help many thousands of commuters in areas like mine in Ashford – but also, to help save the rail industry.”

Mr Johnson responded: “I thank my Right Honourable friend.

“He’s absolutely right. We are working at pace with rail companies to try to deliver new products in terms of ticketing to ensure not just better value, but also enable people to get back to work in a flexible way.”

Also at PMQs, both Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer and SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford urged Boris Johnson to extend the furlough scheme beyond October, warning of the prospect of unemployment levels not seen since Margaret Thatcher was prime minister.

(Image: PA)

Mr Blackford told the Commons: “With the clock ticking for struggling businesses and workers, will the Prime Minister commit today to extend the job retention scheme beyond October?

“Or is his Government making the political choice to accept levels of unemployment last seen under Thatcher in the early 1980s?”

Mr Johnson responded to Mr Blackford: “Members opposite of all parties seem to want to extend the furlough scheme which has already cost this country £40 billion… supported 11 million people, but after all keeps them in suspended animation and prevents them from going to work.

“What we want to do is get people back to work and that’s why I hope he (Mr Blackford) will instead support our Kickstarter scheme to get young people into jobs and support them in those jobs.

“How much better is that than languishing out of work?”


Business Live – West Midlands