Jargon ‘widely used’ by railway ticket machines says regulator

Jargon ‘widely used’ by railway ticket machines says regulator

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Confusing jargon is “widely used” by train operators’ ticket machines at railway stations in the UK, the industry’s regulator has said.

The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) said there needed to be less use of industry jargon as well as clearer information on ticket restrictions.

This would help passengers “in making the best decision”, it said.

Phrases that were highlighted for concern in its report included “London Terminals” and “Any Permitted”.

Abbreviations such as “Anytime R” for Anytime Return were also highlighted by the ORR.

The operators found to be using jargon included Abellio Greater Anglia, East Midlands Trains, Govia Thameslink Railway, ScotRail and Southeastern.
‘Build trust’

The ORR said: “While millions of tickets are purchased using ticket vending machines without obvious problems being encountered, it is equally clear that further improvements in the information provided by such machines – such as clearer information on ticket restrictions and less use of industry terminology or jargon – would assist passengers in making the best decision when buying tickets.”

It said that jargon terms were “still widely used without explanation”.

The study found some passengers had to wait several minutes after the last peak-time service had left the station before they could buy off-peak tickets from machines.

Cheaper tickets were available “generally within five minutes”, but Northern Rail customers had to wait up to a quarter of an hour, the ORR said.

The report also published the results of a survey which showed that passengers believed operators were “generally poor” at dealing with disruption on the network.

David Sidebottom, passenger director at independent watchdog Transport Focus, said: “We’ve called for the industry to build trust by making more information available to passengers, so they will welcome this.