Our article of 27 May 2014 reported on the Office of Rail Regulation's (ORR) rail ticket market review. The next stage of that review is now underway, and the ORR has launched a consultation into developing a Code of Practice on the provision of railway ticket information at the point of sale (the Code). It is envisaged that the Code will apply to all ticket retailers, including both train operating companies and third party retailers.
The ORR's consultation document states that the aim of the Code will be to promote best practice in meeting consumer law and industry standards and to help ensure that ticket retailers give passengers a clear understanding of what level of service they can expect, whether from a ticket office, online, a ticket machine, or other self-service channels.
The proposed Code will aim to set out in plain and accessible language some retail principles and provide examples of good and bad practice by retailers.
The ORR is looking for views from ticket retailers and passenger and consumer groups on:
- The existing regulatory structure and the ORR's interpretation of the law, and whether it has set out the existing obligations on the industry correctly and comprehensively;
- whether the principles that the ORR has outlined are the right ones and likely to be sufficiently clear from a passenger and industry perspective;
- whether the ORR has captured correctly all of the information that the passenger is likely to require when choosing and buying a ticket; and
- the ORR's approach and whether a principles based Code is likely to deliver its objective of more clarity to the industry and to the passenger on the information that should be provided to help passengers choose, buy and use tickets.
Responses to the consultation should be submitted by 17:00 on 21 November 2014. It is intended that the final Code will be published in March 2015.