Rail travel campaigners are calling for part-time season tickets in a bid to help thousands of workers and get more people to use the train.

As the annual rail fare rise was unveiled today, the Government and train operators were urged to bring in flexible ticketing as a matter of urgency.

The UK’s 8.5m part-time workers are not catered for under the current system, says the Campaign for Better Transport.

Spokesman James MacColl said: “The present system still fails to reflect our modern workforce and discriminates against women who make up three-quarters of part-time workers, years after the Government committed to roll-out flexible ticketing.

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“We want a system that reflects working patterns and makes rail travel affordable, not just for part-time workers, but also the thousands more prevented from working due to commuting costs.”

Currently, commuters can buy a season ticket or single journey tickets, with few flexible ticketing schemes. Season tickets generally only provide savings when used for five out of seven days. If a four-day a week annual ticket was available it could save commuters travelling into Manchester £249 on a four day ticket and £499 on a three day one.