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National travel pass: UK urged to follow Germany’s ‘great idea’ | Travel News | Travel

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The UK should follow Germany and introduce a low-cost unlimited rail pass, a latest poll of Express.co.uk readers has found. Germany is offering a latest national travel pass which allows unlimited use of rail, tram and bus networks for €49 (£43) monthly. The scheme goals to assist fund travel amid the price of living crisis while also reducing emissions, yet some readers are doubtful in regards to the practicalities and value of an analogous scheme.

The German scheme will allow residents and tourists to travel nationwide for the equivalent of just £1.40 (€1.62) per day, and can launch as early as January 1, 2023. The calendar-month ticket covers regional train services, trams, most buses and a few city ferry services. It doesn’t cover the fastest trains but journeys are possible on slower services.

The German Embassy in London announced news of “the digital Deutschlandticket” on Twitter on November 3. They said the unlimited travel pass can be available next yr but later added: “The Association of German Transport Corporations has warned that it will not be possible to roll out this ticket from January. Everyone seems to be aiming to have the ticket in place asap.”

The scheme will reportedly cost the German government about €2.5billion (£2.1billion) but has been praised for its efforts in encouraging environmentally friendly travel amid rising fuel prices. 

It follows from the success of an analogous €9 (£8) monthly ticket scheme which ran during June, July and August this summer.

On the time Labour MP for East Leeds Richard Burgon said on Twitter: “In Germany you’ll be able to now get a travel card for local and regional trains for just nine euros monthly… Let’s fight for this here!”

READ MORE: Rail travellers face Christmas misery as more strike dates announced

Germany is launching a monthly national travel pass next yr (Image: Getty)

In a poll that ran from 3pm on Tuesday, November 15, to 7:30am on Wednesday, November 21, Express.co.uk asked readers: “Should UK follow Germany in introducing low-cost unlimited travel pass?”

Overall, 1,005 people responded with the overwhelming majority, 93 percent (935 people) answering “yes” in favour of an analogous scheme being introduced within the UK.

An extra six percent (63 people) responded “no” against the concept, while five people said they didn’t know.

Readers shared their thoughts in dozens of comments left below the accompanying article.

Many readers argued in favour of the UK introducing an analogous scheme, with username RINGOCAB writing: “Great idea. Even when I hardly used it I might have one.”

One other, username ItsMeAgainStill said: “I feel if we had subsidised transport, more people would have the ability to get to work for cheaper, meaning they’d have more disposable income, which could then be spent inside our economy and stimulate growth.”

Username Richard90731 said: “If we consider people should have the ability to get to work easily, especially ones with low wages, then yes.”

And username dave555 said: “Introducing free public transport can be cheaper than following the green agenda.”

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Train at station in Germany

The German scheme will allow nationwide travel for the equivalent of just £1.40 a day (Image: Getty)

Some readers were more sceptical in regards to the practicality of the scheme being implemented. Username lockdown Lady said: “Absolutely good idea, but they will not here because the whole lot is about profit.”

Similarly, username Boroughbloke said: “A fantastic idea. I doubt any UK Government would do it though.”

While username Cabbagio said: “It’s inconceivable on this country. All of the rail corporations are privately owned and they might never conform to this.”

Others commented that the scheme would have many hidden costs to the taxpayer, with username johnmac writing: “Absolutely not, more pointless taxpayer cost.”

And username factus said: “And which taxes shall be increased to pay for this? Nothing is ‘free’.”

UK trains structure infographic

Some readers were doubtful in regards to the practicalities of an analogous scheeme within the UK (Image: EXPRESS.CO.UK)

The Federal Government has reportedly offered to subsidise the travel scheme with €1.5billion (£1.3billion) annually alongside state funding.

Nonetheless, some argued that the UK can be higher to speculate in other transport networks, including local bus services. 

Username DuncanWalker1 said: “Free local bus travel would profit much more people in need than giving freely tickets to travel the country.”

Username Kittykat100 said: “Many rural residents haven’t any local access to the rail network. The UK rail network when it comes to access is way poorer than Germany. Local subsidised bus travel can be much more acceptable.”

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