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Rail passengers should see more punctual services and cheaper tickets as part of a huge shake up of UK's railways, the government says.

It says a new state-owned body, Great British Railways (GBR), will set timetables and prices, sell tickets in England and manage rail infrastructure.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps admitted the current system was "too complicated" and "fragmented".

He also promised GBR would be more accountable for delays and disruption.

But private operators will still be contracted to run most trains and the most of the planned reforms will not start coming in until 2023.

Labour said the plans were unlikely meet their goals. Shadow transport secretary Jim McMahon said: "With fare hikes, £1bn cuts to Network Rail and broken promises to communities across the country, it's yet another example of ministers talking a good game, with very little substance underneath."

Flexible season tickets
Under the reforms:

All tickets will be sold by GBR in the future, ending the system where passengers must buy them from multiple companies online and in stations
There will be a "significant rollout" of more pay as you go, contactless and digital ticketing on smartphones
And from next month flexible season tickets will be available for some people who commute two or three times a week.
The flexible season tickets will offer savings on certain routes for people who do not travel to work every day, reflecting the expected changes to commuting patterns after the pandemic.

They are due to go on sale on 21 June for use seven days later, and will allow passengers to travel on any eight days in a 28-day period.

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