The UK Department for Transport has made data on all UK rail fares available to the public at no cost, providing a breakdown of all available fares between stations and allowing customers to judge their preferred deal.
The fares database was previously available only under a paid-for licence, but is now accessible to passengers via the Association of Train Operating Companies’ (ATOC) website.
The publication of up-to-date information on fares, part of the government’s wider push for data transparency, could provide the foundation for fare comparison websites and the development of mobile fare information apps.
UK Transport Minister Norman Baker said: "The government is committed to providing greater clarity around information and the publication of this comprehensive fare data is a vital first step in providing passengers with a platform to make more informed ticket choices."
Baker continued: "In industries where this information has been made available previously we have a seen a raft of price comparison websites and mobile apps developed and I am confident we will see the same results here.
"It is now down to private sector companies to seize this opportunity and I encourage them to start working on products which can provide real benefits to both passengers and the market," Baker said.
Rail Settlement Plan managing director Steve Howes said: "Rail passengers in Britain now enjoy access to information on fares and timetables that is unrivalled elsewhere in the world."
The release follows the publication of free timetabling information by the UK rail industry at the end of 2011.
Image: The UK DfT’s publication of free fare information could lead to the development of fare comparison websites and mobile apps. Photo: courtesy of Benkid77.