More than one million rail tickets are being reduced by up to 50 percent as part of the Great British Rail Sale. As of April 19, discounted rail fares have been available on journeys from April 25 to May 27 across multiple train operators. Travellers are being encouraged to take advantage of this deal which is set to save families a lot of money in the next couple of weeks.
On its website, the Government provided examples of the reductions in rail fare prices which will be introduced as part of the discount.
This includes journeys from York to Leeds being priced at £5.60 and dropping to £2.80.
Furthermore, travel between London and Edinburgh will be reduced from £44 to £22, while journeys from London to Cardiff will cost £25 for the next month.
Grant Shapps MP, the Government’s Transport Secretary, explained why the scheme is being implemented for the next couple of weeks.
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Mr Shapps said: “For the first time ever, operators across the rail industry are coming together to help passengers facing rising costs of living by offering up to 50 percent off more than a million tickets on journeys across Britain.
“There’s no better time to visit friends, family or just explore our great country, so book your tickets today.”
Jacqueline Starr, the CEO of the Rail Delivery Group, added: “We want everyone to be able to benefit from travelling by train because it’s more than just a journey, it’s a way to connect everyone to the people, places and things they love.
“As part of the Great British Rail Sale customers will enjoy over one million discounted tickets, so they can explore some of the fantastic locations that are accessible by rail.”
On top of this, pensioners are able to claim a 33 percent discount on their trail travel by purchasing a Senior Railcard.
This reduction on rail fare prices is available to those 60 and over, and is able to save card holders £98 a year on average.
However, it should be noted that the Senior Railcard is not valid during the morning peak hours when people travel between two stations in the Network Railcard area of validity.
Claimants of the discounts are encouraged to check locally to confirm morning peak times as these do differ. This restriction does not apply on public holidays.
With inflation at a 30-year high and the cost of living continuing to put pressure on households, Jonathan Edwards, the transportation market leader at professional services company GHD, shared his concern about the future of rail travel.
Mr Edwards explained: “The British public are already facing a number of financial pressures as the average cost of living continues to soar, and increasing costs for train tickets for work and leisure shouldn’t be another concern.
“If the rail sector is to get back on solid commercial footing, the focus must be increasing passenger volumes, rather than raising prices for current rail users.
“Consumers have long complained about the unaffordability of rail, and numbers were starting to level off even before the onset of the pandemic.
“For the industry to thrive, the public must start seeing trains as a viable and attractive form of travel again.”
On top of this, Mr Edwards called on train operators to do more to entice new customers and reduce prices in the long-term.
He added: “It’s clear that rail travel patterns have changed, possibly for the long-term, and operators can no longer rely on the sale of expensive season tickets given the significant shift in working habits.
“They need to diversify their revenue models away from restrictive forms of ticketing and capitalise on other revenue opportunities, such as enhanced on-board services and private sector partnerships.
“The sector simply can’t expect people to put up with constant price hikes and continue to use trains regardless – especially when they aren’t receiving a premium customer experience.”