Line News & Events

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Virgin off peak deal

6th September 2015

Virgin Trains are to scrap off-peak fares for railcard holders at peak times - more than doubling the cost of a rush-hour return to London.

It stresses railcard holders will still get a saving of a third at rush hour, the same discount as at off-peak times.

Virgin says the move will bring it in line with the rest of the rail industry.

The Manchester Evening News on Thursday 20th August 2015 reported:

The rail giant wrote to Manchester Central MP this week confirming that it would be axing the discount from September 6.

Ms Powell has written back demanding an ‘urgent’ review of the decision.

The news comes after yet another rail fare increase was announced from January, in line with inflation.

Ms Powell said: “I was very disappointed to hear that Virgin plan to restrict the concessions available for railcard holders.

“Railcards are used overwhelmingly by older people, people with disabilities, young people or people with families. I know from my own experience before I was an MP when I frequently travelled with my children during peak hours, that they provide an invaluable discount.

“These changes will lead to huge increases in fares for the customers the railcard system should be supporting - and when train fares are already so high, could be the difference in deciding whether a commute or a trip is possible.

“In the case of services leaving Euston toward Manchester, this means catching a service after 7 pm, meaning that people will no longer be able to make day trips to London using the concessionary fare unless they are prepared to be arriving home at 10pm at the earliest, which isn’t an option for some people.”

Virgin has not yet advertised the move to its customers, but its bosses argue its routes have for a long time been the only ones in Britain to offer such a saving.

A spokesman said: “From 6th September rail card holders will no longer be able to buy off peak tickets for use on our peak services.

“Customers can still use their rail card discount on peak time fares and there are many deals available, especially with some planning and flexibility. This brings us in line with the rest of the industry.”


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