Posted: 20.11.20 at 08:00 by The Editor
RAIL passengers travelling from Crewe to London are to benefit from big fair reductions after Avanti West Coast began trialling Friday as "off-peak" days.
The rail firm -which took over Virgin Trains' franchise on the West Coast Mainline last December - has removed Friday morning peak restrictions on long-distance journeys to and from London Euston starting from today (November 20).
The trial, which will run into the New Year, means customers can take advantage of the full range of Off Peak and Advance tickets throughout the day, allowing them to make a much earlier start to their weekend.
Under current Friday morning peak restrictions customers with Off Peak tickets have to wait until around 9.30am before boarding their trains.
Now the most those travelling on Fridays will pay heading down to the capital from Crewe will be £58.60 - the current peak single fare is £138.50 - and passengers will be able to arrive at Euston as early as 7.26am.
Customers who previously travelled in the morning peak on a Friday, with a fully flexible ticket, will save on average between 50 and 60 per cent on their fares.
Avanti West Coast says the move not only gives customers greater choice, but will aid social distancing and stimulate a New Year return to rail travel after the lockdown.
Afternoon peak restrictions on a Friday had already been removed, so this initiative makes the entire day “off peak”.
Sarah Copley, Executive Director, Commercial at Avanti West Coast said: “Removing the Friday morning restrictions gives customers more freedom to choose when they travel and when lockdown measures ease make the most of their extended weekends and days out.
“Just as importantly it allows us to spread demand and maintain social distancing on board our services."
David Sidebottom, Director, Transport Focus added: “Passengers will welcome this trial. Any move that helps save money and maintain social distancing should prove popular, and when the time is right, encourage more people to use rail services again.”