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Seven-day train ticket sale starts next week

More than a million train tickets will be discounted by up to 50% during a seven-day promotion, the Department for Transport has announced (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)
More than a million train tickets will be discounted by up to 50% during a seven-day promotion, the Department for Transport has announced (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

More than a million train tickets will be discounted by up to 50% during a seven-day promotion, the Department for Transport (DfT) has announced.

Cheaper Advance and Off-Peak tickets will be available to buy in the Great British Rail Sale between January 23 and 29.

They will be sold for travel across England and Wales – and cross-border trips into Scotland – for travel between January 30 and March 15.

Examples of price reductions on typical Advance fares – which are the cheapest tickets and must be used on specific trains – provided by the DfT include:

– From Birmingham to Bristol down from £30.60 to £15.30.
– From Manchester to Leeds down from £8.60 to £4.30.
– From Leicester to Sheffield down from £7.30 to £3.60.

A similar scheme took place in April 2022.

Transport Secretary Mark Harper said: “The return of the Great British Rail Sale is good news for passengers, following the success of the previous sale which saw passengers benefit from around £7m in savings on their travel costs.

“With discounts on more than a million tickets, there’ll be plenty of opportunity to connect with friends and family, and explore great destinations across the country.

“I hope passengers make the most of this sale and choose to travel by rail.”

Sale tickets will start to become available from 12.01am on January 23 on a limited basis.

No more will be offered once they are sold out.

Winter weather Jan 18th 2024
The discounted tickets will be sold for travel across England and Wales, along with cross-border trips into Scotland, for travel between January 30 and March 15 (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Tickets will be sold by online retailers and many station ticket offices, the DfT said.

Industry body the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) will host a page on its website aimed at helping customers find the best deals.

Promotional tickets will not be sold for services that may be impacted by previously-announced industrial action by train drivers’ union Aslef.

RDG chief executive Jacqueline Starr said: “Following the success of the Great British Rail Sale in 2022, we are really excited that it’s coming back.”

Suzanne Donnelly, passenger revenue director at the Great British Railways Transition Team, which is working on behalf of the Government to create a new organisation to oversee rail infrastructure and train operation, said: “We are focused on driving initiatives that will boost the number of rail journeys people make to reduce the cost of running the railway for taxpayers, whilst providing value for money for customers.

“The Great British Rail Sale is just one example of what can be achieved through a one railway, joined-up approach.”

Rail fares
Train fares are set to rise across England and Scotland this year (Lauren Hurley/PA)

Alex Robertson, chief executive at watchdog Transport Focus, said: “Discounted fares are great news for passengers and will tempt many more to give trains a go.

“Our research consistently shows that better value for money fares is one of the key things affecting rail passenger satisfaction.”

Train fares will rise across England from March 3.

The DfT set a cap of 4.9% for increases in regulated fares, such as season tickets on most commuter journeys, some off-peak return tickets on long-distance routes and flexible tickets for travel around major cities.

The level of unregulated fare rises is decided by operators, although their finances are closely controlled by the DfT.

All ScotRail fares in Scotland will rise by 8.7% from April 1.

No decision has been made on fare rises in Wales.