Tuesday 21 May 2024
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Great British Rail Sale: A million rail tickets launched at up to 50% off

Passengers will have from 23 to 29 January 2024 to claim up to 50% off selected advance and off-peak rail tickets, through the Great British Rail Sale.

Over a million discounted tickets will be available to destinations across England and Wales, as well as on cross-border trips into Scotland, for journeys taking place between 30 January and 15 March 2024.

Whether it’s a city break, family holiday or countryside escape, passengers are encouraged to make the most of this sale to get to popular destinations across the country.

The government says that it is committed to helping families with the cost of living, and working with industry to offer up to half-price rail tickets will not only boost tourism and encourage sustainable travel but also help connect friends and families across the UK.

This follows a significant intervention to cap this year’s rail fare increase at 4.9%, considerably below the 9% July’s retail price index (RPI) figure on which they are historically based.

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This comes as the government delivered its commitment to halve inflation by the end of last year – helping to keep travel costs lower in the long term.

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 £7 million 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.”

Jacqueline Starr, Chief Executive of the Rail Delivery Group, said:

“Train travel is the greenest way to explore our towns and cities as well as connect with your family and friends because nothing beats being there in person for those special moments.

“Following the success of the Great British Rail Sale in 2022, we are really excited that it’s coming back, and customers will be able to once again purchase over a million advance ticket fares starting on 23 January 2024 and enjoy what rail has to offer.”

The Great British Railways Transition Team (GBRTT) estimate that the first Great British Rail Sale in 2022 saw passengers save around £7 million on rail tickets and encouraged around 70,000 adults who had not travelled by train since the COVID-19 pandemic to take a trip.**

The government and industry are, therefore, launching a second Great British Rail Sale to save passengers money and get more people using our railways.

The Great British Rail Sale is just one way the government is seeking to improve rail passengers’ experience, with London North Eastern Railway (LNER) launching a pilot scheme for simpler fares earlier this week, removing the complex web of ticket types and replacing them with options that are simpler, more flexible and better suit passengers’ needs.

Suzanne Donnelly, Passenger Revenue Director at GBRTT, said:

“I’m delighted the rail industry has, once again, come together to deliver another huge round of savings on tickets for passengers.

At GBRTT, 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.”

Sale tickets will start to become available from midnight on 23 January 2024. The Rail Delivery Group will host a central webpage, helping customers find the best deals. Tickets can also be found on all ticket retailer websites for journeys taking place between 30 January and 15 March 2024. Only a limited number of tickets are available, and no further sale tickets will go on offer once sold out.***

Operators are not offering sale tickets on days when their services might be impacted by the strikes announced by ASLEF on 15 and 18 January 2024.

* The savings quoted are against a typical advance purchase ticket, as these tickets vary in price the exact savings may be more or less compared to what a passenger usually purchases.

** Estimate is based on survey data from the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) and scaled using YouGov data.

*** Travel periods may differ across operators, with few or no tickets available on days impacted by industrial action. More tickets will be made available on days unaffected by industrial action.

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