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New fares save Virgin Trains customers £15.5m a year

Press release   •   Jul 05, 2017 00:01 BST

Virgin Trains has today announced that customers on its west coast route are now able to take advantage of cheaper advance ticket prices and seat reservations on the day of travel. Based on the number of on-the-day fares currently bought by customers, Virgin Trains has calculated that the changes could save customers £15.5m a year*.

Previously, advance fares have only been available to purchase up to 23:59 the day before travel. However, Virgin Trains customers travelling to most destinations on the west coast route can now make savings of up to 55% on all routes compared to the cost of the walk-up fare (Anytime or Off-Peak single) by purchasing an advance ticket on the day, subject to availability**.

These fares can be bought via Virgin Trains website, mobile app, at station ticket offices and other online retail channels including Where they can take advantage of an advance fare, customers will also be able to reserve a seat when buying their ticket.

Examples of savings include:

  • An advance fare bought on the day for travel between Manchester or Liverpool and London could cost £38, saving customers 54% on the price of an off-peak single (£82.90);
  • Customers travelling between Glasgow and London could save £4.8m a year; a one-way ticket on the day could cost £65, less than half the price of an off-peak single (£136.60).
  • Those travelling between Preston and London could pay £42 for a one-way ticket on the day, a 52% saving on the price of an off-peak single (£88.30).

Virgin Trains has been leading the way in tackling fare complexity and ensuring a better deal for customers. The train operator confirmed earlier this year that is participating in a in a single-leg pricing trial with the Government which will consider alternative ways to guarantee customers simpler fares.

Sarah Copley, Executive Director for Commercial at Virgin Trains on the West Coast said: “We’re really excited to be offering our customers more choice and great value fares on the day of travel. We have a strong record of innovating for the benefit of our customers, and our continued focus on giving them the best deal possible will mean that they could save up to fifteen million pounds.

“Customers can book advance tickets up to six months before travel on weekdays and three months on weekends, and this is still the best way to get the very cheapest fares. But we know some journeys are last-minute and that’s why we’re introducing advance fares that will be available on the day. Customers will not only get the cheapest possible fare, but they will also be able to reserve a seat for their journey, meaning they can make the most of their time on-board whether that’s relaxing or working.”

The announcement means that customers travelling with Virgin Trains on either of its routes can now purchase advance fares on the day of travel. 

*Calculation is based on the number of journeys made in the last year for which customers bought a walk-up ticket. Calculation takes account of whether walk-up customers bought single or return tickets. Based on this, if all available advance purchase tickets on the day were bought instead, the savings achieved over a year could total £15.5m

**Fares are subject to availability. They are available on most routes where advance fares can already be purchased. Tickets will be available to purchase up to one hour before the train leaves its origin station. 

About Virgin Trains:

Stagecoach and Virgin are working in partnership to operate the East Coast and West Coast inter-city routes under the Virgin Trains brand. Together, they are on track to revolutionise rail travel across the UK.

The combined network connects some of the nation’s most iconic destinations including Glasgow, Liverpool, Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Leeds, York and London.

Virgin Trains is committed to delivering a high speed, high frequency service, offering shorter journey times, more comfortable travel and excellent customer service. Customers consistently rate Virgin Trains as one of the top long-distance rail franchise operators in the National Rail Passenger Survey (NRPS) commissioned by industry watchdog, Transport Focus.

On the East Coast route, £140m is being invested to create a more personalised travel experience. We have already invested £21m to completely revamp our existing fleet and customers can now benefit from 42 additional services (22,000 extra seats) per week between Edinburgh and London. 2018 will see the introduction of completely new Azuma trains being built in the UK by Hitachi.

The West Coast route has a proud record of challenging the status quo - from introducing tilting Pendolino trains, to a pioneering automated delay repay scheme and becoming the first franchised rail operator to offer m-Tickets for all ticket types.

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Press Office: 0845 000 3333.