Over one million rail tickets will be slashed by up to 50% as the government and rail industry launch the first-of-its-kind Great British Rail Sale.
The public is encouraged to take advantage of this unprecedented sale, which sees multiple operators come together to offer nationwide savings for the first time.
The Great British Rail Sale tickets will be available from 10.00 on 19th April - to 23.59 on 2nd May 2022 for travel between 25th April and the 27th May 2022
Savings on offer for off-peak tickets include:
York to Leeds: was £5.60, now £2.80
London to Edinburgh: was £44, now £22
London to Cardiff: was £47, now £25
Wolverhampton to Liverpool: was £10.50, now £5.25
Manchester to Newcastle: was £20.60, now £10.30
Birmingham New Street to Bristol Temple Meads: was £25.30, now £12.60
Portsmouth Harbour to Penzance was £45.70, now £22.00
Cutting the cost of rail travel will help ease some of the pressure on family finances when inflation is rising around the world.
The promotion is hoped to encourage people to visit different places, connect with friends and loved ones, and get out and about around the country, something we have all been unable to do for the last couple of years. You need to be aware that not all routes and journeys are being discounted, and the period does not include half-term (schools break up on 27 May). It does include the early May bank holiday weekend, and all fares are single journeys, not returns, so you need to factor that into the price.
Great British Rail Sale tickets will be available on train companies operating in England, excluding London Overground, TfL Rail, Merseyrail, Lumo, Gatwick Express, Heathrow Express and Stansted Express. They will be available to purchase from participating train companies and retailers.
Also, the tickets are for off-peak use only. When you buy an advance ticket, you have to commit to getting on a specifically timed train, which means your ticket can’t be used on a later service, and you can’t leap on an earlier train if you arrive at the station earlier than expected. If your train operator allows, you may be able to make changes for free until 6 pm on the day before you are set to travel.
Great British Rail Sale tickets are not refundable unless the service you are booked to travel on is delayed or cancelled and you choose not to travel.
Some rail companies are being more generous than others, while some are barely taking part. The Department for Transport says: “Great British Rail Sale tickets are not available on all routes, are limited and subject to availability and exclusions.” It also warns that the discounted ticket “may not represent the lowest available fare” for a particular journey.
If you have a railcard, you can still use that and will receive the typical 33% discount on top of the other reductions, so that can add up. The tickets are now on sale and expected to go fast, with over 170,000 sold on the first day alone! You can buy the tickets HERE.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said:
For the first time, operators across the rail industry are coming together to help passengers face rising living costs by offering up to 50% off more than a million tickets on journeys across Britain. There’s no better time to visit friends and family or explore our great country, so book your tickets today.
Jacqueline Starr, CEO of the Rail Delivery Group, said:
We want everyone to be able to benefit from travelling by train because it’s more than just a journey; it’s a way to connect everyone to the people, places and things they love. As part of the Great British Rail Sale, customers will enjoy over one million discounted tickets to explore some of the fantastic locations accessible by rail.
The government says they are listening to people’s concerns about rising costs and is taking action worth more than £22 billion in 2022-23 alone – which includes support with the cost of energy bills and to help ensure people keep more of their money. Offering half-price rail tickets is one of the ways the government is further supporting families with the cost of living.
It's a step in the right direction, but I feel there are probably other money-saving schemes the government could be investing in that would be more beneficial to more people, but I guess every little helps!