UK practice tickets: the nice rail sale is on – however is there a catch? | Cash


One million half-price rail tickets are up for grabs within the first Nice British Rail Sale, which was introduced earlier this week. The supply is designed to tempt again travellers to utilizing the practice, after the coronavirus pandemic led to an enormous drop in passenger numbers.

What’s the deal?

One million off-peak, principally advance, practice tickets have gone on sale, discounted by as much as 50%. To get the decrease costs you need to guide by 23.59 on 2 Might, and journey between 25 April and 27 Might.

Earlier than you get excited, you’ll want to remember that not all routes and journeys are being discounted, and the interval doesn’t embrace half-term (faculties break up on 27 Might). It does embrace the early Might financial institution vacation weekend.

Some rail corporations are being extra beneficiant than others, whereas some are barely participating.

The Division for Transport says: “Nice British Rail Sale tickets will not be obtainable on all routes, are restricted and topic to availability and exclusions.” It additionally warns that the discounted ticket “could not signify the bottom obtainable fare” for a specific journey.

Advance tickets are single tickets, so you’ll want to take that into consideration when wanting on the headline affords.

Tempt me with some costs

On LNER, one-way Edinburgh-London tickets have been on sale on some trains at a worth of £22.

The flat rail sale fare between London and Leeds is £15. GWR is promoting Cardiff-London Paddington tickets for £25 one-way, and has tickets between Bristol and London at £18.

Avanti West Coast train
Avanti West Coast is providing some one-way fares between London and Glasgow for £26 and London-Manchester for £23. {Photograph}: Luciana Guerra/PA

Avanti West Coast, which runs trains from London Euston all the way in which to Scotland on the west coast mainline, is providing some one-way fares between London and Glasgow for £26 and London-Manchester for £23. Journeys between London and Liverpool are £17, and it prices £8 to get from London to Birmingham.

Between Southampton and London Victoria, Southern is promoting seats for under £2.70. It’s an enormous cut price – greater than 50% off what’s marketed after the promotion ends, actually – however, as ever, there’s a small catch. This journey takes twice so long as the South Western Railway journey to London Waterloo.

A single from York to Leeds is being decreased to £2.80 from £5.60, whereas Portsmouth Harbour to Penzance is £22, down from £45.70.

Is it potential to seek out these fares?

A million tickets may sound like a big quantity however you’ll want to know that the standard variety of rail journeys over the supply interval is greater than 160m, so it’s a tiny proportion. Greater than 170,000 tickets have been bought on the primary day of the sale.

Tickets on fashionable routes are promoting quick, so don’t grasp about.

The place do I guide?

The tickets are solely obtainable on-line – you can not get them in individual, and should purchase them no less than a day earlier than you propose to journey.

For bookings the DfT has arrange a helpful web site,, which is able to let you know if the discounted fares can be found in your chosen route.

If they’re, it hyperlinks by way of to the practice operator of that service, and your reserving is made immediately.

Trainline can also be providing the discounted fares, though remember it costs a reserving price.

Can I take advantage of this supply for going into the workplace?

Commuters arrive at London Waterloo station during a morning rush hour.
Commuters arrive at London Waterloo station throughout a morning rush hour. {Photograph}: WIktor Szymanowicz/NurPhoto/Rex/Shutterstock

Normally not. The supply is designed to get folks out of their vehicles and on to trains at off-peak instances, though there are a couple of exceptions.

Commuter companies out and in of London and different huge cities are usually not included within the supply – most affords are targeted on off-peak journey slightly than throughout rush hour.

Nonetheless, these travelling for work on longer journeys ought to be capable to take benefit if they’re travelling through the day and are ready to be versatile on instances.

What else do I would like to contemplate?

While you purchase an advance ticket you need to decide to getting on a particularly timed practice, which suggests your ticket can’t be used on a later service if you happen to oversleep, and you’ll’t leap on an earlier practice if you happen to arrive on the station forward of schedule. In case your practice operator permits, you might be able to make adjustments totally free till 6pm on the day earlier than you might be set to journey.

In case you have a railcard you’ll be able to nonetheless use that and you’ll obtain the standard 33% low cost on prime of the opposite reductions. The reductions are additionally obtainable for first-class tickets.

Connecting journeys on totally different practice operators don’t qualify. There may be nothing to cease you from split-ticketing if the supply is out there on one leg of your chosen journey.

Some rail companies don’t seem to have bothered to chop costs in any respect on fashionable routes. For instance, Nice Northern fares to Brighton are the identical worth as regular. LNER is excluding journeys on Fridays and weekends from its supply.

General view of Brighton pier on a warm and sunny day.
Nice Northern fares to Brighton are the identical worth as regular. {Photograph}: Dinendra Haria/Sopa Pictures/Rex/Shutterstock

If you happen to fancy a visit into the unknown, the principle rail sale web site has an “encourage me” button providing info on fares out of your chosen vacation spot. This week, inspiration for somebody trying to journey from London King’s Cross included tickets to Peterborough and Doncaster for about £8, whereas travellers from Gloucester have been proven journeys to Bristol stations for £4, and £5 fares to Evesham amongst others.


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