Train tickets prices increase by more than £100 after 'awful' scheme

Train tickets prices increase by more than £100 after 'awful' scheme

‘Train drivers are some of the highest paid and luckiest workers in the country'

Patrick O'Donnell

By Patrick O'Donnell

Published: 16/02/2024

- 15:13

Updated: 16/02/2024

- 17:41

Train journeys are costing travellers more than expected as a result of a recently rolled out scheme

Commuters are paying more than £100 in train ticket costs following the launch of a “simpler fares” scheme.

Analysis of tickets sold by Government-owned rail operator London North Eastern Railway (LNER) on journeys made on the East Coast Main Line uncovered the price hike.

Critics said the introduction of a two-year trial which was advertised as providing “simpler fares” to train travellers has led to the surge.

Campaign group Railfuture has slammed the trial as “awful”, while train travel website suggested the scheme was designed to “allow big price increases”.

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Woman holding train ticket

Train ticket prices are going up despite the rollout of a new scheme


As part of the “simpler fares” scheme, the cheapest available tickets for certain single journeys between London King’s Cross and Edinburgh have risen from £87 to £193.90 if purchased on day of travel.

A similar rise in prices was recorded for journeys between King’s Cross and both Newcastle and Berwick-upon-Tweed.

So far, the trial is limited to only these three routes but could be rolled out to others across the network if it deemed successful.

This price increase has reportedly been caused by the removal of Super-Off Peak fares which were the cheapest tickets available.

These could be used on several departures during traditionally quieter periods without needing to be bought in advance.

Railfuture director Neil Middleton said: “The removal of the Super Off-Peak ticket is an awful move.

“Just the possibility or having to pay over £192 for a railway ticket to travel between King’s Cross and Newcastle is enough to put you off travelling by train, possibly forever.”

He urged LNER to reinstate Super-Off Peak fares going forward, as well continue the “simpler fares” scheme.

 Commuters buy tickets from the ticket office Commuters buy tickets from the ticket officeGETTY

An LNER spokesperson said: “Since the pilot launched, the majority of customers who have bought Advance tickets have paid less than the old Super Off-Peak fare.

“There will, from time to time, be traditionally classified ‘Off-Peak trains’ where Advance tickets have sold out and a more expensive Anytime ticket is the only option on popular services.

“However, the pilot will see even more Advance and 70min Flex tickets being available up to the day of travel.

“We’ll continue to monitor and will make adjustments so that as many people as possible can access the right ticket at the right price for them.”

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