The walls come tumbling down: Great Northern off-peak fare restrictions lifted

11 January 2019

It is very rarely that, at a stroke, passengers lives are improved, but here we have another great example.

All off-peak tickets have time restrictions for when they can be used in the mornings – allegedly to avoid crowding on commuter trains, but also to help boost revenue on longer distance services. Many train companies also impose restrictions on when off-peak tickets can be used for the return part of the journey, as well as the outward part.

This causes immense frustration to anyone trying to get better value for money, or more flexible travel in the evening peaks. Passengers must dash for an earlier train or hang around waiting for the restrictions to lift.

So it’s really good news to hear that Great Northern has lifted afternoon/early evening peak restrictions on off-peak tickets on services to Cambridge and Peterborough. The increased capacity afforded by new and/or longer trains has no doubt helped.

Great Northern has joined Virgin in this type of move – Virgin’s easing of restrictions on off-peak tickets during the week has also helped thousands of passengers – see my previous blog on this.

So, come on train companies – you don’t need to wait for more fundamental fares reform to drive this change; more can be done now! Lift those restrictions and see passengers smile!

And make sure the more generous conditions are explained clearly to all. Regardless of how someone buys their ticket.

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