Home
Invite
RSS
Search:
Advanced Search
Ticket prices soar as rail firms decide they can charge 'evening peak' fares as early as 3pm

 

Ticket prices soar as rail firms decide they can charge 'evening peak' fares as early as 3pm

By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 9:53 AM on 26th August 2010

Commuters are being charged rush-hour prices from as early as 3pm as train companies try to boost revenue.

The East Coast train company and West Coast Main Line operator Virgin Trains both start their 'evening peak' from mid-afternoon, a survey from Which? said.
 

This means that the evening peak for East Coast trains - which has routes linking London King's Cross, Leeds, York, Newcastle and Edinburgh - now lasts four hours.

 
Fair confusion: Train companies are charging peak hour rates from as early as 3pm, a survey has found

Fair confusion: The East Coast train company and West Coast Main Line operator Virgin Trains both start their 'evening peak' from mid-afternoon, a survey from Which? said

By comparison, other companies, including Chiltern and Merseyrail, did not have an evening peak at all.
 

Colin Foxall, chairman of rail watchdog Passenger Focus, criticised ‘train companies which have tinkered with off-peak ticket restrictions and have effectively forced passengers into buying more expensive tickets’.

A spokesman for East Coast said the restrictions only applied to one type of ticket – the Super Off-Peak.

'We have a range of ticket options available to our customers which offer far greater flexibility within this time period,' he said.

 

 

Confused? You will be
East Coast's morning peak to London ended at 10.05am unless people are travelling first class, or with an off-peak day return or travelcard or on a super off-peak ticket

Virgin Trains defended the company’s decision to start the evening peak at 3pm.

'We carry 26million passengers every year,' a spokesman said. 'We have increased capacity but it is still being outstripped by demand.

'The industry standard is that you must have the same peak times every day, which has to be set by the busiest day of the week which is Friday.'
 

Which? also said that train companies made things very confusing when passengers were booking tickets.

For instance, East Coast's morning peak to London ended at 10.05am unless people are travelling first class, or travelling with an off-peak day return or travelcard or on a super off-peak ticket.
 

Other companies are more straightforward. Merseyrail's morning peak ends at 9.30am as does that of train company Northern at Leeds, Liverpool and Manchester.
 

Which? said: 'You'd be forgiven for not knowing if you're coming or going, yet the Association of Train Operating Companies (Atoc) claims "four out of five passengers are happy with their journey".'
 

An Atoc spokesman said: 'Demand differs greatly at different times in different parts of the country, so it's not surprising that peak times vary.
 

'Millions of people travel on the railways every week and the overwhelming majority buy the right ticket and get on the right train with no problem whatsoever.'



Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1306265/Rail-ticket-prices-soaring-mid-afternoon-evening-peak-fares-start-early-3pm.html#ixzz0xhZUkqDc
 

Delicious Digg Facebook Fark MySpace
Views: 739 views    Report Inappropriate Content
All Articles