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Olympics: Games volunteers denied same rail discounts as ticket holders

 

Olympics: Games volunteers denied same rail discounts as ticket holders
By Chris Harris
 Thursday, May 24, 2012
9:00 AM  from: http://www.eadt.co.uk/news/olympics_games_volunteers_denied_same_rail_discounts_as_ticket_holders_1_1387279

 

VOLUNTEERS who have sacrificed part of their summer to help at the Olympic Games are being denied the same train fare discounts open to ticket holders, the EADT can reveal.


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London 2012 reached a deal with train companies – including Greater Anglia – to offer cheaper and more flexible tickets to those attending the sporting extravaganza.

But they have so far failed to accommodate the 70,000 helpers they recruited to help deliver the Games, some of whom will have to travel from as far away as Newcastle.

Greater Anglia, in a Twitter exchange with Ipswich councillor Bryony Rudkin, said special fares available to ticket holders were not being extended to volunteers.

But by yesterday both Great Anglia and the Association of Train Operating Companies admitted they were now looking at extending the offers to volunteers.

Cllr Rudkin, portfolio holder for culture at Ipswich Borough Council, said it was shameful if volunteers were not given the discounts.

She added: “It seems mean-spirited frankly in not giving them the same discounts for those who have bought tickets.

“They don’t want a cheap ticket for a day out - they are going to be ambassadors. It’s against the Olympic spirit.

“If you have got someone on a low income who wants to be a volunteer it seems a bit unfair. I would have thought the local rail companies would want to support local volunteering efforts.”

A spokesman for the Association of Train Operating Companies said: “We are aware of volunteers’ concerns about not currently being eligible to buy Games train tickets, and we are looking at the issue very closely with train companies, LOCOG (London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games) and the Department for Transport with a view to making the special fares available to volunteers.”

A Greater Anglia spokeswoman said: “We offer a range of discounted tickets including advance fares which can be booked for travel in the period leading up to and during the Games. In addition, the Association of Train Operating Companies, train operators and industry partners are looking at the issue of making special fares available to volunteers.”

 

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