A collaboration between British Rail and the government announced yesterday (19th April 2022) sees one million rail tickets being discounted, up to 50%, for journeys taken between 25th April and 17th May during off peak hours.
So, if you were already planning on going away, it might be worth taking a look at https://greatbritishrailsale.nationalrail.co.uk/
Some of the offers that are being advertised include
York to Leeds: was £5.60, now £2.80
London to Edinburgh: was £44, now £22
London to Cardiff: was £47, now £25
Wolverhampton to Liverpool: was £10.50, now £5.25
Manchester to Newcastle: was £20.60, now £10.30
Birmingham New Street to Bristol Temple Meads: was £25.30, now £12.60
Portsmouth Harbour to Penzance was £45.70, now £22.00
The rail network has recovered to around 70% of passengers that used their services pre pandemic, but with the monumental change to working from home, this might be their new “normal” level.
With huge losses across the industry over the last couple of years, the government has already spent an extra 15 billion pounds on Network Rail and the train operators to keep them in business. This is seen as an attempt to get more people to use services, with the Department of Transport stating they are “further supporting families with the cost of living”.
However, this sale has been labelled a “gimmick” by unions because it targets mainly intercity travel during off peak times, which means that daily commuters who have faced a sharp rise in their rail fares will not benefit. The unions have stated working people need affordable rail travel every day not short term gimmicks.