Avanti West Coast launches Superfare discount ticket scheme to boost passenger numbers

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Cheaper fares will be available on certain train routes

Avanti West Coast is launching a discounted train tickets trial in a bid to boost passenger numbers back to pre-pandemic levels.

The train operator is offering cheaper fares on certain UK routes for passengers who can be more flexible with their journey times.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The new Superfare scheme involves customers buying a ticket for a particular date and specifying if they want to travel in the morning, afternoon or evening.

Around 24 hours before their journey, the train company will match ticket-holders to a quieter service and inform them of their departure time. Tickets will be available for single journeys between London and Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester and Preston.

Passengers must book tickets between seven and 21 days in advance, and fares will be fixed between £12 and £22. Railcard discounts do not apply. The discounted tickets must be booked online on the Avanti Superfare website.

Cheaper fares will be available on certain train routes (Photo: Getty Images)Cheaper fares will be available on certain train routes (Photo: Getty Images)
Cheaper fares will be available on certain train routes (Photo: Getty Images) | Getty Images

The initiative is being trialled until the end of July. Avanti West Coast executive director for commercial Sarah Copley said: “Superfare tickets are aimed at customers who can be more flexible with their journeys.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“Not only does it provide a cheaper option, but it’s also quick and easy. We want to give our customers more cost-effective ticketing options in an innovative way when travelling with us, as well as encouraging more people to take the train.”

Avanti West Coast is not the only train firm to offer discounted fares as Southern began selling cut-price tickets on Mondays and Fridays to lure commuters back last month. Transport Secretary Mark Harper also recently announced fares on some LNER services will vary based on demand.

It comes after rail fares in England and Wales rose by an average of up to 5.9% earlier this month, in what was the largest annual rise for 11 years. The move will add hundreds of pounds to the cost of many annual season tickets.

Rail minister Huw Merriman said the increase is “well below inflation and delayed”, but Labour described it as “savage” and public transport groups claimed passengers are not getting value for money.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The fare hike comes despite severe disruption on Britain’s railways this year due to issues including staff shortages, sickness, industrial action, severe weather and infrastructure failures. The number of journeys made on Britain’s railways also remains around a fifth below pre-Covid levels, resulting in billions of pounds in lost revenue each year.

Mr Merriman said: “I understand it has been a difficult year and people are feeling the pinch which is why – through the biggest ever government intervention – we capped the rise well below inflation and delayed it coming into force.”

A spokesman for the Rail Delivery Group, which represents train operators, said: “The government’s decision to hold fares down below current inflation is understandable. It is important that fares are set at a level that is appropriate for both the industry and its customers.”

In response to the fare increase, shadow transport secretary Louise Haigh said: “This savage fare hike will be a sick joke for millions reliant on the Conservative’s broken rail system. People already facing soaring taxes and bills will now be clobbered with an eye-watering rise in the cost of the daily commute.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The Scottish Government has frozen ScotRail fares until the end of March, but no decision has been announced about what will happen beyond then. Translink, Northern Ireland’s state-owned bus and train operator, hiked fares by an average of 7% from last week.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.