Avoiding train increases – if you are over 55

By | Category: Travel rumblings
discount rail travel

Club 55

I feel as though I should make some comment about the increase in rail fares that came into effect today. Yet again this rise has brought the usual howls of protest from passengers – largely commuters – but what’s the use? Does the government pay any more than lip service to us? What must be done to make them change their minds and see the public service benefits? All three major parties complain when in opposition but take no notice other than issuing platitudes when in power. At least train operating companies have been told they must point out that a cheaper fare is available if that is the case.

It is exactly the same with the tolls on the Severn Bridge Crossings which went up to £6.50 making it probably the most expensive toll in Europe. Again, political parties of many persuasions have promised to remove the tolls but nothing happens. Petitions haven’t ignited communities on either side of the bridge.

One way to avoid the tolls (apart from driving via Gloucester) is to take the train and Arriva Trains Wales has been very quick of the mark this year in announcing that the Club 55 promotion has re-started already. And they, at least have kept the same prices as last year so not all rail tickets have risen. Costing £23 return, you can travel anywhere in Wales for that price provided that you are aged over 55 and can prove it if asked by the train guard. the advantage of this promotion as many readers will know, is that you can book in advance, tip up on the day or buy on the train and the fare remains the same.

ScotRail has also announced that its Club 55 promotion will start on the 12th of January but theirs will run until the 28th of March, a full month longer than Arriva Trains Wales. The remaining train operator which usually runs a Club 55 promotion is Trans Pennine but there is no word from them yet as to whether such a promotion will run this spring.

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