How can you limit the impact of the annual rail fare increase?

THERE is more misery for train passengers this morning as it was announced that fares would rise for commuters by an average of 2.7 per cent from today, Thursday.

But if you’re feeling the pinch already in 2020, here’s some of the best ways to reduce the cost of train travel:

When should you travel?

Train companies sell cheaper off-peak tickets which can be used on quieter services.

When should you buy a ticket for a one-off journey?

If you are able to commit to a particular train on a particular date, huge savings are possible by buying an advance ticket.

Some operators put these on sale up to 24 weeks in advance and they are only withdrawn 40 minutes before departure, depending on availability.

Have you considered a season ticket?

If you are making the same journey at least three days a week, then a season ticket can be more cost effective.

Weekly, monthly and annual tickets are available. An annual pass offers 52 weeks’ travel for the price of 40.

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 Can you get a railcard?

Many people can save a third off rail fares by getting a railcard.

Discount cards are available for a range of people, including those aged between 16 and 30, the disabled, people in the armed forces, people aged 60 and over, families and people travelling with another person such as a friend, partner or colleague.

Find details of all the railcards available here

Is it cheaper to travel in a group?

Groups of between three and nine adults can save a third off the price of off-peak tickets with most operators on certain journeys.

What about split ticketing?

Rather than buying one train ticket from your departure station to your destination, it is sometimes cheaper to break the journey down into multiple tickets.

Several split ticketing websites exist to show passengers if they can save money this way.

Do you claim compensation?

Passengers can claim compensation if journeys are disrupted, depending on the operator and the length of the delay.

A quick search could save you a few quid if you’ve had a frustrating delay.

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