The UK government has announced a month-long ‘Great British Rail Sale’ offering customers the chance to buy half-price train tickets from 25 April to 27 May, in the hopes of driving the UK’s tourism and travel industries forward post-pandemic.
As a result, over one million tickets are set to be made available in the sale, although these cannot be used during half-term or the four-day bank holiday weekend in early June marking the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
The sale will mark the first time the various operators have come together to offer a unified promotion and illustrates wider concerns within the British travel industry that the rising cost of living and a marked drop in disposable income will lead customers to cut back on leisure travel.
Notable reductions include trips from London to Edinburgh and Cardiff being cut from £44 to £22 and from £47 to £25 respectively. Additionally, customers will be able to travel from Portsmouth to Penzance for £22 instead of £45.70 and from Birmingham to Bristol for £12.60 instead of £25.30.
To promote the sale, the Department for Transport has released a short promotional video featuring Transport Secretary Grant Shapps encouraging the British public to visit the UK’s tourist hotspots by making the most of the upcoming sale.
To help with the cost of living, we're selling over 1 million rail tickets at up to ½ price for trips from 25 Apr to 27 May 🎫
After 2 yrs of living life virtually, the Great British Rail Sale🚆 starts today.
— Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP (@grantshapps) April 19, 2022
Discounted tickets go on sale today [19 April], but can only be used for journeys taking place from 25 April to 27 May, only off-peak will be offered at the discounted rate.
“For the first time ever, operators across the rail industry are coming together to help passengers facing rising costs of living by offering up to 50% off more than a million tickets on journeys across Britain,” Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps said.
“There’s no better time to visit friends, family or just explore our great country, so book your tickets today.”
“We want everyone to be able to benefit from travelling by train because it’s more than just a journey, it’s a way to connect everyone to the people, places and things they love,” Rail Delivery Group CEO, Jacqueline Starr said.
“As part of the Great British Rail Sale customers will enjoy over one million discounted tickets, so they can explore some of the fantastic locations that are accessible by rail.”