HS2

01.11.18

Virgin Trains abandons Friday afternoon peak restrictions to reduce mass overcrowding

Virgin Trains has scrapped Friday afternoon peak-hour restrictions after the company found it reduced congestion on key services during a 13-week trial.

It said restrictions on train travel leaving London after 15:00 and before 18:45 will be removed permanently from 2 November.

The train operator runs services on the West Coast Main Line, connecting London Euston, Birmingham, Manchester, Chester, Liverpool, Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Premium ticket prices often mean passengers on off-peak services are forced to stand for hours, with an anytime return from Manchester to Euston costing £338 while an off-peak return is £86.90.

Peak services, on the other hand, are often left relatively empty compared to the first departures eligible to off-peak ticket holders.

Virgin said they are “enabling thousands of people to start the weekend earlier for less,” but restrictions on peak tickets on the other four-week days will still remain.

Virgin Trains says it trialled the system during the summer and found that it “helped dramatically reduce congestion on key evening services,” with the average maximum number of passengers falling by 61% on the Euston to Manchester service at 19:00.

It said that more than 3,500 additional journeys were made each Friday as visitors “flocked to the major cities” such as Manchester, Birmingham and Glasgow for a weekend break, on top of the reduction in congestion throughout the day.

Sarah Copley, the commercial director at Virgin Trains, said: “Rather than everyone waiting for the first off-peak train on Friday evening, people can now travel whenever’s convenient for them.”

“This change means we’ve been able to reduce congestion, whilst helping people save money and make an earlier start to their weekends.”

The first off-peak journey on a Friday for every major service leaving Euston saw a reduction in the average loading at the busiest point of the journey.

The 19:03 from Euston to Birmingham saw the biggest reduction of 75%, and both Euston to Preston and Euston to Liverpool also seeing over a 50% reduction.

Image credit - oversnap

Enjoying RTM? Subscribe here to receive our weekly news updates or click here to receive a copy of the magazine!

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

related

rail technology magazine tv

more videos >

latest rail news

HS2 publish annual equality, diversity and inclusion report

07/08/2020HS2 publish annual equality, diversity and inclusion report

Today (8 Aug) HS2 Ltd have released their annual report which details their equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) work. The report also il... more >
Network Rail’s Southern Region completes installation of secure radio channels

07/08/2020Network Rail’s Southern Region completes installation of secure radio channels

A new digitally secure radio system has been successfully rolled out across Network Rail’s Southern region. As their Wessex route join... more >
Network Rail repairs lifeboat ramp during Cumbrian Coast line work

07/08/2020Network Rail repairs lifeboat ramp during Cumbrian Coast line work

Railway engineers have rebuilt a section of public walkway at St. Bees beach which is used to launch lifeboats to rescue those in distress at sea... more >

last word

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

This summer, Arriva Group's CrossCountry and the Scout Association joined to launch a new partnership to promote rail safety among young people. Chris Leech MBE, business community manager at the... more > more last word articles >

'the sleepers' daily blog

On the right track, Sulzer is awarded RISAS accreditation for Nottingham Service Centre

29/06/2020On the right track, Sulzer is awarded RISAS accreditation for Nottingham Service Centre

Following an independent audit, Sulzer’s Nottingham Service Centre has been accepted as part of the rail industry supplier approval scheme (RISAS). The accreditation reinforces the high-quality standards that are maintained by Sulzer’s network of independent repair facilities across the UK and further afield in its global network. ... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >

comment

The challenge of completing Crossrail

05/07/2019The challenge of completing Crossrail

With a new plan now in place to deliver Crossrail, Hedley Ayres, National Audit Office manager, major projects and programmes, takes a look at ho... more >
Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

04/07/2019Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

The move to decarbonise the rail network involves shifting to cleaner modes of traction by 2050. David Clarke, technical director at the Railway ... more >
Sunshine future beckons for South Wales Railways, says 10:10 Climate Action’s Leo Murray

02/07/2019Sunshine future beckons for South Wales Railways, says 10:10 Climate Action’s Leo Murray

Smart electrification is the way to boost clean energy resources, argues Leo Murray, director at 10:10 Climate Action. Contractors are clear... more >
Ambition doesn’t have to be expensive, says Midland Connect's Maria Machancoses

02/07/2019Ambition doesn’t have to be expensive, says Midland Connect's Maria Machancoses

The TCR Midlands conference is only days away and tickets are going fast for the sector event of the year at the Vox Conference Centre in Birming... more >

rail industry focus

View all News

interviews

Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

24/06/2019Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

Andrew Haines, the Chief Executive of Network Rail, has told the Today programme on Radio 4's BBC’s flagship news programme that he wo... more >