Train firm LNER has removed peak time restrictions for travel on every Friday between August 21 and January 4, 2021.
What it means is that travellers purchasing Super Off-Peak tickets can use any train throughout Fridays until the new year.
LNER says “Restrictions are being eased [on a Friday] on all routes to and from London Kings Cross and Stevenage with the exception of local Kings Cross to Stevenage services”.
At the present time Friday travellers buying off-peak tickets would have to pay substantially more to upgrade to a peak fare.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said, “I very much welcome LNER’s decision to ease ticket restrictions, which will help free up more space for social distancing by giving passengers more choice on when they travel.”
Indeed Grant Shapps may have heeded the advice tweeted to him by rail expert Andy Brabin on July 23.
Mr Brabin was travelling Manchester-London on July 23 with the 0701 Avanti West Coast train (which pre-Covid 19 would have been busy with corporate users) and there were a mere eight passengers in standard and two in first class.
Why are you failing the nation!!! Scrap peak time pricing and get Britain moving!! pic.twitter.com/G4JskGcVfs
— AndyBTravels (@AndyBTravels) July 23, 2020
This move by LNER will be welcomed by rail travellers seeing as peak hour trains are running with many empty seats because the corporate market has not yet returned to rail.
At the time of writing Anglo-Scottish rival Avanti West Coast continues to impose peak hour restrictions on a Friday. Its advice on avantiwestcoast.co.uk is “Please choose to travel during quieter periods.”
Finally note LNER requires *all* travellers to hold a seat reservation. The latter can easily be booked online.