Avanti West Coast offers £30 from Glasgow to London

Avanti West Coast two weeks ago introduced ‘Superfare’ tickets between the UK capital and Birmingham, Liverpool and Manchester.

One-way tickets at £30 are now being offered for Glasgow to London trains with spare capacity in a similar scheme to Eurostar’s £25 SNAP fares.

The ticket allows the customer to book a ride for a specific date with the exact travel time selected by the intercity operator.

Seats are assigned to passengers 24 hours before the train departs.

Bookings can be made at least seven days and up to 21 days in advance of travel and the number of tickets available each day varies.

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Avanti says that to date, two-thirds of Superfare trips are “extra” as they were either for passengers transferring from cars or buses, or trips that would not have been made.


A spokesman said: “The rationale is to try to encourage people who wouldn’t normally travel by train to try us, while at the same time we make use of what we call ’emergency’ (ie empty seats).

“We know our services leave Euston or Glasgow with a few empty seats most days.

“But it’s hard to know how many and on which services.

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“So Superfare gives us the ability to match customers with trains closer to the day of travel.

“The research conducted so far suggests that Superfare is used by customers who either would not have traveled before or who would have traveled by alternative means of transport (e.g. car).

“It is never intended to replace our range of Advance Fares, but to complement and cater to those who have the flexibility to travel within a larger time window.”

A campaign to encourage more people to travel by train has highlighted routes where rail is significantly cheaper and faster than driving. These include Glasgow – Lake District, Bradford – London, Edinburgh – Newcastle and Manchester – Glasgow.

A Trainline report recommended action, including creating a digital ‘green’ train card and offering discounts that would be unlocked if someone took five trains in a year.

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Jody Ford, CEO of Trainline, said: “Sustainability is rail’s secret weapon.

“The ‘crucial market’ of the under-30s is particularly receptive ‘as a generation driven by ethical choices who care about sustainability’, but Trainline’s research has found that many of them don’t connect rail travel to train travel create sustainability and therefore ‘we have to convince people’ through cross-industry messages.”

Last month, Avanti West Coast received a six-month contract extension, despite figures showing it has the worst record for year-end cancellations in the UK.

The contract of the company belonging to the FirstGroup was due to expire at the end of March, and the Ministry of Transport has now extended it.

Data from the rail regulator shows that one in 10 trains scheduled by the operator was canceled in the last quarter of last year.

The government’s controversial decision means the rail company can continue operating until October 15.

This decision comes nearly six months after the operator was initially awarded a short-term contract by the government and ordered to develop a rehabilitation plan aimed at addressing poor performance on key West Coast Main Line routes.

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