Martin Lewis gives advice on saving money on train tickets
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One positive outcome of the pandemic for many has been the widespread adoption of flexible working. Working from home for at least a few days a week has become the new normal. But, with fewer of us trudging into the office every day how can you save money on your occasional commute?
The pandemic has marked a permanent shift in the way we work.
Many of us have relocated our workspaces from the office to our homes.
Some Brits have even relocated completely, moving further from the office to take advantage of lower property prices elsewhere.
So, is it cost-effective for you to commute into the office a few days a week when things return to ‘normal’?
Train tickets are prohibitively expensive and with many of us reducing the days we go into the office, how can you save money on your commute?
Currently, weekly, monthly and annual season tickets only provide discounts to rail passengers who commute every day.
But, if you only commute for two or three days when you return to the office this won’t be cost-effective.
Flexible train tickets could be the answer. Forget your old annual railcard, these new part-time tickets could save you hundreds of pounds annually.
How do flexible tickets work?
From June 21, you’ll be able to buy new flexible season tickets, for use from June 28 onwards.
These will be perfect for those who will only commute in for two to three days a week
These new tickets are part of the overhaul of the rail system, renamed Great British Railways, these tickets will only be available in England.
Unlike season tickets, passengers will have to buy individual season tickets.
This allows them to travel on any eight days within a 28-day period.
You will not need to select your days of travel in advance, so you can be as spontaneous as you like.
You will need to tap a smartcard or your phone at the station when you travel.
The consumer watchdog Which? has said these tickets could save you “hundreds of pounds a year”.
The government has released some estimates of how much travellers could save on certain routes.
And three-day commuters could save even more annually as the government estimates annual savings of:
- Over £330 a year from Chelmsford to Stratford
- Over £220 a year from St Albans City to London
- Over £120 a year from Bromsgrove to Birmingham
- Over £90 a year from Weston-Super-Mare to Bristol Temple Meads.
But, commuters should take note that as tickets do not go on sale until later this month, and these are just estimates. Exact savings cannot be fully confirmed.
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