Thameslink alters ticket restrictions for train users from St Albans and Harpenden
PUBLISHED: 17:57 16 June 2017
Thameslink have once again altered their train tickets into London after a price hike was met with backlash from rail user groups in St Albans and Harpenden
The new tickets will make it cheaper for passengers travelling on the first off-peak trains of the day but avoiding the evening peak when coming home.
Weekday Super Off Peak singles, returns and Travelcard tickets, that were only valid on trains that arrived in London after 10.55am, will be in the coming days be made valid on trains which leave St Albans from 9.29am and which leave Harpenden from 9.22am, arriving in London after 10am, while a review takes place.
These tickets still cannot be used during the evening peak, between 4.30pm and 7.01pm.
Off Peak tickets remain unchanged, and can also be used on the same trains. They cost slightly more but will allow passengers to travel home during the evening peak.
A return Off Peak ticket to London from St Albans will cost £14.90, while a Super Off-Peak will cost £12.30. The same journey from Harpenden will cost £17.50 Off Peak and £14.20 Super Off Peak.
Thameslink passenger services director Stuart Cheshire said: “The changes we made in May were good news because they removed the very unpopular evening peak restrictions from the Off-Peak tickets, saving passengers in St Albans £5.10 on the full-priced £20 Anytime ticket they had to buy previously and saving passengers in Bedford £11.80.
“They also encouraged passengers to stagger their morning journeys, providing relief for the very busy first off-peak trains.
“However, our rail user groups then told us that people didn’t want to wait another 55 minutes in the morning to travel on the new, cheaper Super Off Peak weekday ticket, so we have agreed to remove this restriction while we take another look at passenger loadings.”
Rail user groups had previously argued that the new restrictions were unfair to lower paid workers who needed to arrive at their place of work mid-morning, and that the fare increases were not welcome at a time when train users were suffering from a “low-quality” service.
After Thameslink listened to the comments from rail users, Neil Middleton, chairman of the Association of Public Transport Users, said: “We are very pleased that users of the first off-peak train will now have a choice of fares, including a continuation of the old fare (with the same restrictions on the time of return) and a new fare allowing return at any time that day.”