To ease overcrowding, Virgin Trains has announced plans to permanently remove all peak-hour restrictions to trains that travel on Friday afternoons from London Euston station.
“Virgin deserves praise for testing a real practice improvement in the service they offer hard-pressed passengers, and for following through to make a permanent change when demand clearly speaks for itself,” Transport Focus’ chief executive Anthony Smith told the BBC, adding: “Virgin’s experience suggests some clear lessons for other operators too – we do hope others do not wait long to follow suit.”
Customers can now choose to travel any time in the afternoon, and they will be charged off-peak ticket prices.
Many travellers took to Twitter to welcome the move:
This is a great move by Virgin Trains. Spreads busy Friday across afternoon/evening. Trial has already reduced load factor on Friday night 19:00 London-Manchester from 113% to 51%. It’s now permanent. https://t.co/qEpaaQUxVt
— The Man in Seat 61 (@seatsixtyone) November 1, 2018
Friday, 5pm: not a great time to be on a train. But if you can be flexible on time, and travel on Virgin Trains East Coast, and have an Advance Standard ticket, and the Seatfrog app, and a credit card, then rail travel may become a little more bearable.https://t.co/Ax7MbomP5p
— @simoncalder (@SimonCalder) February 2, 2018
— Alex Fortune (@XandF) November 1, 2018