Virgin Trains today announced that customers can take advantage of even more trains on its east coast route and that it is increasing the number of affordable fares available on these services.
The company confirmed that 22 additional Saturday services will run from stations including Leeds, Wakefield, Doncaster, Peterborough, and Grantham. The timetable improvements which will be introduced from May 21 are part of Virgin Trains’ £140m investment in the east coast route in a bid to give customers the best possible experience.
The new timetable means there will be an extra 600,000 seats available compared to a year ago. Following improvements made to the timetable in December 2016, these latest changes increase the number of seats by 410,000, representing a significant investment in services*.
The train operator is extending the Monday to Friday half-hourly service between Leeds and London to include Saturdays. As well as a considerable boost to customers travelling between Leeds and London, other towns will also benefit. Those travelling from Wakefield will be served by the 22 additional Saturday services, and Doncaster will see another 15 services on Saturdays. Eleven more services will stop at Grantham on Saturdays, and Stevenage will also benefit with nine additional trains serving the station.
As well as improving its timetable, the train company has also made more of its lowest fares available to encourage more customers to leave the car at home at weekends and take the train. Customers travelling between Leeds or Wakefield and London will be able to take advantage of 115,000 more seats available for £16 on the additional Saturday services. Similarly, the new services mean an additional 30,000 seats will be available between Doncaster and London from £14 each way, and 23,000 extra seats will be priced at £12 each way between Grantham and London on Saturdays**.
David Horne, Managing Director of Virgin Trains on its east coast route, said:
“We’re making significant improvements to our trains and stations as well as making journeys even more affordable. We know customers want further options to travel by train and we hope these additional services as well as budget-friendly fares will encourage even more people on-board one of our newly refurbished trains. We’ll be continuing to invest in improvements at stations and on-board ahead of the introduction of our ground-breaking Azuma trains next year.”
The news comes following Virgin Trains’ recent announcement that customers will be able to take advantage of cheaper advance ticket prices and seat reservations on the day of travel. Based on the number of walk-up fares currently bought by customers, Virgin Trains calculated that the changes could save customers £7.1m a year.
Notes to editors:
|Route||Increase in Saturdayservices y/y||Number of additional Saturday seats since May 2016||Number of additional Saturday seats since December 2016||Increase in number of lowest priced standard fares available since May 2016|
|Leeds – King’s Cross||+22||+600,000||+410,000||+115,000|
|Wakefield – King’s Cross||+22||+600,000||+410,000||+115,000|
|Doncaster – King’s Cross||+15||+410,000||+246,100||+31,700|
|Grantham – King’s Cross||+11||+300,000||+246,100||+23,200|
|Peterborough – King’s Cross||+3||+82,000||+27,300||+12,600|
|Stevenage – King’s Cross||+9||+246,000||+218,800||+19,000|
**Figures based on single standard class advance fares on additional Saturday services over a twelve-month period. Tickets are subject to availability.