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Avanti West Coast suspends peak restrictions for Christmas travel

Peak ticket restrictions will be suspended on Avanti West Coast trains over the festive period, slashing the price of many journeys.

Passengers travelling on weekdays with off-peak tickets are usually prohibited from boarding trains before around 9.30am or between 3pm and 7pm.

But the operator has announced that this rule will not be applied from December 18 until the end of the year.

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This will lead to significant price reductions for travel during periods where off-peak tickets are usually invalid.

Passengers buying a fully-flexible fare for a service from Manchester to London during what is usually a peak period will be charged £64.40 instead of £180.

The lowest priced Advance tickets for travel on specific trains went on sale on Saturday.

Capacity on board trains is limited to around 40% to enable social distancing due to the coronavirus pandemic, with passengers strongly urged to book seat reservations alongside tickets.

An Avanti West Coast spokesman said: “From 18 December, we’re moving all our services to off-peak fares to help the Christmas getaway – making it cheaper for everyone to see their loved ones over the festive season.

“The advice remains the same so you can travel with confidence. Plan ahead, make a reservation and travel at quieter times, if you can.

“When making your journey, wear a face covering unless you are exempt, carry hand sanitiser and follow social distancing guidance.”

Last week, Avanti West Coast scrapped its Friday morning peak restrictions in a trial which will run into next year.

The Friday afternoon peak was axed by former operator Virgin Trains in July 2018.

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