North-East rail firms agree to sell cheaper tickets up to just 10 minutes before journeys begin

Grand Central rail users at stations such as Sunderland and Hartlepool can soon benefit from buying Advance fares just 10 minutes before departure.
Grand Central rail users at stations such as Sunderland and Hartlepool can soon benefit from buying Advance fares just 10 minutes before departure.
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Rail firms operating throughout the North East are among those who have agreed to sell passengers cheaper tickets up to just 10 minutes before their journey begins.

The measure to enable travellers to book the lowest fares on the day of travel was first introduced by CrossCountry, whose trains pass through Newcastle and Durham, in 2015.

The Rail Delivery Group (RDG), representing train operators, said it has now been implemented by Grand Central, Northern, TransPennine Express, Virgin Trains East

Coast, Virgin Trains West Coast, Greater Anglia and Caledonian Sleeper.

Among the stations covered by a combination of the first four firms are Sunderland, Seaham, Hartlepool, Seaton Carew and Billingham.

Passengers travelling on some services run by these operators can now buy an Advance ticket as little as 10 minutes before their train departs, helping those who need to make short notice travel plans.

The tickets have previously been withdrawn from sale at midnight on the day before travel.

RDG managing director of customer experience Jacqueline Starr said: "Not everyone can plan journeys in advance and now more people can buy cheaper tickets on the day, even on their way to the station.

"We want customers to get the best possible deal whenever they travel."

Lianna Etkind of the Campaign for Better Transport said: "We welcome this initiative which removes a further barrier to affordable rail travel and means people can make unplanned

journeys without being unfairly penalised.

"We would urge train companies not already signed up to this to follow suit so all passengers benefit from these new tickets.

"However, we hope this doesn't add another layer of complexity to a ticketing system already bloated and convoluted."