The £1,000 train ticket

DJ Liz Ker­shaw of­fered fare higher than re­turn flight to US

Daily Mail - - News - By Faye White Show­busi­ness Reporter

A BBC DJ has at­tacked Vir­gin Trains for charg­ing al­most £1,000 for a re­turn first class rail fare.

Liz Ker­shaw at­tempted to book a train jour­ney for friends to travel from Stock­port to Ash­ford in Kent on Sun­day.

But the 59-year-old broad­caster was shocked when she dis­cov­ered the cost of a first class open re­turn on the Vir­gin web­site was £951.20.

Shar­ing a photo of the fare on Twit­ter, she wrote: ‘Un­be­liev­able! Are you SURE @Vir­ginTrains??? #North­ernPow­er­house­Rail.’

And one of Miss Ker­shaw’s fans said it would be cheaper to fly to New York and back.

Speak­ing to the Daily Mail, she said: ‘I or­gan­ised the trip for me and some friends, and rather than take four cars we’re be­ing en­vi­ron­men­tally con­scious and thought, “Well we’ll get trains and the oth­ers will pick the other ones up at the other end.” But the price of the ticket was just stupidly out­ra­geous, I’ve never come across that. I can’t be­lieve that they even post those prices.’

Fans of Miss Ker­shaw were quick to crit­i­cise Vir­gin Trains for the high price of the ticket. One tweeted: ‘You can’t jus­tify those prices even if it comes with a gold plated sou­venir model train. Ab­so­lutely ridicu­lous.’

An­other said: ‘Cheaper to fly Manch­ester to NY and back to Heathrow! Ridicu­lous pric­ing.’ A third com­mented: ‘There’s no com­pe­ti­tion. Vir­gin have a to­tal mo­nop­oly on the Manch­ester to Lon­don mar­ket. At least on Birm­ing­ham to Lon­don you have three op­tions.’

But re­ply­ing to the tweet, Vir­gin Trains said: ‘We would have had ad­vance tick­ets on sale, but it looks as though these have sold out.

‘There­fore the cheap­est tick­ets avail­able would be the off-peak open re­turn. This is more ex­pen­sive as there is more flex­i­bil­ity on this ticket. This would be for a first class any­time ticket, giv­ing you more flex­i­bil­ity on dates and time, trav­el­ling in first class.’

To keep the cost down, Miss Ker­shaw’s friends have now de­cided to split the jour­ney into a se­ries of shorter train jour­neys, re­duc­ing the one-way price to £42.50.

A Vir­gin Trains spokesman said later: ‘We cover the Stock­port to Lon­don part of this jour­ney for which there are a range of fares avail­able, in­clud­ing stan­dard ad­vance tick­ets for as lit­tle as £29 for cus­tomers book­ing one week in ad­vance.’

Dis­be­lief: Liz Ker­shaw

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