Virgin to scrap West Coast railcard 'double discount'


Many commuters are facing a sharp hike in their rail travel costs after Virgin West Coast announced plans to scrap its "double discount" offer.

Since 2011, railcard holders had been able to buy off-peak tickets for peak-time travel on the West Coast Main Line, thus benefiting from both the railcard discount and the reduced fare.

But Virgin has confirmed the off-peak offer will be scrapped as of September 6. The change could see some travellers paying up to four times more for tickets, according to The Guardian.

On its site, the operator said it was making the change "to help simplify our fares structure" and bring it in line with other train operating companies.

In an official statement, Virgin said: "We are the only train operator to offer this double discount where customers can use discounted, off-peak tickets on peak-time trains. Customers who book tickets before September 6 can still travel using the double discount after the new rules come in.

"Normal railcard discounts on peak and off-peak tickets are unaffected and there are still many great deals available, particularly with some planning and flexibility."

It is unclear how many travellers currently make use of the double discount offer.