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Young people to suffer as Virgin Train's rail card change set to cost commuters thousands

28th August 2015

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Young people are angry and upset about the “sneaky” changes to Virgin Trains’ off-peak fares, which will see the cost of a return to London from cities such as Manchester rise considerably.

The young person’s 16 to 25 railcard, whose main users are students across the UK, can currently be used at peak times on Virgin Trains - but this is set to be banned.

Instead commuters, many of whom are young people unable to live in London, or who are interning, studying, or working in the capital, face paying almost £220 for a Euston-Manchester return ticket.

The cost before the change was £53.85.

22-year-old Georgia May, who commutes daily from Rugby to London, has launched a petition urging Virgin to re-evaluate its new policy.

“My daily commute is £27 return a day, however this is trebling in price to £86,” she told HuffPost UK.

“[The price of a ticket is] more than my daily wage. I commute as I cannot afford to rent in London.”

The railcard users will no longer be able to purchase off peak fares on peak time trains from 6th of September. They will instead only be able to purchase peak time tickets.

“This policy is specifically targeting a number of younger people who are more likely to be in lower paid jobs and therefore need this discounted price to subsidise their means of travel,” May added.

A spokesperson for Virgin Trains 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 6th September 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."

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