Top tips on how to beat the rail fares rise

Protests have been held in Norwich and King's Lynn over rail fare increases. Pic: Ben Birchall/PA Wi

Protests have been held in Norwich and King's Lynn over rail fare increases. Pic: Ben Birchall/PA Wire - Credit: PA

As an increase in rail fares prompts protests outside railway stations in Norfolk, here are some tips on how to beat the hike.

The cost of many rail season tickets rose by more than £100 due to the annual price hike, while fares have increased by an average of 3.1pc.

But there are ways to minimise costs...

When should you travel?

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Train companies sell cheaper off-peak tickets which can be used when services are not as busy.

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When should you buy a ticket for a one-off journey?

If you are able to commit to a particular train on a particular date, huge savings can be made by buying an Advance ticket.

These are supposed to go on sale 12 weeks before travel, but this has been reduced for many journeys due to timetable problems.

Have you considered a season ticket?

If you are making the same journey at least three days a week - such as a regular commute - then a season ticket can be more cost effective.

Weekly, monthly and annual tickets are available.

An annual pass offers 52 weeks' travel for the price of 40.

When should you buy your season ticket?

Many savvy commuters renew their season tickets in the days before the annual rise is implemented.

Can you get a railcard?

Many people can save a third off rail fares by getting a railcard.

The discount cards are available for a range of people, including those aged between 16 and 25, the disabled, people in the armed forces, people aged 60 and over, families and people travelling with another person such as a friend, partner or colleague.

A new railcard for people aged 26-30 will be available nationwide from noon today.

Is it cheaper to travel in a group?

Groups of between three and nine adults can save a third off the price of off-peak tickets with most operators on certain journeys.

What about split ticketing?

Rather than buying one train ticket from your departure station to your destination, it is sometimes cheaper to break the journey down into multiple tickets.

Several split ticketing websites exist to show passengers if they can save money this way.

Do you claim compensation?

Passengers can claim compensation if journeys are delayed or cancelled.

Payouts vary depending on the type of ticket, the length of delay and the operator.

Some firms begin paying compensation if a train is delayed by 15 minutes.

Passengers need to claim the compensation as payouts are not automatic.

MORE: Rail fare hike prompts protests outside Norwich railway stations

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