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New rail fares hotline swamped

PUBLISHED: 10:24 07 June 2006 | UPDATED: 10:58 22 October 2010

The first day of a scheme offering a new fare structure for rail tickets between Norfolk and London was a massive hit with passengers, attracting a huge volume of calls.

The first day of a scheme offering a new fare structure for rail tickets between Norfolk and London was a massive hit with passengers, attracting a huge volume of calls.

As reported in the EDP last month, the region's main train operator, One, has simplified its pricing arrangements, including the offer of a trip from Norwich to London for as little as a fiver.

The first chance to buy the tickets in question was on Monday, although the scheme itself does not come into operation for a few more days.

One bosses said yesterday that they had sold twice as many tickets on the opening day as on any usual Monday.

In fact the new fares proved so popular that many callers were unable to get through on the main hotline, prompting some complaints.

One spokesman Peter Meades said last night that the company had additional call centre staff on duty to cope with demand.

"We were geared up as best we could have been. Demand should slow down now as bookings begin to even out.

"If anyone was disappointed, I would say 'please keep trying'."

Tickets could also be booked at ticket offices and online.

Andrew Wedgwood, of Briston, said he tried in vain on Monday and yesterday to get through to the main number - 0845 600 7245.

"The new fares are a wonderful idea, but I just wonder if the planning has been right in dealing with the large number of calls which were obviously going to be made.

"I must have tried 20 times on Monday and all I got was a recorded message."


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