Millions of commuters are being forced to spend unnecessary hours on long train journeys – just to save money.
Researchers who carried out a detailed study into ticket-purchasing trends in the UK found that one in 10 passengers have opted for a slower train because it was cheaper.
And that is despite half of those who took part saying they always look for the shortest journey wherever possible.
Another 10 per cent said they frequently buy non-direct train tickets to keep costs down, despite acknowledging they will go “around the houses” to get to their destination.
It has also emerged that six out of 10 (62 per cent) people do their best to avoid travelling at peak times because fares are so high.
“We are all guilty of finding the thrill in bagging the best bargain, but many of us are missing out on savings when it comes to train travel,” said Mark Plowright of Virgin Trains Ticketing.
“With simple hacks like redeeming points on your travel, using split ticketing and not paying for booking fees, you can make noticeable savings, and the Virgin Trains Ticketing app is seamless as it automatically searches for you to give you the best deal.”
The study of 2,002 regular commuters also found 61 per cent of train users take between one and 10 journeys per month.
Around 7 per cent use a train once a week.
Almost half of study participants (49 per cent) said they would use the trains more if they could save money by using loyalty points gained from travel.
Around one in four (23 per cent) buy their tickets on the day they intend to travel while 15 per cent do so the day before they make the journey.
In a bid to save money, 26 per cent select split tickets.
Mark added: “The Virgin Trains Ticketing app finds you the best deals on your specific journey and even lets users use their Virgin Points to unlock discounts on their travel.
“This means Virgin Trains Ticketing has you covered with split ticketing, off-peak offers, no booking fees or earning loyalty points on your travel.
“With 200 Virgin Points, travellers can save £1, with 500 points the saving goes up to £2.50 and 5,000 points gets buyers a £25 discount.”
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