Grand Central bought out by Arriva - what will it mean for low walk-on fares?
If you’re a north-easterner who likes to get down to That Sodding London now and again, or a Pearly King who enjoys the ‘fish out of water’ feeling, the rail service provided by Grand Central has been a bit of a quiet gem over the past few years. The best bit about it has been its fixed fares, meaning you could travel from Sunderland to London and pay less than £50 on the train itself.
But worrying news has reached us that Arriva have taken over Grand Central, which leads us to wonder whether the fare structure could change for the unbetter, once they get their grubby mitts on the service.
At the moment, Grand Central has 700,000 passengers per year and is an open access operator, meaning that it doesn’t receive subsidy from, or pay any premium to, the Department for Transport. It will apparently remain as a self-contained business, with its own brand and identity, according to managing director Tom Clift.
There’s no mention of their plans for fare policy though. Watch this space, and if you’re a GC passenger, it might be worth investing in one of their 10-ticket carnets.