Business leaders in Kendal have welcomed a move by Virgin Trains to discount fares to flood-hit areas for a three month period, which starts next week.
The train company has teamed up with VisitEngland to boost tourism and support the “Open for business” message in Cumbria and other parts of the north, to encourage people to visit the outstanding national parks, historical cities and cultural places of interest.
The exclusive discount of 30% off Advance fares to areas affected by recent flooding starts next Tuesday (Feb 9). Virgin Trains, which operates passenger services on the West Coast main line, aims to increase visitor numbers following the damage caused by storms Desmond, Eva and Frank in December 2015. The offer is timed to coincide with the February half-term holiday and Easter break in March.
The offer follows an initiative by the Kendal Business Improvement District to encourage visitors from London to travel to Kendal by train. The BID team began their promotion over the Christmas period, with a specially designed bottle of Lakeland water that showed the short journey from London Euston to Kendal via Oxenholme.
The campaign was followed up by a number of London-based broadcasters including Chris Evans who talked to the Kendal BID manager Sarah Williams on his Radio 2 show.
“We are delighted that Virgin Trains have come up with this offer, which will make travelling to Kendal even more attractive,” said Sarah. “Kendal is just a couple of minutes on the branch line from Oxenholme, so barely three hours from London.”
The partnership between Virgin Trains and Visit England comes four days after the Government’s announcement of the Flood Recovery Fund and a new £1 million ‘Staycation’ marketing campaign to promote tourism in the North of England.
Discounted fares can be purchased from Tuesday 9th February on direct Virgin Trains services to destinations including Oxenholme, Carlisle and Penrith on the West Coast route.
Destination organisations along the East and West Coast are also pulling together a raft of late availability offers and deals to help customers make the most of this great travel offer.
Phil Whittingham, Managing Director at Virgin Trains, said: “We’re pleased to support VisitEngland’s campaign; we want to demonstrate that the regions affected by the storms are very much open for business. We hope people make the most of these great offers and show their support for the region.”