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Rail ticket deals beyond belief

Barry Walshe highlights the absurdity of the price of a rail ticket (single) from Ballina to Dublin costing €48, yet the fare for a single ticket from Holyhead to London -- about twice the mileage -- costs only €2 more ('Crazy rail price differences', Letters, January 28).

Mr Walshe might be even more amazed to discover that if he had bought a ticket for the same journey in reverse (departing from London Euston, with no requirement for advance notice/payment), he would have had to pay no more than £20 (€23) with Virgin Trains.

Websites www.megabus.com and www.megatrain.com offer the best rail/bus deals on the UK mainland.

If you can book at least one week in advance, it is possible to travel (by bus) for more than 160km for £1 (plus a 50p booking fee).

Similarly, with train journeys, if you can give one to two weeks' notice, it is possible to travel to most destinations for an average of £10 (€11.60).

There are regular deals being offered by Arriva/Virgin/GNER trains in competition with the above. If you don't mind starting your journey at London Marylebone station (rather than Euston), arriving at Snow Hill (rather than Birmingham New Street), a much more scenic route with more attractive stations, this 182km trip can cost as little as £5.

My current record is Newcastle-upon-Tyne to London (402km) for £1 (plus 50p booking fee).

Paul Jennings
Ardee, Co Louth

Irish Independent