Thousands of Brits can get free Greggs bacon rolls as part of new train travel scheme

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Train companies have resorted to offering free bacon rolls and audiobooks to try and get commuters to return.

Rail travel has slumped during the Covid pandemic and the widespread work-from-home guidance.

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Now the advice in England has been lifted, train operators – whose finances have been hammered by the plunge in travellers – are hoping commuters will get back to offices.

Since the work-from-home restrictions were removed last week, peak journeys have increased by 5%.

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The rail industry has now teamed-up with other companies to offer commuters special offers.

Complimentary breakfast food and hot drinks from Greggs are among the perks in a new rewards scheme for people who travel to work by train, industry body the Rail Delivery Group announced.

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Thousands of Brits can get free Greggs bacon rolls as part of new train travel scheme
© AFP via Getty Images The idea is to encourage people back into the office

Other benefits will include free audiobooks, access to a mindfulness app, and coffees from London-based cafe chain Pure.

Passengers are required to sign up to nationalrail.co.uk/commuter and select the rewards they want.

They must enter details of their commute but are not required to provide evidence of their travel history.

Jacqueline Starr, chief executive at Rail Delivery Group, said: “Taking the train is more than just a journey – it benefits the environment, economy and local businesses.

“To encourage and support commuter’s as they return, the rail industry has launched a new commuter rewards website offering free hot drinks, mindfulness, course upgrades, music streaming, audiobooks and more to help enhance customers on-train and at destination experiences.”

Do you think free food for travelling into work is a good idea? Let us know in the comments below.

Pure boss Spencer Craig said: “Like most businesses that rely on the commuter market, we saw our customer base drop by over 50% due to the work-from-home restrictions coming in to force, and rail commuters no longer coming into the city.

“We’re delighted to be working with the rail industry on their commuter rewards platform and look forward to welcoming customers back and providing them with delicious, nutritious meals and drinks on the go.”

Only 1,000 free Greggs breakfast rolls will be available through the scheme, but other offers will be introduced in the coming weeks.

A poll by the rail industry found 48% of those working from home had been feeling the effects of fatigue, resulting in a third experiencing less motivation, and nearly a quarter finding it harder to focus and sleeping poorly.

The government scrapped the work from home guidance for people in England last week, ahead of the planned expiration of Plan B measures on January 27.

From tomorrow, restrictions like mask-wearing in indoor public places and NHS Covid Passes in certain venues will no longer be mandatory.

The PM said: “From now on, the government are no longer asking people to work from home. People should now speak to their employer about arrangements for returning to the office.”

Leader of the Labour Party Keir Starmer said the opposition approved the plans as long as they were based on evidence.

He said the PM must “reassure the public he is acting to protect their health, not just his job”.

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