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Old 8th January 2017, 22:57   #16
fowler9
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You know what Qwerty133 I'd rather pay full fare than qualify for a disabled persons railcard but maybe you know better.
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Old 8th January 2017, 23:18   #17
185143
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[QUOTE=Hadders;2838099]Have you any idea how hard it is as a disabled person?

Giving the disabled a discount on rail travel is the absolute least we can do.[/jQUOTE]

Whilst I agree, why should someone age 16-18 who has to be in education BY LAW be forced to pay a full adult undiscounted fare? (For example, at least someone at University has chosen to be there).
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Old 8th January 2017, 23:35   #18
ashworth
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Originally Posted by yorksrob View Post
A railcard is a sunk cost to the traveller, so it encourages them to travel more than they would have done anyway (which is why they're aimed at discretionary leisure travel).

It's a win win situation for the TOC's because they also gain the £20 or so for the railcard itself.
I reached the age of 60 almost 3 months ago in October and one advantage of reaching 60 was to be eligible to purchase a Senior Railcard. It was my first ever railcard because way back when I was in my late teens and early twenties the current form of a Young Persons Railcard was not then available. In the 3 months that I have had a railcard I have used it, or am intending to use it, in the following ways:

1.
Local journeys into my nearest city for leisure, shopping etc. where the return fare with railcard is often less than £5. Previously I would probably have used my car or even the bus for such journeys.

2.
Longer journeys, up to about 50 miles, for days out using Off Peak Day Returns. Fares of up £20 or so with a railcard are quite acceptable to do regularly, but I wouldn't do anywhere near so many of these journeys if I was paying the full price of perhaps £30+.

3.
Medium distance journeys to or from short break holiday destinations or to stay with friends/relatives. Mainly journeys of between 50-100 miles. Before I used to look for the cheapest possible fares by using advance purchase, splitting, longer slower routes or even quietly using fare anomalies and loopholes! I know that these are still available at an even cheaper rate with my railcard but I am enjoying the flexibility of walk up Off Peak Returns at a more reasonable railcard price.

4.
It's now really only long distance fares, where I will try to get the cheapest fare by using advance tickets or splitting. Here now I also have the advantage of the railcard reductions. Therefore this is the only type of journey where I am spending less in rail fares than I was before.

In all the other cases 1-3, I am making journeys I wouldn't have already been making or in many cases spending a little more than I would have done by making use of more flexible and convenient tickets at a reduced price rather than going for the cheapest, but often inconvenient option.

Last edited by ashworth; 8th January 2017 at 23:38.
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Old 8th January 2017, 23:37   #19
faddy
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Christ, if only you were as free as a disabled person.
If only this forum had a like button.
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Old 9th January 2017, 00:16   #20
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I reached the age of 60 almost 3 months ago in October and one advantage of reaching 60 was to be eligible to purchase a Senior Railcard.
Around 5 years ago, the other advantage was that you could also get the bus pass for free bus travel. That's now receding into the distance as if you are now 60, you have to wait another 5 or 6 years.

Presumably the Railcard being commercial marketing rather than a benefit is immune from the increases to State Pension age.

Going back to the original question, it doesn't seem as if Railcards are directly subsidised, rather it all washes through as a condition of being granted the franchise. If you are awarded a franchise, you may be expected to operate services at times when there is little or no demand. It's part of the cost of being granted a monopoly.
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Old 9th January 2017, 01:32   #21
Qwerty133
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You know what Qwerty133 I'd rather pay full fare than qualify for a disabled persons railcard but maybe you know better.
The railcard system was designed at a time few disabled and older people were in paid employment, and in all probability this is the only reason the disabled and senior railcards haven't had AM peak restrictions all along. Now the workforce participation levels in these groups has significantly increased it is not unreasonable to suggest that it is now time to bring in restrictions to stop these cards being used for everyday commuting as was always the case with other railcards.
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Old 9th January 2017, 01:53   #22
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The railcard system was designed at a time few disabled and older people were in paid employment, and in all probability this is the only reason the disabled and senior railcards haven't had AM peak restrictions all along. Now the workforce participation levels in these groups has significantly increased it is not unreasonable to suggest that it is now time to bring in restrictions to stop these cards being used for everyday commuting as was always the case with other railcards.
Having a railcard doesn't make a season ticket cheaper.
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Old 9th January 2017, 01:54   #23
Qwerty133
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Having a railcard doesn't make a season ticket cheaper.
No but in some cases railcard discounted anytimes can be cheaper than a season.
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Old 9th January 2017, 01:59   #24
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No but in some cases railcard discounted anytimes can be cheaper than a season.
I would suggest that in such cases the problem is that the `Anytime Day Return ticket' is cheaper than 150% of the season ticket (per day of travel).
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Old 9th January 2017, 02:49   #25
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Whilst I agree, why should someone age 16-18 who has to be in education BY LAW be forced to pay a full adult undiscounted fare?
There is an active campaign to change this to allow discounter peak travel for 16-18 year-olds who have school ID. I don't know how far it had gotten though.
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Old 9th January 2017, 08:18   #26
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Originally Posted by MarlowDonkey View Post
Around 5 years ago, the other advantage was that you could also get the bus pass for free bus travel. That's now receding into the distance as if you are now 60, you have to wait another 5 or 6 years.

Presumably the Railcard being commercial marketing rather than a benefit is immune from the increases to State Pension age.

Going back to the original question, it doesn't seem as if Railcards are directly subsidised, rather it all washes through as a condition of being granted the franchise. If you are awarded a franchise, you may be expected to operate services at times when there is little or no demand. It's part of the cost of being granted a monopoly.
That still assumes that they're reducing revenue, rather than generating it, which I don't think is the case.
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Old 9th January 2017, 09:29   #27
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That's now receding into the distance as if you are now 60, you have to wait another 5 or 6 years.
Except in London and Merseyside which both give free bus and train (and Mersey Ferries) travel to over 60s
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
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Originally Posted by 185143 View Post
Whilst I agree, why should someone age 16-18 who has to be in education BY LAW be forced to pay a full adult undiscounted fare? (For example, at least someone at University has chosen to be there).
The Young Person flavours of all Merseytravel products and of the Merseyrail Day Saver can be used by anyone aged 5-18 inclusive.

Last edited by faddy; 9th January 2017 at 09:29. Reason: Double post prevention system
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Old 9th January 2017, 09:47   #28
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I should think season tickets are more abstractive than railcards, but nobody talks of getting rid of them.
Their existence is also a response to the "highest fares in Europe" mantra.
I'm surprised railcards have not been personalised, both for better tracking and for incentives.
Virgin did allow off-peak railcard tickets on peak trains but even that's gone now.
As loyalty cards, they are still in the stone age.
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Old 9th January 2017, 10:09   #29
jonmorris0844
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Whilst I agree, why should someone age 16-18 who has to be in education BY LAW be forced to pay a full adult undiscounted fare? (For example, at least someone at University has chosen to be there).
Why not just make the child fare run until 18? Job done.

Then adjust the YPRC as necessary.
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Old 9th January 2017, 10:49   #30
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Why not just make the child fare run until 18? Job done.

Then adjust the YPRC as necessary.
There is a logic to making the YP railcard valid on peak services when presented with school ID - it means that there's a gradation from half-fare up to 16, then two-thirds fare from 16 to leaving school, then off-peak discounts until 25.

There is, I suppose, the argument that disadvantaged families might not be able to spare the £30 to get the railcard, maybe the first two years (16-18) could be spread payment.
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