Advice on season travel options - Grantham to Kings X then to SE1

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by Bryan188, 8 Jun 2015.

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  1. Bryan188

    Bryan188 New Member

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    I'm applying for a job that will see me having to commute during peak hours to London 2-3 days week, probably using the East Coast line Grantham - Kings Cross and then using the Underground to SE1. But rail commuting and travelling around London is all new to me. It seems that Season Tickets would be ideal if I was to be doing this 5 days a week: but are there any ticketing options where I could save some dosh as I'll be travelling intermittently and only 2-3 days per week? Any advice gratefully received!
     
  2. Romilly

    Romilly Established Member

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    A season ticket from Grantham to Kings Cross is £206.60 for a week. An annual season ticket is normally 40 times the price of a weekly, which works out at a weekly rate of about £160. An anytime return from Grantham to Kings X is £120, although you could reduce that to £79.20 if you have a 16-25 railcard.

    If you know well in advance when you are likely to be travelling into London, it may be possible to save money by buying Advance tickets, which are valid only on the train specified at the time of booking (but can be rebooked for a different time/day by paying a £10 admin fee and any increase in price since you booked). For the direct trains, that may not save anything if you are trying to book only a few days ahead (and in the mornings there may not be availability).

    What does seem to be available, e.g. I looked at travel on Wednesday (i.e. 2 days ahead), is Advance tickets valid on a specified train from Grantham to Peterborough and then on any Great Northern train to Kings X (or in the evenings, on a specified train from Peterborough to Grantham, and on any connecting Great Northern train from Kings X to Peterborough). That will increase the journey (effectively from just over an hour to just under 2 hours), but for 2 days ahead the fares were from £16.15 for one way. But doing it this way will involve a lot of time booking and collecting and keeping track of tickets.

    As for the onward travel on the Underground from Kings X to SE1, it may be that for 2 or 3 days per week, paying £2.30 per single journey using Oyster/contactless "pay as you go" will be cheaper than buying a season ticket that also includes full use of underground/buses/docklands light railway throughout zones 1 to 6. Which will be the nearest tube/DLR station to your destination? Also, would it help to get a train that ends up not at Kings X but at Moorgate?
     
    Last edited: 8 Jun 2015
  3. Bryan188

    Bryan188 New Member

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    Thanks for the prompt reply, Romilly. It seems that an annual Season Ticket represents the most practical and probably the cheapest option for me - even though I won't be getting anything like the full benefit of it. And I'll be better off buying a Underground tickets through to SE1 on a daily basis. I did look at changing destination to Moorgate, which isn't a station that I've used before: but it makes for a convoluted and much longer trip, each and every journey.

    I'd sort of hoped that I might be able to buy a 'triptique' type ticket: ie - for maybe 20 x trips within a finite period (for example 2 months) but that's obviously pie-in-the-sky.

    ...very grateful for your research
     
  4. Clip

    Clip Established Member

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    Given that your season is going to be £7k per year there must be better options.

    Are you going to do the journey on consecutive days in the week? If so you may find it better to get a cheap B&B for 3 nights or something and use cheap advances for the outward and home journies.
     
  5. gordonthemoron

    gordonthemoron Established Member

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    or could you arrange to work wed-tue, then skip to the next week wed-tue which would mean you'd only need 1 7-day season a fortnight?
     
  6. Romilly

    Romilly Established Member

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    Prompted by your comment, I remembered something I had seen recently on the Virgin Trains East Coast website. If you go to the bit of that site about ticket types, and click on business carnets, you will find that they do offer them for selected routes. Then, if you try booking a ticket using their journey planner, you will find a £480 fare which is in fact the standard-class carnet: 5 return journeys for the price of 4. It seems that you can book them online, but they are then sent to you by post. Also, you need to be very careful about remembering to validate each ticket before use, and about doing so in a way that is permanent (i.e. not prone to smudging etc - there are threads about that: use Google to search for "railforums carnet prosecution")
     
  7. amateur

    amateur Member

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    Do they do carnets from posh borough?
     
  8. Romilly

    Romilly Established Member

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    Yes: £400 for five standard-class anytime returns from Peterborough to Kings X
     
  9. Hadders

    Hadders Established Member

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    A few things to note:

    If you go for an annual season get it issued from a station south of Peterborough so it's issued on Gold card stock and qualifies for Gold Card benefits.

    You can get carnets from Grantham to Kings Cross. £480 for 5 return journeys.

    This journey is a prime candidate for a 19c split. There might be a cheaper combination but I'd consider buying:

    Grantham - Peterborough 7 day season ticket £56.90
    Peterborough - Arlesey Anytime Day Return £14.40
    Arlesey - Knebworth Anytime Day Return £7.30
    Knebworth - Kings Cross Anytime Day Return £17.90

    Total cost for 2 journeys a week £68.05, 3 days would be £58.57. The cost would be a bit cheaper if you went for an annual season ticket rather than a weekly.
     
  10. hst43009

    hst43009 Member

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    If your journey times fit with Hull Trains times then they do some Hull Trains only seasons from Grantham. No need to worry if they have a cancelled train I believe as in that case you'd be allowed travel on East Coast.
     
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