Another year, another fare rise

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by NSEFAN, 13 Aug 2013.

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  1. Dave1987

    Dave1987 Established Member

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    As I was coming into New St on Monday I saw a huge Chiltern bill board saying "Are you still a Virgin?", on the board it was proclaiming how Chiltern was just as comfortable as Virgin services for half the price. Virgin and Chiltern not competing..... Come on pull the other one. Chiltern have pumped huge amounts of money into their line as they have a long enough franchise to make the investment worth it. Would the same investment have happened under BR? I doubt it.
     
  2. aformeruser

    aformeruser Veteran Member

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    A Chiltern service leaves Birmingham Snow Hill at 06:50 and arrives at London Marylebone at 08:29.

    A Virgin service leaves Birmingham New Street at 06:50 and arrives at London Euston at 08:14.

    The fares are different, the origin and destination are different, the trains are different, the on-board facilities are different so what was wrong with my comment that they offer different products giving incentives for people to take their product over competitor's products?
     
  3. Dave1987

    Dave1987 Established Member

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    Exactly they are competing for custom! Virgin offer slightly shorter journey times and chiltern offer high quality for lower price.
     
  4. aformeruser

    aformeruser Veteran Member

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    But I've never said they aren't competing, even though you seemed to imply that I did!

    In response to a post I started by saying

    i.e. they are competing in the same way that Waitrose competes with Tescos but not in the same way that Asda competes with Tescos.
     
    Last edited: 15 Aug 2013
  5. radamfi

    radamfi Established Member

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    The main point is that Chiltern and Virgin were set up primarily to run trains via Banbury and WCML respectively. It is a coincidence that they happen to offer alternative routes between Birmingham and London, so a certain amount of 'on track' competition can occur.

    This would not happen under a management contract system, so arguably that would be a downside to such an arrangement. However, undoubtedly resources are consumed by this competition which could be used for improvements elsewhere.
     
  6. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

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    Relatively few people benefit from competition and even fewer will as we get more mega franchises.

    I'd probably trade some of the competitive TOC-specific deals for a more joined up system (ala TfL) that offers better all round value and fairer ticketing.

    You might then add on supplements for Intercity services, seat reservations etc, or discounts for taking slower routes (via validators akin to pink Oyster readers).
     
  7. AndyLandy

    AndyLandy Established Member

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    Well, so says BBC news this morning:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-24449784

    Of course, one assumes the unregulated fares remain unregulated and the prices on those can vary as much as an operator likes.
     
  8. Simon11

    Simon11 Member

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    This morning a minister will be giving a talk on the future of rail ticketing and informing what changes will happen.

    An issue with limiting the price increase on certain flows, is that it will take tocs even longer to sort out fare ananomlies.
     
  9. Goatboy

    Goatboy Established Member

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    Ah, the self fulfilling prophecy once again.

    Rail fares must rise because of inflation!

    Inflation goes up partly as a result of rail fare increases being included in the basket of products.

    So in a roundabout sort of way, rail fares go up because rail fares went up. Nice. Meanwhile the cost of motoring stays broadly static (Fuel down, my road tax up a tenner and my insurance nice and low this year) ever reducing the appeal of using the train against just getting in the car.
     
    Last edited: 9 Oct 2013
  10. John @ home

    John @ home Established Member Fares Advisor

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    TOCs are not interested in removing fare anomalies.

    They use the fare system to maximise their income. This creates more and more fare anomalies.
     
  11. Simon11

    Simon11 Member

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    Having worked in a few tocs revenue departments, I have a good idea of how they use this extra leverage.
     
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