Ashwell to London also valid Biggleswade?

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sc597

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Hi All, I've been looking at season ticket options from Ashwell & Morden to London Terminals and there seems to be a strange fare variation of "40170 AAA BIGGLESWADE". This is reported by GN as meaning "Also valid for travel to and from Biggleswade". Those familiar with the area will know that Ashwell (& Morden) is on the Cambridge branch up from Hitchin, and Biggleswade is on the Peterborough 'branch' aka the ECML. Neither station is the next stop after the junction.

The reason for my interest is that it would be really helpful for me to be able to travel one stop past Biggleswade, i.e. to Sandy, on my season ticket. The route variation is only for Biggleswade, and only if buying a season ticket from Ashwell specifically - the variation is not available if buying the season from Baldock or Royston.

Any ideas.. 1. why this strange fare exists and 2. if there's any possibility of persuading the GN fare setters to create a "AAA Sandy" equivalent? :)
 
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bb21

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Some nearby locations on different lines in the former Network area had AAA season tickets which allow the passenger a choice of stations and a degree of flexibility, which a traditional season ticket between two points would not.

I see little point in trying to get GTR to set an AAA Sandy fare, which will be more expensive than the Ashwell AAA Biggleswade fare, currently costing £119 a week.

For availability from both Sandy and Ashwell, you may wish to consider a St Neots AAA Cambridge fare, only slightly more expensive at £123 a week.
 

sc597

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Ah, perfect, thanks bb21! How did you pick up on the St Neots AAA Cambridge fare - is it just trial and error?
 

30907

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How did you pick up on the St Neots AAA Cambridge fare - is it just trial and error?
The NRE website season ticket calculator shows the AAA fare for Biggleswade.

Local geography is often a good guide, though I wonder in this case if it was introduced after requests from local commuters rather than as a grand strategy!
 

Royston Vasey

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Ashwell & Morden is some miles from any real centre of population but also only has an hourly service and has no proper parking. Ashwell itself is a few miles from the station (actually in the hamlet of Odsey) so a slightly longer drive to Biggleswade for the 2-3x per hour service would seem a reasonable easement.

Royston and Baldock do have twice an hour off peak and in the case of Royston, rather more in the peaks. Ashwell village is about equidistant between Royston and Biggleswade.
 

grid56126

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Just about on Topic, I held a Biggleswade to London Priv Annual, also available at Baldock and Bedford. I had this from 1983 until circa 1990 when the fares office three a wobbly and refused to re-issue a price for it. It then dropped for one year to Biggleswade / Baldcock London, and wasn't worth argiung about when I lost that as the whole - genuine - reason for the dual avaialblity was the apalling train service at Biggleswade before electrification and 06.00 starts / 23.00 finishes in London.
 

sc597

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Thanks All for your replies. Yes Royston is probably best for services in the area, getting the 12 car "fast to King's Cross" services. I'm figuring out a complicated flexible working setup to drop / pickup kids and have been taking the trains from all over the area, but a routine would be nice!

Ashwell's main issue in terms of trains is the off peak service, the peak semi-fasts from Royston are usually excellent, but in the evening there are gaps where the odd semi-fast doesn't call at Ashwell and you're left waiting around at King's Cross or Letchworth. Then there's some horrible gap in services from King's Cross just around pub closing time! :roll:

As for the easements, I presume as and when they build the central section of the East West rail link there will be more demand for tickets running round from the ECML to the Cambridge line. Here's waiting...!
 
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