Buying an "Oxford Evening Out" rover ticket online?

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Gagravarr

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According to NRE, the Oxford Evening Out rover ticket can be bought online - "This ticket can either be bought on the day or in advance from a station ticket office, online, by telephone"

Does anyone know of any websites that actually let you do so? I can't seem to get the GWR site to show it as an option when I search for a Banbury to Oxford return for after 7pm, cheapest option they show is the more expensive Off-Peak Day Return
 
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SargeNpton

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As it says on the page that the OP links to:

"This information was applicable for Fares Round NFM30 (20/05/2018 - 01/09/2018)"

It's an archive page on the NRE website.

 

py_megapixel

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However, I think the Oxford Evening Out has actually been withdrawn (as well as the Devon equivalent) unfortunately. It's not good that it still exists on NRE

This ticket no longer exists and hasn't done for a good while now.

"This information was applicable for Fares Round NFM30 (20/05/2018 - 01/09/2018)
That text is rather cryptic and is not prominent on the page, and, if we're being pedantic, doesn't exclude it having existed in a subsequent fares round; can't really blame OP for missing it.

A large yellow box which says something like "This ticket is no longer available for sale as of [date]. This web page is retained for archival purposes only." would be significantly more useful.
 

SargeNpton

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That the URL includes the word "archive" and that the menu to the left is Archived by year, should be enough of a clue. How did the OP chance upon that page?
 

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Mcr Warrior

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How did the OP chance upon that page?
A simple 'Google' search of the term "Oxford Evening Out" will take you to the relevant webpage, and it's not immediately clear that it's no longer an available product. o_O
 

SargeNpton

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A simple 'Google' search of the term "Oxford Evening Out" will take you to the relevant webpage, and it's not immediately clear that it's no longer an available product. o_O
A Google search of most things will turn up redundant and out of date web pages. It's always up to the viewer to read them carefully.
 

Mcr Warrior

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A Google search of most things will turn up redundant and out of date web pages. It's always up to the viewer to read them carefully.
Indeed. But surely it's not beyond the wit of National Rail's website staff to update the relevant webpage to make it much clearer that the 'Oxford Day Out' is a discontinued/withdrawn product.
 

Gagravarr

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That the URL includes the word "archive" and that the menu to the left is Archived by year, should be enough of a clue. How did the OP chance upon that page?

I don't need to travel between Banbury and Oxford in the evening very much, but in the past the Oxford Evening Out has saved me a noticable amount. So, with another evening trip coming up, I googled for the ticket, saw it still seemed to offer a saving against an off-peak return, and wanted to buy it!
 

Fawkes Cat

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Indeed. But surely it's not beyond the wit of National Rail's website staff to update the relevant webpage to make it much clearer that the 'Oxford Day Out' is a discontinued/withdrawn product.
It might be worth looking at the page (or alternatively @SargeNpton 's picture in their post of 09:20 today (24/2/21)): Above the title 'Oxford Evening Out' and in letters the same size as the main text on the page, the webpage says 'This information was applicable for Fares Round NFM30 (20/05/2018 - 01/09/2018)'. Short of redesigning every archived page, I'm struggling to see how the message that this is no longer current information could be made much clearer and still left up on the website.
 

py_megapixel

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It might be worth looking at the page (or alternatively @SargeNpton 's picture in their post of 09:20 today (24/2/21)): Above the title 'Oxford Evening Out' and in letters the same size as the main text on the page, the webpage says 'This information was applicable for Fares Round NFM30 (20/05/2018 - 01/09/2018)'. Short of redesigning every archived page, I'm struggling to see how the message that this is no longer current information could be made much clearer and still left up on the website.
To someone not familiar with the system, that message looks incredibly cryptic.

Here's a mock-up of how I'd suggest it was done:
1614177109568.png

That's much clearer, and doesn't require a complete redesign.
 

Doctor Fegg

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It might be worth looking at the page (or alternatively @SargeNpton 's picture in their post of 09:20 today (24/2/21)): Above the title 'Oxford Evening Out' and in letters the same size as the main text on the page, the webpage says 'This information was applicable for Fares Round NFM30 (20/05/2018 - 01/09/2018)'. Short of redesigning every archived page, I'm struggling to see how the message that this is no longer current information could be made much clearer and still left up on the website.
Maybe writing it in plain English rather than rail industry jargon ("Fares Round NFM30") might help?
 

py_megapixel

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No it isn't. The text is the same size as everything but the headings on the page.
But it's not just about the actual physical size of the text. It's relative - in other words, it's about what your eyes are naturally drawn to.

"OXFORD EVENING OUT" is obviously the page title.
Because this is in large text, it's the first thing your eyes are drawn to on the page.
The fact it's the page title creates the subconcious expectation that any important information about the ticket will be below it, so you don't bother read above.

This means you never get a chance to read "This information was applicable for Fares Round NFM30 (20/05/2018 - 01/09/2018)" - and even if you did read that, do you really expect Joe Average to understand what it means?
 

35B

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The page also says the information was valid from 2008 to an unspecified date. I’d find that confusing at best, and anyone finding this from a search would reasonably be confused.
 

Mcr Warrior

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The page also says the information was valid from 2008 to an unspecified date. I’d find that confusing at best, and anyone finding this from a search would reasonably be confused.
Indeed. As I mentioned upthread, surely not beyond the wit of National Rail's website staff to update the relevant webpage to make it much clearer that the 'Oxford Day Out' is now a discontinued/withdrawn product? :rolleyes:
 

pelli

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To someone not familiar with the system, that message looks incredibly cryptic.

Here's a mock-up of how I'd suggest it was done:
View attachment 91355

That's much clearer, and doesn't require a complete redesign.

Indeed. As I mentioned upthread, surely not beyond the wit of National Rail's website staff to update the relevant webpage to make it much clearer that the 'Oxford Day Out' is now a discontinued/withdrawn product? :rolleyes:

I absolutely agree that the warning needs to be more noticeable (like in py_megapixel's mock-up) and worded more clearly, e.g. "This is an archived page and the information may be outdated, please see ... for up-to-date information", but I disagree that it's reasonable to expect it to specifically mention that the product has been withdrawn.

Currently, the archive appears to be a vast collection of static html pages plus a simple word search functionality, covering promotions, railcards, rangers&rovers and plusbus with three NFM versions for each year going back seven years. Once a page is archived, it will never need to be modified again - even if the website is redesigned or the entire back-end system overhauled, the archived files can just be copied over and will show up with their outdated design and broken links (which there are plenty of already!).

I don't think it's reasonable to expect archived pages to change as the current information changes. If the updating is done manually, then every time a product is withdrawn (or changed in any way? E.g. region/time/TOC of validity which could lead to prosecution, or just something as simple as the price the passenger will expect to pay when they get to the ticket window?) someone would have to go through the ever-increasing number of archived pages to rewrite them with the new information. If it's done automatically, then you'd need to have a code/process that reads the latest information from a database, identifies which products need their archive page warning messages updated, and performs the update, and this would need to be maintained and also potentially kept in mind when products are updated to avoid false warnings e.g. that a product has been withdrawn when it has only changed name.

(Note that the top Google result for "Oxford evening out" is the NFM30 page but the product also has an NFM31 page as it was available throughout NFM31 before being withdrawn, so just posting a warning message on the latest NFM page when the product is withdrawn wouldn't work.)
 

A Challenge

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Could it say just that the page is archived therefore price of the ticket will have changed and the ticket may no longer be available (NFMXX, dates)
 

kingston

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I didn’t find it obvious it was no longer on sale, possibly due to how it loads and zooms in on a mobile display. It was only when I read more of this thread and went back that I noticed.

People are used to looking at the primary content under a heading, not reading the entire page of headings and sidebars. Read up on page eye tracking heat maps for more data.

I don’t know why some people are so vociferous it’s perfectly clear and couldn’t possibly be improved - it comes across very weird and unfriendly and is a real turn-off from this forum. Relax, it’s just an fun but niche internet forum!
 
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As a simple soul, I typed "Oxford Evening Out ticket" into a well-known search engine. I imagine that's how many would want to find out about it.

I spotted "National Rail Enquiries - Oxford Evening Out" and clicked it. Seemed to be the most obvious place to go to. The URL made no mention of it being archived.

There was lots of info about availability etc. There was even a "Buy tickets online" button in bold yellow.
Couldn't spot anywhere that it was no longer available.

So how are prospective customers supposed to know the ins and outs of this product? Pretty poor show I'd say.
 

SargeNpton

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"archive" is shown in the URL. The Archive menu is quite prominent on the left.

_Archive2.jpg
 
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Looks like it depends on the search engine a potential customer uses then. I tried another, and yes indeed, it does show archived.

So is it all down to the search engine? Looked again at my initial search, and no archive mention. Seems all a bit hit and miss for a railway wanting to get customers back on the rails again.
 

MikeWh

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I tried on my mobile and apart from seeing the archive menu when it landed on the page, the other striking difference to normal was the red background to the heading. I was drawn to the whole contents of that heading, including the dates.

I will agree the url is often not shown clearly on mobile devices.
 

Joe Paxton

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As a simple soul, I typed "Oxford Evening Out ticket" into a well-known search engine. I imagine that's how many would want to find out about it.

I spotted "National Rail Enquiries - Oxford Evening Out" and clicked it. Seemed to be the most obvious place to go to. The URL made no mention of it being archived. [...]


Looks like it depends on the search engine a potential customer uses then. I tried another, and yes indeed, it does show archived.

So is it all down to the search engine? Looked again at my initial search, and no archive mention. Seems all a bit hit and miss for a railway wanting to get customers back on the rails again.


I've just done what I assume you did before your first post, and searched for "Oxford Evening Out" using Bing, and the first rail-related result I get is this NRE page:
https://www.nationalrail.co.uk/times_fares/ticket_types/OEO.aspx


Zero mention - either on the page, or in the URL - of this being part of an archive. Likewise no mention of it being a discontinued product.

Website administrators need to ensure all their content is up to date, or either remove it or clearly label it as historic.
 
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