Chester & Liverpool to Birmingham CDR

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Old Yard Dog

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There used to be some very good value day returns from Chester to Birmingham valid by any route.

There still is at £18.50, but looking at the National Rail Enquiries website, these do not seem to be valid via Crewe, not even changing on to London Midland services.

In fact, London Midland no longer seem to offer CDRs from Liverpool to New Street.

When did this clampdown on CDRs on the WCML begin? And can anybody confirm the restrictions on the £18.50 fare?
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
But bizarrely you can apparently get a CDR from Wrexham to Birmingham valid via Chester for £15.30!
 
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SS4

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The only £18.50 I can see is via Shrewsbury which has code B4

The SVR (any permitted) is CS

Splitting at Penkridge will give you a CDR
£15.30 + £7.60 = £22.90
(click prices for restrictions)
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
But bizarrely you can apparently get a CDR from Wrexham to Birmingham valid via Chester for £15.30!

I'm guessing it has something to do with pricing of the fares. Any Permitted from Chester to BHM is priced by London Midland whereas the Wrexham-BHM (Any Permitted) and Chester-BHM (Rte: via SHR) are priced by ATW.
 

LNW-GW Joint

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There used to be some very good value day returns from Chester to Birmingham valid by any route.

There still is at £18.50, but looking at the National Rail Enquiries website, these do not seem to be valid via Crewe, not even changing on to London Midland services.

In fact, London Midland no longer seem to offer CDRs from Liverpool to New Street.

When did this clampdown on CDRs on the WCML begin? And can anybody confirm the restrictions on the £18.50 fare?

This change happened in May last year I think, much to my annoyance as well.
The CDR is still available on the slower route via Shrewsbury.

Even more annoying is that the new Any Permitted (ie via Stafford) fare of £30.70 SVR (not before 0900 M-F) is set by LM who do not provide any through services from Chester!
Perversely, the Route Shrewsbury SVR set by ATW is £37.10, valid on any train.
So LM can claim that some of their fares are cheaper than ATW.

The CDR at £18.50 via Shrewsbury is restriction B4 - not before 0845 M-F.
"Via Shrewsbury" also covers the odd ATW trains which go Chester-Crewe-Shrewsbury-Birmingham.

It's a prime example of raising fares by stealth.
 

All Line Rover

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Someone who lives in Chester needs to dispute the new Chester to Birmingham fares priced by LM. Why? Because although the Liverpool/Crewe to Birmingham fares are also quite expensive, LM offer excellent value Advance fares on this route. Such fares are not available from Chester to Birmingham (not even ATW&LM fares). The fares from Chester to Birmingham have been raised by immense proportions over recent years and are now quite extortionate.

(Of course, don't mention the Wrexham to Birmingham fare. ;) Otherwise LM may claim that flow also. :roll:)
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Even more daft is that the Wrexham - Birmingham CDR is still valid via Crewe! :roll:

It must remain valid via Crewe. Going via Crewe is often the fastest route.
 

bb21

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It must remain valid via Crewe. Going via Crewe is often the fastest route.

Why "must"? We all know that in the eyes of ATOC, passengers do not usually prefer to travel by the fastest route, but the shortest route instead. ;)
 

kieron

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Someone who lives in Chester needs to dispute the new Chester to Birmingham fares priced by LM. Why? Because although the Liverpool/Crewe to Birmingham fares are also quite expensive, LM offer excellent value Advance fares on this route. Such fares are not available from Chester to Birmingham (not even ATW&LM fares).
There are a few £8 Chester-Birmingham advance fares around (priced by Virgin, but using the LM train from Liverpool for most of the journey), and you can always use Crewe-Birmingham ones so long as you have an affordable way to get to Crewe to meet the train.
 

paddy1

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The obvious thing to do is buy a Wrexham -Birmingham CDR valid via Crewe at the lower fare and use it to join or alight short at Chester, unless there is any restriction in force to prevent you doing that ?
 

calc7

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The obvious thing to do is buy a Wrexham -Birmingham CDR valid via Crewe at the lower fare and use it to join or alight short at Chester, unless there is any restriction in force to prevent you doing that ?

No BoJ restriction on this ticket - code is B3: valid after 0900.
 

All Line Rover

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But if everyone did that it would obviously be altered. Just like with the Chester to Birmingham fare.
 

Old Yard Dog

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The obvious thing to do is buy a Wrexham -Birmingham CDR valid via Crewe at the lower fare and use it to join or alight short at Chester, unless there is any restriction in force to prevent you doing that ?

There are ticket barriers at Chester station which probably wouldn't accept a ticket from Wrexham. Also revenue protection staff do try to cut down on what they perceive a "fiddle".

At certain times of the day, booking from places like Flint or Shotton to London is often considerably cheaper than booking from Chester to London so inspectors are very aware of people trying to cut costs in this way.

For whatever reason, the railway companies seem to think people in Chester are richer than those in North Wales and so should pay a higher fare to travel a shorter distance.
 

calc7

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There are ticket barriers at Chester station which probably wouldn't accept a ticket from Wrexham. Also revenue protection staff do try to cut down on what they perceive a "fiddle".

At certain times of the day, booking from places like Flint or Shotton to London is often considerably cheaper than booking from Chester to London so inspectors are very aware of people trying to cut costs in this way.

For whatever reason, the railway companies seem to think people in Chester are richer than those in North Wales and so should pay a higher fare to travel a shorter distance.

May I enquire what exactly revenue protection staff can do to "try to cut down on what they perceive a 'fiddle'"? The ticket is valid for the journey the passenger wishes to make - they'll either have to bow down gracefully or change the rule book.
 

Old Yard Dog

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Your reply is interesting and prompted me to look up the National Conditions of Carriage on the internet. Section 16 below is different to that in my printed copy (which dates back to 2000) and would support your argument that you are now allowed to start your journey at an intermediate station provided your ticket allows a break of journey. CDR's do allow a break of journey in either direction.

In the olden days, you could start or end your journey at a station in the immediate vicinity provided the fare was the same or lower than what you had paid.

So your advice will save me a fair bit of money. I normally start my journeys from Chester to the Midlands at Little Sutton anyway, and book tickets for each leg at Ellesmere Port the day before, so I don't normally have to go through the barrier at Chester.

16. Starting, breaking or ending a journey at intermediate stations
You may start, or break and resume, a journey (in either direction in the case of a return ticket) at any intermediate station, as long as the ticket you hold is valid for the trains you want to use. You may also end your journey (in either direction in the case of a return ticket) before the destination shown on the ticket. However, these rights may not apply to some types of tickets for which a break of journey is prohibited, in which case the Ticket Seller must make this clear when you buy your ticket.
 

Green Lane

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I normally start my journeys from Chester to the Midlands at Little Sutton anyway, and book tickets for each leg at Ellesmere Port the day before, so I don't normally have to go through the barrier at Chester.

I was going to mention the same point, that anyone coming in to Chester from the Merseyrail network (or anywhere else for that matter), does not even have to go through the barriers anyway. Also, I often buy my tickets online beforehand too.

As previously stated, even if you did have to go through the barrier, the ticket is perfectly valid so it would not be a problem. Still, on a purely personal level I prefer not having to worry about this issue at all, if there's a chance the barrier may not accept the ticket. Therefore most of the time I simply choose not to go through the barrier unless I have a reason to, even though I'm holding a perfectly valid ticket.
 

LNW-GW Joint

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There are ticket barriers at Chester station which probably wouldn't accept a ticket from Wrexham.

I thought I would give this a test today.
Started at Wrexham and bought the cheap Any Permitted CDR (£10.10 with railcard).
First problem was the train I expected to go to Birmingham said Cardiff on the front - it was WAG2 and I had to change at Shrewsbury.
No problems onwards to New St.

Intending to come back via Chester, things got complicated when I saw the logical train from New St (1201 to Liverpool) was unusually a 170 instead of a 350, and already running late on the inbound service.
So I tried to be clever and caught an XC to Stoke, to pick up LM to Crewe (in order to get even more for my money!).
This was fine, until at Crewe the connecting Voyager to Chester was late, missing the connection to Wrexham.
So I ended up on the bus from Chester to Wrexham to get my car, an hour late.

Anyway, I had no problem getting through the barriers at Chester with the CDR, or at any time with the crews on the return trains.
 

headshot119

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There are ticket barriers at Chester station which probably wouldn't accept a ticket from Wrexham. Also revenue protection staff do try to cut down on what they perceive a "fiddle".

At certain times of the day, booking from places like Flint or Shotton to London is often considerably cheaper than booking from Chester to London so inspectors are very aware of people trying to cut costs in this way.

For whatever reason, the railway companies seem to think people in Chester are richer than those in North Wales and so should pay a higher fare to travel a shorter distance.

WRX - BHM CDR do work the barriers at Chester, even if they didn't staff are always happy to let you through the manual gate.
 
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