Confused about Metrolink

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trainophile

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I'm looking at a possible day trip from Southport to Sale (for old times sake, I grew up there!). The day return off peak fare with senior railcard is showing as £14.30, changing onto the Metrolink at Deansgate G-Mex. However the Metrolink station is given as Deansgate-Castlefield, so first question is are they miles apart?

The round trip fare to Sale with railcard shows as £14.30 and does not appear to recognize that there should be a railcard discount. I can go Southport to Deansgate return for £7.05, and the Metrolink adult return (I don't qualify for a concessionary fare yet) is £3.60, so bought separately the trip would be £10.65, a saving of £3.65 on the full journey bought as one ticket.

I've never used a Metrolink before and have no idea how to do it. Apparently there are pay stations at their embarkation points and a Travelshop at Piccadilly, but as Deansgate is before Piccadilly I don't suppose I'd be allowed to travel to Piccadilly to buy the Metrolink ticket and then travel back to Deansgate without buying another ticket, even though they are both "Manchester stations"?

Any guidance or advice from seasoned Metrolink users would be much appreciated. Also anyone know why the big fare difference when including the Metrolink part of the journey in a fares search?
 
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aformeruser

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I'm looking at a possible day trip from Southport to Sale (for old times sake, I grew up there!). The day return off peak fare with senior railcard is showing as £14.30, changing onto the Metrolink at Deansgate G-Mex. However the Metrolink station is given as Deansgate-Castlefield, so first question is are they miles apart?
No. The distance between the two is shorter than Piccadilly platform 1 to Piccadilly platform 14.

The round trip fare to Sale with railcard shows as £14.30 and does not appear to recognize that there should be a railcard discount.
Railcard discounts aren't available on combined tickets.

I've never used a Metrolink before and have no idea how to do it. Apparently there are pay stations at their embarkation points and a Travelshop at Piccadilly, but as Deansgate is before Piccadilly I don't suppose I'd be allowed to travel to Piccadilly to buy the Metrolink ticket and then travel back to Deansgate without buying another ticket, even though they are both "Manchester stations"?
Metrolink tickets are available from machines on the platform at Deansgate-Castlefield. Why do you need to go to the Travelshop at Piccadilly?
 

MidnightFlyer

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Deansgate NR and Deansgate Metrolink station are separated by a bridge between the two I think, if not it's a one minute walk across the road outside Deansgate NR station, you can't miss it. Ticket machines are located on each platform at Deansgate Metrolink station, and they're quite easy to use.
 

aformeruser

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Deansgate NR and Deansgate Metrolink station are separated by a bridge between the two I think
There is a bridge between the Manchester bound platform at Deansgate station and the southbound Metrolink platform. I'm pretty sure the main entrance to Deansgate station from street level sends you up the stairs next to the bridge.
 

trainophile

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Thanks for very speedy replies, both of you.

Railcard discounts aren't available on combined tickets.
That's interesting.

The only reason I thought I might go to Piccadilly is because I find it easier telling a human being what I need rather than faffing around with machines :oops: . However I'm sure it wouldn't be beyond me if I concentrate!
 

aformeruser

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The only reason I thought I might go to Piccadilly is because I find it easier telling a human being what I need rather than faffing around with machines :oops: . However I'm sure it wouldn't be beyond me if I concentrate!
Metrolink ticket machines are much simpler to use than rail ones. There's a lot less ticket options so it's basically just a case of selecting the Metrolink stop or zone you want, then selecting adult single or adult return and then paying.
 

trainophile

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Metrolink ticket machines are much simpler to use than rail ones. There's a lot less ticket options so it's basically just a case of selecting the Metrolink stop or zone you want, then selecting adult single or adult return and then paying.
Thanks again. Do the machines take cards or just cash? If cash, do you have to have the right money?
 

hairyhandedfool

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....The only reason I thought I might go to Piccadilly is because I find it easier telling a human being what I need rather than faffing around with machines :oops: . However I'm sure it wouldn't be beyond me if I concentrate!
You should be fine to go to Piccadilly by train and to Sale by tram from there, trying to get back to Deansgate by train could be difficult (depending who the G4S staff on duty are) and pointless (as you'd end up on the same tram line). The machines are really simple to use.
 

Solent&Wessex

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Thanks for very speedy replies, both of you.

That's interesting.

The only reason I thought I might go to Piccadilly is because I find it easier telling a human being what I need rather than faffing around with machines :oops: . However I'm sure it wouldn't be beyond me if I concentrate!
It is not possible to buy Metrolink Single or Return fares from a real person (unless as part of a through rail ticket). Single and Return fares must be purchased from a ticket machine prior to boarding and there is a Standard (Penalty) Fare of £100 if caught travelling without a ticket.

Having said the scary stuff the new Metrolink Machines are easy to use due to the fact that there are a lot less ticket varieties and stations to contend with than mainline machines. The screens aren't always very responsive though!
 

WatcherZero

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It is not possible to buy Metrolink Single or Return fares from a real person (unless as part of a through rail ticket). Single and Return fares must be purchased from a ticket machine prior to boarding and there is a Standard (Penalty) Fare of £100 if caught travelling without a ticket.

Having said the scary stuff the new Metrolink Machines are easy to use due to the fact that there are a lot less ticket varieties and stations to contend with than mainline machines. The screens aren't always very responsive though!
The only place you can is Altrincham station ticket office which sells Metrolink tickets as well as National Rail ones, theyve just started a consultation on whether it would be cheaper to stop the practise and install more ticket machines instead though.
 

cuccir

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Railcard discounts aren't available on combined tickets.
Interesting - they are available on combined tickets for the Underground and for the Tyne and Wear Metro. What's the situation with other tram/metro systems in the UK?
 

142094

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The add on for the Tyne and Wear Metro ticket should remain undiscounted, but the rest of the ticket will have the normal railcard discount (if that makes sense).
 

scrapy

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The round trip fare to Sale with railcard shows as £14.30 and does not appear to recognize that there should be a railcard discount. I can go Southport to Deansgate return for £7.05, and the Metrolink adult return (I don't qualify for a concessionary fare yet) is £3.60
Be aware that when you do qualify for a concessionary fare (i'm taking it you mean English national free bus pass), free travel on metrolink only applies to Greater Manchester residents with GMPTE/TFGM passes, there are no concessions to non residents on the trams.
 

trainophile

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Be aware that when you do qualify for a concessionary fare (i'm taking it you mean English national free bus pass), free travel on metrolink only applies to Greater Manchester residents with GMPTE/TFGM passes, there are no concessions to non residents on the trams.
Hi again, back from my walk in the rain. I'm not planning this outing until the weather stabilises a bit btw.

Yes scrapy that confused me a bit too - it said about residents of GM being able to travel free, but when I clicked the "concessions" box there was a return fare Deansgate to Sale of £1.30, against the £3.60 for non-concession adults. Can't understand who the £1.30 ticket would apply to, if you're either a resident with a free pass or a non-resident who has to pay in full. If a resident did not have a pass for some reason, how would they prove they were entitled to the concessionary fare?
 

trainophile

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They simply use the origin of the ticket sale.
Sorry don't follow. I could say I'm a local but don't have a pass - could show them my passport to prove my age (which doesn't have address on), and get a £1.30 ticket. They wouldn't know I'd come from out of town.

I think I might be overcomplicating this lol... sorry :oops:.
 

hairyhandedfool

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From the Metrolink website:

"Who is entitled to purchase a concessionary ticket?

The Concessionary Bus Travel Act states that everyone of state pensionable age and over in England can get free off-peak travel on all local buses anywhere in England.

From 6 April 2010 the eligibility age for the National Concessionary Travel Pass changed to mirror the state pension age. This means the earliest date on which you can get your pass will depend on when you were born and, if you were born on or after 6 April 1950, this date will be later than your 60th birthday. For men the eligible age is the pensionable age of a woman born on the same day.

You may qualify for a Disabled Persons Concessionary Travel Permit which will allow you to travel at the concessionary rate, if you live in Greater Manchester and:

Older people who reside in the Greater Manchester area and hold a current concessionary travel permit (commonly known as a bus pass) issued by Transport for Greater Manchester can travel free after 0930 Monday to Friday and all day at weekends and on Bank Holidays, for travel before 09.30hrs an adult single ticket should be purchased.

To apply for a permit, obtain an application form at your local council offices or TfGM Travelshops. You will need to take with you a passport-sized photograph, proof of age, for example, your pension book or Birth certificate and proof of where you live, for example your rent book or a recent Council Tax, gas or electricity bill."
 

142094

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Similar situation for the Tyne and Wear Metro - Gold Cards (£25 for the year) are only available to those over 60 living in Tyne and Wear.
 

trainophile

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From the Metrolink website:

"Who is entitled to purchase a concessionary ticket?

The Concessionary Bus Travel Act states that everyone of state pensionable age and over in England can get free off-peak travel on all local buses anywhere in England.

From 6 April 2010 the eligibility age for the National Concessionary Travel Pass changed to mirror the state pension age. This means the earliest date on which you can get your pass will depend on when you were born and, if you were born on or after 6 April 1950, this date will be later than your 60th birthday. For men the eligible age is the pensionable age of a woman born on the same day.

You may qualify for a Disabled Persons Concessionary Travel Permit which will allow you to travel at the concessionary rate, if you live in Greater Manchester and:

Older people who reside in the Greater Manchester area and hold a current concessionary travel permit (commonly known as a bus pass) issued by Transport for Greater Manchester can travel free after 0930 Monday to Friday and all day at weekends and on Bank Holidays, for travel before 09.30hrs an adult single ticket should be purchased.

To apply for a permit, obtain an application form at your local council offices or TfGM Travelshops. You will need to take with you a passport-sized photograph, proof of age, for example, your pension book or Birth certificate and proof of where you live, for example your rent book or a recent Council Tax, gas or electricity bill."
So according to that, concessionary travel ONLY applies to those with a Disabled Persons Concessionary Travel Permit. Everyone else either travels free, or pays the adult standard rate.

It's not easy to understand.
 

Solent&Wessex

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On trains, if I remember this correctly-

GM issued Senior bus passes pay full price before 0930 and are free thereafter.

GM issued Disabled bus passes pay concessionary fare before 0930 and free thereafter.

GM issued Concession Plus bus pass holders travel free at all times.

Holders of all types of bus passes not issued by TFGM pay the full adult fare at all times.

I assume the same applies to Metrolink.

There are assorted other funny schemes allowing free or discounted taxi rides, bus journeys etc, but if I recall these don't affect trains.
 

furryfeet

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one other option you could try, IF you are doing any additional journeys on that day WITHIN greater manchester is:-

a) off peak day return Southport to Wigan stns ( £5.10 with railcard )
b) System One Day Saver ( train and tram ) £7.20
Note - I am not certain as to whether the guard on the train from southport can sell you this onboard, so you may have to alight at Wigan and buy it from the booking office there.

http://www.systemonetravelcards.co.uk/about/how

http://www.tfgm.com/journey_planning/tickets_day_adult.cfm?submenuheader=1


p.s. piccadilly / oxford rd / deansgate / victoria are all classed as "Manchester Stations" so ask for that if booking from Southport to Manchester, rather than a specific station. The fare is still £7.05 return with a railcard.
The tram fare is £3.60 off-peak adult day return from piccadilly to sale, so you could get on there and get off at Gmex / Deansgate on the return trip, if you so wished.
 
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