Fares reform consultation - which option are you most in favour of? (poll)

Which option are you most in favour of?

  • Option A - narrower range of possible prices than now

    Votes: 19 23.5%
  • Option B - same range of possible prices as now

    Votes: 53 65.4%
  • Option C - wider range of possible prices than now

    Votes: 9 11.1%

  • Total voters
    81
  • Poll closed .

ashworth

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As someone recently retired, I very rarely these days need to travel at peak times. I don’t like the inflexibility of Advance tickets, especially the fact that to get the best prices you have to book so far in advance and they are mainly non cancellable without a fee. Since getting my Senior Railcard, I rarely buy advance tickets as I now find the Railcard discount brings most off peak walk up fares down to an acceptable level.

Therefore, as I mainly travel off peak and would, if they were a little more flexible, consider advance tickets, Option C would appear to be the one for me. However, I’m going with B because I’m not sure that C would be implemented throughout the system in a uniform and fair way for all journeys.

If walk up fares became more expensive, and apart from short local journeys the main format of ticket was advance tickets they would have to be available for all journeys over a certain distance. Currently, it is very much like a postcode lottery whether advance fares are available or not, depending upon the TOC and the number of train changes required and number of TOCs used during a journey. For long intercity journeys Advance fares are usually available but not for many cross country journeys by secondary routes involving a number of TOCs and changes of train. For example, tomorrow I am travelling from Mansfield to Bangor, a long journey involving changes of train at Nottingham, Derby, Crewe and Chester. Although I have been able to reduce this fare slightly by split ticketing there are no advance fares available for this journey as with many journeys of this type. If advance fares, under Option C were not made available, I could see this type of journey being even more expensive.
 
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Marton

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9 Nov 2008
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599
I would like to see a greater range of flexible fares.

Why do some routes not have the full range of Open, Off Peak and Super off Peak for both First (when available for the majority of the route) and Standard.

There may not be a huge demand, but why is there no any permitted off peak Hartlepool London first class fare? Other places do, such as Hexham.
 

FenMan

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13 Oct 2011
Messages
929
But I wouldn't expect an airline to offer cheap tickets a few hours before departure.
I would. I knew I'd have to travel to Sydney at short notice on business. Prices for travelling 3 days later were coming in at £950 return. As it happens, I had to travel at 12 hours noticeand so made a late booking. The return fare was £703, of which over 50% was departure taxes.

(I'm in Sydney at the moment)

(
 

Bletchleyite

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Up and down the south WCML (mostly)
I would like to see a greater range of flexible fares.

Why do some routes not have the full range of Open, Off Peak and Super off Peak for both First (when available for the majority of the route) and Standard.
That's a good point. I think First Class versions of all Standard walk up fares should be offered as a matter of course.
 

FQTV

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27 Apr 2012
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I received basically the same questionnaire yesterday, from Ipsos MORI on behalf of LNER.

Given the extension to 2025 of the current LNER operating structure, it would seem possible to likely that they would be used as a test-bed for any fares reform, given that it would be a much more straightforward process to underwrite any resultant negative revenue effect than it would with a franchised or direct award third party operator.
 

cuccir

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18 Nov 2009
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3,356
I've just taken the LNER survey too. Here's a quote from it:

We are considering a new approach to selling train tickets which simplifies the fare structure and reduces the number of ticket types on sale. We hope that this idea will reduce complexity whilst at the same time providing clearer choice and better value.

The main change we are considering is the complete removal of the return ticket option, this means that you would always need to buy 2 single tickets to travel to and from the same station.

In many cases customers are already buying a combination of 2 single tickets in order to make their return journey, but we would like to roll this out so all customers can do the same and will be able to mix and match from all of the single fares available. You would have 3 single ticket types to choose from:

A. One for a SPECIFIC TRAIN (i.e. at a specific time)
B. One for ANY LESS BUSY TRAINS (i.e. at specific times across one day)
C. One for ANY TRAIN at all (i.e. within a two day period)
In all honesty I can't really see how these three options differ from

A. Advance
B. Super Off-Peak
C.Anytime

Except the removal of the return - so where you could previously buy one ticket, you'd now have to buy two.

They claim that
Instead of offering one return ticket for an outward and return journey we would offer two single tickets each priced at 50% of the current return, allowing you to mix and match when you travel and the price you pay
Which sounds good in principle, but surely they'd lose money on this?
 

Bletchleyite

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Up and down the south WCML (mostly)
In all honesty I can't really see how these three options differ from
A. Advance
B. Super Off-Peak
C.Anytime
Except the removal of the return - so where you could previously buy one ticket, you'd now have to buy two.
The big advantage of it is that it removes the penalty for "mixing and matching" tickets or doing three-point journeys, removes the complexity of those "web only Saver Halves" etc.

Indeed, if you do that alone and use an engine like Trainsplit, there is arguably no need to bother changing anything else, as that kind of journey planner will always find you the cheapest fare for your chosen trains.

They could perhaps still sell returns for each level at twice the given Single fare (e.g. for the flexibility of an earlier return home). Or just drop the change fee so you could change the day on a flexible ticket for nowt.
 

Bletchleyite

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Which sounds good in principle, but surely they'd lose money on this?
Not an awful lot, as most people are making a simple return journey. The small amount they do lose may be made up by a gain in passengers making "awkward" journeys (e.g. genuinely one way, or three/four point).

GWR are already *almost* doing it commercially, I think their Super Off Peak Singles are about 60% of the return rather than the usual quid less.
 

yorkie

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Does anyone seriously believe a Sheffield to Derby flexible* single will be £6.15? (half the current CDR)

I very much doubt it would ever happen.

(* Flexible except not valid 0429-0859 Mon-Fri)
 

cuccir

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18 Nov 2009
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CDRs are a bit of an outlier which do slightly break the model. It might be worth retaining them issued as a single piece.
At least in the first instance, based on the questionnaire I did with LNER, I'd be surprised if they're imagining making changes to anything other than simple ECML to Kings Cross journeys. I suspect they'd keep the 'normal' ticketing options for local journeys (say, York - Doncaster), but probably too for longer ones not involving London.
 

zoneking

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3 Jul 2009
Messages
230
None of three options are any good. The aim should be to lower the price of fares for everyone - there should be no losers. In order to recoup the same amount of revenue or preferably higher, then more people need to travel by train. Even most peak services are rarely full these days.
 

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