FGW and One to join the new cheap singles advance ticket model

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yorkie

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At last, 'one' and FGW are following Virgin, GNER and MML in offering cheap advance purchase singles, and abolishing the complicated returns that penalise many customers at present.

I do not know yet if railcard discounts will be available at all levels (as with MML), or with a minimum price (Virgin) or only at the upper level(s) (GNER), and the exact fares remain to be seen, but the cheapest single for Norwich-London will be £5.

The only people who should lose out are U16s as this means an end to their £2 returns for the entire route. But it should be a lot more fair (How is it fair for a 15 year old to travel for £2 while a 16-year old pays about £20 at present?), so those of you under 16 make use of those £2 tickets while you can!

I am looking forward to the FGW fares, as it means I can now combine GNER and FGW fares as an alternative to Virgin for some journies (e.g. York to Cardiff), although whether the prices compare will remain to be seen.

FGW statement : http://www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk/Content.aspx?id=284

one statement: As you would expect, nothing on their website. Now there's a surprise! ;)
 
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Techniquest

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I knew this was coming a good few months ago, when it was discussed in FGW's customer magazine 'Reach'. It promises to be a good follow-up to the FGW Great Fares promotion which finishes next Wednesday (anyone after one of these fares for travel on Wednesday will have a mission finding one! They were extremely popular!). I am looking forward to at last being able to get a nice, cheap fare more often on travel to/from London, something which puts most people off travelling up here, because it's so expensive (Super Advance and Apex are not, for some reason, available on Hereford to London, via Evesham, Stroud or Newport).

As for 'one', I've been holding out for this one, it had to happen eventually to get people to actually travel with them! I for one do not like the idea of paying £17 or so (WITH a Y-P) for a Saver Return (cheapest option available IIRC) from Liverpool Street to Ipswich. I'd have been happier if it had been diesel-hauled all the way there and back, but that wasn't the case and I had a tremendously boring journey. Not worth the money. However, a £5 single fare from London to Norwich does sound worthwhile, although I hope it is still better VFM than FGW's Great Fare was (30p a mile from Hereford to London and vice versa), and more importantly a train with working toilets and a clean train overall inside (something FGW failed to give me on Sunday)...

Overall, this is good news, and I can't wait for 'one' to bring their cheap fares out, as it means I can combine a trip to London with one onwards to Ipswich or Norwich, FINALLY getting me back to Anglia for line bashing!
 

Table 52

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There we have it. I think that's every major intercity now doing advance purchase tickets as singles.

As I recall, it was Virgin who first came up with the idea. Proof they can do something right!
 

Andrew

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I believe the FGW page has been updated (did they have a name before?). URL is the same. They have Firstminutefares Business and Firstminutefares Leisure (I'm not kidding about the names - have a look). Having a quick shifty with the National Rail's OJP it looks like there are 6 leisure types (A, B and C with duplicates for first class) but I haven't had a look at the Business end (as it were) yet.

Example ticket restrictions for 'Firstminutefare Leisure Standard A' are here. The others will be on there somewhere too, I guess.

With regard to the name (and general concept of what I guess is 12 new fares) it doesn't look like First Great Western were paying a lot of attention last week (or whenever) where the ticketing structure was being criticised! Instead of 'an APEX return to Paddington on the 00:01 and 23:59 return please', it'll be 'a Firstminutefare Leisure Standard B to Paddington on the 00:01 to Paddington and a Firstminutefare Business Standard A on the 23:59 return please'. Help us, please.

=
The full story from FGW:
New Firstminutefares from 11 June 2006

First Great Western will be introducing a new fares structure from 11 June 2006.

The new 'Firstminutefares' have been designed to simplify the exisiting range of ticket types and give you more options and flexibility.

Firstminutefares offer airline style pricing for advance tickets. There will be a choice of 2 main categories:

Firstminutefares Business - available for travel primarily on peak services
Firstminutefares Leisure - available for travel primarily on off-peak services

Benefits of Firstminutefares include:

* Discounts of between 15% and 60%. Every month our maximum discount of 60% will be offered on at least 90,000 seats!
* The booking deadline for all advance purchase fares will be 18.00 on the day before travel.
* If you only need a one way ticket you'll pay half the price of the return fare.
* You can ‘mix and match’ Standard and First Class, Business and Leisure tickets for each direction of travel so you select the price you want and travel exactly when you want.
* The tickets come with an automatic seat reservation.

Remember, the earlier you book the better the fare and these fares are subject to availability.

Keep checking back to this page for more information on the new ticket types as they become available.
 

Table 52

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Just to resurect this one from the dead- I've just got details of FGW's other plans from 11th June:

-Supersavers are to be stopped. Customers wanting cheap off peak travel should buy the new advance purchase fares
-Savers and Cheap days wholly in the Devon and Cornwall areas are to come down in price. FGW want more people on these trains.
-Savers are to carry morning peak restrictions on non-London trains such as Portsmouth to Bristol. This won't affect Wales though.
-Devon day ranger to be reduced to £10. No longer valid Taunton-Tiverton pky.
-Cornwall day ranger reduced to £10
-Heart of Wessex day ranger to now be valid Chippenham-Bath Spa on direct trains.

And one I'm amazed at:

-Customers who decide to make a seat reservation on FGW services but do so AFTER they've purchased the ticket (i.e. come back 5 days later) will be charged £5 to do so! (Customers who get the seat res with their ticket and those using the special assistance service will continue to be free)

I thought we'd seen the death of the chargeable train reservation a long time ago. And then it was only £1 anyway.
 

Jonno2055

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Indeed, although when you book saver or supersaver you book seats when you by the ticket and those are the tickets I usually book so it wouldn't really matter. Well as long as it doesn't cost £130 pound for a family of 4 to go to Devon with a family railcard.

As well as this, is supersavers are to be scraped wouldn't that make blue and white days obsolete?
 

Table 52

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Jonno2055 said:
As well as this, is supersavers are to be scraped wouldn't that make blue and white days obsolete?
They're not quite dead yet. You can still get SuperSavers on Scotrails longer distance services.
Besides, they make a handy calender.
 

Techniquest

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I've had enough of this already. Looking 6 weeks in advance, it is still not possible to get cheap tickets to London from Hereford. It's gone from only JUST bearable to bad to c**p to taking the mick for us lot here. For instance, we don't get such privileges as:

Super Advance
Apex
Advance
FGW Lastminute Fares
SuperSaver (after the new timetable)
CDRs valid on the evening HSTs off Paddington (since January 2006)

What tickets CAN we get here? As of the timetable change, we get this lot:

Saver (we are fortunate to get the slightly cheaper Via Evesham option though)
CDRs (limited to a small number of trains). Watch out for these being axed within the year.
Standard Open
First Open
Saver First

This is grossly unfair. I'll have another look as soon as the FGW Lastminute Fares are officially beginning, but I think it's wrong we should pay more than everyone else when we can book in advance but only given walk-on fares to choose from. Everyone else on the FGW network (at least the IC part) gets Lastminute cheap as fcuk fares, why should we have to suffer a lack of such ticketing? We did have FGW Great Fares, which were very limited and if you got one on the Hereford to Paddington route, you should consider yourself extremely lucky.

I'm more than tempted to e-mail FGW and ask them exactly why we're treated like low-life scum on this route. We get hardly any trains to choose from (unlike the rest of their IC network), but still have no advance-purchase tickets available. If they want us to travel with them, spending our money on their cr***y trains, on their unreliable services, then they had better start to change things considerably. When Northern have a better reputation and reliability than FGW, you have to start asking questions, demanding answers.

Thus concludes this moan for now. Comments are as always welcome.
 

Table 52

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I just had a quick look and there are a few advance purchase fares for Hereford-London in 6 weeks (most shockingly including a 1715 out of Paddington!) but not on the direct services.

If you haven't already, try refining your search as two single journeys. (the new tickts are sold as singles)
 

Techniquest

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Hmm, I'll have another look. I certainly have never got a cheap fare (bar that trip on the FGW Great Fares one, that was reasonable at £5 each way) on the route, but I'll have another gander, in case someone shows up!
 

Table 52

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don't know if you're aware of it, but there is a route WARMSTER-SALSBY which basically involves going Hereford-Newport-Salisbury-Waterloo (and takes about 4 and a half hours) which currently has a Supersaver on it for £36.00.

The key thing is that this route is an Arriva Wales controlled fare and as such, the Supersaver is going to survive after 11th June. (I've checked).
Best of all, it's currently (and I'd hope still is) valid without any time restriction.
 

Techniquest

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SuperSavers without time restriction on FGW I don't think happens now. With ATF, yeah, should be no problem.

I did find that Warminster route one. Done that route from BTM to Waterloo on Megatrain. I nearly fell asleep several times, I was that bored.

As it is, amazingly I found fares for £10.50 each way, going via Newport (now that IS shocking) for the dates I want. Got to check the times with my mum though, as she is also going on this trip and I don't know what time she wants to go.

Some of my rant is now rendered invalid. However, the bit on CDRs no longer being valid on the evening return HSTs (at least beyond Evesham we had that option) and the withdrawal on SuperSavers via Evesham is still true. And FGW still do run unreliably with terrible quality trains internally (although that was never being argued. I too doubt anyone here would disagree with me on that too!)
 
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