Furness Vale to Dundee at Easter

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DaveB10780

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Nice simple journey you would think but this highlights how awful the system can be. My daughter is travelling to Dundee on Friday 19th April returning Sunday 21st April. The Off Peak Return Fares have a Via Lancaster (77.80) and Any permitted (85.55) options. The NR planner does indeed do this correctly and goes up via West Coast and returns via East Coast. However all the normal booking sites say "no trains available", and you cannot buy a ticket. I guess because they only look at the cheapest Via Lancaster option. I am sure "Trains Cheaper" will be OK but why on earth not the other booking engines.

Now to the real ludicrous part. Two stations up the line is Disley and from there there is not an Any Permitted option. There is either via Lancaster or via York. You cannot even buy a return from there going up West and returning East for Easter, just two singles. Fair enough I suppose in one sense because you would normally travel West Coast.

As a matter of interest why should the customer pay more just because of engineering works?

I think the easiest option will be to drive her to Sheffield where is costs more but is an easier journey.
 
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Hadders

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Buy a ticket for the cheaper route and obtain a change of route excess for the more expensive portion. This costs half the difference between the fares for a one portion change.

A change of route excess can be purchased on board without penalty although you may wish to obtain it at a ticket office in advance if you require reservations.

If there are engineering works then the cheaper ticket may be accepted on the more expensive route as a matter of course.
 

alistairlees

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Nice simple journey you would think but this highlights how awful the system can be. My daughter is travelling to Dundee on Friday 19th April returning Sunday 21st April. The Off Peak Return Fares have a Via Lancaster (77.80) and Any permitted (85.55) options. The NR planner does indeed do this correctly and goes up via West Coast and returns via East Coast. However all the normal booking sites say "no trains available", and you cannot buy a ticket. I guess because they only look at the cheapest Via Lancaster option. I am sure "Trains Cheaper" will be OK but why on earth not the other booking engines.

Now to the real ludicrous part. Two stations up the line is Disley and from there there is not an Any Permitted option. There is either via Lancaster or via York. You cannot even buy a return from there going up West and returning East for Easter, just two singles. Fair enough I suppose in one sense because you would normally travel West Coast.

As a matter of interest why should the customer pay more just because of engineering works?

I think the easiest option will be to drive her to Sheffield where is costs more but is an easier journey.
These are prices with a 16-25 (or similar) railcard?
 

yorkie

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The journey can be done for less than the prices you quote, albeit using Advance fares, using split ticketing websites (e.g. Trainsplit), see screenshot.

Alternatively Trainsplit will sell a through Off Peak Return if you click the 'flexible' tab, priced at £85.55

Now to the real ludicrous part. Two stations up the line is Disley and from there there is not an Any Permitted option. There is either via Lancaster or via York. You cannot even buy a return from there going up West and returning East for Easter, just two singles. Fair enough I suppose in one sense because you would normally travel West Coast.
This is because...
  • The DfT has decided that the concept of an "any permitted" fare is too complicated for passengers to understand
  • Rail Delivery Group are now committed to replacing this flexible routeing with geographical route restrictions
  • This means you need to purchase the cheaper fare (for the outward portion) and a change of route excess (for the return portion) priced at half the difference between the fares. The excess fare can be bought from a ticket office, or on board the train (at no extra cost)
  • The rail industry has decided that retailers cannot sell these excess fares online
  • So the only way to get it is at a ticket office (or on board)
This is going to happen more frequently as more and more flows become route restricted. Enjoy Furness Vale to Dundee being routed "Any Permitted" while you can; the powers that be have decreed this flexibility to be too complicated for you to handle, so if they continue their current course, it will suffer the same fate as Disley to Dundee.
 

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DaveB10780

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10 Sep 2015
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That is great information and really helpful, thanks very much indeed. The flexible option brings up quite a few possibilities for 85.55 e.g. Leave from Furness Vale and return via Sheffield where I can pick her up.
 
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