Help with Family Friends travelling alone on return journey

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sarahmoo

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Hi hope you can help

I am travelling from Penrith to Crowthorne on Friday to take my 10 year old daughter to a week long music course at Wellington Collegefor the National Childrens ORchestra. My query is that because I am taking my child to school, can I use a family and friends ticket on the return journey too?

I have seen some terms and conditions on this forum which state that if you are taking a child to school, then you can use a discounted ticket on the return journey. This was quite an old thread.

I am very concerned as if I cannot travel with discounted ticket then I simply cannot afford to take the train. The cost for us both to travel there is £44. The return leg for me otherwise would be £98.

Please help! If I cannot travel, I will need to make other arrangements...ie driving 300 miles there and then 300 miles back which I dont really fancy on my own.

Thanks in advance railuk!
 
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sarahmoo

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I will travel back down again to pick her up (not sure how yet! Depends on outcome of this) The course is for a full week.
 

Solent&Wessex

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Hi hope you can help

I am travelling from Penrith to Crowthorne on Friday to take my 10 year old daughter to a week long music course at Wellington Collegefor the National Childrens ORchestra. My query is that because I am taking my child to school, can I use a family and friends ticket on the return journey too?

I have seen some terms and conditions on this forum which state that if you are taking a child to school, then you can use a discounted ticket on the return journey. This was quite an old thread.

I am very concerned as if I cannot travel with discounted ticket then I simply cannot afford to take the train. The cost for us both to travel there is £44. The return leg for me otherwise would be £98.

Please help! If I cannot travel, I will need to make other arrangements...ie driving 300 miles there and then 300 miles back which I dont really fancy on my own.

Thanks in advance railuk!

You cannot travel alone with a discounted ticket. You need to have a child with you in order to use a Family Railcard discounted ticket.

The relaxation is that You can use a full price return ticket and the child can have a railcard disconted single ticket for the same point to point journey, in one direction. Normally the discount would only be applicable for the same ticket types.

As I am on my phone I cannot look at Advance tickets in this case, but if using flexible tickets I would suggest you purchase 1 x Adult and 1 x Child return, using the Railcard. You use the outward leg when taking your child away, and the return leg when coming back with the child. To get you home and then back to Crowthorne again you would purchase a full price undiscounted ticket. This would afford the discount for both legs when travelling with the child.

 

GadgetMan

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Beaten to it by KWVR.



You have to have at least one child with you when traveling on a Family Railcard.

If you can't get cheaper Advance tickets and need to use walk up tickets then;

If you are traveling back alone then the solution is to buy a Family and Friends discounted Adult and Child Period Return tickets from Penrith to Crowthorne, we'll call these Tickets A.

And purchase a Undiscounted Adult Period Return ticket from Crowthorne to Penrith. We'll refer to this as Ticket B.

When you go to drop your daughter off you can use the Out Portions of tickets A.

Then on your first Return leg alone you can use the Out portion of Ticket B.



For collecting your daughter you will then have the Return portion of Ticket B to travel to collect her, and once with your daughter you can both return using the left over Return Portions from Ticket A.

Hope that makes sense.
 
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sarahmoo

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Well thanks very much for your replies! Really appreciated. Just trying to figure it all out now...
 

Solent&Wessex

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Beaten to it by KWVR.



You have to have at least one child with you when traveling on a Family Railcard.

If you can't get cheaper Advance tickets and need to use walk up tickets then;

If you are traveling back alone then the solution is to buy a Family and Friends discounted Adult and Child Period Return tickets from Penrith to Crowthorne, we'll call these Tickets A.

And purchase a Undiscounted Adult Period Return ticket from Crowthorne to Penrith. We'll refer to this as Ticket B.

When you go to drop your daughter off you can use the Out Portions of tickets A.

Then on your first Return leg alone you can use the Out portion of Ticket B.



For collecting your daughter you will then have the Return portion of Ticket B to travel to collect her, and once with your daughter you can both return using the left over Return Portions from Ticket A.

Hope that makes sense.

Ticket A - Penrith PNR - Crowthorne CRN 1 x Adult Off Peak Return Rte Via Banbury with FAM Railcard = £73.40.
1 x Child as above = £21.15

Ticket B - CRN - PNR Adult undiscounted Off Peak Return Rte Via Banbury = £111.20.

Total cost for the two trips is £205.75.

 

John @ home

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The good advice from kwvr45 and GadgetMan gives us the following flexible tickets:

Penrith to Crowthorne route + Via London
Off-Peak Return (on M-F valid by any train arriving Euston before 0430 or after 1019, return leg valid by any train leaving Euston before 0430 or after 0904)
Family & Friends Railcard
1 Adult (£68.60) + 1 Child (£19.75) = £88.35

Crowthorne to Penrith route + Via London
Off-Peak Return (on M-F valid by any train leaving Euston before 0430 or after 0904, return leg valid by any train arriving Euston before 0430 or after 1004)
No Railcard
1 Adult £103.90

Total £192.25

That's the starting point: the cheapest tickets you can get by going to the station booking office on the day and asking for through tickets for immediate travel.

There are a number of possibilities we can explore to try to reduce this further:
  • using Advance tickets which restrict you to one particular train. If you miss that train, the tickets have no value and you need to buy replacements.
  • using a combination of tickets rather than just one ticket between origin and destination.
  • travelling by a slower route can sometimes give cheaper fares.
In this instance, the alternative route (via Banbury instead of via London) is more expensive but may have more opportunities for using a combination of tickets.

To help us work out what would be best for you, can you please tell us the time you need to make each leg of the journeys?
 

reb0118

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As an aside, as you mentioned driving, I get roughly 400 miles from about £60 - 70 of petrol. On your figure of 300 miles for the journey x4 for the double round trip, that comes to 1'200 miles. That would cost me £180 - £210 in petrol costs alone, not to mention wear & tear on the car.

The costs for your car may be different esp if it a diesel. These costs should be taken into account before deciding which option to take.

As you are travelling this Friday there may not be any suitable Advance tickets left but there is no harm in looking - these come with automatic seat reservations. If the Advance option is only slightly less than the Off - Peak return fare then my advice would be to take the Off - Peak option as you will get greater flexibility - in any case get seat reservations (free to ticket holders) as Fridays can be very busy.

I do not know if you are coming straight back on the Friday or are staying over in Crowthorne [CRN] - but if you are travelling up on the Saturday then there is the Weekend First Upgrade option from London Euston [EUS] to Penrith [PNR] for £15 on the Virgin Trains service if you hold an Off - Peak ticket, just pay the guard on the train.
 

Solent&Wessex

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Ticket A - Penrith PNR - Crowthorne CRN 1 x Adult Off Peak Return Rte Via Banbury with FAM Railcard = £73.40.
1 x Child as above = £21.15

Ticket B - CRN - PNR Adult undiscounted Off Peak Return Rte Via Banbury = £111.20.

Total cost for the two trips is £205.75.


I gave the Rte Banbury fares in this case as that is the quicker route and may, if travelling with a Child, be easier than changing stations in London.

 

oddiesjack

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Is it not cheaper to take a second child with you, so you can use the family and friends discount in both directions? Surely you could "borrow" one of your daughter's friends, if you have only the one child.
 

John @ home

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Is it not cheaper to take a second child with you, so you can use the family and friends discount in both directions?
Not on this occasion, I think.
Surely you could "borrow" one of your daughter's friends, if you have only the one child.
Even if such a person is willing and available:
Cost with 1 Adult x2 & 1 Child x1
Let undiscounted Adult fare = 1.00
Then we have:
1 journey with Adult Railcard (0.66) + Child Railcard (0.19) = 0.85
1 journey with Adult without Railcard (1.00)
Total 1.85
Cost with 1 Adult x2 & 1 Child x2 & 1 Child x1
We have:
1 journey with Adult Railcard (0.66) + Child Railcard (0.19) = 0.85
1 journey with Adult Railcard (0.66) + 2x Child Railcard (0.38) = 1.04
Total 1.89
 

Sapphire Blue

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But the second child could be under 5 and travel free when the 1st child is on the train then be the discounted child (for the railcard) when the 9 year-old isn't.

That would make it 1.51 (I think)
 
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sarahmoo

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Wow! Thanks for all your replies. Just found them in my email inbox!

Well. Still not sorted completely. Probably booking the 7.19 am tomorrow morning from Penrith down with an open return f and friends. Then an open return at 16.44 from Crowthorne to Penrith. Works out about £200 I think.

I do have a spare child who is 10. I just didnt want to put him through a 10 hour train journey (he has Aspergers!) for no reason. Thanks for the thought tho!

One final query as you have all been so helpful. Things have got a little more complicated as I am having to make my adult return now on Thursday pm instead of Friday morning when the course finishes as I cannot get a train to arrive early enough to see the morning concert at 11 am. So more cost involved in booking a cheap Travelodge in Reading on Thursday!!!

And.....I have a dentist appointment in Manchester on the Thursday. Would it be feasible for me to travel from Penrith to Manchester using the open return, go to dentist, and then go on to Reading/Crowthorne?! (A long shot I think!) IF not I will drive to Manchester and then use ticket?

Phew!

Thanks in advance for your kind help again
 

John @ home

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I have a dentist appointment in Manchester on the Thursday. Would it be feasible for me to travel from Penrith to Manchester using the open return, go to dentist, and then go on to Reading/Crowthorne?
Yes, that's perfectly OK. Manchester is on a Permitted Route for a Penrith - Crowthorne journey and break of journey is always allowed on the return leg of an Off-Peak Return.

Good luck tomorrow and next week!
 

John @ home

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One late thought. What's the nearest railway station to your Manchester dentist? We may need to check whether you need a local ticket within Manchester.
 

sarahmoo

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It's Prestwich which is actually on the metro link. I guess I ll have to get a separate ticket?

Thanks!
 

John @ home

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It's Prestwich which is actually on the metro link. I guess I ll have to get a separate ticket?
Yes. Buy it from the ticket machine at Piccadilly Metrolink. A Piccadilly - Prestwich return is £5.10 until 0929 and £3.40 from 0930.
 
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