Leeds <> York

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by Starmill, 19 May 2015.

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  1. Starmill

    Starmill Established Member

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    For a long time, three train operating companies have run trains from Leeds to York, charging high walk-up fares for the distance between the two cities inter-available across them all. First TransPennine Express and CrossCountry are adept at the use of Advance tickets (although one a little more than the other!) to manage their revenue. Neither have seen fit, for years on end, to sell Advance tickets between Leeds and York - despite CrossCountry having been selling them between Leeds and Sheffield for years, TPE between Huddersfield and York or Leeds and Thirsk and the East Coast franchise having recently introduced them between Doncaster and Leeds and Doncaster and York. From the 17th May however, it would appear that all Blackpool North - York trains are 'faux-reservable' and AP NORTHERN ONLY fares between Leeds and York are now available at £3, £5 and £7. As far as I can see they haven't introduced any to anywhere but Garforth, Cross Gates and Leeds from York yet, and the only place I can find them from Blackpool to is Manchester Stations. Not having York to Manchester is really missing a trick.

    I for one am now pleased that there is a way to bridge this ridiculously expensive gap between counties. I wonder if it will call the others' bluff.

    I have to say it seems odd to focus on this though. I'm sure they know TPE have been jacking up the Leeds - York fares for years and trying to squeeze money out of people thus damaging the links between the two cities economies, but surely things like York - Burnley or Leeds - Preston are more like what people will be willing to book in advance for? I would much rather a reasonably priced day return existed, (like this one, maybe) but as the chances of that are almost zero, at least this offers a way to get around it.

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    Last edited: 19 May 2015
  2. Merseysider

    Merseysider Established Member Fares Advisor

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    This isn't the first time Northern have done this; they recently introduced £3/£4/£5 advances between Man Vic and Leeds, which, judging by their continued existence, has been successful. By introducing advances that severely undercut the walk-up fares, NT might still get more revenue than their share of the inter-available ticket.

    Leeds-York advances are long overdue so well done Northern for being proactive
     
  3. CaptainHaddock

    CaptainHaddock Member

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    Seems advance fares are also now available between Leeds and Preston/Blackpool, though annoyingly there appears to be no availability at weekends.
     
  4. yorksrob

    yorksrob Veteran Member

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    Nice idea.

    However, I think I would need to get £3 each way to make it worth the lack of flexibility.

    A quick scan of when I'm likely to need to be in York next month suggests this won't be the case, so the off-peak return will still probably win.
     
  5. hairyhandedfool

    hairyhandedfool Established Member

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    There are also some 'Northern Only' Advance fares between Manchester and Liverpool (and some intermediate stations).
     
  6. Merseysider

    Merseysider Established Member Fares Advisor

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    Hadn't noticed them - that's brilliant news for me! :D
     
  7. Starmill

    Starmill Established Member

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    i can't find any, only the TPE ones. For the record there's never any Sunday availability on the Caldervale line, nor trains before 9am.
     
  8. First class

    First class Established Member

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    There's no point TPE or XC introducing Advance tickets for Leeds-York, I find it incredible that you think it's expensive? £13.00 Off Peak Day Return is reasonable and is clearly priced at a level that the market can afford taking into account speed, frequency, and the alternative travel options won't be great.

    Northern have introduced Advance tickets because 1) They'll get next to no ORCATS revenue from Leeds to York Any Permitted walkup products and 2) They have lots of spare off peak capacity.

    TPE and XC won't introduce them because, 1) They get enough ORCATS revenue anyway, 2) They have a lack of available space, 3) They won't want short distance passengers being able to reserve seats, when it means the availability of other advance fares (for longer journeys), would then be affected.

    TPE/XC will win anyway, because people will buy these dirt cheap NT Only tickets, then try and use them on TPE/XC, and instead of being able to buy a CDR, will find themselves liable for an even more "expensive" undiscounted SDS instead.
     
  9. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Agreed. With £4 (£8 return) as a sensible maximum. The £5 (£10 return) are not worth it for the loss of flexibility. £7 (£14 return) is very poor value and I wouldn't touch them. Even if you only wanted to go one way, you'd pay less if you got the Coastliner and it doesn't take that much longer than the all-shacks Northern trains.

    It's not reasonable. Most people who wish to travel between York & Leeds drive. Even I - a non-car owning supporter of rail - will get a lift at any opportunity, and I have been known to take the Yorkshire Coastliner, which has a frequent service between the two cities.
    That's Northern's gain and TPE's loss.
    But that's likely to turn people against TPE/XC in future, as people will remember being chinged and not everyone is prepared to give repeat business to such a company.

    The idea that passengers can be treated badly and will always return to use the Company who treated them badly is almost unique to the rail industry. (I say "almost" because, of course, there are a small number of exceptions to the general rule).
     
  10. Starmill

    Starmill Established Member

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    Collector - £13 for an Off-Peak Day Return between two cities under 25 miles apart is outrageous. Perth to Stirling is slightly more than 30 miles, and it's £8.10. I'd say the sensible CDR fare is ~£7.50.
     
  11. crehld

    crehld Established Member Senior Fares Advisor

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    Well I for one am glad Northern have introduced this fare, and will be making use of it tomorrow!
     
  12. yorksrob

    yorksrob Veteran Member

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    Perhaps if Northern were to offer a cheaper off-peak, Northern only return, that would be handy and better suited to the length of journey.

    That said AP might be better suited to somewhat longer journeys such as Leeds - Lancaster.
     
  13. Merseysider

    Merseysider Established Member Fares Advisor

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    Then nobody would travel via Harrogate! :lol:
     
  14. yorksrob

    yorksrob Veteran Member

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    Ah, but the Harrogate route is a lot more picturesque, so you might still get the tourists !:lol:
     
  15. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    The via Harrogate fares are a bit pointless, I doubt more than a handful of people bother with them. It still costs far more than the Coastliner, is far less frequent, and slower!

    Fortunately some of us know how to get York <> Leeds down to a moderately acceptable level but I don't want to publicise it for obvious reasons.

    I wonder if Northern will get complaints that their trains are advertised as being reservable but actually aren't?
     
  16. 34D

    34D Established Member

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    Don't forget that the previous 'loophole ticket' had its easement removed during last year :(
     
  17. Starmill

    Starmill Established Member

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    A fine coincidence ;)
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    They aren't pointless, they're there for people travelling between Burley Park, Headingley and Horsforth and places east of Harrogate, including York. In those cases, they DO make a significant difference. I don't think anyone in good sense would travel from Leeds to York via Harrogate for the purpose of an efficient journey.

    Northern couldn't really reduce the Leeds to York 'Via Harrogate' fare, or introduce a 'Northern Only' walk-up at less than that because it would start to undercut the fare to places on the Harrogate line. Having said that, there again is a solution which they did a few years ago on the Mid-Cheshire line: reduce the fares from places on the Harrogate line to York, as Leeds is the more popular destination than York just as Manchester the more popular destination than Chester. That would then allow the Via Harrogate to go down too, but I suspect they feel enough people currently pay the (not cheap!) Harrogate - York fares, it's not going to come out revenue positive.
     
  18. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Yes, I didn't quite word that right.

    It's a bit pointless for a York to Leeds via: Harrogate ticket to be purchased, for a York to Leeds journey.

    I agree it's a bit different if travelling from or to stations on the Harrogate line itself.
     
  19. Merseysider

    Merseysider Established Member Fares Advisor

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    There are however quite a lot of useless fares on that line. For example, the more expensive Any Permitted fares for Burley Park to Cattal offer no additional validity to the cheaper Via Harrogate fares, due to the common routeing points meaning via Harrogate is the only permitted route.
     
  20. yorksrob

    yorksrob Veteran Member

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    Given that the express operators have become lazy in terms of Leeds - York, allowing it to become overpriced, if Northern were to set the via Harrogate price at about two thirds the cost of the any permitted ticket, they could probably poach some revenue off their competitors.
     
  21. strowger

    strowger Member

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    Your 1) is probably wrong. Although none of us know exactly exactly how ORCATS works, the Northern service (to Blackpool) is returned by booking engines for a "Leeds-York" search, as it's not overtaken between Leeds and York, so is the "quickest" option for a few minutes every hour.

    I agree that it's pretty quiet off-peak.
     
  22. First class

    First class Established Member

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    I do know the exact ORCATS split thanks. I also know exacty how it works, cheers.

    Northern get next to nothing on Any Permitted tickets.
     
  23. Arctic Troll

    Arctic Troll Established Member

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    It depends what you're comparing the price with.

    An anytime day return at £16 is nearly a fiver cheaper than an anytime day return from Hemel to Euston, for roughly the same distance.
     
  24. 158801

    158801 Member

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    Are you implying that by TPE / XC merely charging someone for having an invalid ticket that they are being treat badly ?

    If someone boards a XC train with a Northern Advance what should the Train Manager do ?
     
  25. crehld

    crehld Established Member Senior Fares Advisor

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    I think yorkie is saying passengers in those situations will perceive themselves to have been treated badly (not whether they actually have been treated badly) and that perception will affect their decision to use those companies in the future.
     
  26. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    A Day Return on Coastliner is £6.30 and takes 1 hour, with buses every 20 minutes.

    This compares favourably with the ludicrous fares charged by the rail industry, the equivalent ticket cost is £16.70 (or £13.00 off peak)

    via Harrogate takes longer than the bus, and only runs hourly, so if you only knocked 1/3 off those high fares, still no-one would bother!

    Northern should price a Northern Only Day Return ticket at £6-£8 return to be truly competitive.

    But the rail industry isn't truly run as a public service, so the prices will never be truly competitive, so there won't be any change to the fact that most people will continue to do the journey by car.
     
  27. strowger

    strowger Member

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    In that case, why no flexible Northern-only fares?
     
  28. Deerfold

    Deerfold Established Member

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    Although having made that mistake already, they're likely to just hold a grudge against "the railway".
     
  29. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    You're right, some people will hold a grudge against the entire rail industry, while others may just hold a grudge against the relevant operator.

    Either way, the rail industry needs to move to a system of harmonising the excess fare charges so that passengers are no worse off than if they had a geographical route restricted ticket. But of course this is really a debate for another thread (and the case for that has been made many times before, there is no really good reason why it can't be done, given that the original revenue for route restricted tickets is apparently not re-allocated anyway!)
     
  30. yorksrob

    yorksrob Veteran Member

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    Off-peak return is £13, so at a third off, you would get down to just over eight pounds. I expect you still might get some of those who prefer not to use buses/don't fancy the trek to the bus stop etc.
     
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