Leicester - Barnstaple fared doubled?

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Shutey

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For 20 years I have travelled from Leicester to Barnstaple via Birmingham and returned 1-2 weeks later. The last time was 15/12/11. I always catch the 6:43 or 7:10am train from Leicester to connect with the 8:12am from Birmingham to Exeter. In December 2011 the return fare was about £102. Network Rail now say the same journey will cost me £211!

They are saying if I catch a later train (9:43am) it will cost £106 travelling off-peak. This was never the case previously.

Is anyone able to tell me if the off-peak rules/times for my journey have changed since December 2011 and/or where I might find more information.
 
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Failed Unit

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Yes - it is the great XC robbery. They changed it so all of peak fares the set are now invalid before 0930 forcing people to buy the expensive anytime. It may be cheaper now for you to travel via London. Others on here will probably tell you of non-xc set fares you can use to make it cheaper.

The xc robbery started in January.
 

SS4

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iirc XC fares changed to a blanket 2V (not valid before 0930) in January. It's quite hard to find a fare that is not priced by XC on this route.

Splitting at Cheltenham Spa may work

LEI - BHM = £61 SOR

BHM - CNM = £33.50 SOR
LEI - BHM = £17.20 SDR (n.b this is only a day return)

Leicester - Birmingham is £33.50 for an Anytime Return


Cheltenham Spa - Barnstaple is £49.90 for an off peak return and has code GJ

Code:
OFF-PEAK TICKETS: WEST OF
ENGLAND TO/FROM WORCESTER/
MALVERN/NORTH COTSWOLDS AREA

Available as listed below
MONDAYS-FRIDAYS (By any train
on Saturdays, Sundays and
Bank Holidays). Tickets are
valid on services timed to
depart at or later than the
times shown. This applies to
both outward and return travel

From
Bristol Temple Meads  0833
Filton Abbey Wood     0833
Bristol Parkway       0833
Yate                  0833
Cam and Dursley       0833
Gloucester            0833
[B]Cheltenham Spa        0825[/B]
Ashchurch             0833
Worcester Shrub Hill  0833

The 0812 from New St departs Cheltenham Spa at 0852 so this ticket would be valid



Key:
LEI = Leicester
CNM = Cheltenham Spa
BHM = Birmingham New Street
 

323235

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Yes - it is the great XC robbery. They changed it so all of peak fares the set are now invalid before 0930 forcing people to buy the expensive anytime. It may be cheaper now for you to travel via London. Others on here will probably tell you of non-xc set fares you can use to make it cheaper.

The xc robbery started in January.

Not all XC restrictions have changed, I know of at least two flow set by them that still allow travel before 0930 on a SVR.
 

Paul Kelly

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Yes, there do indeed seem to be a few that they have forgotten about. Probably best not to tell them which ones though!
 

paddy1

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For 20 years I have travelled from Leicester to Barnstaple via Birmingham and returned 1-2 weeks later. The last time was 15/12/11. I always catch the 6:43 or 7:10am train from Leicester to connect with the 8:12am from Birmingham to Exeter. In December 2011 the return fare was about £102. Network Rail now say the same journey will cost me £211!

They are saying if I catch a later train (9:43am) it will cost £106 travelling off-peak. This was never the case previously.

Is anyone able to tell me if the off-peak rules/times for my journey have changed since December 2011 and/or where I might find more information.

You could always try booking Megatrain fares from Leicester to London St Pancras and from London Waterloo to Exeter Central or St David's. Fares start from £1.00 single (plus £0.50 booking fee per booking) and a wide range of departures are available. These fares are not generally available on a Sunday and limited on a Friday and at peak holiday times. No seat reservations are available, but as these tickets are only ever offered on lightly loaded trains, there should never a problem in geting a decent seat.

The website is megabus.com and you select the train option on the appropriate drop down menu for each city pair.

Fares go on sale 45 days ahead of departure, so it does mean that you would not be able to book outward and return at the same time (unless you are returning the same day) as by the time the returns go on sale, the cheapest outward fares will have increased well above the £1.00 lead in fare, of which only a few are ever available at this price. I am usually standing by my computer at 0001 hrs on the day they go on sale to ensure I bag a £1.00 fare.

You would need to allow reasonable time to cross between stations in London when selecting which services you travel on out and back.

In addition, there is the tube fare (£4.00+ at present) or bus fare each way (which is considerably cheaper than tube) across Central London to factor in, as well as the off peak return fare of £13.70 between Exeter and Barnstaple, but you will still be quids in overall compared to the quoted through XC fare of £106.00 or £211.00 return.
 

calc7

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Yes, there do indeed seem to be a few that they have forgotten about. Probably best not to tell them which ones though!

I trust I am giving nothing away when I say it would be very easy for the XC Pricing Manager to run a simple query of the fares basket versus restriction code...
 

38Cto15E

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shutey
If you are finding EMT fares too high via London, have a look at returning via Euston and Nuneaton.
FGW usually have some reasonable fares from Paddington to the west.
 

bb21

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For 20 years I have travelled from Leicester to Barnstaple via Birmingham and returned 1-2 weeks later. The last time was 15/12/11. I always catch the 6:43 or 7:10am train from Leicester to connect with the 8:12am from Birmingham to Exeter. In December 2011 the return fare was about £102. Network Rail now say the same journey will cost me £211!

They are saying if I catch a later train (9:43am) it will cost £106 travelling off-peak. This was never the case previously.

Is anyone able to tell me if the off-peak rules/times for my journey have changed since December 2011 and/or where I might find more information.

There are a number of options you may explore in order not to be ripped off by CrossCountry, whose onboard staff are generally very pleasant and helpful however is more than a little "evil" as a company.

Are you willing to travel via a more convoluted journey for a decent saving? Is there a target arrival time for you?
 

45104

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XC Price the flows.... another example is 08:43 (an OFF PEAK service ) from Barnstaple to Manchester is quoted SOR on journey planner, even though the first C/country train your on is the 10:23 from Exeter St Davids !
 

bb21

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XC Price the flows.... another example is 08:43 (an OFF PEAK service ) from Barnstaple to Manchester is quoted SOR on journey planner, even though the first C/country train your on is the 10:23 from Exeter St Davids !

It is correct to quote the Anytime Return fare as the Off-Peak Return is not valid until 0930. The fact that the first leg is not on CrossCoutry is irrelevant.

There is no such concept as an off-peak service. Different flows have different restrictions.
 

LexyBoy

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What I love about this is that XC's blanket 2V restriction results in such enormous price increases that people who would not normally consider buying anything other than the obvious ticket start looking at splits of their own initiative.

Previously: £100 return - "oh well, it's pricey but it has to be done" *pays up*
Now: £250 - "what!??! That's ridiculous... how much is it if I drive to Nearbyton? Only £80? Wow... And how much is the ticket to Nearbyton... £10? Hmm... wonder if I can save any more..." *Buys split tickets costing no more than £100*
Result: Passenger saves and XC get much less revenue than they would from the through Off Peak Return, as more will go to local operators in many cases.

(Obviously, some people still get screwed.)
 
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