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Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by Furrball, 2 Jan 2020.
Expect to see a change in the restriction code very shortly
I'm sure there's a pricing manager somewhere right now having a meltdown at the possible implications
1. When doing work trips to London I often book an Advance for the outbound journey (cos I know when I need to get to London by) and a flexible Single for the journey back (so I can get the first available train once I get back to Kings Cross). Having a single at half the price of a return facilitates this. Also, a peak single one way and an off-peak single the other way saves money over a peak return.
2. Is there an industry perception that people use the return portions of period returns more than once over the month of the ticket's validity? Don't get checked on the way home, so next week just buy a single. This could be the driver to get rid of period returns.
Well, not really. With single tickets there's no need to buy your return leg in advance, just buy it on the day when you know you want it. It also means you can return over a month later.
The only thing it removes is break of journey over multiple days, which I would say hardly anybody knows is possible, let alone does.
Just buy your return leg single when you're travelling. No need to buy it in advance any more.
Yes, and of course it does happen, the unknown is how much, but getting rid of period returns would instantly stop it.
However, if you book a journey originating with another TOC, you still can get a normal return at the same price, which just makes this pointless
To be fair, they've baked a very, very similar inconsistencies into their own fares structure for a rather long time as it is.
They've even set some of their own +Any Permitted SVRs with 2T restrictions, for years.
Well, that's the spin politicians would like you to take. In reality, it's nowhere near the revolution being claimed. People don't, on the whole, make single journeys - they do go back to where they started from.
It's a trial. Overall it's possible the advantages of only having singles outweigh the disadvantage. (Multiple day break of journey is the only one I've read, hence the singular)
If it's successful, who knows perhaps one January in the future returns could disappear.
Quite, hence the wink
On the other hand the reason that I used the train for my last trip to Scotland was that there was food, drink and a toilet on board so there was no need to break my journey, which I would have done several times in the car.
Of course it's unusual to do a multi day break of journey without knowing before you start so you could just split to do this. Might even save money!
If singles were valid two days it would encompass almost all BoJ requirements.
The thing that really needs safeguarding is same day breaks.
No need for the period return. You just but the single when you’ve formed up your return date, it could even be purchased at the station before boarding for the same price as it’s a walk on ticket.
Also pricing as singles works if you want to stay away for more than a month.
The only downside I can see is loss of overnight break of journey.
One other downside of single fares I’ve thought of is less delay repay for a 2+ hour delay.
That's a fair point; someone should contact Northern and DfT to ask if this was considered and if they will be paying less Delay Repay for a customer who purchases 2 x Singles for a journey from (say) London to Leeds than to a passenger paying exactly the same price for (say) Kentish Town to Headingley.
If they confirm they are paying less, and have considered this, then this is good evidence of wrongdoing and an attempt to reduce customer rights.
If they say they are going to pay less but never considered this, then it demonstrates a lack of adequate competence and safeguards in place.
If they say they are going to pay for return journeys which comprise 2 x single tickets in the same way that they would for the holder of a return, that is a good result.
GNER even but don't let that spoil other peoples outrage.
On many flows priced by Great Western, singles have for some years been about 60% of the price of returns, so there is a precedent for doing almost as you suggest.
With the inherent disadvantages of Advances (being tied to a particular train, have to wait for a train of the right TOC if your train is delayed, may not be any worthwhile Advances available anyway)
If few people do it, it might be because they don't know they can.
Or cost quite a lot more (I can't remember the details, but I think this was the case for the example of Oxford-Stirling and back with a break in Sheffield on the return journey that I looked up when this subject came up before).
I'm not convinced by this.
That is indeed important.
Indeed, and I'm convinced only enthusiasts make use of it.
Absolutely. I had no idea it was possible until I read it was on this site. I planned a journey once which would have used it, but didn't undertake it in the end.
I wonder how many TOCs use ticket stamps with date stamps, and if any guards bother looking at it. I'm curious about how ticket barriers and e-tickets handle it too.
It's all very well people saying just buy another single to come home, but there is something to be said about having the ticket already, return leg valid for a month and just being able to get on the train.
Single leg pricing, at 50% of the cost of the return, should also be introduced on flows that only have Day Returns available (not period). That would be much fairer to those only going one way or coming back a different day, currently having to pay twice as much.
East Coast definitely offered them (only via their website and not on the day of travel) but there was no requirement to purchase it at the same time as an Advance in the opposite direction.
This is one of those situations where ITSO (if properly implemented) would be really useful. You would be able to but your Advance and a Super Off-Peak Single, the latter being activated on-demand without having to specify a date at the point of purchase.
I agree that both options should exist, but when I do a long drive the key reasons to stop are, toilet stops, to eat/drink, and maybe stretch my legs or rest.
All of these things can, or should, be possible on a train without needing to get off. As such, breaking a journey is pretty rare for me on a long journey.
Yes there was until the Worldine Webtis was replaced under VTEC. Where on earth would you have your Advance reservation with an ITSO ticket???? Barcode based tickets are much better for Intercity journeys.
This is nothing new - half-price flexible single tickets have been available for many years when purchased as part of a return journey. VTEC/LNER offered it for a long time even for one-way journeys.
Whilst you are correct that most passengers on shorter journeys do not break their journey overnight, it is more common for long journeys of the type where you might stop off to visit friends, relatives or attractions along your journey. Your assertion that only enthusiasts do this is simply not true; a number of my relatives make journeys of this type each year.
Why should the current right of passengers to do this be denied because the industry is unable or unwilling to take the required measures to prevent misuse/reuse of tickets? At the end of the day this is about the industry reducing rights because they're inconvenient to them, with the blessing of the Government. What a way to treat your paying customers.
It's clearly not going to be common. Out of interest, do you know how your relatives learned it was possible? Did they already know or did they discover it from you?
It's not, as far as I'm aware, something that's ever been advertised. Until I read it on this forum I believed break of journey was only on the day travel commenced unless the journey couldn't be completed in the same day. I was incorrect (has the definition ever changed?) but I doubt I'm alone.
I don't doubt that there's a lot of myths floating around. But it seems pretty obvious to me that if you have an "open return" (and this is still the term used by many even more than a decade after these tickets were abolished) then you can use it on any train between the start and the end station.
Most people wouldn't know what permitted routes are, but let's say you had a ticket from London to Edinburgh, it would be fairly obvious to most people that with an open ticket you can stop off in York if you liked.
I disagree. With something like an Exeter to Edinburgh return I could spend a month travelling around the country. I really don't think most people would expect that's what an open ticket means. Excellent that it does, but surely a quirk of "return valid for a month" in combination with "break of journey permitted" rather than originally intended. Otherwise why is the outward portion also not valid on multiple days if break of journey is allowed?
It's a loophole. An attractive one, and one I'd like to take advantage of, but a loophole nonetheless.
Can the machines at Kings Cross issue out and back tickets to Edinburgh in one transaction now, assuming you know your return date, or do you have to buy your return ticket in Edinburgh (which would not be simpler?).
I can see a couple of drawbacks with only buying a ticket at the last minute. If there's a group of you travelling, you may not be able to reserve seats together. If you would normally book assistance with your journey, you are asked to give 24 hours' notice for this.
If you're booking a journey to connect with a flight, you may wish to do both things. If your 'plane is late, you may miss your train, and may not even be able to catch a train on the same day as it.
I've never tried using a super off peak single to catch a train from the ticket's origin on the day after the one written on the ticket, but I know some people here say it's not allowed.
Have you spoken to anyone who shared your belief about break of journey? I can understand someone believing that you can't break your journey at all (an overnight stop where you can't complete your journey that day is not a break of journey, of course), because that's more or less how web sites plan journeys. A belief that you can break your journey as much as you like on the first day of travel, but not any other day, isn't something I've come across before now.
Incidentally, I would describe any journey where you don't return to your starting point on the same day as "not common", simply because commuting is such a large part of the rail market. But then, I don't think not being common is a sufficient reason to significantly increase the cost of travel by train for people who do that.
I don't think it's something the people behind this pilot would want, either. The ultimate aim could be to make all tickets single ones, so someone going to two different places would buy a ticket from the start to the first, from the first to the second, and from the second back to the start, and wouldn't have to care about whether or not the RDG feels one station lies between the other two. Making this sort of journey more expensive in the interim doesn't help with this.
I don't understand what you are saying and can only assume you have made a misunderstanding. There is no "loophole" in allowing an overnight break of journey.