MAN airport - Chester. Permitted routes?

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by Holly, 12 May 2015.

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  1. Holly

    Holly Member

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    Please can someone tell me the permitted routes if one buys a single at Manchester airport headed to Chester?

    Options seems to be (unless I have overlooked something):
    1. via Styal and Crewe
    2. via Earlestown and Warrington Bank Quay
    3. via Liverpool and Hooton
    4. via Stockport and Crewe
    5. via Stockport and Northwich
    6. via Warrington Central (hard to see why anyone would want to)
    7. any more?

    Last time a friend flew into Manchester from USA and asked for advice she got conflicting statements from ticket office and ticket collector.
     
  2. Y Ddraig Coch

    Y Ddraig Coch Member

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    3. via Liverpool and Hooton??

    Is this a permitted route form the airport? It's very much around the houses and I doubt it is permitted.
     
  3. LNW-GW Joint

    LNW-GW Joint Established Member

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    Tickets are either VIA CREWE (lower fare) or ANY PERMITTED (higher fare).
    The only single fares are SDS (anytime day single) fares at £18.80 and £22.20 respectively.
    The AP fare certainly covers travel via Manchester, so that would cover Warrington and Northwich too, as well as Crewe
    Liverpool is not valid, but NRE actually offers this route at a lower fare (2 tickets totalling £21.70) than the AP, because that is the sum of the SDS fares from MIA to LIV (£14.90) and LIV to CTR (£6.80).
    Crazy or what? That is official split ticketing when you think about it.
    Actually you can do better than that after 0930 because the Merseyrail Day Saver is only £4.90!
    And if you buy a Cheshire Day Ranger at £22.50 you can cover all the routes you mention, including Liverpool and more besides (eg via Stoke), for just 30p more than the AP SDS.
    The Ranger is not valid before 0845 Mon-Fri.
    Return tickets are £20.40/£22.90 (off peak day returns), or £22.20/£26.00 (monthly returns).
     
    Last edited: 12 May 2015
  4. Holly

    Holly Member

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    So the cheapest/easiest option is buy a single MAN-LIV at the airport and a ticket (may or may not be after 09:30 pursuant to a transatlantic arrival at MAN) LIV-CTR from the booking office at Lime Street?

    Good, a case where dealing with humans is cheaper than dealing with computers.
     
  5. Y Ddraig Coch

    Y Ddraig Coch Member

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    Cheapest, yes, easiest I'm not so sure. If your friend is coming off a transatlantic flight with a lot of luggage via Liverpool

    1/ Involves a longer journey time, after a long flight already.
    2/ Involves carrying said luggage to the lower level at Lime Street either down a number of escalators or via a lift.

    I would be inclined to change at Piccadilly which can sometimes be a same platform change on platform 14 and the journey time usually a lot less.

    It depends on their priorities I suppose of ease of journey and time versus cost.
     
  6. Holly

    Holly Member

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    I meant easiest in the sense of a foreign tourist, being unfamiliar with the system, boarding a wrong train or alighting at the wrong place and then being accused of being a common criminal for having made an honest mistake.
    Buying a ticket to Liverpool and then boarding a train to Liverpool and riding it to the end. And then buying a ticket to Chester and boarding a train to Chester and riding it to the end is pretty safe and not confusing, even if it takes a little longer.
    It's not like you can ask a friendly station porter for information any more. Totally different for railway experts of course.
     
    Last edited: 12 May 2015
  7. LNW-GW Joint

    LNW-GW Joint Established Member

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    In that case the best bet is to go by one of the following routes and buy the appropriate ticket at the ticket office ("via Crewe" or "via Manchester").
    For most of the day there are two services every hour:
    xx10 from the Airport to Crewe arr xx45, dep xx23 gets you to Chester at xx46 (1h36m).
    It usually arrives in platform 1 at Crewe and you have a 38 minute connection to walk across the bridge (stairs/lift) to platform 9.
    There is also a chance of catching the earlier xx49 Virgin service to Chester and saving half an hour, but not guaranteed.
    xx25 from the Airport to Blackpool gets you to Chester at xx53 (1h24m), with a same-platform 5-minute change at Manchester Piccadilly (arr xx48, dep xx53) no need to move, just get on the following ATW Llandudno train).

    There's a through ATW train from the Airport at 0533 (Chester arr 0649) but that probably won't be any use.
    I'd ignore alternative routes, even if they are a bit cheaper.
    They involve stopping trains and (usually) poor-quality interiors.
    We don't want a foreigner's first experience of British trains to be a Pacer!
    The Northwich route also involves passing close by the airport about an hour after you left it heading for Manchester!
    And don't get the tram, it is very slow ;)

    Another factor for a newbie is how to reach the Airport rail station ("The Station").
    Access from Terminal 2 is fairly easy, but I find access from T1/T3 indirect, confusing and poorly signed.
    Even when you reach The Station it's not exactly intuitive how to find the ticket office and the trains.
     
    Last edited: 12 May 2015
  8. Holly

    Holly Member

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    Thank you for the detailed response. 8-)
     
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