Manchester to London

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by stew, 9 Sep 2018.

  1. stew

    stew Member

    29 Oct 2007
    Looking for some advice on ticketing and possible options.......

    I've been offered a new job in London (currently living in Manchester) but could work from home 3 days a week and London twice a week.

    My plan is
    - to travel MAN to EUS on a Monday morning (pre 0700), travel to London Bridge by tube.
    - in the evening travel from Liverpool St / Tottenham Hale to Stansted Airport / Mountfitchet for accommodation.
    - on Tuesday morning travel from Stansted back to London Bridge
    - on Tuesday evening travel from EUS to MAN

    I understand the amount of travel time, but just looking for pointers on getting the correct tickets.

    I've looked at advances (£88 MAN-EUS peak am / £43 EUS-MAN off peak single), singles / returns (LST-Stansted Airport) and a whole host of other tickets.

    Any suggestions would be most welcome!!!
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  3. ForTheLoveOf

    ForTheLoveOf Established Member

    7 Oct 2017
    Well, it depends on what your definition of "correct" is!

    That route is very poor in terms of the cost of a straight-up non-split Anytime ticket (£338 return!), and whilst the Off-Peak Return is a more reasonable £87.90 it carries very heavy restrictions, which are pretty close to the most restrictive Virgin are allowed to implement under fares regulations. So obviously at the very least on your outward journey you would need an Anytime ticket if getting a non-split walk-up ticket. You would only be able to use the corresponding Off-Peak ticket after 18:44.

    However, Advances are available even on many "peak-time" services and if you are willing to fix yourself to a specific train then this may be a worthwhile option. The difficulty is just that, whilst a monthly season ticket works out as only slightly more than the cost of one Anytime Return a week (£373.70 on a weekly basis), (or an annual is equivalent to £287.46 on a weekly basis), all this is rather expensive and not really worthwhile your time if you're only making one return journey a week.

    There are alternative, cheaper tickets which you could use to make your journey - and those who commute from Manchester to London are probably aware of them (and I don't intend to point them out here on the public forum!). But ultimately unless you, say, got a year's worth of these kinds of walk-up tickets, or an annual season ticket, you have the risk that you might have to pay more for travel in the future if the "anomaly" is closed.

    To be honest, I don't even think the travel time would be your main concern here - 2 and a bit hours from Manchester to London (assuming you live near Piccadilly), plus the Underground, is not an impossible commute by any means when done once a week. But the cost is something that is difficult to overlook, and if you were to go for an Anytime Return a week for example you would be spending £16000 a year (assuming 4 weeks' holiday) - and at that point not only is an annual season ticket cheaper, but you are into the territory of being able to afford to live in London in a small flat for the working week and to then commute back to Manchester (at Off-Peak prices) every weekend. Obviously that may not be attractive to you depending on any family or relatives etc. you may have in Manchester but it is something I think you should seriously consider.

    The travel to Stansted is also not cheap when bought as a walk-up ticket but there the differential between a walk-up ticket and a season is much greater do I don't think the season is worth considering. If anything, you'll want to get Stansted Express Advances, which I understand are a flat £10. Alternatively Advances are available for travel from stations towards to Manchester, so for example you could get one from Rugby or Milton Keynes in principal - but this is unlikely to be suitable for your travel as it falls over several days and you can't really buy an Advance with that kind of booking.

    It's a difficult one and personally I would be considering whether this job is compensating me properly for the considerable inconvenience and additional cost I'd be undergoing. If they are very interested in you then they may be prepared to make a contribution towards your costs. If not it's worth thinking about where your priorities lie.
  4. bb21

    bb21 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    4 Feb 2010
    Travelling to London Sunday night if you can + one night's accommodation may well be cheaper. Plenty of cheap places on Sundays.

    Why Stansted though? Does that come with the job in some way?
  5. easyken

    easyken Member

    19 May 2011
    You'll need to be on the ball to get those advances - but it's definitely possible to get them if you're organised.

    Have you considered flying? It's a bit more hassle, but I find it much cheaper than the train for peak time MAN-LON travel.
  6. robbeech

    robbeech Established Member

    11 Nov 2015
    as bb21 says, if you could travel Sunday evening and get accommodation that evening and you were happy to travel just after the evening peak on Tuesday evening then you could cut costs (over a walk up ticket) by a considerable amount even taking an extra nights accommodation into it.
    There are many £250 hotels in fairly central London that are generally less than £100 on a Sunday evening. Some even have leisure facilities.

    As an example, the walk up anytime fare is £338.

    If you went on a train Sunday evening and got the 1900 back on Tuesday evening it would be £86.90. You’d be advised to book a seat on the 1900.

    The grange Hotel Tower Bridge (2 or 3 minutes walk from Aldgate / Aldgate East if you get on the circle / met at Euston Square is £91.96 this Sunday. You get a continental breakfast that’s very good, there’s a swimming pool / sauna / gym etc. And there’s a Wetherspoons a couple of doors down if you didn’t want to pay the naturally high bar prices before bed.

    This saves over £200 from the walk up fare but of course is not worth it if you have family back in Manchester that you are wanting to spend the maximum amount of time with.
    Last edited: 13 Sep 2018
  7. PeterC

    PeterC Established Member

    29 Sep 2014
    I have worked with people who did this sort of commute for a full week. All travelled Sunday and Friday evenings at cheaper rates and spent 5 nights in London.
  8. parkender102

    parkender102 Member

    21 Dec 2010
    Using next Monday Morning as an example and using Split Tickets you can do Piccadilly to Euston for £36.50 leaving Piccadilly at 06:00 and arriving Euston 09:37. Anytime Day Single to Crewe £14.00 and Crewe to London Euston Advance Single £22.50 - as long as you don't mind a slower journey with West Midlands Railway and London Northwestern Railway services.

    Tuesday to Friday during the Manchester Peak - London Euston to Manchester Piccadilly £25.50. Depart 16:46 arrive Manchester Piccadilly 19:49

    London Euston to Stoke-on-Trent Advance Single (C2S) £17.50
    Stoke-on-Trent to Manchester Stations Advance Single (MAS) £8.00
    Again assuming you don't mind the slower options.

    The beauty with these fares are no Peak Restrictions so you can come home within the 15:01 - 18:44 Manchester Peak Time.
    Last edited: 14 Sep 2018
  9. BluePenguin

    BluePenguin On Moderation

    26 Sep 2016
    I was going to post the same as the member above. You can get some extremely cheap prices (including open returns) if you don't mind getting the slow service from Crew/Service to London which adds only an hour to the journey time.

    Getting the tube at peak time is never a pleasurable experience. If you don't mind walking down the road from Euston to St Pancras you can get a more comfortable Thameslink train to London Bridge from there.

    There are plenty of easyHotels dotted about which are as cheap as £20-£30 on a Sunday night. There is one in East Croydon which is very easily accessible from London Bridge
  10. telstarbox

    telstarbox Established Member

    23 Jul 2010
    Wennington Crossovers
    Can you elaborate on the Stansted bit? From London Bridge you can get to several areas which are relatively good value for accommodation with a 10-20 minute journey.
  11. Clip

    Clip On Moderation

    28 Jun 2010
    yeah you can get a premier inn in croydon from 49 no doubt theres plenty of that around london too or even Easyhotel
  12. stew

    stew Member

    29 Oct 2007
    yep, the Stansted part is "free" accommodation/food with relatives
  13. stew

    stew Member

    29 Oct 2007
    My immediate family are in the Manchester area hence wanting to spend as little time in London as possible.
    I will only need 2 days in the London office.

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