Milton Keynes Central to Chester Off Peak

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by HLE 13, 28 Apr 2015.

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  1. HLE 13

    HLE 13 Established Member

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    Just for clarification I have been given the answer by Virgin Trains however the answer makes no sense to me so I'm interested in knowing if there's a reason behind it.

    Basically I'm looking at a potential trip within the next 8 weeks on a weekday travelling from MKC to CTR for a day trip, I like to travel on a Off Peak ticket if possible as it's a lot cheaper then a Any Time ticket.

    Would like to be travelling on the 08:43 VT to Chester from Milton Keynes however the restriction says and I quote:

    OFF-PEAK R
    SVR Route
    ANY PERMITTED Validity
    AS ADVERTISED
    Restrictions
    9I IWC OFF-PEAK
    Adult £65.70
    Child £32.85
    Outward: NO DEP FROM LDN EUS PRE 0926 OR 1501-1844 M-F
    Return: NO ARR IN LDN EUS PRE 1130 M-F
    Fare Setter: VIRGIN WEST COAST

    So as I'm hoping to get the train from Milton Keynes Central why then does the restriction apply to me as its in the counter flow going away from London in the morning peak and I'm not boarding in London.

    Been told as the train itself leaves London before 09:26, I can't board it which makes no sense surely it's not when the train leaves London but rather where you actually board such a service?
     
  2. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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  3. Starmill

    Starmill Established Member

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    The authoritative source for this is nationalrail.co.uk/9I

    Outward Travel
    ...
    Not valid on trains timed to depart:
    ...
    Milton Keynes Central after 04:29 and before 09:51;

    :(
     
  4. HLE 13

    HLE 13 Established Member

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    Any idea why VT has the restriction? I can understand from London but are services from MKC that busy going away from London they need it?
     
  5. Merseysider

    Merseysider Established Member Fares Advisor

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    People would just split at MKC, avoiding peak fares for the whole journey and thereby robbing VT of 50% upwards of their precious overpriced revenue.

    For example:
    Anytime Return London -> Manchester = £329.
    Anytime Return London -> Crewe = £253.
    Apparently Crewe to Manchester is worth £76.

    Anytime Return London -> Crewe = £253.
    Anytime Return MKC -> Crewe = £167.
    Apparently London to MKC is worth £86.

    The differences in price are even more pronounced when part of the journey is off peak. So Virgin like to restrict tickets as much as possible* to get as many idiots as possible paying full whack.

    *Such as them slapping MKC northbound tickets with illegal afternoon peak restrictions a while ago
     
  6. gazthomas

    gazthomas Established Member

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    Buy a Shotton ticket and Shotton to Chester to get through the gates. Sorry, I've had a beer.
     
  7. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    It isn't valid to Shotton either; they introduced restrictions (albeit less stringent) to avoid that exact tactic.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    It wouldn't surprise me if that was "solved" at the next franchise change.

    FWIW, when they did introduce them they were stricter than from London, which was probably one thing that brought on complaints. There were trains that were off peak from London but not MKC.
     
  8. Merseysider

    Merseysider Established Member Fares Advisor

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    Oh aye, we need to make ticketing more 'simple' and 'fair' and the best way to do that is to make all the lax restrictions one helluva lot stricter. After all, passengers need to know where they stand ;)
     
  9. kieron

    kieron Established Member

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    Two things I can think of at the moment:

    You can buy a peak ticket one way and an off peak one the other to make it a bit more affordable.
    All Virgin's Chester trains stop in Crewe.

    Taking these together, the following ticket combination would be valid:
    Anytime single Milton Keynes Central - Crewe £83.50
    Anytime day return Crewe - Wrexham Central £11.80
    Off peak single Crewe-Milton Keynes Central £28.50
    Total: £123.80

    You would have to buy both of tickets between Milton Keynes and Crewe at the same time on a web site which uses TTL as its journey planner (such as Virgin's own site) to buy an off peak single at that price. There are no afternoon restrictions on it.

    This is still almost twice the cost of an off peak return, and there's bound to be a cheaper way to make the journey.
     
  10. Merseysider

    Merseysider Established Member Fares Advisor

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    There's always a cheaper way to make any journey priced by Virgin ;)

    Without delving into 19c splits or loopholes though, the ticket combination outlined above is probably your best bet.
     
  11. evotista

    evotista Member

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    I would've thought the only sensible way here is to take the "hit" of booking Advance tickets and being tied into specific trains...for example

    LM only fares from MKC to Crewe for £7 at both 07:2X and 09:2X departures most days , single then to Chester...due to low levels of MKC to CTR Adv availability in the morning.

    VT only Adv fares back mid afternoon on a midweek can be had for easily £10/£12.50 on many a weekday.


    Potentially you can do the trip for £30ish or less maybe.
     
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