Network Railcard, the £13 mimimum fare, and discounted 'inboundary' Day Travelcards on weekdays

Joe Paxton

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(In this thread when referring of "inboundary Travelcards" I mean those that cover the 'traditional' zones of 1-6 - and am leaving the 'nouveau' zones of 7-9 aside, because in NR ticketing terms they're a slightly different beast.)

Just doing some planning and I've only just really appreciated that nowadays the Network Railcard actually provides a useful discount for 'inboundary' Off-peak Day Travelcards for zones 1-6 on a weekday - and in fact this is the third year it has done so!

Because of the Network Railcard's £13 weekday minimum fare, by definition in the past it couldn't offer a discount on an inboundary Day Travelcard during the week - it was only useful at the weekend, or on a bank holiday.
(For 'inboundary' Travelcards, the Network Railcard like all railcards has only ever offered a discount on zones 1-6 Off-peak Day Travelcards, even when other, 'lesser' zonal varieties used to exist - e.g. zones 1-4, zones 1&2 etc Off-peak Day Travelcards.)

However because the zones 1-6 Off-peak Day Travelcard has gradually increased in price over the years, it has busted through this £13 minimum fare level - it now (2021) costs £13.90, whilst last year (2020) it cost £13.50, and in 2019 it cost £13.10. Meanwhile in 2018 it cost £12.70 (price hyperlinks are all to pages on @MikeWh's Oyster Fares Central website).

Of course because of that £13 weekday minimum fare, on a weekday one can only save 90p (6.4%), whilst last year the saving was 50p (3.7%), and in 2019 it was just 10p (0.7%), rather than the full saving of a third.

Neverthetheless, all savings are useful! And yes, in many cases using contactless or Oyster is likely to be cheaper - however the Oyster/contactless daily cap for zones 1-6 is now £13.50, so any Network Railcard holders travelling after 10am (when the railcard kicks in) who are sure they'd otherwise hit this zones 1-6 Oyster/contactless daily cap can save themselves half a pound sterling by buying the discounted Day Travelcard instead. Next year the potential savings, and possible scenarios where savings might be made, could be greater.
 
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Watershed

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It won't last forever - the minimum fare will undoubtedly be increased at some point.

It's a similar story with 16-25, 26-30 and HM Forces Railcard holders. Their minimum fare is £12 before 10am on weekdays, which has meant some commutes have been capped at £60 a week (assuming 5 days a week) for quite some years now.
 

Joe Paxton

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It won't last forever - the minimum fare will undoubtedly be increased at some point.

It's a similar story with 16-25, 26-30 and HM Forces Railcard holders. Their minimum fare is £12 before 10am on weekdays, which has meant some commutes have been capped at £60 a week (assuming 5 days a week) for quite some years now.

No doubt, the minimum fare will go up... the last time it increased was May 2009.
(Ditto for the 16-25 Railcard, which went up from £8 up to £12 - though actually at the same time the minimum fare for the HM Forces Railcard dropped from £16 to £12, presumably to simplify the overall railcard offering somewhat - source).

*** Edit - The above is an incorrect reading of that source information for the 16-25 and HMF Railcards, see CyrusWuff's post below (
#4) for the true situation pre-May 2009. ***

I just hope that under GBR the Network Railcard will stay - or at least the benefits on offer will remain available in some form (i.e. cheaper fares or an expanded railcard).
 
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CyrusWuff

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No doubt, the minimum fare will go up... the last time it increased was May 2009.
(Ditto for the 16-25 Railcard, which went up from £8 up to £12 - though actually at the same time the minimum fare for the HM Forces Railcard dropped from £16 to £12, presumably to simplify the overall railcard offering somewhat - source).
Close...Prior to May 2009, the 16-25 Railcard had a minimum fare of £8 for most tickets before 10am Monday to Friday (except public holidays and in July & August), but £16 for Anytime Returns, Anytime Day Returns and Euro Open Returns.

The HM Forces Railcard also had minimum fares of £8 or £16, but the £16 applied to more ticket types than for the 16-25 Railcard.
 

swt_passenger

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Close...Prior to May 2009, the 16-25 Railcard had a minimum fare of £8 for most tickets before 10am Monday to Friday (except public holidays and in July & August), but £16 for Anytime Returns, Anytime Day Returns and Euro Open Returns.

The HM Forces Railcard also had minimum fares of £8 or £16, but the £16 applied to more ticket types than for the 16-25 Railcard.
Simplification wasn’t it? Everyone’s holy grail...
 

Joe Paxton

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Close...Prior to May 2009, the 16-25 Railcard had a minimum fare of £8 for most tickets before 10am Monday to Friday (except public holidays and in July & August), but £16 for Anytime Returns, Anytime Day Returns and Euro Open Returns.

The HM Forces Railcard also had minimum fares of £8 or £16, but the £16 applied to more ticket types than for the 16-25 Railcard.

Thanks - I couldn't remember, and my simplistic reading of the that source information (from that old newsgroup post) misrepresented what the situation was prior to May 2009.
 

CyrusWuff

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Having done some digging, here are the relevant extracts from "The Manual" for the minimum fares prior to May 2009 for both Railcards. 16-25 first, then HM Forces.

Screenshot_20210824-165950_Chrome.jpgScreenshot_20210824-170105_Chrome.jpg
 

Kite159

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It won't last forever - the minimum fare will undoubtedly be increased at some point.

It's a similar story with 16-25, 26-30 and HM Forces Railcard holders. Their minimum fare is £12 before 10am on weekdays, which has meant some commutes have been capped at £60 a week (assuming 5 days a week) for quite some years now.

Don't give the powers that be any ideas on how to raise more revenue by increasing the minimum fares ;)
 

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