Northern to introduce evening peak restrictions

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by aformeruser, 1 Jul 2014.

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  1. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    If Northern ask TPE to withdraw that fare, and TPE give in and withdraw it, that is evidence of collusion. I would suggest you keep an eye on it, and be sure to make a complaint to DfT, ORR, Passenger Focus and your MP if they do collude.

    Off Peak Day and Anytime Day fares always allow break of journey, including starting and/or finishing short.
     
  2. Merseysider

    Merseysider Established Member Fares Advisor

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    I've got a feeling TPE and NT aren't subject to the FOIA (are they)? Even so, I'd imagine they'd have to notify the RSP about the withdrawal of a permanent flow, and they are subject to FOI requests.
     
  3. PermitToTravel

    PermitToTravel Established Member

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    None of the TOCs apart from London Overground and East Coast are subject to the FoIA.

    Neither ATOC nor its subsidiaries (including RSP) are subject to the FoIA.
     
  4. aformeruser

    aformeruser Veteran Member

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    If you think that's bad look at what the fare is between Knutsford and Stalybridge at both peak and off-peak times is - £14.20. If it was the same cost per mile as Mauldeth Road to Bolton then it would come to under £11 for a peak fare.
     
  5. Xenophon PCDGS

    Xenophon PCDGS Veteran Member

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    Looking at your comparison above, would the fact that Knutsford, being outside the "Greater Manchester" area, is the only one of the four railway stations that you have named?

    Just an idea, as I too live in Cheshire East.
     
  6. aformeruser

    aformeruser Veteran Member

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    I was just putting things in to prospective using an example I knew about. £7.20 for a return fare between two stations in Greater Manchester might looking 'whooping' but in reality it isn't expensive compared to other fares which aren't between two stations in Greater Manchester.
     
  7. thedbdiboy

    thedbdiboy Member

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    Very true. It is absolutely illegal for TOCs to speak to each other in this way - and totally uneccessary, as this forum does a much better job of highlighting anomalies to pricing managers than any discussion between them ever could....;)
     
  8. Howardh

    Howardh Established Member

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    Quick check - at the moment the NRE site says the Peak Wayfarer £11 is OK to use any time after 9.30am weekdays (all time Sat/Sun/Bk Hol) and no mention of the new peak restrictions.

    Presume that's actually the case, and secondly won't these tickets, which the last one I had was open ended and you scraped off the date, still have the previous restrictions on and not the new, so NR couldn't enforce them even if they wanted to?
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    Knutsford's in the Peak Wayfarer zone so unless you travel before 9.30am the max price is £11 - but splitting the original ticket Knutsford to first calling station inside GM (ret) and a Gtr. Manchester Day Ranger would be the cheapest?
     
  9. Merseysider

    Merseysider Established Member Fares Advisor

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    The Wayfarer is thankfully not affected by Northern's silly little revenue raising game new peak restrictions.
     
  10. hairyhandedfool

    hairyhandedfool Established Member

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    The four types of ticket affected in the Manchester Area are Duo, Off-Peak Day, GM Rail Ranger and Daysaver.

    You'll be lucky to find a 'scratch off' Wayfarer now, the last ones that were printed end this year and even where you can find them, Northern's STAR machines won't process them like FasTis did, so Northern staff are unlikely to issue them.

    Since July last year Wayfarers have been available as printed tickets, but the date of use is printed on and cannot be changed.
     
  11. Starmill

    Starmill Events Co-ordinator

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    Well, quite. Walk up train travel outside of Greater Manchester (the quotes really aren't necessary) and other areas like it is generally unaffordable.

    That doesn't mean that ticket prices in Manchester should go up, just so that it is less unfair that fares in Cheshire East, North Yorkshire and similarly ultra-expensive rail counties are so eye-wateringly expensive.
     
  12. Howardh

    Howardh Established Member

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    Long time since I used one!
     
  13. theblackwatch

    theblackwatch Emeritus Moderator

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    I think to describe walk up fares as being unaffordable is something of a wild exaggeration - if they were, trains would be running round all the time with lots of empty seats because people couldn't afford to travel. That clearly isn't the case...
     
  14. Merseysider

    Merseysider Established Member Fares Advisor

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    What annoys me most is that over in Merseyside, where NT have no off-peak travel 1600-1800, you can still use the Saveaway. Yet the GM rail ranger and (I think) WY day ticket have been affected. Hardly consistent?
     
  15. Starmill

    Starmill Events Co-ordinator

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    I once chided yorkie for calling fares in North Yorkshire 'unaffordable', saying that this was technically not the case as it is relative to income and that they merely represent bad value for money.

    Those days are gone, to me they are so overpriced I am happy to call them socially unaffordable. £5.50 for a single from Starbeck to Cattal?

    Also, if fares in North Yorkshire aren't overpriced, why have Grand Central introduced a single from York to Thirsk that costs only a third of the Any Permitted?
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    Indeed. And if you can use Merseyrail no evening peak restrictions at all. If you have a railcard you can get a £5.90 Off-Peak Day Travelcard too and use it after 0930.
     
  16. Merseysider

    Merseysider Established Member Fares Advisor

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    By Travelcard, are you referring to the TFL product?
    The peak restrictions they have in Merseyside work alright, because you've got up to 5 services per hour (look at Liverpool - Huyton) so it's not like you have to 'wait out' the peak period for a considerable amount of time. Whereas over in Manchester, you've got an hourly service on some lines, eg from Altrincham. The first off peak service from there into Manchester is 35 minutes after the peak period ends (1904), and the first service from Buxton to Manchester is 60 minutes after peak period ends (1929).
    Someone give Northern a gold medal!
     
  17. muz379

    muz379 Established Member

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    Its worth noting that they are an open access operator that receive no subsidy , so they are more likely to try and do things like this to try and boost passenger numbers between stations where services run empty .

    50 Seats at 1/3 of the cost is better than 10 seats at the full cost .
    Not to mention revenue allocation differences between the tickets .
     
  18. Starmill

    Starmill Events Co-ordinator

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    Yes, I would say that those are their stated aims, to build patronage and to encourage passengers onto their service which will have more free seats. The revenue allocation is their incentive for doing so. My point is that if the fare were priced more reasonably for people to travel, opening the market in this way would not be successful. Given how large the differential is (why on earth would you buy the Any Permitted when you can have 66% off!) that shows just how overpriced the flow was! Are OAOs permitted to price TOC ONLY seasons?
     
  19. muz379

    muz379 Established Member

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    They have just gone for the all or nothing aproach . They could have priced it 20% or 30% cheaper but 66% cheaper just pretty much guarantees anyone traveling around the time of your services is going to travel with you .


    66% off could be because of the frequency ,that would by my guess . Dont GC only run a handful of trains every day ? .

    IDK about OAO's and seasons .
     
  20. IanXC

    IanXC Emeritus Moderator

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    Given the number of services you can catch with the any permitted is 23, and with the GC only is 5, I think if anything the discount is too small! People buy the any permitted because its highly likely for many people the GC tines won't be convenient and they'll be unable to plan their day around them.

    OAOs can price TOC only seasons, Hull Trains do on most of their route.

    I presume you'd put East Yorkshire in your "unaffordable" bracket? Everything is relative, expensive it might be, but unaffordable? I don't think the public agree, otherwise there wouldn't be full and standing arrivals into Hull each morning!
     
  21. yorksrob

    yorksrob Veteran Member

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    When I venture into East Yorkshire of a weekend, local services don't seem to be overtaxed, which would suggest to me that services are overpriced for leisure travel.
     
  22. Starmill

    Starmill Events Co-ordinator

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    As I said, yes, they are not unaffordable in the sense of prohibitive expense, which means that, as average fares are undeniably higher, people on the train nice have high incomes to afford them. But my judgement that they are socially unaffordable for the distances involved remains although it will be very difficult to work out how many people would use them if prices were more in line with those in West Yorkshire. The fact that the train is full and standing is simply a reflection on the fact it's only got two carriages, not the number of people who actually need to travel to Hull.

    For some people, mansions, yachts and their own private island are not unaffordable. For such people, a £696 FOR from Penzance to Wick isn't unaffordable. But the people for whom a £9.60 CDR from Driffield to Hull is unaffordable are the people you need to ask - and they probably aren't on the train.
     
  23. theblackwatch

    theblackwatch Emeritus Moderator

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    I'm sure it is affordable to most - after all, I suspect most of these people can afford a mobile phone costing them several pounds a month. And if they aren't on the train, they will probably have gone in the car which they can afford to buy and run...

    If they really can't afford it, best get saving up! That's what I've done for things in life I couldn't afford.
     
  24. IanXC

    IanXC Emeritus Moderator

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    It's worth noting that the equivalent bus fare is £9.45 return.
     
  25. Starmill

    Starmill Events Co-ordinator

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    Or they might have stayed at home, dreaming of things like phones and cars and trying to decide if they can afford to buy food and clothes for their children or put the heating on.
     
    Last edited: 25 Oct 2014
  26. Xenophon PCDGS

    Xenophon PCDGS Veteran Member

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    I see that the thought progression has gone from one end of the spectrum to another in recent posts from the "mansions, yachts and own private island" to the "trying to decide if they can afford to buy food and clothes for their children or to put the heating on."

    This thread is about the Northern Rail introduction of evening peak restrictions, so for the life of me, I cannot see the connection between the points above and the title of the thread.
     
    Last edited: 25 Oct 2014
  27. Oscar

    Oscar Established Member Fares Advisor

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    The railway does not exist in isolation. It is part of society and the economy. The economy is about how we manage anything we give financial value to, so it is essentially about how we organise society and permeates virtually all of politics. There are a significant number of people in Britain who don't do much beyond their daily routine because they can't afford it. There are also a significant number of people who can travel around the country, go to the cinema, have a smartphone and go on regular foreign holidays without thinking too much about the money. A tiny proportion of the population own about half of the wealth of the country and their main concerns regarding money are probably about how to invest it. Evening peak restrictions will affect certain groups more than others. So the context is crucial.

    As stated earlier in this thread, fare levels are astoundingly inconsistent. I think references to market pricing are often misleading. The TOCs don't manage fares very closely. They increase baskets of walk-up fares by certain percentages. The Pricing Managers don't always know which walk-up fares their TOC sets. They fix anomalies which come to their attention and introduce new fares as necessary. The price levels for individual journeys are largely historical. A former Pricing Manager at Southern recently reviewed the levels at which Off-Peak Day Returns (CDRs) are set. I'd imagine a thorough review based on surveys or passengers and analysis of how passengers react to current fare levels could lead to more revenue being raised in many cases, but there is little interest. Advance fares may be yield managed, but anomalies mean they are not available for all journeys (e.g. Newcastle to Buxton). TOCs providing the "& Connections" parts of Advance tickets may block the lower tiers on all their trains, even though some trains this affects may be very quiet. TOCs have to negotiate to make Advance fares available for journeys involving multiple operators and this doesn't always happen. Of course fare levels (demand management) have to be co-ordinated with plans for the supply, but the TOCs have little control over this. The whole system is a muddle.

    I would like to see an analysis of the impact of the Northern evening peak restrictions on the company's revenue and costs, on passengers and on wider society carried out a year or so after they were introduced. I suspect that limited data will be collated and it will not be put in the public domain. It's a shame because the public interest is at stake.
     
  28. snail

    snail Established Member

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    You really think the common people want to faff around asking for excess tickets? Most people want to buy a ticket - one ticket - and get on the train. I doubt they would even know what an excess is.
     
  29. Merseysider

    Merseysider Established Member Fares Advisor

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    I'd imagine the 'common people' would want to save money where they could.
     
  30. aformeruser

    aformeruser Veteran Member

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    Also don't forget that people out of work long term can get railcards offering 50% off fares (with no time restrictions or minimum fares), while other lower income groups like students and pensioners can get standard railcards giving 34%, meaning the people with the less money generally would pay £4.80 or £6.35.
     
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