Off Peak fares increases on FGW from May 20th.

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bignosemac

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Just been looking at a range of Off Peak and Super Off Peak Returns from destinations in Devon and Cornwall to London Paddington. Flows priced by First Great Western.

These fares increased by around 5.7% in January (just under the maximum permitted on the regulated fare of 6%) and are set to increase again by around 4% come May 20th. The new fares are in the latest NFM and have been uploaded to booking engines.

For each origin station in Devon and Cornwall there is a regulated fare for journeys to London Paddington, either the Off Peak Return or the Super Off Peak Return, but both are increasing AGAIN on May 20th. That makes a cumulative increase from the pre-Jan 2012 of around 10%.

I'm wondering how FGW can increase a regulated fare again taking the increase for the year way above the RPI+1% allowed in January.

Slightly confused by this. I know 'fares baskets' may come into it, but if the regulated fares across the board increased by the near maximum in January (avg 5.7%) how can they be permitted to increase by another 4% on May 20th? I've not come across any decreases that could balance out these increases.
 
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trainfaresgeek

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Maybe they will get counted as part of the increase for next yer?


Two things to consider. Firstly most train companies can increase individual regulated fares by RPI plus 5% ie 10% for this year
Only the average increase is capped at RPI plus 1%


And secondly I'd be very surprised if any super off peak fares are regulated at all
For long distance operators off peak (ie saver) fares are regulated
 

Paul Kelly

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And secondly I'd be very surprised if any super off peak fares are regulated at all
For long distance operators off peak (ie saver) fares are regulated

The fares that were savers before fares simplification. On simplification some TOCs renamed their savers to off-peak returns, some to anytime returns, and some (including FGW) renamed most of them to super off-peak returns.
 

bignosemac

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Two things to consider. Firstly most train companies can increase individual regulated fares by RPI plus 5% ie 10% for this year
Only the average increase is capped at RPI plus 1%

To do that, other regulated fares in the same 'basket' would have to have been frozen or reduced. I've found no evidence of ANY price freezes or reductions across First Great Western, either in January or upcoming on May 20th.

And Indigo2 is right. Most long distance flows to/from Reading and London on FGW have the Super Off Peak Return as the regulated fare.
 

yorkie

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And secondly I'd be very surprised if any super off peak fares are regulated at all
Then be surprised, because many are! A member of this forum did an FOI request for regulated fares recently; it's on the 'Whatdotheyknow?' site.
For long distance operators off peak (ie saver) fares are regulated
Not quite, the old Saver fares are regulated. On many flows these regulated fares are now called Super Off Peak, as the TOCs have used a loophole to get around regulation in order to effectively increase fares further.

The old York-London Saver Return fare is protected, but the terms and name are similar to the old Super Off Peak Return (except valid any day of the week), meanwhile the fare that is now called Off Peak (SVR) is a rather similar product in terms of validity, to what used to be called the Saver Return under BR but at a massively increased price. Such an increase would be illegal but they got around it by abolishing the old SSR and introducing a new SSR at the regulated price of the old SVR (with all the inflationary increases as per the rules on regulation).

This has cropped up before. If you're new here, and interested in fares, you may want to take a look through the archives as there is plenty of interest :) welcome to the forum by the way!
 
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bignosemac

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Semantics aside, what of the original point I was making?

That there appears to be another increase in regulated fares on many FGW flows come May 20th?

How is that allowed to happen?
 

yorkie

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bignosemac - I share your concerns; I too would like an answer. Perhaps an FOI request to DfT unless FGW/ATOC can give an acceptable answer. We could also take it to Passenger Focus. I suspect the Campaign for Better Transport may be interested too.
 
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bignosemac

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bignosemac - I share your concerns; I too would like an answer. Perhaps an FOI request to DfT unless FGW/ATOC can give an acceptable answer. We could also take it to Passenger Focus. I suspect the Campaign for Better Transport may be interested too.

I've already asked the question of FGW via Facebook and email. I await their response with interest. ;)
 

Solent&Wessex

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As an aside, and slightly off topic, but closer to the original topic from the OP, it should be noted that the restriction codes for many First TPE priced SVR fares are changing from 21st May. Many restriction codes now become "Not valid for journeys starting before xxxx hrs" as opposed to the current "not valid on trains passing through X before xxxx hrs".

This actually makes it easier in some respects, but there are now many different codes as opposed to about 3. I haven't found any examples where this causes a particular disadvantage for passengers, yet, but then I haven't gone through all the different journeys. Where this is likely to have the biggest affect will be for journeys starting on away from the TPE network where the restriction only used to apply to your arrival time, as opposed to what time you set off in the first place.
 

Paul Kelly

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To do that, other regulated fares in the same 'basket' would have to have been frozen or reduced. I've found no evidence of ANY price freezes or reductions across First Great Western, either in January or upcoming on May 20th.

By my calculations, here are the top 10 biggest increases and decreases in weekly season fares on FGW flows between NFM08 and NFM11 (i.e. during 2011):

Code:
Top 10 Biggest Increases
------------------------

 1. 1072 LONDON TERMINALS to 5703      CASTLE CARY rte    ANY PERMITTED
  Was:  £172.80 Now:  £202.90 (+17.42%)

 2. 1072 LONDON TERMINALS to 5840         CHETNOLE rte    ANY PERMITTED
  Was:  £218.90 Now:  £254.40 (+16.22%)

 3. 1072 LONDON TERMINALS to 5849        THORNFORD rte    ANY PERMITTED
  Was:  £218.90 Now:  £254.40 (+16.22%)

 4. 1072 LONDON TERMINALS to 5853    MAIDEN NEWTON rte    ANY PERMITTED
  Was:  £218.90 Now:  £254.40 (+16.22%)

 5. 1072 LONDON TERMINALS to 5856  YEOVIL PEN MILL rte    ANY PERMITTED
  Was:  £218.90 Now:  £254.40 (+16.22%)

 6. 1072 LONDON TERMINALS to 5857       YETMINSTER rte    ANY PERMITTED
  Was:  £218.90 Now:  £254.40 (+16.22%)

 7. 1072 LONDON TERMINALS to 3389  NAILSEA & BWELL rte    ANY PERMITTED
  Was:  £255.40 Now:  £296.80 (+16.21%)

 8. 1072 LONDON TERMINALS to 3314       HIGHBRIDGE rte    ANY PERMITTED
  Was:  £282.80 Now:  £328.60 (+16.20%)

 9. 1072 LONDON TERMINALS to 3449      BRIDGWATER. rte    ANY PERMITTED
  Was:  £282.80 Now:  £328.60 (+16.20%)

10. 1072 LONDON TERMINALS to 4133         LLANELLI rte    ANY PERMITTED
  Was:  £328.90 Now:  £381.70 (+16.05%)

Top 10 Smallest Increases
-------------------------

 1. 5296        CHILWORTH to 5491    THREE BRIDGES rte    ANY PERMITTED
  Was:   £72.80 Now:   £53.10 (-27.06%)

 2. Q066                  to Q073                  rte   NOT VIA LONDON
Cluster Q066:
        3213         PATCHWAY   3230  BRISTOL PARKWAY   3237         KEYNSHAM   3250   STAPLETON ROAD
        3214          PILNING   3231 BRISTOL TEMPLE M   3245       BEDMINSTER   3380             YATE
        3225    LAWRENCE HILL   3235 FILTON ABBEYWOOD   3246    PARSON STREET
Cluster Q073:
        3194          HEYFORD   3195          TACKLEY   4502         BANBURY.   4508     KINGS SUTTON
  Was:  £213.70 Now:  £176.20 (-17.55%)

 3. 3580        PLYMOUTH. to 3587          SALTASH rte    ANY PERMITTED
  Was:    £9.70 Now:    £8.40 (-13.40%)

 4. 5298         GOMSHALL to 5491    THREE BRIDGES rte    ANY PERMITTED
  Was:   £60.50 Now:   £52.60 (-13.06%)

 5. Q090                  to Q253                  rte    ANY PERMITTED
Cluster Q090:
        3033 GORING & STRTLEY   3036       PANGBOURNE
Cluster Q253:
        5908      MICHELDEVER
  Was:   £72.80 Now:   £68.60 (-5.77%)

 6. 3230  BRISTOL PARKWAY to 3341 BRADFORD ON AVON rte    ANY PERMITTED
  Was:   £52.70 Now:   £49.80 (-5.50%)

 7. 3145      ALDERMASTON to 5908      MICHELDEVER rte    ANY PERMITTED
  Was:   £74.60 Now:   £70.50 (-5.50%)

 8. Q066                  to Q083                  rte   NOT VIA LONDON
Cluster Q066:
        3213         PATCHWAY   3230  BRISTOL PARKWAY   3237         KEYNSHAM   3250   STAPLETON ROAD
        3214          PILNING   3231 BRISTOL TEMPLE M   3245       BEDMINSTER   3380             YATE
        3225    LAWRENCE HILL   3235 FILTON ABBEYWOOD   3246    PARSON STREET
Cluster Q083:
        3104    BICESTER TOWN   3109        APPLEFORD   3115          OXFORD.
        3107           CULHAM   3110            ISLIP   3118           RADLEY
  Was:  £175.20 Now:  £165.90 (-5.31%)

 9. 3235 FILTON ABBEYWOOD to 3265        AVONCLIFF rte    ANY PERMITTED
  Was:   £48.10 Now:   £45.70 (-4.99%)

10. Q070                  to Q083                  rte   NOT VIA LONDON
Cluster Q070:
        3389  NAILSEA & BWELL   3392           YATTON
Cluster Q083:
        3104    BICESTER TOWN   3109        APPLEFORD   3115          OXFORD.
        3107           CULHAM   3110            ISLIP   3118           RADLEY
  Was:  £184.20 Now:  £176.20 (-4.34%)

It can be seen that the biggest increases are all on prime London flows, whereas most of the decreases seem to be on more obscure flows from which presumably less revenue is derived. Or that could just be me being cynical.
 
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wintonian

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Looking at Biggest Increases I doubt there are many seasons to London issued from stations on the Heart of Wessex line, it being a 3 hour 8TPD trip.

I have also noticed the odd SWT FDR to London at silly prices (NFM11) that have been reduced by a couple of pounds or so, presumably so something else more popular can go up.
 

bb21

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I have separated discussion about the changes in regulated fares into another topic.

Can we request that discussion within this thread remains on topic about the latest increases on FGW please.
 

wibble

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I have also noticed the odd SWT FDR to London at silly prices (NFM11) that have been reduced by a couple of pounds or so, presumably so something else more popular can go up.

All First Class fares are unregulated so TOCs can apply any increase or decrease they wish.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
These fares increased by around 5.7% in January (just under the maximum permitted on the regulated fare of 6%) and are set to increase again by around 4% come May 20th.

I'm wondering how FGW can increase a regulated fare again taking the increase for the year way above the RPI+1% allowed in January.

The average increase for regulated fares (6% for 2012) applies to the 12 calendar months from 2 January each year. If FGW's regulated fares increased by only 5.7% in January, they can still increase regulated fares by up to 0.3% until they hit the 6% ceiling.

The 6% increase for the 2012 pricing year is a weighted average so it's possible that they're increasing some regulated flows by 4%.
 

bignosemac

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The 6% increase for the 2012 pricing year is a weighted average so it's possible that they're increasing some regulated flows by 4%.

That's another 4%. For that weighted average there needs to have been corresponding drops/freezes in the same 'basket'. Not knowing how the 'basket' in question is filled for these increases to be permitted is somewhat annoying. I've not found any forthcoming decreases in regulated SVR/SSR fares anywhere on the FGW network. There were no decreases or freezes in January either.
 

johnnycache

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I don't know the specifics of FGW fares baskets but there will be two:
A commuter basket for fares to (and in some cases from) London (ie the Travelcard area)
A protected basket for other fares

Each basket will contain a mixture of ticket types
Each basket will contain the fares that make up 95% of the potential value ie the fares making up the last 5% of value will be excluded
It's likely that the fares quoted above eg Chetnole to London would fall within this excluded 5% so those fares are effectively unregulated
 
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