Rail operators call for leisure fares (especially day returns) to increase

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by yorkie, 18 Feb 2019.

  1. WelshBluebird

    WelshBluebird Established Member

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    I don't see any positive outcome of handing all the control of fares over to the RDG and ToC's (which is what it sounds like they want), especially considering what they are suggesting.
    As for scarring off passengers - considering a large number of rail travel is essentially a captive market, there isn't a huge risk there imo. It very much is put up with it because you have no other realistic choice.

    As I said, there is a difference between challenging the existing broken system, and wanting to remove all regulations which protect the consumer, whilst at the same time suggesting changes that will drive prices up for a large number of passengers, and add restrictions to other passengers where none existed before.

    Not at the moment, but the post I was replying to implied that it could be in the future (or at least that is how I read it).

    The problem with that is what we will see is single fares staying at the level they are at and returns removed.
    Anyone wanting a return would see pretty much a doubling in their fare (as currently many singles are only a little cheaper than the returns).

    It very much depends on which market you are looking at. Leisure travel, yeah I'd agree with you (apart from travel into London). But commuters? There is a reason people put up with higher than inflation and higher than wage increases price rises. And that isn't because they enjoy it.

    That really isn't changing as much or as quickly as some people like to think.
    Sure a lot of places offer more flexible working now, but usually that still means having to be in the office during core hours (often 10-4) and then either starting early or starting late.

    Errr but hasn't the RDG just literally set out some proposals of what it wants to see?
    And have you not seen how much power the RDG has in terms of removing valid routes etc (seriously, have a look at the RG updates thread, there is no way all those changes are actually getting the proper oversight they need).
    If you think the RDG or the ToC's will not have a hand in any new system, then you are being VERY naive.
    They have literally asked for regulations to be removed. What do you think private companies will do if that happens?
     
    Last edited: 21 Feb 2019
  2. fandroid

    fandroid Member

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    Making day returns more expensive on the commuter routes into London will blow up in the TOC's faces. Leisure trips at the weekend are very price sensitive, and take in a lot of revenue. If they try it on, expect 'simplification' to be rapidly reversed and something like a German Schöneswochenendeticket to be magically introduced to grab the customers back. BR introduced those fares for sound commercial reasons. Nothing has really changed that basic truth since privatisation.
     
  3. Clip

    Clip On Moderation

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    And as Ive said on the subject in the many many threads for years about this now is that it will happen - whether people like it or not it will happen. Doesnt matter what you or others may think the march to this sort of ticketing is in full swing - may not be while im alive but its rather naive to think it wont happen just because someone likes a bit of card.
     
  4. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    We didn't see that when Virgin Trains unilaterally introduced the SVH (a single sold at half the return provided it's accompanied by an Advance or Anytime Single).

    We didn't see that when Virgin Trains unilaterally switched from Apex Returns to Virgin Value Singles, the precursor of the present Advance Single fares.

    (Noting clearly which TOC has done all the sensible innovation here - yes, the one people accuse of doing the passenger-unfriendly stuff, that made the two biggest recent passenger-friendly changes to the fare system)

    Why would we see it now? To make it revenue neutral, I'd reckon on around 60%. I'm quite sure the TOCs want to increase fares, but this is not necessarily going to be a vehicle to do it. For it to be revenue neutral, some fares will increase, of course, but some will reduce.
     
  5. Arctic Troll

    Arctic Troll Established Member

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    The routeing guide isn't used as ORCATS is based on the fastest journey opportunities. If you use a valid but slow and convoluted route it's unlikely the TOCs you use will receive revenue for your journey as ORCATS assumes you go the quickest way and distributes the revenue accordingly.
     
  6. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    So (and I think this is the point the OP is making) - are there cases where ORCATS gives the revenue to a TOC on which, due to the Routeing Guide, the ticket wasn't actually valid?
     
  7. Arctic Troll

    Arctic Troll Established Member

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    That happened for revenue reasons, not for customer service reasons. They get 100% of advance revenue. So if you can persuade people on to advances in one direction you get more money.

    Without the SVH people would just buy the SVR and Virgin would be at the mercy of ORCATS.

    Virgin Value was innovative, though, and was a way of trying to bring yield management into the industry.
     
  8. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Fair point. But it was also a recognition that for the vast majority of long-distance travellers (me included) they know or can easily work out when they want to make their outward journey, but perhaps don't know when the return journey will take place (though again the vast majority of people know which day it will be on). It was a quite innovative modification to the ticketing system that allowed them to maximise their own revenue while also giving the passenger a slightly cheaper journey. Quite well thought-through, really.
     
  9. Arctic Troll

    Arctic Troll Established Member

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    Sort of.

    An example is St Albans Abbey to London Terminals. ORCATS would distribute that income to LNR as that's the fastest journey opportunity. When it was used as a loophole ticket from St Albans City it meant that Thameslink weren't getting the revenue.

    It wouldn't now allocate the revenue to Thameslink as it isn't valid that way due to the routeing guide, so it isn't a fastest journey opportunity.
     
    Last edited: 21 Feb 2019
  10. Arctic Troll

    Arctic Troll Established Member

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    Oh definitely a welcome addition to the ticketing system, but not entirely altruistic!
     
  11. Clip

    Clip On Moderation

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    Because they knew that they would be keep more revenue for themselves with TOC only tickets being one half of that transaction £££

    Because they knew that they would keep more revenue for themselves with strictly TOC only tickets £££

    Because the singles would be largely not be TOC restricted therefore less money for the TOC themselves through ORCATS and thus less revenue for the TOCs £££
     
  12. 35B

    35B Member

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    Maybe not. But the competition is also the "do nothing" option. Other leisure options exist, business travellers can avoid travel.
     
  13. Hadders

    Hadders Established Member

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    Really? Something like a visit to a relative in hospital, a family event etc is a leisure journey but "do nothing" isn't really an option.

    Our economy relies on leisure travellers - the last thing the Government should be doing is discouraging this type of travel.
     
  14. 35B

    35B Member

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    I agree. But my point is that the railway cannot assume that would be travellers will pay whatever is asked.
     
  15. bakerstreet

    bakerstreet Member

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    Interesting to see that in the current ‘Rail’ magazine, both editor Nigel Harris (‘RDG proposals are a lifeline the Government should seize’) and fares and services consultant Barry Doe (‘one of the best reports to have ever come from the industry’) are absolutely singing the praises of the proposed changes.

    For those who are worried about the RDG proposals it might be worth writing to both because judging from much of the reaction in this thread Nigel and Barry are not seeing what you are seeing.

    The current Rail is issue 873

    In the next (874) Barry Doe will devote his whole page to reviewing the plans.

    I have always found Barry Doe to be very pro keeping fares fair for passengers and calling out some of the TOCs’ nonsensical decisions on fares in the past.

    What are they seeing that some of us are not?
     
    Last edited: 1 Mar 2019
  16. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    When's 874 out? I normally read MR, but this will be worth a look.
     
  17. bakerstreet

    bakerstreet Member

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    I think March 13 onwards (it’s every 2 weeks so should be on sale for at least a week or so)

    The current edition’s Nigel Harris editorial is worth a scan too. But yes I’m definitely going to read Barry Doe in a couple of weeks.
     
  18. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Cheers.
     
  19. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    So I bought RAIL yesterday and had a read...don't bother, it is quite possibly the worst article I have ever read in a publication like that. It doesn't actually explore the issues or possibilities, it's just basically 2 and a half pages of him waxing lyrical about two of the good aspects (reducing the need for splits and things being calculated from a base) ignoring all the possible issues, such as what happens if more than one TOC serves a route.
     
  20. Starmill

    Starmill Events Co-ordinator

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    We are fairly sure that this is the case at least sometimes, yes.

    You will never know for any one particular flow if it has a custom allocation or other special settlement, though. If there were evidence of this happening, a TOC could also challenge the allocation.
     
  21. Starmill

    Starmill Events Co-ordinator

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    Some of RAIL's comment, and especially Nigel Harris and his big mouth on twitter, seem to me to have been captured slightly by the industry, rather than being actively independent journalists these days.

    He even claimed that the government should cease the industry's proposals. Can you imagine a trade association of banks or financial services firms producing a document which asked the government to remove "outdated regulations", and then some Guardian journalists endorsing the proposals and saying the government should implement them?
     
  22. squizzler

    squizzler Member

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    Presumably the latter is resolved by the ticket agent you have chosen to do business with in accordance with your stated priorities. For an idea of the depth of innovation likely to occur see this article on a system developed by a former head of ticketing with SBB amongst other backers.

    https://www.railjournal.com/in_depth/swiping-simplify-ticketing

     
  23. 35B

    35B Member

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    A fascinating piece, but a model which I simply would never trust for any journey of any value. I am willing to use Oyster/Contactless for journeys within Greater London because the cost is low and I can manage my exposure if the fare isn't quite what I thought it would be. But for journeys of any distance, and where the fare level is likely to matter, it is a model that comes pretty close to asking me to write a blank cheque on the promise that it won't be filled in with too many zeroes.

    The other point that is unresolved in London, let alone this scheme, is how you handle fares for those who can't use credit, particularly children. TfL do it with penal fares which are almost designed to punish irregular travellers (no Oyster, can't use Contactless, dig deep); extended to a national scale you have a system that can work well for insiders and deter outsiders.
     
  24. JonathanH

    JonathanH Established Member

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    ...or be capped by Travelcard / daily cap but that assumes travel into central London and the further away you get, the less effective that cap is in managing the traveller's exposure to being charged.
     
  25. sheff1

    sheff1 Established Member

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    Fortunately I did not buy RAIL, but read the article in Smiths. I agree with your assessment and, really, we should have expected nothing less from a journalist who has obviously fallen for RDG's spin.

    He says, if the changes are implemented, Virgin "could" reduce the Anytime Fare from London to Crewe from the current £269 return to something closer to the currently regulated £81.50 'Saver' fare.

    Of course they could do this now without removal of the regulation - they choose not do yet he does not mention this.

    If the regulation on the 'Saver' was removed what they "could" do is increase that fare (or, under single leg pricing, the £80.50 off peak single which is effectively capped at present by the regulated 'Saver' fare). Which of these two "could"s do people think is more likely - again a question ignored by Mr Doe.
     
  26. Kite159

    Kite159 Veteran Member

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    The people who think with single leg pricing a current day return of £10 (with a single being £9.90) will suddenly become £5.00 are mistaken. If anything the new fare will be £5.50 so a price rise by the backdoor.
     
  27. Arctic Troll

    Arctic Troll Established Member

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    Nigel Harris is seeing the inside of the RDG's rectum, up which he climbed a very long time ago.

    Expecting Nigel Harris to criticise the railway executives he wishes he was is like expecting my pet guinea pig to learn Mandarin.

    Whether he's sycophantic because he's a sycophant, or because his magazine would fold without rail industry ad revenue, or indeed both, who knows. But he's never going to do anything but gush over anything emanating from RDG.
     
  28. JonathanH

    JonathanH Established Member

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    ...and of course, if the return is in the peak (and restrictions don't currently apply) the return will go from £10 to £15 (or more), perhaps with a more significant increase for some people if railcards aren't valid on peak fares.
     
  29. superjohn

    superjohn Member

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    A quick summary of any Barry Doe article:
    Companies that sponsor his website = Great
    Companies that don’t = the worst thing ever.

    I steer clear of Rail magazine for publishing his drivel.
     
  30. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    I hadn't read it in years and won't be starting again, MR is far superior even if it can be somewhat of an industry journal at times.
     

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