Ripped off by the railway - Nottingham to Crewe return

Status
Not open for further replies.

Skymonster

Member
Joined
7 Feb 2012
Messages
1,072
Bit of a rant really...

I had a very nice day out in Crewe yesterday and in all respects bar one the railway performed very well... Everything was on time, the staff were pleasant and helpful, and although it was on a combination of XC Turbonasty and EMT 153, the trains were comfortable and clean - even the other passengers were pleasant and the prices for beer in the pub at Crewe station weren't too excessive!! :p

BUT (didn't you know a but was coming):

According to NationalRail:
  • Nottingham-Crewe - standard offpeak day return £17.20 valid via Stoke on Trent, change at Derby (and this is indeed what the TVM charged me for an offpeak day return)
  • Nottingham-Derby - standard offpeak day return £6.40
  • Derby-Crewe - standard offpeak day return £9.90 valid via Stoke on Trent

Let's be clear about this - I know about he prospect of saving money by using splits and combinations, and maybe some clever person here could find an even cheaper way of doing it. Rather, in this case I just couldn't be bothered to look at combinations of tickets, and this laziness on my part cost me £0.90. OK, £0.90 isn't world changing, but more fool me for not checking this simplest of combinations. Of course, I suspect not that many casual travellers think of buying a combination of tickets (nor are they likely to offered such by TVMs or Booking Office staff) so they buy the end-to-end product without even thinking, blissfully unaware they could have saved money. I contend that it is the ignorance of the general customer that the railway capitalises on - and arguably even preys on.

If I was in a restaurant and I bought a starter and a main course and later found out there was a combined starter and a main course price that cost less than the two individually that the restaurant had concealed from me - and their response was that it was up to me to investigate all of their pricing options before ordering - I'd feel annoyed and probably not use that restaurant again. Many restaurants would charge me the lower two-course price automatically even if I didnt specifically ask for it - in the name of good customer service in an industry that knows each that adverse customer reaction can badly damage reputation and thus future business.

But of course I really don't have much choice but to use the railway again... My questions are thus as follows (addressed to anyone, but particularly to the rail / TOC fanbois):

  • Why does the industry hide its cheapest fare options from its customers? No, don't answer that question - I know the answer!
  • How can the industry so shamelessly get away with charging a customer more for a single product than it charges for two individual products that together add up the whole and nothing more than the single product?
  • Why has no one yet challenged these situations in consumer law with trading standards?

Again let me be clear - no doubt someone will chime in and claim being charged £0.90 more than I need have been hardly constitutes being "ripped off". But I do feel aggrieved (at the industry for not automatically offering me its best prices, not at my laziness in not checking). It is the principle I'm raising - £0.90 isn't much but it potentially represents much larger discrepancies elsewhere.

Andy
 
Sponsor Post - registered members do not see these adverts; click here to register, or click here to log in
R

RailUK Forums

SS4

Established Member
Joined
30 Jan 2011
Messages
8,577
Location
Birmingham
Not offering splits directly is not the same as hiding them. Are you aware of just how many permutations there are for split ticketing? It's not like your restaurant analogy where there are only a few combinations If we take Nottingham to Crewe then we can split at any or all of the following:

Code:
Derby [DBY]
Tutbury & Hatton [TUT]
Uttoxeter [UTT] 
Blythe Bridge [BYB]
Longton [LGN] 	
Stoke-on-Trent [SOT]
Longport [LPT] 
Kidsgrove [KDG]
Alsager [ASG]

The industry doesn't offer them by default (this is not the same as hiding them) because a reliable splitting engine has yet to be developed as far as I know and, as you say, most people don't want the hassle of splitting. At what point would you be willing to accept that it's your duty to put some research in if you wanted to find cheaper tickets?

Indeed split ticketing is so well hidden that it gets an section of the NRCoC dedicated to it :roll:

Should you wish for an interpretation more in line with your prejudices then may I suggest it's because the railways knows you haven't got a choice.

If I wanted to do Birmingham to London I could choose
Code:
Marston Green [MGN]
Birmingham International [BHI]
Hampton-in-Arden [HIA]
Berkswell [BKW]
Tile Hill [THL] 	
Canley [CNL] 	
Coventry [COV]
Rugby [RUG] 	
Long Buckby [LBK]
Northampton [NMP]
Wolverton [WOL] 
Milton Keynes Central [MKC] 
Bletchley [BLY] 	
Leighton Buzzard [LBZ]
Berkhamsted [BKM] 	
Hemel Hempstead [HML] 	
Watford Junction [WFJ] 	
Harrow & Wealdstone [HRW]

I, and many other humans, know full well that splitting at most of these stations does not save money but a computer would have to run the code to be sure
 
Last edited:

MarkyMarkD

Member
Joined
1 Dec 2009
Messages
504
Location
Cliftonville, Margate, Kent
Because, like any other business, the train operating companies are in business to make money.

Most businesses do not tell customers of cheaper ways to make their purchases. Sainsbury's or Asda won't say to customers at the till "you should have bought two items because they are 'buy one, get one free' and you've only got one". Nor should they. Nor will they tell you when, due to special offers, it is cheaper to buy two small packs rather than one large one - which is a very similar situation to splitting train tickets.

There are many reasons why splitting is cheaper. There may be competition on certain legs, but not on others. The fares may be set by different TOCs for different legs. The fares for certain legs may be regulated whilst others may not, and the fares may have been subject to different levels of increase because of different TOCs' on-time performance (when this was the criteria) or just because they have different RPI+ inflation caps (more recently).

It really is a case of "buyer beware" as it is when making any other purchase.
 

craigwilson

Member
Joined
3 Jan 2010
Messages
424
Location
Buxton, Derbyshire
I agree with your rant on principle. I have two points though:

  • Some people here will have better knowledge of the routeing than I do - are there any routes that you could use with the through ticket (in times of disruption) that you couldn't use with the splits?
  • Also, it's not always like that. For a while, I commuted Navigation Road (NVR) - Chapel-en-le-Frith (CEF). At the time, a monthly NVR-CEF season cost approx £240. When I went to purchase said ticket, I was advised by the ticket office guy to buy a GMPTE Traincard and a season between New Mills and Chapel to cover the difference, which overall saved me about £70 a month, and I got a much better ticket with the GMPTE traincard too (as it gave me freedom of the trains in the GMPTE area)!!
 

Wath Yard

Member
Joined
31 Dec 2011
Messages
864
You were offered the best fare from Nottingham - Crewe. That is the journey you were making, you were sold the cheapest ticket, and the person and the TOC he worked for obeyed the rules.

It is really your problem if you don't check for cheaper split tickets. It is easy enough to do with the internet. I'm not sure what you expect. If the person in front of you in the queue had wanted a return from Nottingham - Carmarthen would you really have wanted to stand behind them for 15 minutes whilst the booking clerk checked every possible combination of split tickets?

TOCs don't have to promote split ticketing but they do have to sell them if requested. There is no difference between split ticketing on the railway and with airlines. Flying from the UK - Iceland - USA certainly used to be cheaper than flying direct to the USA.
 

SS4

Established Member
Joined
30 Jan 2011
Messages
8,577
Location
Birmingham
But of course I really don't have much choice but to use the railway again... My questions are thus as follows (addressed to anyone, but particularly to the rail / TOC fanbois):

I see what you did there - now anybody defending the TOCs (in your opinion) must be fanbois who's opinion you can dismiss as biased.

Why does the industry hide its cheapest fare options from its customers? No, don't answer that question - I know the answer!

They don't. You paid the cheapest fare for travel between those two stations. If you mean why don't they offer split tickets by default then
  • It's a monumental task in terms of time and CPU power
  • To make money
  • Not offering the fare by default is not the same as hiding it. Split tickets are easy to find.

How can the industry so shamelessly get away with charging a customer more for a single product than it charges for two individual products that together add up the whole and nothing more than the single product?

The industry is fragmented and different TOCs have different reasons to differently price flows. The industry doesn't offer splits by default because of the reasons above, especially the added cost in CPU power and time would make your ticket more expensive.
Imagine the furore if someone bought split tickets but the train did not stop at the split point? Cue you stating that the evil railway is ripping off passengers

Why has no one yet challenged these situations in consumer law with trading standards?

Exactly which law is being broken?
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
I agree with your rant on principle. I have two points though:

Some people here will have better knowledge of the routeing than I do - are there any routes that you could use with the through ticket (in times of disruption) that you couldn't use with the splits?

Splitting tickets will use routeing between A-B and B-C whereas the direct ticket would use routeing A-C. Occasionally this will allow/disallow a route.
The most obvious would be if the train didn't call at the splitting point for whatever reason.
 

MichaelAMW

Member
Joined
18 Jun 2010
Messages
928
I think it is a shame that this forum is slowly becoming increasingly less friendly and more scathing towards those who ask straightforward enough questions. I am not talking about disagreeing with posters but doing so in an unpleasant manner.

Bit of a rant really...

I had a very nice day out in Crewe yesterday and in all respects bar one the railway performed very well... Everything was on time, the staff were pleasant and helpful, and although it was on a combination of XC Turbonasty and EMT 153, the trains were comfortable and clean - even the other passengers were pleasant and the prices for beer in the pub at Crewe station weren't too excessive!! :p

BUT (didn't you know a but was coming):

According to NationalRail:
  • Nottingham-Crewe - standard offpeak day return £17.20 valid via Stoke on Trent, change at Derby (and this is indeed what the TVM charged me for an offpeak day return)
  • Nottingham-Derby - standard offpeak day return £6.40
  • Derby-Crewe - standard offpeak day return £9.90 valid via Stoke on Trent

It is in fact worse, I'm afraid, as splitting at Long Eaton, which of course means you need a train that calls there, gives:

NOT - LGE = £4.00
LGE - CRE = £9.90

I noticed this issue when booking an off-peak return to Crewe from (my) adjacent Beeston: using the same split it's £22.10 compared with the through fare of £31.30.
 

MarkyMarkD

Member
Joined
1 Dec 2009
Messages
504
Location
Cliftonville, Margate, Kent
I can't see anyone who has been unpleasant on this thread.

Discussion forums will, by their nature, trigger responses which agree and others which do not, particularly where there is not a clear and definite answer to the issue raised.

That's rather the point of "discussion", surely?
 

Darandio

Established Member
Joined
24 Feb 2007
Messages
8,737
Location
Redcar
I think it is a shame that this forum is slowly becoming increasingly less friendly and more scathing towards those who ask straightforward enough questions.

Where?

Look at the thread title which states the OP has been "ripped off", then read the replies which quite obviously state that they haven't, it was the cheapest fare.

It's not unpleasantness, its a matter of differing opinions. Unless you feel that everyone should agree?
 

MichaelAMW

Member
Joined
18 Jun 2010
Messages
928
I can't see anyone who has been unpleasant on this thread.

Discussion forums will, by their nature, trigger responses which agree and others which do not, particularly where there is not a clear and definite answer to the issue raised.

That's rather the point of "discussion", surely?

Absolutely agree. I just sense - maybe I am being over-sensitive - that here and elsewhere some replies tend to be a bit sarcastic and rhetorical when all that is needed is a straight reply, explaining why the poster is either wrong or expecting a bit too much.

It's those occasional remarks that include phrases like, "So I suppose you're expecting..." or " ... but I guess that will just make you say...", which ascribe to the poster an attitude or view that has not been expressed.

That's all - only a tiny point, really.
 

Skymonster

Member
Joined
7 Feb 2012
Messages
1,072
Just to address a few of the issues raised:

  • In my experience, often I am asked "do you know we've got a buy-one-get-one-free on this?" in shops
  • If I buy an apple and an orange in a supermarket, the till ALWAYS applies the lower price if there is a lower price for buying an apple and an orange at the same time
  • I simply do not believe that offering splits and combinations is beyond the I.T. capability of fare engines - and even if it could not be done dynamically at the point of sale without risking response times, combination fares could be recalculated in the background whenever fares changed (see below*) which is only meant to be a couple of times a year
  • It is the principle I'm arguing, not the £0.90 - whilst I could have saved £0.90 or maybe more, on other flows the savings from splitting or buying combinations will be much greater

Andy

PS:
* there are around 2600 stations in the UK... if we assume A to B could be via any of those 2600, then that's 5200 fares to check for any given request. And if these fares were stored and recalculated when fares changed, there'd be a maximum of 2600x2600x2600 fares to be checked - 17,000million combinations to to check twice yearly basis and then store the best results for any given origin and destination isn't anywhere near insurmountable for today's technology
 

ainsworth74

Forum Staff
Staff Member
Global Moderator
Joined
16 Nov 2009
Messages
22,810
Location
Redcar
  • I simply do not believe that offering splits and combinations is beyond the I.T. capability of fare engines - and even if it could not be done dynamically at the point of sale without risking response times, combination fares could be recalculated in the background whenever fares changed (see below*) which is only meant to be a couple of times a year

Plenty of people have and are indeed trying to come up with software to do this. None of them have been totally successful yet (at least not to the degree that you could release it into the wild) which suggests it might not be as simple as you think...
 

hairyhandedfool

Established Member
Joined
14 Apr 2008
Messages
8,837
....but more fool me for not checking this simplest of combinations. Of course, I suspect not that many casual travellers think of buying a combination of tickets (nor are they likely to offered such by TVMs or Booking Office staff) so they buy the end-to-end product without even thinking, blissfully unaware they could have saved money. I contend that it is the ignorance of the general customer that the railway capitalises on - and arguably even preys on....

When you 'invest' in insurance for something, do you go to one company, ask the price and agree to pay it? Or do you look around a bit and pick the best deal?

Most people go to a middle ma....sorry, comparison website, and pick from that. So if we are honest, most people actually do naff all to find the best deal for it. The same can now be said for supermarkets, credit cards and Bingo! (yes that's right, comparison sites for bingo!). People are fooled into believing a company/website not directly connected with the railway can get you cheaper train tickets, even after they have added a booking, postage or card handling fee, than a train company.

Moan about it all you want, but people now are more dependant on other people finding deals for them than ever before, and those 'middle-men' don't do it for free.

....My questions are thus as follows (addressed to anyone, but particularly to the rail / TOC fanbois):

Why does the industry hide its cheapest fare options from its customers? No, don't answer that question - I know the answer!....

It doesn't, you just have to ask the right question.

....How can the industry so shamelessly get away with charging a customer more for a single product than it charges for two individual products that together add up the whole and nothing more than the single product?....

Suggest a workable alternative and maybe they will listen.

....Why has no one yet challenged these situations in consumer law with trading standards?....

On what grounds? You ask for a ticket from A to B, you are given the cheapest price to travel from A to B, you agree and pay or disagree and find another way to travel. Now, if you want travel from A to B to C, well that's a different question, isn't it?

....Again let me be clear - no doubt someone will chime in and claim being charged £0.90 more than I need have been hardly constitutes being "ripped off". But I do feel aggrieved (at the industry for not automatically offering me its best prices, not at my laziness in not checking). It is the principle I'm raising - £0.90 isn't much but it potentially represents much larger discrepancies elsewhere.

Andy

I can understand you being annoyed if you feel you have been overcharged, it's the same as buying twin pack of CDs from HMV and later finding out that the two separately is cheaper (trust me, they don't always mention that). Call it a life lesson, use it or put up with 'being ripped off'.

....Some people here will have better knowledge of the routeing than I do - are there any routes that you could use with the through ticket (in times of disruption) that you couldn't use with the splits?....

Depends entirely on the split and the circumstances (discretion can be shown), but when you split a ticket you basically agree to narrow your permitted routes to those that go through the split point, in most cases using trains that stop there.
 

All Line Rover

Established Member
Joined
17 Feb 2011
Messages
5,039
Just to address a few of the issues raised:

  • In my experience, often I am asked "do you know we've got a buy-one-get-one-free on this?" in shops
  • If I buy an apple and an orange in a supermarket, the till ALWAYS applies the lower price if there is a lower price for buying an apple and an orange at the same time
  • I simply do not believe that offering splits and combinations is beyond the I.T. capability of fare engines - and even if it could not be done dynamically at the point of sale without risking response times, combination fares could be recalculated in the background whenever fares changed (see below*) which is only meant to be a couple of times a year
  • It is the principle I'm arguing, not the £0.90 - whilst I could have saved £0.90 or maybe more, on other flows the savings from splitting or buying combinations will be much greater

Andy

PS:
* there are around 2600 stations in the UK... if we assume A to B could be via any of those 2600, then that's 5200 fares to check for any given request. And if these fares were stored and recalculated when fares changed, there'd be a maximum of 2600x2600x2600 fares to be checked - 17,000million combinations to to check twice yearly basis and then store the best results for any given origin and destination isn't anywhere near insurmountable for today's technology

There is no obligation for the railways to advise people on split-ticketing, and they will never do so. They would lose a fortune if they did. If I want to save money, I must put in the effort to find the cheapest fare.

There is no obligation for Tesco to tell people that it is cheaper to buy two small packs of Wheatabix Minis instead of one large pack. If they told people that about every product, every time, they would lose a fortune. If I want to save money, I must put in the effort to find the cheapest products.

There is no obligation for British Gas to ring their customers up and tell them it is cheaper to switch to EDF. They would lose a fortune if they did - they would have no customers left! If I want to save money, I must put in the effort to find a better tariff.

Like supermarkets and utility companies, the railways are a business. They are no longer a public service (nor were they when they first started). They are in it to make money. Any business in its right mind will not TELL people how they can consume the same products and services for less!

It is possible to save money in weird ways on lots of things. The railways are no exception. Yes, their complicated ticketing system does not help. You are welcome to contact ATOC about such anomalies if you wish. But if ATOC completely "fix" the system, we will only end up with everyone paying more, not less.
 

Jordeh

Member
Joined
18 Aug 2010
Messages
372
Location
London
Assuming some software eventually did have the capability to find splits and save you lots of money, presumably everyone booking train tickets would use it and it would only lead to a significant loss of revenue to the railway industry. This lost money would no doubt be recouped in a variety of ways such as fare increases for everyone and then they'd be no way at all for people to get cheaper tickets.
 

SS4

Established Member
Joined
30 Jan 2011
Messages
8,577
Location
Birmingham
PS:
* there are around 2600 stations in the UK... if we assume A to B could be via any of those 2600, then that's 5200 fares to check for any given request. And if these fares were stored and recalculated when fares changed, there'd be a maximum of 2600x2600x2600 fares to be checked - 17,000million combinations to to check twice yearly basis and then store the best results for any given origin and destination isn't anywhere near insurmountable for today's technology

You want a splitting engine though, this has to check all available splits on the route you wish to take in order so that it may be cheaper. As I've understood this part of your post you're saying there is only one ticket combination to check in each direction without regard for their being more than one calling point en route.

Let's just say we want to travel from A-E calling at B C and D. You can have the following combinations
Code:
A-E
A-B-E
A-B-C-E
A-B-D-E
A-B-C-D-E
A-C-E
A-C-D-E
A-D-E

I tested it for an extra calling point and there were 14 combinations (perhaps someone knows the maths for a journey with n calling points). We'd have to add rovers to that where appropriate. For the most part a human could guess that it wouldn't be better to split but a computer would need to do all the calculations and remember the sum.
Add to that the added complexity of our ticket system; using the example above it may happen that A-C is peak but C-E is off peak or virgin's railcard easement for example
 

ainsworth74

Forum Staff
Staff Member
Global Moderator
Joined
16 Nov 2009
Messages
22,810
Location
Redcar
Let's just say we want to travel from A-E calling at B C and D. You can have the following combinations:

And of course that's before we start thinking about combinations that include starting short or finishing early!
 

Skymonster

Member
Joined
7 Feb 2012
Messages
1,072
The previous annalogy to supermarkets is interesting:

1. Supermarkets have many more SKUs than the railway has stations and yet if buy a combination of products or multiple products, the checkout ALWAYS manages to calculate any applicable discount. To suggest the railway cannot calculate the lowest price whether it's from A to C or from A to B to C is ridiculous

2. Even if a supermarket checkout doesn't tell me I could have saved money by buying combinations or multiples at CHECKOUT, my experience is that there's always a sign
when I put products in my basket advising me of such discounts - why the rail industry can't say "if you buy from Nottingham to Derby and Derby to Crewe it will be cheaper" when I put a Nottingham to Crewe ticket in my basket is beyond me and is certainly within the capability of technology

There is only one reason why this con trick persists in the railway, and that is because it isn't in the industry's interests to fix it - leaving things as they are means the railway takes more money from the customer than the customer needs to spend in many cases. Only when the industry is ordered to put it's house in order will things change - and
of course even the government isn't minded to do something that could cut revenue take and thus increase the need for subsidy!

Andy
 

DaveNewcastle

Established Member
Fares Advisor
Joined
21 Dec 2007
Messages
7,395
Location
Newcastle (unless I'm out)
If the Rail Industry was to offer the service you have in mind, always offering the cheapest method of travelling from A to B, then certainly revenue would be diminished. Meanwhile, costs will remain unchanged.

There's only one thing any business will do in response to a situation where demand and capacity are unchanged but revenue drops while expenditure remains constant: It will increase prices to maintain its established revenue.
 

island

Veteran Member
Joined
30 Dec 2010
Messages
11,585
Location
0036
Several posters above have correctly pointed out that this has been tried. It is not as simple as you think.
 

IanD

Established Member
Joined
18 Sep 2011
Messages
2,662
Location
Newport Pagnell
1. Supermarkets have many more SKUs than the railway has stations.....

But at any given time, only certain combinations will give a discount so it is much easier to calculate.

What you're asking for is far more complicated.

It's not simple as checking all the calling points between Nottingham and Crewe and checking the point to point fares. What if you could get cheaper Advance fares by going Nottingham-Sheffield-Leeds-Settle-Carlisle-Crewe or some other ridiculously complicated route for the average traveller? Would you expect to be offered those tickets even though it could take you 10 times longer to reach your destination?

My local Indian restaurant doesn't offer it's cheapest deal (£7.99 for starter, man, side, rice and nan) unless you actually ask for it. The reason - there's a sign clearly displayed saying it is available on request. If you don't request, you don't get - simples!
 
Last edited:

Wath Yard

Member
Joined
31 Dec 2011
Messages
864
2. Even if a supermarket checkout doesn't tell me I could have saved money by buying combinations or multiples at CHECKOUT, my experience is that there's always a sign
when I put products in my basket advising me of such discounts - why the rail industry can't say "if you buy from Nottingham to Derby and Derby to Crewe it will be cheaper" when I put a Nottingham to Crewe ticket in my basket is beyond me and is certainly within the capability of technology

Or next time you could just check before you travel instead of afterwards.

I've already said - you wanted to go from Nottingham - Crewe and you were sold the cheapest ticket for that journey.

Forget Nottingham - Crewe. If you wanted to go to Birmingham, say for example a split at Tamworth would be cheaper. If the ticket machine offered you this, and then at the time you wanted to come home the service didn't stop at Tamworth your ticket would be invalid. How would a normal person travelling from Nottingham - Birmingham be expected to know if their return train stopped at Tamworth or not? Half of them wouldn't know where Tamworth was. And if you said you didn't want to buy the split tickets at Tamworth would it then have to offer you a split at Burton if that was slightly cheaper than the Nottm - Birmingham fare?
 

ainsworth74

Forum Staff
Staff Member
Global Moderator
Joined
16 Nov 2009
Messages
22,810
Location
Redcar
1. Supermarkets have many more SKUs than the railway has stations and yet if buy a combination of products or multiple products, the checkout ALWAYS manages to calculate any applicable discount. To suggest the railway cannot calculate the lowest price whether it's from A to C or from A to B to C is ridiculous

Did you actually read what SS4 and myself told you? It isn't as simple as you're making it out to be. For a journey of A to E there all the combinations of fares that have to be considered, then you have to also consider starting short and finishing early (so that's extra combinations), then on top of that you have to consider restrictions (are the tickets actually valid at the times you want to use them). It is only as simple as saying oh it would need to check A to B and B to C and A to C if you're travelling two stops down the line (and even then there is more to it than that).

If I wanted to travel from Middlesbrough to Sheffield (we'll assume via Darlington rather than Yarm) there would be about 15 stations between the two and you'd need to consider every possible combination of tickets between those 15 stations, then consider if there are any savings to be had from starting short or finishing early and then consider what impact any restrictions might have on your choice of tickets.

It is not as simple as you make it out to be and if it was don't you think someone would have created the software by now?
 

DaveNewcastle

Established Member
Fares Advisor
Joined
21 Dec 2007
Messages
7,395
Location
Newcastle (unless I'm out)
A debate on the question of computing all fares permutations for a journey can be read on this thread : Interpretation of "impartial retailing"

This contribution to the thread by OwlMan is illuminating :
OwlMan said:
There are over 5,500 origins/destinations in advantix. That gives over 30 million pairs (You have to include A-B and B-A as some fares are asymetrical)
Between each pair you probably have at least 10 different fares (off peak, anytime, single, return, day etc)thats 300 million fares.
Taking a middle distance route Birmingham - Doncaster there is probably an average of 10 stations per route and probably over 10 different routes.
10 stations gives you 1.8 million different splits over ten routes that is 18 million.
Between any two stations there are probably at least a quarter of all fares valid - 75 million fares
That gives you 1.25 billion possiblities . Now multiply by 30 million to get every route that gives you 37 quadrillion (or 15 zeros). As long routes will have a far number of splits this is probably an underestimate.

Not so easy is it?
 

gordonthemoron

Established Member
Joined
4 Sep 2006
Messages
6,161
Location
Milton Keynes
and ıt's not even the fault of prıvatısatıon, BR also had such tıcket anomalıes, ı.e. Nottıngham-Leıcester + Leıcester-London was cheaper than Nottıngham-London
 

Clip

On Moderation
Joined
28 Jun 2010
Messages
10,616
Ahh another Great british rip off story by someone who hasnt grasped what the word rip-off means nor the actuall complexity of ticketing and is comparing it to 2-4-1 SKUs with a supermarket

noun Slang .
1.
an act or instance of ripping off another or others; a theft, cheat, or swindle.
There is no theft cheat nor swindle here. You asked for a ticket between 2 points and you recieved such ticket the YOU asked for

noun Slang .
2.
exploitation, especially of those who cannot prevent or counter it.
.

No exploitation here. You yourself are/must be aware of split ticketing as you alluded to it in your first post yet you chose by your own free mind not to bother and bought a point to point ticket - which actually gives YOU the consumer more choice in the journey you could have undertaken both outward and return.Thats a bargain in itself.

3.
a copy or imitation.
4.
a person who rips off another or others; thief or swindler

And neither of these apply either. No one has swindled you and no one has stolen. So instead of using emotion rhetoric over the sake of 90pee try and think about the words you are using first.
 

hairyhandedfool

Established Member
Joined
14 Apr 2008
Messages
8,837
....1. Supermarkets have many more SKUs than the railway has stations and yet if buy a combination of products or multiple products, the checkout ALWAYS manages to calculate any applicable discount. To suggest the railway cannot calculate the lowest price whether it's from A to C or from A to B to C is ridiculous....

How far would you want to take that?

What if it left a passenger travelling from London to Glasgow with a choice of London-Bristol-York-Carlisle-Newcastle-Glasgow or London-Glasgow with nothing in between.

Or perhaps you'd like the clerk/machine/website to list all possible routes and explain all the limitations of those routes and ticket combinations (btw, if it's the clerk, they have 5 minutes to sell the ticket(s)) and then the passenger will, without doubt, understand and abide by all of the restrictions without question.
 

WelshBluebird

Established Member
Joined
14 Jan 2010
Messages
3,504
While I don't think that the railways should have to give out details of splits incase they are cheaper, I do want to bring up one point.

The people arguing that the ticket combinations and the system makes it too difficult to do are forgetting one thing. The system in use is the fault of the railways. The reason why fares are so complicated is because of the railways. So surely the onus should be on them to make it easy and fair for the general person to understand the cheapest choice for their journey?
After all, if the railways hadn't made such a complicated fare system, then having a way to give the cheapest fares including splits would be a piece of cake.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Top