Single Leg pricing for some journeys to/from King's Cross give passengers a better deal on fares

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by syorksdeano, 29 Aug 2019.

  1. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Finding the BoJ bar on the SSU (for whoever mentioned that) is a bit obscure because the ticket type bars it, which is not a common situation away from Advances, it's mostly done via the restriction.

    There are a few other ticket types that do it this way - SailRail is probably the most obvious one (and given how much cheaper it is than an Anytime one can see why in that case). The other more obscure one is some London Northwestern set Super Off Peak Returns, which bar via the ticket type on the outward, BR-style.
     
  2. DynamicSpirit

    DynamicSpirit Established Member

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    Thanks.... Umm now I'm even more confused. Apparently, SSS means 'super offpeak single' and SSU means 'super off pk single' and they have different prices and both come with an huge list of conditions that no reasonable person is going to remember. Our fares system definitely needs reform! :s
     
  3. krus_aragon

    krus_aragon Established Member

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    Agreed. But for what it's worth, I can tell you that the cheaper one is only offered for sale when you're buying an advance fare in the other direction (for those that want, but can't find an advance ticket both ways).
     
  4. sheff1

    sheff1 Established Member

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    Agreed. Those who want cheaper singles would be happy and those who wish to retain the advantages of a return ticket could do so.

    The fact that this trial involves the withdrawal of existing return tickets, which are significantly more flexible than the replacement singles, hardly ties in with the statement from DfT that the aim is to "significantly boost customer confidence and flexibility in booking train tickets".
     
  5. Baxenden Bank

    Baxenden Bank Established Member

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    According to the Railway Gazette article: standard class "Off Peak returns" (aka Saver) to be replaced by Advance singles.

    All flexibility removed therefore unless you pay anytime fares or can find a super-off-peak.

    The rail industry has lost one customer here if that is rolled out nationwide.

     
  6. Wallsendmag

    Wallsendmag Established Member

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    That's before you get onto the SSH and it's calendar bars.
     
  7. Wallsendmag

    Wallsendmag Established Member

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    I'll fill in the gaps for you next week.
     
  8. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    What's worth bearing in mind is that the Super Off Peak on the ECML is the equivalent of the Off Peak on many other routes (e.g. the WCML) because the Off Peak is the inherited ex-GNER Business Saver, which originally (though it's been tweaked since then) was restricted outward, unrestricted return.

    Therefore, someone wanting to travel out off-peak but return in the peak will purchase a Super Off Peak Single out and an Anytime Single back. There's no need for the "hybrid" ticket.

    The Super Off Peak elsewhere (e.g. the WCML) is, by contrast, a deep discount ticket with very heavy restrictions including weekend restrictions.
     
  9. Wallsendmag

    Wallsendmag Established Member

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    You've missed the point it's linked to Advance EG Advance out SSU back
     
  10. Baxenden Bank

    Baxenden Bank Established Member

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    I'm sure that is correct, but just shows the need to genuinely simplify fares!
    For this trial, and future extensions:
    What is the regulated fare?
    Will a flexible regulated fare remain?
    Be that as two 'off-peak/saver halves' (as Virgin currently sell - half the saver used in conjunction with an advance single and priced at exactly half the current saver return) or an off-peak/saver return.
     
  11. Haywain

    Haywain Established Member

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    They are, quite simply, horribly wrong.
     
  12. Baxenden Bank

    Baxenden Bank Established Member

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    They may be, they may not.
    Impossible to know as the DfT press release is rather vague.
    One would think that such a radical change (if rolled out nationwide) would be better thought through and then explained fully, to those it is claimed to benefit, prior to launch.
    The press release claims:
    in line with half the price - no reference to in line with current terms and conditions ie no time restrictions on return portions and flexibility over trains caught.
     
  13. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    No, I haven't. It won't be linked to an Advance for the trial.
     
  14. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    So, Off Peak Returns. Presently the fares London-Edinburgh are:

    Anytime Return £323
    Off Peak Return £238
    Super Off Peak Return £147.40

    This will probably mean:

    Anytime Single £161.50 (it already is)
    Super Off Peak Single £73.70

    So if you want to go outward in the peak and return off peak or vice versa (the main purpose of the original Business Saver, though it's gained some evening restrictions along the way), you just buy one of each - total £235.20, or about three quid less than the Off Peak Return.

    I'd suggest that renders the Off Peak Return pretty pointless, with no real need to convert it too into singles.

    This is one of the many great benefits of this approach.
     
  15. Meerkat

    Meerkat Established Member

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    Should spread the peak shouldn’t it?
    Someone who currently needs to go outward in the morning peak will be willing to delay or bring forward their return to save money on the return, and vice versa.
     
  16. SaveECRewards

    SaveECRewards Member

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    I’ve not been around much lately. Working on the south coast has meant I’ve not been on LNER as much this year and it’s a bit out of sight out of mind. But my initial thoughts on this are:
    Why make it a trial on limited routes? As mentioned before those boarding at Durham or Wakefield might not be initially aware of this trial and later on will be rightly angry if they discover they’ve been paying a lot more for singles than those who are travelling from Leeds or Newcastle.

    Why not keep returns too? Currently the anytime single is half the anytime return fare, as far as I know it has always been. It’s only the ‘saver’ tickets that have traditionally ripped you off for buying a single.

    One thing I’ve not seen mentioned so far is delay repay. Get delayed 2+ hours and you get the full value of your return back not just the value for the leg you were delayed on. If you can only buy two singles then you lose the higher tier of delay repay.

    When I was a student I used to take great advantage of the break of journey flexibility SVR tickets offered. Stopping off at one place for a drink with friends and then further up the line staying somewhere else for a night out. There’s absolutely no reason why returns can’t be kept for those who want them.

    Overall I think the changes are better, but in the end I don’t see why they have to remove the benefits of return tickets for those who do take advantage of them.

    Another use case I had in my early career was if the company I was working for at the time wanted to send me to London they’d buy the cheapest available flexible ticket which meant that if I was meant to be coming back on Friday I could choose to stay the weekend and get the train back on Sunday. If they had to buy tickets for a particular day then I’d lose this flexibility. Those who intend to return a certain day (and have already bought their return leg) and decide to extend or cut short their trip will have to pay a £10 fee to cancel their ticket and reissue if they could have a return ticket they’d be fine as long as they’re within the month.

    Also not offering a single of the off-peak ticket will affect some people as there’s times you can travel that are covered with off-peak tickets and not by super off-peak. I can see this as a big issue on Friday evenings if you want to avoid the crush in standard class of the 18:18 which is the first train of the evening that super off-peak is valid on.
     
  17. Wallsendmag

    Wallsendmag Established Member

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    Who said the Off Peak was being converted into singles ? Is there a Off Peak return time or just a Super Off Peak return time ?
     
  18. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    If I read it right the Off Peak will be abolished, as it would be basically rendered pointless by the ability to buy an Anytime Single in one direction only, except for two very narrow time bands (basically an hour in the morning and an hour in the afternoon) which can be smoothed via Advances.
     
  19. SaveECRewards

    SaveECRewards Member

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    Not true. On a Friday evening there’s no off peak restriction out of KGX whereas super off peak is only available from 18:15 onwards.

    Back when I used to mostly travel standard I appreciated the ability to jump on the first train on a Friday after I finished work (preferably one before the ones that super off peak can use which are always packed). With first class you can just get an advance at a time you know you can safely make and wait in the lounge if you get there too early.
     
  20. westv

    westv Established Member

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    Didn't that change a while ago? Now off peak aren't valid?
     
  21. Haywain

    Haywain Established Member

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    No, it hasn't changed.
     
  22. westv

    westv Established Member

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    Ah! I must be thinking of off peak returns that you used to be able to use on peak services out of London on Friday and peak time returns the following Monday.
     
  23. Capvermell

    Capvermell Member

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    That all depends on whether you are an obsessive organiser and advance planner type who plans all your holidays a year in advance or a last minute booking spontaneous actor type.

    Only five days ago I was on the Isle of Wight and the weather was so fantastic (the forecast having improved for the Tuesday and a hotel being available for only £27 rather than the £100 a night over the bank holiday) that I would like to have stayed on another day. But doing so would have cost me another £22.50 or so (Network card discounted single fare) rather than the original £7.50 extra for a an Off Peak (period) return (rather than an Off Peak Day Return) on top of the hotel so I decided to come back home after all. Admittedly car was parked on an 8am to 10am only residents parking bay in Horsham (anyone can park there the rest of the time) but chances are nobody would be checking it in August bank holiday week, although that was another part of my considerations in deciding to come back home same day.
     
  24. Wallsendmag

    Wallsendmag Established Member

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    Ah but are you looking at the Off Peak times as changing to Super Off Peak? Don’t take that for granted.
     
  25. Wallsendmag

    Wallsendmag Established Member

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    Are you thinking of Virgin’s restrictions ?
     
  26. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    No, I'm suggesting that there will, by my reading, be ONLY three types of fare - Anytime, Super Off Peak and Advance Singles, with restrictions as they are now. The Off Peak will be abolished without replacement, as buying an Anytime Single one way and a Super Off Peak Single the other way will give you almost the same flexibility at a slightly cheaper overall price, while the odd gap (about an hour in each of morning/evening) would be bridged by Advances.
     
  27. westv

    westv Established Member

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    No. I see no change back to the old rule under LNER when I look at the route I am interested in.
     
  28. kieron

    kieron Established Member

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    As things stand, a super off peak return from Newcastle to London costs £70.85 for a child fare. The SSU fare isn't half as much, for obvious reasons. The fares won't be the same when this trial is implemented in January, but I'd be amazed if the single fares all cost half as much as the equivalent return.

    Whether there will be a significant premium/discount for buying single fares isn't something I can tell from the press release.

    My concern is that the ticket restrictions aren't symmetrical. It wouldn't normally affect the tickets in the press release, but, as an example, 9D has evening restrictions from Luton, whereas the return leg of 1L does not. I'm sure there will be winners and losers from these changes, though, as there are from any other.
     
  29. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    I welcome the news if, and only if, it does not result in increases in prices paid by passengers.

    I will be looking out for any cases where there are price increases for any passengers making return journeys; if there are any then @David Dunning, Rachel Maskell and others will be notified.

    I am sure the DfT and LNER realise that there is a substantial risk of significant reputational damage if this were to happen and will ensure that no price increases occur, right? :)
     
  30. Haywain

    Haywain Established Member

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    I think that you allude to a time when Off Peak Returns on the East Coast route did not have any time restrictions on the return portion.
     

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