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

Bletchleyite

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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.
 
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DynamicSpirit

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See (for example) the ticket types in the left hand column on this page. You'll have to scroll down a bit to get to the standard class single tickets, though.
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
 

krus_aragon

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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
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).
 

sheff1

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It seems to me that the best solution might be to keep returns as they are now and introduce reasonably-priced singles in addition, not instead -- it seems to work on Great Western.
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".
 

Baxenden Bank

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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.

UK: East Coast Main Line operator LNER is to pilot proposed reforms to Great Britain’s fares system from January 2 2020, with tickets going on sale from November 29.

Announcing the trial on August 29, the Department for Transport said its aim was to ‘significantly boost customer confidence and flexibility in booking train tickets, with the potential to also save passengers money’.

Anytime Return, Super Off-Peak Return and Off-Peak Return tickets will be removed from sale for journeys between London King’s Cross and Leeds, Newcastle and Edinburgh, with standard class passengers instead purchasing Anytime Single, Super Off-Peak Single and Advance Single tickets. In first class, Anytime Single, Off-Peak Single and Advance Single ticket will be offered. The pilot will not apply to journeys to or from other stations on the route.

Under the current fares system, which is largely inherited from the former British Rail, many return tickets are only marginally more expensive than a single journey. However, DfT said the single tickets to be offered in the trial would be ‘more in line with half the price of a return journey’.

It said a London – Edinburgh Super Off-Peak Single ticket costs £146·40, while a return costs £147·40. Under the trial, the Super Off-Peak Single would cost £73·70, subject to the January fares adjustments.

The Rail Delivery Group which represents the industry has been campaigning for reform of the fares system, which it believes is too complicated, holds back the use of modern technology and does not reflect changes in society such as the increase in flexible working.

Responding the announcement of the pilot scheme, RDG Chief Operating Officer Jacqueline Starr said ‘passengers, businesses and rail companies are united in wanting easier fares’, and the trial would help to support its proposed reforms to ‘create a system that better fits how people live and work today’.
 

Wallsendmag

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

Bletchleyite

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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.
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.
 

Wallsendmag

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

Baxenden Bank

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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.
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.
 

Baxenden Bank

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They are, quite simply, horribly wrong.
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 their place passengers will be able to purchase cheaper single-leg tickets, which will be more in line with half the price of a return journey.
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.
 

Bletchleyite

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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.
 

Meerkat

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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.
 

SaveECRewards

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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.
 

Wallsendmag

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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.
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 ?
 

Bletchleyite

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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 ?
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.
 

SaveECRewards

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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.
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.
 

Capvermell

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The use-case of an unexpected overnight break of journey is incredibly niche. I don't think I've ever done it. Maybe once ever, I can think of one case where I might have visited family ad-hoc and stayed over, but only once.
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.
 

Wallsendmag

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

Bletchleyite

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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.
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.
 

kieron

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The example shown is 50%, but the text says single fares will be "more in line with half the return fare".
Which suggests they will not all be 50%.
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.
 

yorkie

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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? :)
 

Haywain

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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.
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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