Southern fare discrepancies

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by Samuel88, 17 Jun 2019.

  1. Samuel88

    Samuel88 On Moderation

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    How does Southern get away with charging vastly more for a return when traveling from London than to?
    An example from East Croydon to Chichester is 19.45 but if travelling from Chichester it's 12.80. Why on earth do they think this is acceptable?
     
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  3. 30907

    30907 Established Member

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    Actually the equivalent fare (CDR) from Chichester with similar restrictions is slightly higher at £20.25 (Railcard fare, which you quoted). £12.80 is a Super Offpeak with considerably less validity on weekdays.
    I imagine Southern don't think a ticket with that sort of restriction would make sense financially or operationally for days out to the Sussex coast.
     
  4. ForTheLoveOf

    ForTheLoveOf Established Member

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    Because it's not as if they have introduced it. It's a remnant from the "good old" BR days, when market based pricing, and in particular directional pricing, was introduced. There have been numerous substantial real-terms increases in fares since privatisation but Southern have not really taken part in this; their fares have remained relatively speaking flat in real terms since privatisation (certainly not increasing more than other operators).

    This level of difference is a lot less than the highest it gets, which is a hair under 2× for the Anytime Day Return towards London rather than coming out of London, e.g. for some SWR, Southeastern and Chiltern flows.

    I don't particularly see anything wrong with having this sort of market based pricing. It's clear that the greatest demand on commuter train services in the southeast, out of the entire day, is in the couple of hours in the morning peak. Why should people departing London in the contra-peak pay the same fare as those departing towards it in the height of rush hour?

    Or, to put it another way, why should people who cause the greatest percentage of the southeast commuter railway's costs (because much of the peak "reinforcement" stock lies idle during the off-peak) not contribute more towards this? There are many things broken with rail fares, but I really don't think this is one of the biggest issues!
     
  5. Starmill

    Starmill Events Co-ordinator

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    I think that so-called Pricebuster Return tickets from South Coast stations to London (now Super Off Peak Day Return) were actually a post-privatisation innovation? Do correct me if I am wrong but wasn't the Pricebuster a Connex South Central innovation?

    They were deliberately introduced, at a market-beating rate to get people on days out to London on the quietest trains. A return from Chichester or Bexhill or Seaford or Littlehampton to London for just £19.40 is a clear bargain and must sell well, regardless of the slightly less than convenient times of day it it is for. The fares also give the Brighton Mainline and Arun Valley line a significant competitive advantage for South Coast to London passengers. The cheapest ticket from Havant to London for use on SWR is much more at £32.30, and from Hastings to London slightly more at £25.20

    They seem to have been successful and as such have probably stuck around because of that. There wasn't as much of an incentive to introduce new cheaper tickets the other way around. I agree that this could now be done, but there is no real way to make GTR do so.

    It has been known to cause some conflict, for example where one person goes to the ticket office at London Victoria and asks for a Seaford to London return at £19.40, while another person asks for a single from London to Seaford at £29.20. Slightly awkward, but that's just the way it goes.
     
    Last edited: 17 Jun 2019
  6. Starmill

    Starmill Events Co-ordinator

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    In these examples, return tickets to London cost much more than ones from London. In the example given by the OP, return tickets to London cost much less than ones from London.
     
  7. Joe Paxton

    Joe Paxton Established Member

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    Best me to it. Pricebuster tickets are definitely a post-privatisation innovation.

    I think there's a fair argument to have similar tickets ex-London.
     
  8. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    This is because the railway uses market based pricing.

    If they were not allowed to do this, the lower fare would be increased to match the higher fare.
     
  9. David57

    David57 Member

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    So whats to stop me buying a Super Off-Peak Day return from a South coast station, (no names!),to London Terminals,there are no time restrictions as it's a Saturday, and using the ticket 'in reverse'?
     
  10. furlong

    furlong Established Member

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    The outward portion of your ticket is only valid if presented with your unused return portion. (NRCoT 11.3)
     
  11. Starmill

    Starmill Events Co-ordinator

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    You can buy the return ticket to London, while in London, and then use the return portion to make a one way your chosen South Coast destination.

    When you arrive there, your ticket expires and has no further validity.
     
  12. David57

    David57 Member

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    Thank you, it was 'just a thought'!
     

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