Split ticketing Oxford to London query

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by Tylerolo, 11 May 2015.

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  1. Tylerolo

    Tylerolo Member

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    I currently have a season ticket for Oxford to Reading and will shortly be having to make a journey to London at peak times a couple of times a week.

    I've been looking at the cheapest way to do hither by using my 16-25 railcard. Split ticketing reading - slough, slough - zone 1-6 seems to be the cheapest way to do this.

    For some reason, every website I use isn't offering the railcard's 1/3 off for these split tickets when traveling at peak times

    For instance:

    Reading - Slough is being shown as £10.10 regardless of whether a rail card is applied.

    In my frustration I thought I would turn to my fellow commuters expertise to work out what's going wrong here! Possible website glitch?!
     
  2. Starmill

    Starmill Established Member

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    What time of day are you travelling? I note that £10.10 is the price of an Anytime Day Return, suggesting that at the time when you are travelling an Off-Peak Day Return isn't valid (before 0900)? Before 10am except July+August there is a minimum fare of £12 with that railcard.
     
  3. Tylerolo

    Tylerolo Member

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    I had no idea there was a minimum fare for using railcards at peak times! Such a shame as splitting with the railcard would of saved so much money but thanks for ending my complete confusion :)

    I don't suppose you know if there are alternative railcards that would offer the discount at that time?
     
  4. Deerfold

    Deerfold Established Member

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    I think the only one (until July) is the Disabled Railcard.
     
  5. Tylerolo

    Tylerolo Member

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    Thanks Deerfield and Kofieye - I'm not going to give up.

    Will have a play around there must be some split combination for reading - zone 1-6 that works (he hopes and prays!)
     
  6. Indigo2

    Indigo2 Established Member

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    What about
    Reading to Twyford Anytime Day Return (full price): £4.10
    Twyford to London Zones 1-6 Anytime Day Travelcard route Not Via Reading (16-25 Railcard): £21.65

    Total £25.75 - and you don't need to travel on a train that stops at Twyford because one of your tickets is a season and the others aren't (National Rail Conditions of Carriage condition 19 (c)).
     
  7. bb21

    bb21 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Slightly cheaper splitting at Maidenhead instead of Twyford - £25.40
     
  8. Tylerolo

    Tylerolo Member

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    I thought I'd had a breakthrough in doing reading - west Drayton peak at £13.65 using the railcard and then doing the rest as an oyster journey - but realised I'd have to jump out of the window to touch the oyster reader as the train flew through west Drayton! - Doh almost.
     
  9. amateur

    amateur Member

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    What happens after July? Are they introducing a new restriction?
     
  10. Stompehh

    Stompehh Member

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    Note that the £12 minimum fare restriction is lifted in July and August, this may help you a little!
     
  11. 185143

    185143 Established Member

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    I think he meant that the 16-25 railcard held has no restrictions after July (until end of August).
     
  12. RJ

    RJ Established Member

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    Under the shortest route rule, you can use an Ashford (Surrey) to Zone 1-6 Travelcard to travel between Reading and West Drayton - verified by National Rail Enquires. It's only £17 with a railcard if you're prepared to use trains that stop at West Drayton. If you want the fastest through trains, it's not the most cost effective option.
     
    Last edited: 12 May 2015
  13. maniacmartin

    maniacmartin Established Member Senior Fares Advisor

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    I can't help but raise that age old question of the grey area of combining a ticket with itself.
    Would the train need to stop at West Drayton if an Oxford to Reading season was used, under NRCoC 19c?
     
  14. RJ

    RJ Established Member

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    I don't see it as a grey area. It's only valid to be used as described if travelling to West Drayton, which would require the train to stop there. It's a case of using one ticket to do two journeys.

    There would be no need for the train to stop if the journey was actually to London - in a ticketing context, this would be applicable if an extra ticket was held between West Drayton and Paddington.
     
  15. Tylerolo

    Tylerolo Member

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    RJ and maniac martin thank you for your helpful replies.

    I think its possibly because it's the end of the day but I can't quite work out why I could use my season ticket to avoid needing to stop at a station when traveling from Oxford to london but couldn't use it with the ingenious Ashford - zone 1 to six ticket?

    It feels like I'm on the cusp of a brilliant break through thanks to your knowledge!
     
  16. bb21

    bb21 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I feel that I must point out that using the Ashford in your split on the same through train from Oxford has the potential for plenty of hassle. You will need to weigh up the savings against that. The cheapest is not always the best option.

    Using split tickets is an art, not an exact science. Some combinations are valid, but may cause a lot of arguments, which is not what most people want on commutes, while others not valid, but will almost certainly be accepted.

    If you were to use the Ashford ticket, my advice would be to change at Reading onto a different train.
     
  17. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Absolutely.

    And the "breakthrough" won't last long now it's been posted!
     
  18. Tylerolo

    Tylerolo Member

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    Ok the optimism has been replaced by realism

    One last question. If I had an oyster 1-6 season card, would I be able to travel on fast oxford - london trains?
     
    Last edited: 12 May 2015
  19. bb21

    bb21 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    A Travelcard season ticket held on Oyster is still a season ticket.

    For a Condition 19(c) split, you may have one and only one season ticket in your combination. If you also have a season ticket between Oxford and Reading, then there would be more than one season ticket in your combination if your journey were Oxford to London.
     
  20. RJ

    RJ Established Member

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    Ok, I'll clarify my stance on loopholes.

    I find a fair few of them myself. I use data released by ATOC, do a bit of analysis and find a lot of tickets that can be used to undercut the published market fare for a journey. Most of these fares I don't share with other people, only for lack of an appropriate platform to do so. If I see a thread in which my own findings are topical, I may well share them. The Reading to London SDR isn't very hard to undercut.

    Other people come to know about loopholes too. If I'm given this information in confidence, then I will respect whoever shares the information with me by not publicising it unnecessarily. I haven't got a clue who else knows about it and might want it kept quiet - and there are only limited situations in which I'd care, such as the one I've given.

    Like the £1.00 Hook to Polegate First Class Off Peak Single, which was valid via Reading, this Ashford to West Drayton routing is something I found through my own trial and error with available data, whilst responding to a similar thread. It may well the be case that other people knew about it already. That information wasn't shared with me so I have no moral objection to posting it out.

    This particular subject has been discussed on this forum, Money Saving Expert and probably other places. It's in the public domain already and still going strong.
     
    Last edited: 13 May 2015
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