Thameslink Fares - Major Difference in Price from South to St Pancras & Finsbury Park

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by rootage, 15 Oct 2018.

  1. rootage

    rootage Member

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    Hi there,

    Does anyone know why there is such a large discrepancy in fares on the Thameslink, from the southern section to St Pancras and Finsbury Park (which is just one more stop)? For instance:
    • Gatwick Airport to St Pancras - £10.70 anytime single
    • Gatwick Airport to Finsbury Park - £23.30 anytime single
    This seems like a rather excessive difference with the Finsbury Park ticket costing more than twice as much (and with the £2.90 Oyster Card fare from Kings Cross to Finsbury Park, or £1.50 bus fare, being just a fraction of the £12.60 fare that Thameslink would charge for a <10m journey...)

    Is there usually such a big differential when you pass out of the other side of the core, and if so, does it therefore usually make sense to split your ticket in the middle?

    Thanks!
     
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  3. Starmill

    Starmill Events Co-ordinator

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    It's likely to be because Gatwick Airport and other Brighton Main Line stations to London (including St Pancras) is a historic flow where they were competing with other TOCs, which no longer exist. A single from Gatwick Airport to Finsbury Park may be £23.30, but a single all the way to Hitchin is only £26.10.

    Those using Oyster or Contactless for their single journey from Gatwick Airport to Finsbury Park on through trains would be charged £8.30. At least, I hope they would. Until recently it might have been necessary to touch a pink reader or pay a slightly higher fare for this journey (or the lower fare might have been offered only to those touching pink readers at Stratford and Highbury and Islington, or maybe changing between national rail services by walking from St Pancras to King's Cross. I don't know).
     
  4. MikeWh

    MikeWh Established Member Senior Fares Advisor

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    The £8.30 fare is only off-peak, it's £14.70 if touching in at Gatwick between 0630-0930 or 1600-1900. The pink reader issue has been sorted out now, but it wouldn't have affected using this route through zone 1.
     
  5. Starmill

    Starmill Events Co-ordinator

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    Great, thanks.
     
  6. paul1609

    paul1609 Established Member

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    The £23.30 fare is route + Any permitted so includes the Gatwick Express Premium and use of the Underground.
    The £10.70 fare is route Not underground so is only valid via City Thameslink.
    As until the recent Thameslink changes it was not possible to travel direct to Finsbury Park there was historically no not underground fares as these largely were originally to avoid paying London underground a share of the fare for direct journeys when Thameslink was reopened between Blackfriars and Kings Cross.
     
  7. swt_passenger

    swt_passenger Veteran Member

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    Of course. Probably needs a complete revision of such newly available point to point fares, and you can bet the TOC won’t have even realised. (Or has but doesn’t care.) Alternatively the May 2018 availability of London Thameslink as a destination from south London could have included Finsbury Park as part of that fares group...
     
  8. Starmill

    Starmill Events Co-ordinator

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    Actually, this ticket is not routed Via City Thameslink, as many are.
     
  9. Haywain

    Haywain Established Member

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    It's not, but carrying a route of 'Not Underground' would make it difficult to reach the destination (or furthest point of London Thameslink) by rail without travelling via City Thameslink.
     
  10. Iggy12a

    Iggy12a Member

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    Using a paper ticket, it is actually cheaper to buy a Gatwick to Potters Bar ticket: £18.10 anytime single routed + any permitted, and at the weekend £13.60 super off-peak single also routed + any permitted.
     
  11. some bloke

    some bloke Member

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    On Pay As You Go, Gatwick to Finsbury Park splitting at East Croydon (via zone 1, not Underground) is £10.50 peak or £6.50 off peak.
     
  12. kieron

    kieron Established Member

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    Part of the issue is also that the people who set fares don't care that much about single paper fares. The cheapest peak returns are a bit closer at £20.50 SOR to St Pancras, or £26.20 SDR to Finsbury Park.

    There certainly can be big differences in fare with a small difference in journey, though, even with return tickets. A Liverpool-Lichfield anytime return costs £54.20 (all tickets are "any permitted" ones), against £100.20 for one from Birkenhead. Or £2.95 extra each way to go under the River Mersey.
     
  13. some bloke

    some bloke Member

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    For your example journey, staying on a direct train in the PAYG peaks is cheaper with paper tickets, unless capping comes into the equation.

    Gatwick-East Croydon Anytime, Thameslink only £4.60
    + East Croydon-Finsbury Park Anytime, via zone 1 not Underground £6.40
    = £11, versus PAYG peak fare of £14.70.


    Touching in at East Croydon, this is 70p cheaper than splitting into two PAYG fares:

    Gatwick-East Croydon Anytime, Thameslink only £4.60
    + East Croydon-Finsbury Park peak PAYG, via Zone 1 not Underground £5.20
    = £9.80.
     
  14. 717001

    717001 Member

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    TL/GN are run under management contracts not ordinary franchise arrangements so all fare decisions are made by the DfT. Suspect there is a list of proposed changes still sitting in an inbox somewhere there!
     

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