The best price for a Banbury to Bournemouth off peak return?

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by phil35, 6 Nov 2011.

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  1. phil35

    phil35 Member

    17 Nov 2010
    Hi all, on Friday 18th November (around 4/5pm) I will be travelling from Banbury to Bournemouth, returning on Sunday 20th. I have a Young Person Railcard, any suggestions how I could bring down the price from the normal £36.30 for any off peak return? I don't want to commit to advance tickets. Ideally I'd like to stay on the direct service, but if there's significant savings I may be willing to switch.

    As always, thanks for any input!
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  3. yorkie

    yorkie Forum Staff Staff Member Administrator

    6 Jun 2005
    The fare of £36.30 is the best price for a Banbury to Bournemouth Off Peak Return (SVR) with a Railcard! ;)

    However it may be cheaper to buy a different set of tickets, instead of a Banbury to Bournemouth SVR.

    My standard advice:

    "Splitting" the journey into a combination of tickets may work. Use a WebTIS website (e.g. EC, LM etc) and click the info (i) button next to the itinerary you want, then tick 'show all calling points', this shows the places where you could "split" the journey into a combination of tickets (note the train must call on the return journey too).

    In this case there are not that many stations to choose from: Oxford, Reading, Basingstoke, Winchester, Southampton Airport Parkway, Southampton Central and Brockenhurst.

    Note that if you want to return a different day (as in this case), then unless singles are sensibly priced (unlikely in the case of shorter distance singles) it will not be cheaper to split at stations where only Day Return tickets are available. Therefore, it is generally only best to look at longer distance tickets, where Off Peak Return (SVR) fares can be combined.

    Travelling at "peak" times (which varies by route and ticket held) can be reduced by purchasing tickets with more favourable restrictions and either splitting and/or starting/finishing short. Again, some TOCs do not like this and can take action. However it does not sound like you are going to be travelling at peak times so that won't be relevant in this case.

    You can take advantage of Routeing Guide anomalies by looking for 'over-distance' tickets which you can then start/finish short, though ATOC and some TOCs are keen to remove such anomalies so if they get mentioned here that can mean the end of them. Finishing short/breaking your journey is not permitted with Advance tickets though, so this technique is only valid when using "walk on" tickets, but that's unlikely to be problem as you won't be using Advance fares (there are very few walk-on tickets that do not allow this, on the outward portion, and are unlikely to apply in your case).
  4. wintonian

    wintonian Established Member

    15 Jan 2010
    Try splitting at Reading and Oxford and maybe Brockenhurst or Southampton Central though from memory I don't think there is any saving to be made from the latter.
  5. Indigo2

    Indigo2 Established Member

    16 Apr 2010
    I think that £36.30 fare is really quite good value for a journey of that length; you really benefit from it all being in the old Network Southeast area. Leamington Spa to Bournemouth is over £10 more expensive, for comparison.

    But you can bring it down to £33.40 like this:

    Off-Peak Return Banbury to Pangbourne route READING £10.90
    (and stop/start short at Reading)
    Off-Peak Return Reading to Bournemouth £22.25

    I wouldn't recommend that if you were staying on the same train right through though; it would look a bit suspicious if you weren't getting off at Reading. In saying that, the Banbury to Pangbourne SVR is a regulated fare so it can't easily be removed/changed (Passengers travelling from Banbury to Pangbourne on tickets routed "VIA READING" may not travel via Reading? Would they really try such a silly negative easement?).
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