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Author Topic: Fare advice update - West Wilts and Frome to London  (Read 323 times)
grahame
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« on: November 29, 2017, 09:20:23 AM »

Fare advice update - West Wilts and Frome to London  (in answer to a question asked elsewhere)



Buying walk up tickets for peak travel to or via Paddington from this part of the country (North and West Wiltshire, Swindon, the Bristol area and Mendip, including Frome) is hugely expensive on a frequent basis.   There are Options to reduce the costs of travel, but they don't work for everyone ...

Let's start with a "control" - Frome to Paddington return, peak train, any permitted route, 2017 prices - 190.00
Fare tables of options at http://www.brfares.com/#!fares?orig=FRO&dest=1072

a) If you can limit yourself to one route (e.g. via Newbury) that reduces to 166.00 - but at many times of day that will reduce the trains you have available to you; Frome currently has a relatively sporadic services, and services from Westbury to London via Newbury are irregular at times, with connections at Westbury being a bit random!

b) If you are able to take advantage of a senior (over 60) railcard, you can get 34% off the above fares and many but not all others.  Cost - 30 per annum.

c) If you are making multiple journeys in a 7 day period, a season ticket at 264.60 any route, or 235.50 if you limit yourself to journeys via Newbury.  So that's a reduced cost if you travel 2 days in a 7 day period (no railcard) or 3 days in a 7 day period (railcard).

Note - although specific day of the week season tickets (3 weekdays + weekends out of seven) are available in some areas, they're not available here. They are on the political agenda to help part time workers, but don't hold your breath or wait for them!!

d) Off peak tickets will make you considerable savings if you are able to time your journeys to use them.  Prices from 52.40 to 77.00 depending on whether you're off peak or super-offpeak, and whether you choose "any route" or "via Newbury"

e) Senior railcards and many other railcards too offer you a discount off the off peak tickets (senior and disabled cards apply to any time tickets on these routes, but some / most / all of the others don't)

f) From many stations in the area I'm taking about, you can also travel to London Waterloo by train - a longer journey, but lower fares. It's just 65.40 anytime via Warminster and Salisbury, and that reduces to 35.10 for an off peak day return on that route.  Railcard discouns apply too as under note (e).

g) If you travel up to London off peak (or super off peak) on a return ticket with restrictions, but find out later in the day that you want to return on a peak train or via a different route, you can "excess" your ticket - i.e. pay the difference.  Rules are complex (but I can go into those if need be); sometimes you'll pay the whole difference, sometime just the one way difference.

h) Advance tickets for specific trains may help you - but bear in mind these tickets are marketing tools and you have no guarantee of how many will be made available and at what price.  Headline prices of 11.20 single may be as rare as hen's teeth and when you find them may be on the 20:15 on a Tuesday in 6 weeks time, with a long wait at Westbury and London arrival at 23:15.   Advance tickets are singles, and you may have further issues matching up both outward and return trips at sensible prices.   Railcard discounts apply

i) Split tickets! If you but a ticket from Frome to X and another from X to London, you can often save money. That's especially the case in the area I'm talking about for day returns, where there are no or few direct "day return" tickets, but they do exist for the shorter journeys.   A day return is typically much cheaper than a period return where both are offered, by the way.  If you split at "X" you must travel on a train that stops at X, but there is no need to get off and on again. If one of the tickets in the split is a season ticket, the rule on the train having to stop there is relaxed.   With the currently erratic pattern of stops between Frome / Westbury and Reading, you need to be very careful with split returns.   With train service changes from January 2019, there should be some regularisation of stops which will make this particular jigsaw easier.   Huge topic ...

j) You are allowed to purchase a ticket for a longer journey and use it for only part of the journey on most tickets (NOT on Advance though). For example, a 35.10 Shirehampton to Waterloo via Salisbury day return may be used from Westbury to Waterloo.  That's 23.20 return if you have a railcard.  This example is valid on trains that arrive into Waterloo after 10:00 on Monday to Friday, any time Saturday or Sunday, and there are only morning restrictions on your return from Waterloo.  Add the cost of a return from Frome to Westbury ...

k) Buy singles - peak one way, off peak the other (combined with splits can work well) ... there is little point in buying a long distance peak ticket if the peak portion is only a little of the journey.

Edit to change advise to advice!
« Last Edit: November 29, 2017, 11:26:12 AM by grahame » Logged

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BandHcommuter
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« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2017, 10:54:37 AM »

Thanks, that's very useful.

I would add that the fares from Frome to London via Warminster/Salisbury are often cheaper than those from Westbury and Warminster. So, for example, the Off peak day return to Waterloo from Frome is 35.10 (same as Shirehampton), whereas from Westbury it's 40.90 super off peak or 50.90 off peak. In the morning I often get the 0640 from Westbury, which has a good connection at Salisbury for Waterloo. Many passengers boarding at Warminster purchase tickets originating from Frome (about 65 return instead of about 80).
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bignosemac
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« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2017, 11:23:53 AM »

A pedant writes:

*advice*

 Grin

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Lover of trains and all things rail related. That love and enjoyment has been severely dented in recent years by FGW/GWR.
grahame
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« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2017, 11:25:34 AM »

A pedant writes:

*advice*

 Grin



An old dog writes :

"you can't teach an old dog new tricks".

I will, however, correct that again!
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grahame
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« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2017, 12:36:16 PM »

Addition to my original post

From FROME

Berry's Superfast Coach at 08:10 to Hammersmith at 10:40, returns at 18:45 arrives Frome 21:15 - sample fare 20 single. Different times (2 services) on Sunday

National Express at 07:20 to Victoria at 10:40, returns at 18:30 and 22:05 arrival into Frome. Sample fare 10.90 single but jumps to 29 on busier days. Runs 7 days a week.
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teamsaint
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« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2017, 04:57:36 PM »

sorry, redundant advice , so edited !!

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