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Author Topic: Trainline introduces split ticketing to help rail passengers save money  (Read 3400 times)
Celestial
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« Reply #15 on: January 13, 2020, 09:03:04 pm »

And in addition, on one of the Meet the Manager threads with Mark Hopwood just lately, him mentioning bouyant sales to Didcot, and someone tongue in cheek asking whether that was because people wanted to go to Didcot or if the bouyant sales were caused by split ticketing.

That was me, and it was a perfectly serious question, as I am sure that the figures for Didcot are considerably distorted.  Though ironically, with more fast trains, I suspect some business travellers who split tickets even when their company was paying because "it's the right thing to do", will decide not to if the time penalty of having to take a slower train, and a less frequent service too.

I'm waiting for the campaign that it is unfair that your train has to stop at the splitting station. Cue Daily Fail headline "Outrage as commuter* thrown off train/charged twice for his ticket (delete as appropriate) as rip-off rail company uses small print to stop cheaper fair loophole. "     

*  - all rail travellers are commuters to the press, even those travelling 3pm on a Sunday afternoon from St Erth to Severn Tunnel Junction.   
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grahame
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« Reply #16 on: January 13, 2020, 09:59:45 pm »

That was me, and it was a perfectly serious question, as I am sure that the figures for Didcot are considerably distorted. 

I don't know about Didcot ... but I do know that Melksham's ORR figures were distorted for years by tickets sold for journeys that didn't even pass through Melksham (Melksham to Bristol was cheaper than Trowbridge to Bristol and than Bradford-on-Avon to Bristol, even though you can travel from Melksham to Bristol via either of those stations). At the height of the distortion, tickets for real journeys to / from Melksham were only a tiny part of Melksham ticket sales.

Look at the stats from 10 years ago. 27,676 ticketed passenger journeys, 4 calls a day.  Works out at 20 passengers per train.  No - may have been 4 or 5.    Some people who made use of the figures knew and understood the distortion and others did not. Overall, the distortion from time to time effected people's views and decisions. Personally I would much have preferred to have had real journey figures rather than ticket figures.

Didcot at present is a much better know distortion than Melksham was - and I would suspect there are enough people aware of split ticketing (and an estimate of its volume, which I have heard in national terms) for it to have little influence on planning for passenger numbers at the station.  It may lead to a temptation at fare setting time to raise Didcot fares at the upper end of the margin in view of spitting rather than in view of real passengers.
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Robin Summerhill
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« Reply #17 on: January 13, 2020, 11:45:54 pm »

And in addition, on one of the Meet the Manager threads with Mark Hopwood just lately, him mentioning bouyant sales to Didcot, and someone tongue in cheek asking whether that was because people wanted to go to Didcot or if the bouyant sales were caused by split ticketing.

That was me, and it was a perfectly serious question, as I am sure that the figures for Didcot are considerably distorted.  Though ironically, with more fast trains, I suspect some business travellers who split tickets even when their company was paying because "it's the right thing to do", will decide not to if the time penalty of having to take a slower train, and a less frequent service too.

I'm waiting for the campaign that it is unfair that your train has to stop at the splitting station. Cue Daily Fail headline "Outrage as commuter* thrown off train/charged twice for his ticket (delete as appropriate) as rip-off rail company uses small print to stop cheaper fair loophole. "     

*  - all rail travellers are commuters to the press, even those travelling 3pm on a Sunday afternoon from St Erth to Severn Tunnel Junction.   

It was the exclamation mark that made me think it was tongue-in-cheek Grin

I wonder how much of the revenue attributed to Didcot is "real", and how much is due to splitting tickets. Just a thought!

You may be right about the Didcot split becoming less attractive, especially with the new fast Bristols via Parkway. Nevertheless, BRI PAD anytime £224.20 whilst splitting at DID costs £137.30, a saving of £87.10, is almost a third off the full price. And the time saving on a "fast" via BPW compared to a "slow" via CPM is about 17 minutes. Waste 17 minutes and gain £87.10? I know what my decision would be Wink

« Last Edit: January 14, 2020, 12:47:30 am by Robin Summerhill » Logged
grahame
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« Reply #18 on: January 14, 2020, 05:29:17 am »

You may be right about the Didcot split becoming less attractive, especially with the new fast Bristols via Parkway. Nevertheless, BRI PAD anytime £224.20 whilst splitting at DID costs £137.30, a saving of £87.10, is almost a third off the full price. And the time saving on a "fast" via BPW compared to a "slow" via CPM is about 17 minutes. Waste 17 minutes and gain £87.10? I know what my decision would be Wink

With the Didcot split you are shifting from period returns to day returns - so of course this saving as calculated does not apply if you're going up in the Monday peak and back in the Friday peak.  And I believe the 17 minute saving is on the journey time - you may wish to add to that the extra wait at Temple Meads for the "slow" - e.g. from 08:53 to 09:00 which puts the extra time up to 24 minutes.  Then double the figures because you have to stop at Didcot with the same extra time penalties on the way back.  So overall you have a potential fare saving (as priced in this example) of £87.10 for a time saving of up to about an hour in total.

But once you start splitting, there are other alternatives too that can save you a little more on a "classic" peak day return trip - up in the morning back in the evening, and you can even (using singles) decide to travel up one day and back another, or lash out for a super fast in one direction and then split in the opposite direction.  I wonder if Trainline (which is what this thread's about) will help with such alternatives, or will offer other options such as a weekly season if you're making 2 round trips within 7 days or even use weekly seasons for a short section of a split which can eliminate the need to stop at the changeover point.
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Robin Summerhill
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« Reply #19 on: January 14, 2020, 11:19:54 am »

You may be right about the Didcot split becoming less attractive, especially with the new fast Bristols via Parkway. Nevertheless, BRI PAD anytime £224.20 whilst splitting at DID costs £137.30, a saving of £87.10, is almost a third off the full price. And the time saving on a "fast" via BPW compared to a "slow" via CPM is about 17 minutes. Waste 17 minutes and gain £87.10? I know what my decision would be Wink

 ...And I believe the 17 minute saving is on the journey time - you may wish to add to that the extra wait at Temple Meads for the "slow" - e.g. from 08:53 to 09:00 which puts the extra time up to 24 minutes.  Then double the figures because you have to stop at Didcot with the same extra time penalties on the way back.  So overall you have a potential fare saving (as priced in this example) of £87.10 for a time saving of up to about an hour in total.

When I read this I thought you might be spending too much time talking to creative accountants or politicians Grin

A journey time is a journey time is a journey time and starts when a train pulls out of a station and ends when it pulls into another station. Taking your logic one step further, someone going through the gateline at Temple Meads at xx:25 would have a choice of the xx:30 slow or the xx:53 fast. If they went on the xx:30 slow it would take 17 minutes longer to get to Paddington but the xx:53 fast is still 6 minutes away from the stop blocks, ergo the slow train is faster Grin

Quote from: grahame
With the Didcot split you are shifting from period returns to day returns - so of course this saving as calculated does not apply if you're going up in the Monday peak and back in the Friday peak.
I take the point that in those circumstances things are a little different, but I was thinking about the sort of punter, like I used to be when I was working - under 60 so no railcard and needing to go to occasional meetings in London.

When I was in that situation, if I couldn't claim expenses out of the client I would usually drive to Hayes & Harlington and catch a local in from there. One particular day doing that I walked into PAD within a few minutes of a Bristol train departing. So I did the calculation - if I was actually on that train it would get me into CPM at x, and a 10-minute walk home would get me there by y. So I timed my actual run - a semi-slow (if there is such a thing) calling at Ealing and Southall, then car home from Hayes. I pulled into the drive a mere 12 monutes later that I would have got there on the Bristol express.

And the moral of this story is - you can make numbers prove anything if you're creative enough with them... Wink
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didcotdean
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« Reply #20 on: January 14, 2020, 11:37:22 am »

If split ticketing sites can get sophisticated enough to include such things as splitting at Cholsey with a 7-day season from Didcot to enable use of the fast trains which currently typically only shaves off a further few pence for one peak each way journey with no railcard, but can pays off well for more than one, it will no doubt cause even more trouble.
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Bob_Blakey
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« Reply #21 on: January 14, 2020, 12:10:37 pm »

I have posted in this forum, and also submitted the same opinion to the recent rail fares consultation, that the remedy for the pricing nonsense that gives genesis to split ticketing is base distance related fares (DRF) with variations only for whether Fast, SemiFast or Local services are selected where available, unavoidable 'back tracking', if travel during peak hours, defined both temporally & geographically, is involved and when season tickets are used.

On the back of responses to my original submission on this forum I now also accept DRF values should to some extent reflect regional cost of living variations.     
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Robin Summerhill
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« Reply #22 on: January 14, 2020, 03:42:07 pm »

I have posted in this forum, and also submitted the same opinion to the recent rail fares consultation, that the remedy for the pricing nonsense that gives genesis to split ticketing is base distance related fares (DRF) with variations only for whether Fast, SemiFast or Local services are selected where available, unavoidable 'back tracking', if travel during peak hours, defined both temporally & geographically, is involved and when season tickets are used.

On the back of responses to my original submission on this forum I now also accept DRF values should to some extent reflect regional cost of living variations.     

Could you expand on this a bit please. regading your definitions?

What would be a distance related fare, how would you define fast, semi fast and local, and how would you define regional cost of living variaions and indeed how they could be calculated given that this could be a moveable target as local economies go up and dowm in relation to each other?

I ask this because my initial thoughts suggest that you could end up with as many anomalies as we have at the moment (albeit perhaps different ones). But I would prefer to hold off posting my thoughts at the moment because I may have thought of things that would have already been taken into account.
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Pb_devon
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« Reply #23 on: January 15, 2020, 08:25:53 am »

Martin Lewis (aka ’Money Saving Expert’) has done a review of the split ticket websites today in his weekly news email:

https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/latesttip/#train

Trainline scores zero!

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grahame
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« Reply #24 on: January 15, 2020, 08:39:43 am »

Martin Lewis (aka ’Money Saving Expert’) has done a review of the split ticket websites today in his weekly news email:

https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/latesttip/#train

Trainline scores zero!



Alternative link which I suspect will last longer:

https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/travel/cheap-train-tickets/#splitsites

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