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Author Topic: The cost of a lack of connections at Didcot to / from Oxford  (Read 24020 times)
grahame
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« on: July 16, 2021, 12:17:35 »

Inspired by a post elsewhere on the forum ...

There are significant passenger flows from Swindon and west thereof to Oxford, with passengers who are able to change at Didcot able to travel on a "not via Reading" ticket, and those who find that connections at Didcot don't work having to go via Reading and pay considerably more.  This has always struck me as a bit unfair, with the rail industry not providing appropriate connections by the sortest route and then charging its customers for their failure to provide.

Taking a personal example - day trip Melksham to Oxford. If I change at Didcot:
£56.80 - anytime day return
£18.00 - off peak day return

If I have to travel via Reading (I would not mind a "no break of journey" contition:
£119.20 - anytime return
£68.70 - off peak return
£52.20 - super off peak return

There is a significant flow of people between Swindon and Oxford, and I have to wonder if a tardiness in providing decent connections every 30 minutes and/or sensible fares for people who have to (but don't really want to) travel up and down to Reading might in some small degree be a business decision - "Two customers at £52.20 are better than five at £18.00" stuff.
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grahame
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« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2021, 12:23:33 »

P.S. Made the worse for groups ... with Groupsave being available on just about all "Change at Didcot" schedules, and only on some of the "Change at Reading" options due to the difference in conditions / availability of these tickets on GW (Great Western) and XC (Cross Country Trains (franchise)).
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didcotdean
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« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2021, 16:12:49 »

The oddity is that these days per hour there are more buses that go between Didcot Parkway and Oxford Rail Station than trains (3 rather than 2). Plus another two that take a different route to Oxford City Centre and then to Headington and the JR Hospital. All rather slower of course but some maybe nearer to some people's final destination.

The bus company does though include trains in its journey planner  Grin

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grahame
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« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2021, 16:47:17 »

The bus company does though include trains in its journey planner

1. Does the train company included buses in its journey planner?

2. Are train and bus tickets interchangeable?

3. If not, why not?

I think the answers to 1. and 2. will be guessable and easy.   The answer to 3 much harder to explain!
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« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2021, 16:54:32 »

I would say this is down to the London centric nature of the railway. Can the electric stopping trains not be extended to Swindon to provide a more often connection? This would provide the opportunity to get rid of the huge jump in fares between didcot and Swindon, a leftover from intercity only trains I guess.
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ChrisB
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« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2023, 16:52:22 »

This is all down to the Didcot shuffle and the fare climb because of the historic Network SouthEast - and GWRs (Great Western Railway) wish to try & kill off the shuffle.

Come the new May23 timetable, it will get harder still, with only three trains an hour from the West/Swindon stopping at Didcot - and all of those within 20 mins, so will all end up on the same hourly shuttle from Didcot too (unless they break their journey)
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IndustryInsider
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« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2023, 18:15:52 »

East West Rail could, and should IMHO (in my humble opinion), be the answer there.
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didcotdean
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« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2023, 19:44:21 »

The current public details of services for the May are down to only two to/from west of Didcot within 10 minutes each hour.

This not only degrades train connections but also the interchange with buses at the station which various parties have developed over the last few years into arguably the centre of public transport in Southern Oxfordshire. These presently run at typical frequencies of 2-4 times an hour to surrounding towns and villages as well as industrial and technology centres. Some are developer supported but most are commercial.
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grahame
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« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2023, 21:06:37 »

The current public details of services for the May are down to only two to/from west of Didcot within 10 minutes each hour.

Does that also mean that "Reading and London Only" services from Didcot are also way on down?
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« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2023, 21:31:38 »

One of the Oxford<>Paddington services is stopping additionally, but, especially towards London, the spacing isn’t great.
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didcotdean
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« Reply #10 on: February 09, 2023, 08:31:49 »

Yes - 3 within about 15 minutes then none for three quarters of an hour which is the worst spacing for almost 20 years. I don't know why it isn't possible to stop the other Bristol train in the hour instead to spread them out but I can only guess that there has to be a good reason.
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grahame
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« Reply #11 on: February 09, 2023, 08:40:40 »

Yes - 3 within about 15 minutes then none for three quarters of an hour which is the worst spacing for almost 20 years. I don't know why it isn't possible to stop the other Bristol train in the hour instead to spread them out but I can only guess that there has to be a good reason.

Making split ticketing less attractive?  Encouraging passengers from the west to Oxford to go via Reading at a higher fare?
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ChrisB
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« Reply #12 on: February 14, 2023, 14:13:11 »

The former, I would suggest.

I agree with moving the stop on the Bristol TM(resolve) services to the other service each hour.
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Timmer
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« Reply #13 on: February 14, 2023, 19:51:43 »

I agree with moving the stop on the Bristol TM(resolve) services to the other service each hour.
GWR (Great Western Railway) must have a reason for choosing one over the other even to the detriment of providing Didcot Parkway with a more balanced service. Pathing possibly?
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