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Author Topic: Scotland scrapping peak time fares  (Read 3142 times)
TaplowGreen
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« on: September 15, 2023, 09:22:44 »

https://www.independent.co.uk/travel/news-and-advice/rail-peak-tickets-scrapped-uk-scotrail-b2411342.html

Interesting 6 month experiment, but given the state of rail revenue I can't see it being replicated in England?

(and of course the eternal question - ooooooooooooo's gonna pay for it?)
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« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2023, 11:53:01 »

I guess the Scots have had to face a similar reduction in rail revenue, yet seem proactive enough to give it a try?

As for the eternal question, it's no longer relevant really.  The operators don't take any financial risk, so all risk (and potentially reward) would fall upon the DfT» (Department for Transport - about), Treasury and ultimately the taxpayer.  Perhaps they might show a bit of interest if the trial brings in more dough in Scotland?
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Witham Bobby
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« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2023, 12:26:46 »

Great idea, unless you're going to add more passengers to already overcrowded trains in the peak hours and lose them from less well patronised trains in the daytime and evening

I thought the idea of peak fares was to make sure that those who could avoid travel at the busier times would be more inclined to choose to do so
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« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2023, 12:37:54 »

I thought the idea of peak fares was to make sure that those who could avoid travel at the busier times would be more inclined to choose to do so

Yes, and it's all about whether the balance of commuter surge vs. off-peak capacity has shifted enough post Covid that there is now scope to fill seats on trains that were once peak time to increase revenue, encourage modal shift etc.

I'm not so sure that's the case.  Certainly not everywhere anyway.
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« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2023, 13:33:12 »

I thought the idea of peak fares was to make sure that those who could avoid travel at the busier times would be more inclined to choose to do so

Yes, and it's all about whether the balance of commuter surge vs. off-peak capacity has shifted enough post Covid that there is now scope to fill seats on trains that were once peak time to increase revenue, encourage modal shift etc.

I'm not so sure that's the case.  Certainly not everywhere anyway.

Better questions might be "what is peak loading", "what will the market stand at what time of day" and "how do we manage the interface between the two"?

From a loading viewpoint there are parts around here where a "peak" train is almost empty - the 06:36 off Melksham Monday to Friday, for example. And there are parts where we control how we market an "off peak" train - the 09:10 Melksham to Weymouth on summer Saturdays, for example.

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« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2023, 13:49:12 »

I ended up on a peak IET (Intercity Express Train) out of PAD» (Paddington (London) - next trains) recently, having done some splitting to make the fare palatable. I was disheartened to find it was short-formed as a 5 car, having intentionally avoided an earlier booked 5 car! (Unplanned 5 cars are more irritating as people are trying to take their reserved seats...) It was August, which may affect commuter loading. It was busy, but towards the front everyone had a seat. If we judge on appearance, it didn't seem to be predominantly filled with commuters.

Peak fares are as much about market pricing as managing loadings, maximising revenue while offering lower fares to leisure travellers who are a much less captive market. (Advance fares also do this but planning around exact bookings is such a hassle!) But that being the case, perhaps we could have a much simpler set of peak restrictions. For example, most tickets could have a restriction along the lines of no travel before 9am, or arriving at X before 10am (for flows with obvious end points like London), with some easements where frequencies are lower.

It's well known that evening peak restrictions smear the loading graph and create new peaks on the shoulders, so do away with evening peak restrictions – if we assume most leisure travellers don't want to do super-early starts (offer some advance fares for those who do) whereas they may well want to return early evening and don't want the complication of avoiding the evening peak.  This might make some still-busy evening peak journeys even busier but I couldn't say if that would be a bigger issue than the shoulder-peak issue it solves.
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2023, 16:09:31 »

I thought the idea of peak fares was to make sure that those who could avoid travel at the busier times would be more inclined to choose to do so

Yes, and it's all about whether the balance of commuter surge vs. off-peak capacity has shifted enough post Covid that there is now scope to fill seats on trains that were once peak time to increase revenue, encourage modal shift etc.


That's an interesting point - Friday was always the quietest day of the week for commuting and now with WFH (Working From Home)/ hybrid working the commute on any given Friday is virtually unrecognisable, and yet later trains (especially to the South West) are often as packed as ever.

An experiment of this type could redistribute some of this loading quite effectively, perhaps at little financial cost, and with Friday afternoon/evening trains not being so ridiculously overloaded, you might tempt a few people to leave the car at home and try the train.
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Mark A
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« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2023, 21:23:12 »

Understandably many people haven't noticed, TfW have quietly adopted this approach for journeys of a certain length. It's very sensible for long distance, when some part of the journey will involve so called peak time travel for one more segments of the journey, hence (the mahossively capacity constrained) Crosscountry not really being a good vehicle for long distance travel.

Then, there's Bath Spa - Swansea. I think all fares used to be off-peak, now all are 'Anytime' with the off peak fare the same price.

Mark
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infoman
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« Reply #8 on: September 16, 2023, 05:09:13 »

I presume this is for Scotrail trains only,which means that the further South you can get is Carlisle.
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grahame
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« Reply #9 on: September 16, 2023, 08:10:35 »

I presume this is for Scotrail trains only,which means that the further South you can get is Carlisle.

I'm not sure but it's likely to be fares set by Scotrail - so journeys on LNER» (London North Eastern Railway - about), Cross Country and Avanti within Scotland are likely to be covered too.
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« Reply #10 on: September 16, 2023, 08:50:02 »

If I boarded the first train of the day at London Euston to glasgow this Monday morning would I be charged the Scot Rail fare or the full price fare?

By the same token if I boarded the first train out of Glasgow  to London on Monday morning

would I be charged a scot rail fare or a west coast line fare(or what ever its named now.
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grahame
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« Reply #11 on: September 16, 2023, 09:41:36 »

If I boarded the first train of the day at London Euston to glasgow this Monday morning would I be charged the Scot Rail fare or the full price fare?

By the same token if I boarded the first train out of Glasgow  to London on Monday morning

would I be charged a scot rail fare or a west coast line fare(or what ever its named now.

Fares are set by Avanti and LNER» (London North Eastern Railway - about) - https://www.brfares.com/!fares?orig=EUS&dest=glc&period=20230903

If you travel from Inverness to Edinburgh (as a different example) fares are set by Scotrail even if you travel on the daily LNER train.  There are a couple of LNER only tickets too just for their trains, lower than the same Scotrail (for any train) fare - https://www.brfares.com/!fares?orig=INV&dest=EDB&period=20230903
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grahame
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« Reply #12 on: September 21, 2023, 21:59:11 »

From DnG24

Quote
LOCKERBIE passengers are again missing out as peak rail fares are scrapped across Scotland and ticket prices slashed in parts of Dumfries and Galloway.
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« Reply #13 on: September 22, 2023, 16:09:51 »

Could those from Lockerbie not travel to D and G?
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ChrisB
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« Reply #14 on: October 05, 2023, 16:32:18 »

Lockerbie is *in* D&G, isn't it - D&G being the county.
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