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Author Topic: Rail Tickets 'To Be Made Simpler'  (Read 4598 times)
Lee
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« on: September 27, 2007, 03:46:00 pm »

Rail ticketing will be made simpler and easier to understand , Transport Secretary Ruth Kelly has promised (link below.)
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7015554.stm

Her pledge follows a survey by Which? suggesting about only half of people who make enquiries get the "best deal".

In one example , a passenger making a return journey between Swindon and Penzance twice in the same week could buy a Freedom of the South West rover ticket for ^70 , but both the enquiry line staff and station staff quoted ^67 per journey - nearly double the cheapest price.
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Conner
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« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2007, 04:01:24 pm »

Remember the last time we were told tickets were getting simpler. We ended up with First Minute Fares. (Leisure,Business,A,B,C,E,First.Standard etc.)
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Jim
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« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2007, 06:23:58 am »

See  there is one or 2 things about this. If you ask for a SWI» (Swindon - next trains)-PNZ, they must tell you it, IIRC (if I recall/remember/read correctly), they aren't allowed to say something like, "Get a SWI-BTM (Bristol Temple Meads (strictly, it should be BRI)) then a BTM-PLY» (Plymouth - next trains) then a PLY-PNZ"
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grahame
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« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2007, 07:10:30 am »

See  there is one or 2 things about this. If you ask for a SWI» (Swindon - next trains)-PNZ, they must tell you it, IIRC (if I recall/remember/read correctly), they aren't allowed to say something like, "Get a SWI-BTM (Bristol Temple Meads (strictly, it should be BRI)) then a BTM-PLY» (Plymouth - next trains) then a PLY-PNZ"

Agreed.  I understand that's how the staff are instructed - they typically know about the savings but can't say.   I wonder what the majority of them feel about being put in this position - that they're being made to sell a more expensive product than they have to (i.e. they would prefer to offer the best deal) or that passengers splitting the fare are cheating the system?

A thought.   If everyone bought the correct / lowest priced ticket or combo for their journey, average fares paid would go down to the extent that fare in general might have to rise ....
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« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2007, 09:29:25 pm »

See  there is one or 2 things about this. If you ask for a SWI» (Swindon - next trains)-PNZ, they must tell you it, IIRC (if I recall/remember/read correctly), they aren't allowed to say something like, "Get a SWI-BTM (Bristol Temple Meads (strictly, it should be BRI)) then a BTM-PLY» (Plymouth - next trains) then a PLY-PNZ"
Not strictly true, FGW (First Great Western) arent strict on that ruling to their staff and i've never known of anyone being told off over offering the ticket's, the problem is that it just confuses the passenger if you offer it and you end up with a big queue and foreign passengers seem to think that your robbing them! I offered a foreign woman a Ply-Tvp CDS (Off Peak Day Single [ticket type] (formerly 'Cheap Day')) and Tvp-Bri CDS the other day which saved a fortune on the saver single but she wouldn't have it and seemed to think I was trying to get more money from her! It's a damned if you do, damned if you don't situation! Sometimes it makes an easy life to keep your mouth shut.
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devon_metro
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« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2007, 04:29:45 pm »

I've never had a problem with FMF. Always nice and cheap.

What I would suggest is for all TOCs (Train Operating Company) to combine that share the same routes. For example from Paignton-Bristol I have the option of advance purchase on VT (Virgin Trains - former franchises) (Rip off) or FGW (First Great Western) (cheap)

What would be ideal for this journey
Value Advance C
Value Advance B
Value Advance A
Value Advance C First
Value Advance B First
Value Advance A First
All offering more availability and better prices and valid on both operators.
Along with
Saver Return
Standard Return (no restrictions)
First Saver Return
First Standard Return (no restrictions)

Also every station should cost more than its previous...
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Conner
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« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2007, 05:26:42 pm »

I have no problem with the price of FirstMinuteFares but there are just so many of them. I agree that there should just be 3 standard and 3 first.
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« Reply #7 on: October 03, 2007, 10:58:15 am »

Nothing ever get more simple. Remember the removal of the Super Saver to simplify the fares structure?? Then a few months later we get a new 'Business Saver' to go with the Saver. Back to square one.
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Tim
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« Reply #8 on: November 21, 2007, 04:57:53 pm »

I think that the ruling that staff don't offer ticket combinations unless asked is a sensible rule.  Inagine if tehy were obliged to offer combinations were they were cheaper.  Their life would become impossibly complicated, queques would lengthen and they would get the blame if tehy sold you the wrong combination (ie a combination which was cheaper but not the cheapest)

Why not solve the problem by attaching a fixed price to each mile of track?.
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smokey
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« Reply #9 on: December 29, 2007, 03:05:35 pm »



Why not solve the problem by attaching a fixed price to each mile of track?.
[/quote]

Careful that's going back to how things used to be, Donkeys Years Ago.
Of Course whilst Ticket Prices were based on Mileage, Large Engineering Works like Long Tunnels or Viaducts would have a Mileage Surcharge place on them, so local passengers would pay MORE, NOTHING CHANGES!

Remember the Old Printed National Time Tables? On the First Page of Each Time Table was  a Column giving Mileage to the Nearest 1/4 mile that goes back to when the booking clerk would add up the Mileage for a Given Journey and then multiply the Mileage by the price per Mile then being charged. So if the Journey was 48 3/4 miles and the ppm was 1d then the fare was 4 shillings 3/4d.
Hell can you imagine going almost 50 miles for less than 21p (that's return of course 97.5 miles)
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Mookiemoo
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« Reply #10 on: December 29, 2007, 08:45:09 pm »

See  there is one or 2 things about this. If you ask for a SWI» (Swindon - next trains)-PNZ, they must tell you it, IIRC (if I recall/remember/read correctly), they aren't allowed to say something like, "Get a SWI-BTM (Bristol Temple Meads (strictly, it should be BRI)) then a BTM-PLY» (Plymouth - next trains) then a PLY-PNZ"

Agreed.  I understand that's how the staff are instructed - they typically know about the savings but can't say.   I wonder what the majority of them feel about being put in this position - that they're being made to sell a more expensive product than they have to (i.e. they would prefer to offer the best deal) or that passengers splitting the fare are cheating the system?

Given the number of raised eyebrows I get over my WOS» (Worcester Shrub Hill - next trains)-OXF» (Oxford - next trains) then OXF-PAD» (Paddington (London) - next trains) seasons - I guess most think I am cheating the system
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grahame
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« Reply #11 on: August 02, 2021, 01:38:27 pm »

Rail ticketing will be made simpler and easier to understand , Transport Secretary Ruth Kelly has promised (link below.)
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7015554.stm

Her pledge follows a survey by Which? suggesting about only half of people who make enquiries get the "best deal".

In one example , a passenger making a return journey between Swindon and Penzance twice in the same week could buy a Freedom of the South West rover ticket for £70 , but both the enquiry line staff and station staff quoted £67 per journey - nearly double the cheapest price.


And here we are, how many years later, with the same problems.  In the Independent, Simon Calder writes

Quote
Five years after the government promised to make it easier for rail passengers “to choose the best-value fare for their journey,” a leading rail expert has rated the success at seven out of 10.

But Mark Smith, founder of the Seat61.com website, warns a “ruthless root and branch overhaul” of the fare structure and pricing is essential for the railways to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

Not just five years, Simon - thirteen years!

On Facebook, the man in seat 61 posts in promoting the article "I think I was pretty restrained here!" ...public comments are ripe with examples that should be looked at.

Quote
I've gone part time now and looked at the new "flexible" season ticket but it's laughably expensive and useless for shift workers like me. After 30 years of taking the train from Reading to London I'm back driving again and saving money doing it.

Quote
An end to pi$$taking fares, especially on routes where one train company has a monopoly.

- An end to return fares being a mere 10p more than the singles

- Driffield to Hull £9.70 ... Hull to Leeds (where there's competition) at double the distance you can get trains for a fiver. York - Hull a laughable £20 via Northern ... You can almost get to London for that. Result, trains run round empty.

- Introduction of short range 'multi day' returns ... Lad goes to see girlfriend in next town. Goes out one day, comes back the next ... Result : he has to buy x2 singles (see also at 10p less than the return) In reality takes car or other form of transport.

- Proper off peak fares that incentivise the use of trains away from peak hours
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Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #12 on: August 02, 2021, 05:15:57 pm »

I don't find returns being 10p more than singles a particular problem. In fact I find they give flexibility. For instance, I've frequently bought a return from Bristol to Bath, got off at Keynesham, walked in along the Cotswold Way, then train back. Works out cheaper than two singles. Or visiting an aunt in Freshford, train to Bath, walk through the Two Tunnels, train all the way back, again a return works out cheaper than two singles. Same when on one occasion I went to visit some friends staying in a village about five miles outside Gloucester. I put my bike on the train, rode from Gloucester to them, then decided to ride all the way back. The 10p difference means I don't feel I've wasted my money on an unused return half, nor have I ended up having to buy another ticket because I only bought a single then changed my mind. So in many ways, having a £10 single and a £10.10 return is a better deal than having, say, a £7.50 single and a £15 return.
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CyclingSid
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« Reply #13 on: August 03, 2021, 07:03:36 am »

Quote
So in many ways, having a £10 single and a £10.10 return is a better deal than having, say, a £7.50 single and a £15 return.
I feel exactly the same. The current system gives me flexibility, is that because I am also a cyclist. Advance tickets don't work, because I don't cycle to a timetable and don't normally know when I am coming back, and sometimes (as above) where from.

The system is a maze/mess, but there might be a minority of us who are worse off after a "root and branch" review.
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grahame
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« Reply #14 on: August 03, 2021, 07:11:03 am »

Quote
So in many ways, having a £10 single and a £10.10 return is a better deal than having, say, a £7.50 single and a £15 return.
I feel exactly the same. The current system gives me flexibility, is that because I am also a cyclist. Advance tickets don't work, because I don't cycle to a timetable and don't normally know when I am coming back, and sometimes (as above) where from.

The system is a maze/mess, but there might be a minority of us who are worse off after a "root and branch" review.

The worry of the "powers that be" is that about half of us would be worse off after a review, and half better off.  Those who are better off will say "thank you" and forget about it a few days later ; those of us worse off will remember at the next election and vote out those *******s who put our travel costs up.

On the 10p (or £1 on long distance journeys) difference ... I have had it explained to me that it helps revenue protection / reduces losses. The explanation goes that it's essentially the same ticket / fare / price, and for people trying to make two journeys without paying it gives you two chances of catching them ... and if you DO catch them, you only sell them a single ticket which in effect is a penalty fare if you catch them outbound.
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