The Great 'Split Ticketing' Hunt

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  • Amatrix
    Amatrix Posts: 14 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    There doesn't seem to be much flexibility on the Bristol - Manchester Cross Country route, with direct singles working out cheaper than splitting at Birmingham for example for singles or returns, or buying direct returns. And bank holiday advance tickets for 4th May don't seem to have been released yet anyway. Best fare I have found so far is £54.

    Curiously if you had more time and wanted to travel via London (and didn't mind changing trains a couple of times), you could get an advance ticket to Paddington for about £20 return, and with a Tube connection to Euston get a Virgin train deal to Manchester for as little as £1 each way. Total cost in the region of £22, saving £32 - more than enough to cover the Tube fare and make a good saving, though it may add an hour or two onto your journey and you'd have the added palava of changing trains.

    I can't find any other splits or savings to be made by travelling the direct Bristol - Manchester route unless anyone has any other ideas?
  • I have just purchased advance train tickets for my 2 boys from Oxenholme to Manchester for £8. They are actually only going as far as Preston, but the cost to Preston was £13.80!! Is worth checking for longer journeys if the train stops at the station you want.
  • The split I've started doing - I think as a result of a tip-off either here or in Guardian Money - is to split at the first station we call at outside peak time. National Rail Enquiries now shows all stations called at on the route, if you click on Journey details. A business trip from London to Swansea for work goes thus:

    08.45 Paddington 11.45 Swansea £33

    but the train calls at Swindon at 09.40 (£20) and an OP day single from Swindon to Swansea is only £7 (WelshGandalf above - you might be able to save more than you think on this bit of your journey as this train calls at Cardiff!). Journey total: £27 and we don't have to swap seats.

    We saved about £6 this time although it was more when we went last summer, but even with the new pricing system, it still worked for us.
  • ALR
    ALR Posts: 162 Forumite
    I've found the route I do to get back to my parents is so much cheaper... A saving of around £30 if you split them.

    I live in Preston, they live between Cheltenham and Gloucester. Until last year I used to be able to get direct trains back to Cheltenham.
    Then Virgin stopped running the westcoast mainline south of Birmingham New Street so I have to now change in Birmingham onto an Arriva or a Central Trains service for the last hour of the journey back to Cheltenham.

    I always used to get Return tickets for the whole Journey costing (Last time I bought one) £46. (could be more now as this was around a year ago before prices went up)

    But now splitting my journey and buying single tickets from Preston to Birmingham, Birmingham to Cheltenham (Or Gloucester) and then the reverse for the return my Journey cost has been cut down to around £17, even after the new year prices increase.

    It sometimes takes a fair amount of searching to get the best prices on tickets but it usually pays off!
    :starmod: :starmod: :starmod: "Live like you mean it, Love 'til you feel it" :starmod: :starmod: :starmod:
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  • Certain trains on www.megabus.com run from as little as £1
    Mainly midweek trains.

    I got my grandparents tickets from Glasgow to Preston for a total of £9.50 return.
    Which isnt bad at all.
    It basically sells Virgin train seats at off peak times.

    Cheapest i have managed to get was Preston to Glasgow return for £3.50.

    Its all about timing, and booking ahead well before your planned journey.
    Trains leaving Midweek will always get you the best price

    :D
  • dzug1
    dzug1 Posts: 13,535 Forumite
    First Post Combo Breaker
    Kendal_4 wrote: »
    I have just purchased advance train tickets for my 2 boys from Oxenholme to Manchester for £8. They are actually only going as far as Preston, but the cost to Preston was £13.80!! Is worth checking for longer journeys if the train stops at the station you want.

    Unfortunately they could be in trouble - advance tickets are only valid for the journey booked and travelling short is not allowed.

    In reality it depends on whether there are barriers/ticket checks at Preston.
  • But HOW do you find them????
    This is not the beginning of the end;
    This is the end of the beginning......
  • remember ticket office staff work for the train companies not the customers, if you want to split the fares do your home work first do not ask the staff to do it for you, if one of their bosses is around you could get them into a LOT of trouble (been on the receiving end of this) also it takes time and they may not have the time to to it properly.

    also do not split your journey at a change point if you are buying advance tickets (not to be confused with a walk up fare bought before day of travel). with an advance fare YOU agree to board the train you book on, so if your connection is delayed TOUGH you have to pay the extra, but if you've bought a through ticket and your connection is delayed its not your fault so clemmancy is given (with a bit of grumbling).

    a few people have said its worth buying a ticket for further than you need to travel cos its often cheeper. it might be but is it valid for a break of journey on the outward journey (not all of them are) and if not do you want the fine from the revenue protection officer doing a spot check at the station you shouldn't have got on?

    and just because the ticket says any permitted route, it doesn't mean you can go round the houses to get where you are going, it means any route that is permitted within the national routing guide. which basically means you can't go down to go up, east to go west and vice versa.

    oh yeah if you check your journey on national rail enquiries web site or phone them double check and see if there are any changes as its not always obvious.
  • dzug1 wrote: »
    I think you are mixing two concepts there - split ticketing and advance cheap fares. A perfectly valid thing to do to save money, but liable to cause confusion when quoted as an example coz it ain't universally true. You can always get that £257 fare but the £50 one depends on availability.

    Currently London - Penzance advance singles start at £15 each way - no point in faffing around with splitting if you can get that.

    Yep comparing like for like, the London - Penzance is £239 return, and splits at Plymouth as £229 and £19.50.
  • dzug1 wrote: »
    Unfortunately they could be in trouble - advance tickets are only valid for the journey booked and travelling short is not allowed.

    In reality it depends on whether there are barriers/ticket checks at Preston.

    Yep, you can't break journey/stop short on Advance tickets. Preston doesn't have barriers, if it did could easily be up the proverbial creek. Unlikely to be a ticket check either, so will probably get away with it this time.
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