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MSE News: Rail commuters face fare hikes – but you can beat the rises

"Cash-strapped commuters face regulated rail fares rises of 4.1% on average in England next year..."
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Rail commuters face fare hikes – but you can beat the rises

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  • alinwalesalinwales Forumite
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    'beat the rises'... even advance fares go up in price, so even if you buy a £20 advanced ticket this year, it could be £22 next year, so you're not beating it at all.
    Buy a season ticket on december 31st... yes but you did that last year too, so you will still be buying at 2013 rates at some point in 2013.

    How can someone really truly beat the rises... oh, try and sneakily get on a train without paying?.

    If we are paying extra on top of inflation every year, surely the we should have a world-class netowrk in place by now? Or is it all siphoned off for paying pensions benefits and the NHS, like road taxes??
  • edited 13 August 2013 at 4:41PM
    emweaveremweaver Forumite
    8.4K Posts
    edited 13 August 2013 at 4:41PM
    I followed his advice bought my rail tickets in advance and could only buy a standard return. Three weeks later the return prices were half the price I paid and if I bought singles (which was not available 12 weeks in advance) these are even cheaper!
    Wins so far this year: Mum to be bath set, follow me Domino Dog, Vital baby feeding set, Spiderman goody bag, free pack of Kiplings cakes, £15 love to shop voucher, HTC Desire, Olive oil cooking spray, Original Source Strawberry Shower Gel, Garnier skin care hamper, Marc Jacobs fragrance.
  • edited 13 August 2013 at 5:10PM
    icic Forumite
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    edited 13 August 2013 at 5:10PM
    You've forgotten to mention season tickets - a weekly season ticket will normally cost approx the same as four peak return fares for the same route - so you get unlimited travel all week and weekend for the price of four days normal commuting.

    Stretch to an annual pass (perhaps bought on a 0% credit card in order to spread payments over the year) and you will save a further 15% on top of the savings from the weekly pass, or over 30% compared to buying return tickets daily.

    Also hunt out locally subsidised season tickets. In Greater Manchester you can get the "traincard", currently it costs £870 per year and allows unlimited travel within the TfGM rail network (Greater Manchester + a few extra stations on the edges). At my local station it offers a big saving over the standard season ticket price of £968, which also only allows unlimited travel back and forth along the one line. Weekly and monthly variants are available.

    Finally companies can run a service for their employees by which they stump up the cost of a season ticket for you, then charge it to you monthly through your payslip over the year - an interest free loan. This will need the company to work with the local train company.
  • zerogzerog Forumite
    2.5K Posts
    So basically if you read Martin's advice last year (or any year before that), you will still be paying more.
  • zerogzerog Forumite
    2.5K Posts
    emweaver wrote: »
    I followed his advice bought my rail tickets in advance and could only buy a standard return. Three weeks later the return prices were half the price I paid and if I bought singles (which was not available 12 weeks in advance) these are even cheaper!

    Advances are only available as singles. They can be released any time from 12 weeks before, but do not have to be released that early

    The price of a return is fixed and does not change except with the annual price rises in Jan, and adjustments in May and Sep. All prices are available at http://brfares.com

    You probably found an anytime return the first time and then saw an offpeak return the second time
  • Kite2010Kite2010 Forumite
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    As the money from the tax-payer is slowly being reduced, the TOC have to make up the shortfall from the people who use the trains.

    After-all, they have got to keep the shareholders happy and senior management in mega-money bonuses every year
    • Get a railcard. Frequent travellers should consider a railcard, if they qualify for one. Those aged 16-25, the over-60s, those with disabilities and adults who travel with kids may all qualify. Most railcards cost £28 a year (£20 for a disabled person) and get the holder a third off many fares.

    The 16- 25 Railcard costs £30 per year BUT is also available to those who are older than that who are a full time student.




    Kite2010 wrote: »
    As the money from the tax-payer is slowly being reduced, the TOC have to make up the shortfall from the people who use the trains.

    After-all, they have got to keep the shareholders happy and senior management in mega-money bonuses every year

    The TOCs only make around 3p in every pound through the fare box which isnt that much when you think about it is it?

    Here's a breakdown of how the money is spent
    On average for every £1 spent on a train ticket
    Track and station maintenance 48p
    Staffing 17p
    Train companies' running costs 17p
    Leasing rolling stock 11p
    Train fuel 4p
    Profit for the train companies 3p
    Source: ATOC


    Oh, and companies are obliged by law to make money for their shareholders - if you have a pension then theres a good chance it is invested in one of the TOCs so you are obvisouly wanting them to do well.
    "If you no longer go for a gap, you are no longer a racing driver" - Ayrton Senna
  • alinwalesalinwales Forumite
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    ic wrote: »
    You've forgotten to mention season tickets - a weekly season ticket will normally cost approx the same as four peak return fares for the same route - so you get unlimited travel all week and weekend for the price of four days normal commuting.

    Yes, and this is often quoted (some say even that a weekly is the equivalent of 3 days travel, not 4!). However on my route, a weekly is £2 cheaper than the equivalent daily charge (£7.90) that's 40p a day... so hardly worth it.

    And a monthly ticket (well, 5 weeks as its more cost efficient) is the same price as 4 days per week of full price ticket, which is all well and good, but factor in holidays, bank holidays, sickness, having to drive to go to appointments, do the shopping and the like, the gamble isn't worth it for me in the end, so I just pay each day as it comes. And expect to pay an extra 40-50p next year.
    It's interesting for me as I take the train as it's around £3/day cheaper than driving (cos of the Severn bridge). The bridge goes up by 20p a year, the train goes up around 40p a year... at some point it will be cheaper for me to drive!
  • icic Forumite
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    The savings do vary, and it also depends if you'll ever get any use out of the ability to travel weekends as well. I work in the city centre, and most weekends will use my card to get back in for a day or night out, which I previously paid for - so this only adds to my savings.
  • edited 14 August 2013 at 1:36PM
    EdwardiaEdwardia Forumite
    9.2K Posts
    edited 14 August 2013 at 1:36PM
    OH already pays over £6000 pa with zones 1-6 from Kent and yes he buys season ticket mid December.

    If your onward journey from a London terminus is a short bus/tube journey might save money not to get zones added to season ticket and get Oyster travelcard instead.

    If you have an annual season ticket, some rail companies will give you 33% off other rail journeys in their region for you and others travelling with you. Also some rail companies let annual season ticket holder buy railcard for £1 for partner so s/he can get discounts travelling without season ticket holder.
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