Coventry to London

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Year2000
Year2000 Posts: 16 Forumite
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edited 15 December 2022 at 9:25PM in Public transport & cycling
Hi,

Travelling once a week on a weekday, return journey, train seems to be the quickest way, worth buying a national railcard (not entitled to other cards)? Any tips to reduce cost? Then in London to use Oyster card?

Many thanks

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  • MilesT6060842
    MilesT6060842 Posts: 209 Forumite
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    edited 16 December 2022 at 12:13AM
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    This has some complexity as an answer, and you will need to spend an evening using the national rail website and a split ticketing website to try out various options.

    Are you entitled to get a national railcard (young persons, senior, disabled, veteran)?  will you be travelling off peak one way or both ways (railcards only work off peak)?  Network railcard doesn't cover Coventry (ends at Banbury on Coventry line).

    You can try split tickets (with or without a railcard, splitting at Banbury, or without a railcard splitting at the first station you would usually pass in the off peak on the way home).   But this might not be cheaper than an advance ticket booked well in advance, and may vary from week to week.  Look up likely advanced fares on brfares.com.

    It might be cheaper to book tickets from London to Coventry (which would enable PlusBus for Coventry, if you need a Coventry bus as well for your journey, pick up tickets in advance from a machine is best for this), and then use the return before the outward as these are usually issued on two separate paper tickets (which may not be entirely within conditions of carriage, but unlikely to be challenged, although if you have multiple overlapping period returns at the same time you can get a legitimate use of wrong way ticketing as I think using coupons out of sequence across multiple bookings is permitted, airlines don't permit this!). 

    If you do this very regularly on advanced tickets it may be worth having an open, undated return ticket in your pocket (1 year validity) in case you need to make an unexpected trip home in an emergency not covered by the advanced. This will be the most expensive ticket but may be less expensive bought up front rather than as a walk up sale on the day, and certainly convenient if you are in a rush.

    Probably use contactless debit/credit card within London, not oyster. Probably not possible or worth it to get a London Travelcard/underground included in your ticket, but price it anyway to check.  If your London journey will end at a different London station (e.g. Waterloo) then try pricing a ticket to next nearest station e.g. Vauxhall as this may then include a return underground trip for the inter station transfer across London and then don't travel to Vauxhall (again not entirely within conditions, at your own risk), or do travel to Vauxhall and immediately come back (within conditions, fully legit exploit).  If your trip can end at an overground station do try pricing that as you can get a ticket to specific overground stations but it might not work out cheaper than using contactless payment card.

    If you do qualify for a young persons, disabled, senior railcard, then oyster may work better (now cost £7 not refunded) as you can get the oyster card flagged to get the 30% discount on off peak London PAYG travel as well.  This is not possible with Network card.

    Finally:  Gold card (and this might work well for you) https://www.nationalrail.co.uk/times_fares/ticket_types/annual-gold-card.aspx

    If you do a large amount of trips in London every week (e.g. nearly hitting daily cap every time but not exceeding it) then it may be worth getting a "Gold card" which is part of every season ticket in a zone which is a little bigger than Network card (see map linked to website linked above).  Gold card is more flexible discount than network card off peak travel plus you also get London Transport discount which can be flagged on an Oyster card.  The trick here is to get the cheapest season ticket possible between stations on the map linked from the NR web page above.  The "usual" for this hack is Lapworth to Hatton, but in your case Coventry to Kenilworth or even Banbury might work better (for weekend travel and also split ticketing). 
  • MSE_James
    MSE_James Posts: 1,223 Community Admin
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    It might be cheaper to book tickets from London to Coventry (which would enable PlusBus for Coventry, if you need a Coventry bus as well for your journey...)
    Just as a small side note, you can get PlusBus add-ons for the origin town/city of a rail journey as well as the destination.
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  • MilesT6060842
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    MSE_James said:
    It might be cheaper to book tickets from London to Coventry (which would enable PlusBus for Coventry, if you need a Coventry bus as well for your journey...)
    Just as a small side note, you can get PlusBus add-ons for the origin town/city of a rail journey as well as the destination.
    From what I recall, some of the booking websites don't make that possible/easy/obvious
  • Year2000
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    Train out and back by coach. 


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