Sunday train takes twice as long but fare the same

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Public Transport & Cycling
20 replies 2.1K views
Sago48Sago48 Forumite
42 Posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Public Transport & Cycling
We're travelling from London to Preston for a family event on Fri 8 August, back on Sun 10 August. The outward journey takes 2 hours, which is very good, but the return takes 4 hours, as the line into Euston is closed and trains go into either St Marylebone or (a few) into St Pancras.

There are no advance tickets (of course some may appear nearer the time) and the Virgin site currently shows the cheapest ticket for both legs as an off-peak single at £42.40. Both legs of the journey are shown as costing the same. I appreciate that this is a not a true single price as it requires a return journey. A 'real' off peak single, with no return journey, is £83.80. This 'real' price is also the same for both legs.

I've looked at the possibility of reducing the cost by buying tickets in stages but that doesn't work in this case.

It seems to me that charging the same for a journey that is double the time is pretty unfair.

My question is whether there are any provisions I can invoke, any way to reduce the fare - say by arguing that the train back is automatically delayed before it sets off. I doubt it, but it's worth asking.

Thanks
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Replies

  • PeacefulWatersPeacefulWaters Forumite
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    You'd think they'd double the fare if you're spending twice as long using their facilities.

    Try pricing up services from Kings Cross to Leeds or Halifax and then on to Preston. It might save you time and / or money.
  • surfsistersurfsister Forumite
    7.5K Posts
    I've been Money Tipped!
    yeah my dad is in burnley and always ticket splits and saves a fortune! tinker around with ticket splitting there may be a thread to help on here somewhere
  • BuzbyBuzby Forumite
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    Sure - take the bus? Advance allocations can be over subscribed (usually returns) so singles are the only way IF you insist in training it. I'd look at alternatives.
  • photomephotome Forumite
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    Often when there are engineering works meaning longer travel times the tickets are dearer (that was my experience most weekends during term time last year)

    why should they be cheaper
  • Sago48Sago48 Forumite
    42 Posts
    Thanks for the suggestions.

    Maybe if there's no buffet they will charge me corkage on my sandwich too?

    The Trans Pennine is slow so there's no time saving on that and it'd cost more. The ticket splitting is limited as the outward stops only at Warrington and Wigan and at 2 hours I don't want to to to a slower route out. Via Birmingham is longer but not cheaper. I expect there will be advance tickets popping up as time goes on though, so I'll look again.
  • Sago48Sago48 Forumite
    42 Posts
    Thanks for suggestions again.

    Buzby - the bus takes 7 hours and flight from Manchester is costly and no quicker. Advance tickets come and go - there may be more before we travel

    Photome - cheaper because it's a worse service - 2 hours delay on an 2 hour journey. Not quite that, I know, but still.
  • Owain_MoneysaverOwain_Moneysaver Forumite
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    Sago48 wrote: »
    There are no advance tickets (of course some may appear nearer the time) and the Virgin site currently shows the cheapest ticket for both legs as an off-peak single at £42.40. Both legs of the journey are shown as costing the same. I appreciate that this is a not a true single price as it requires a return journey. A 'real' off peak single, with no return journey, is £83.80. This 'real' price is also the same for both legs.

    Advance fares are available, but are not economic, and they won't get cheaper nearer the date of travel.

    The Virgin £42.40 single fare is a special Virgin-only one to be used in conjunction with an another ticket to make a Return.

    £83.80 is an off-peak single but an off-peak return is £84.80.

    So for 2 adults it would be £169.60 or if you spent £30 on a two toegther railcard £111.90 so you would save about £30 after buying the railcard and still have use of the railcard for the remainder of the year.

    If you have children aged 5-15 then a Family Railcard would give discounts on up to 4 adults and 4 children on 1 card. (2 adults are named on the card, and one of them must be travelling.)
    A kind word lasts a minute, a skelped erse is sair for a day.
  • yorkie2yorkie2 Forumite
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    There is a website that identifies "splits" and it has come up with a £4 saving, splitting at Preston.


    However I'm not allowed to provide a link to this website under MSE Forum Rules. If you search for train split you should be able to find it though.
  • Sago48Sago48 Forumite
    42 Posts
    Thanks for those responses. I did find a split but on one leg only and it would be more expensive.

    Re the off-peak tickets yes I see how I've 'misunderstood'. Your "+ £1" model of off peak returns is my understanding but I was fooled into thinking this had changed by Virgin's online description. We do have railcards and the £111.90 fare is the cheapest I've found so far. Not sure you're right about extra advance not being issued - so I'll keep an eye out anyway - and for sure there are times when they are good value.

    My main question - is there a way to get the fare reduced because it's a poor journey - doesn't seem to have an answer and I'll assume that the answer is no.

    Many thanks to all.
  • wealdroamwealdroam Forumite
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    Not sure you will see more Advance Singles become available.
    Why would the railway company want to encourage more use of services that are going to struggle with the disruption?
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