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  • FIRST POST
    • testing123456
    • By testing123456 4th Feb 19, 3:18 PM
    • 2Posts
    • 0Thanks
    testing123456
    Overcharged for travel? Cheaper fares available for travelling further on same line
    • #1
    • 4th Feb 19, 3:18 PM
    Overcharged for travel? Cheaper fares available for travelling further on same line 4th Feb 19 at 3:18 PM
    Hi all,

    Iíd be interested to know if anyone can help or offer guidance in relation to train fare pricing.

    Short story is I travel everyday from Hightown (Liverpool) via Liverpool Lime St to Manchester Victoria. I pay £19.60 each day for a standard return ticket which allows me to travel on both Merseyrail and Transpennie.

    Due to my home station being closed today Iíve had to book and travel from one station further down the line (Formby). This means Iím travelling further (and through my normal station). Iíve discovered on booking that this journey costs £18.40 standard return.

    Obviously this means Iíve been paying £1.20 more per workday (for 2 years!) to travel a shorter distance on the same trains.

    Are there any rules that prevent the train companies doing this? It at least seems morally wrong! I want to complain and ask for a refund, but would love some precedents or evidence to support my complaint.

    Iíve seen articles on line regarding companies providing the cheapest fare when buying a ticket for a set journey, but canít find anything about my scenario.

    Thanks Iím advance
    Andy
Page 1
    • Comms69
    • By Comms69 4th Feb 19, 4:53 PM
    • 7,052 Posts
    • 7,487 Thanks
    Comms69
    • #2
    • 4th Feb 19, 4:53 PM
    • #2
    • 4th Feb 19, 4:53 PM
    No, this is perfectly legal.
    • Mobeer
    • By Mobeer 4th Feb 19, 11:40 PM
    • 1,766 Posts
    • 4,431 Thanks
    Mobeer
    • #3
    • 4th Feb 19, 11:40 PM
    • #3
    • 4th Feb 19, 11:40 PM
    You might be able to buy a season ticket from Formby, if it allows breaks in journey (i.e. if it allows you to use all intermediate stations). I don't know this line and company well enough to be sure on this.

    I do know there are season ticket holders who have bought Southern and Thameslink journeys in this manner, where season tickets from Gatwick to London used to be cheaper than Horley (closer) to London.
    • colcheslad
    • By colcheslad 5th Feb 19, 1:29 PM
    • 183 Posts
    • 85 Thanks
    colcheslad
    • #4
    • 5th Feb 19, 1:29 PM
    • #4
    • 5th Feb 19, 1:29 PM
    Could you get a 7 day season ticket? It is £65.50 according to National Rail and would make it £12 per day return over 5 days.
    • scones
    • By scones 5th Feb 19, 6:25 PM
    • 31 Posts
    • 30 Thanks
    scones
    • #5
    • 5th Feb 19, 6:25 PM
    • #5
    • 5th Feb 19, 6:25 PM
    Long-winded explanation, but bear with...!

    You are using flexible tickets which allow travel on any train company. For these, there is a very complex underlying system that decides how money gets divided up between the various train companies you might use on a typical journey.

    One key feature of this is that each ‘flow’ between a pair of stations is owned by a specific train operating company and they will set the fare for that journey. The company that sets the flow is decided on the basis of typical expected passenger journeys, irrespective of which train companies or route you actually use in real life. For example, if you travelled from Hightown to Formby there is only one valid route and the only service is provided by Merseyrail so they set the fare for that journey.

    In the case of Hightown and Formby to Manchester, the situation is much more complicated because of the various different routes and companies you could use:

    Hightown is the northernmost member of a cluster of stations around Liverpool where the fare to Manchester is set by Transpennine Express. This is likely to be because most people making that journey will travel south to Lime Street then change onto a Transpennine Express train for the longest part of the journey.

    Formby is part of a cluster of stations stretching up to the end of the line in Southport where the fare is set by Northern. Although you can and do travel south via Liverpool (and therefore consider it to be a longer journey) presumably the assumption is that most people travelling to Manchester will head north to Southport and change onto a direct Northern train to Manchester from there.

    So, the fares from each of your two chosen stations differ because they are set by different train companies with different pricing policies, based on underlying assumptions about how people will make that journey. It’s not a fiddle – it’s just an imperfect system that throws up the occasional anomaly.

    As for your situation, there is one further interesting point: the Formby to Manchester fare is valid for travel via Hightown. As you appear to be travelling on an “Anytime Day Return” you are entitled to start, finish, break and resume your journey at any point along the route. So in this case there is nothing to stop you buying the cheaper ticket from Formby, but starting your journey late at Hightown.

    Do take notice of @Mobeer and @colcheslad, though – you may find a season ticket much better value if you travel the same route regularly.
    Last edited by scones; 05-02-2019 at 6:28 PM. Reason: Credit other posters.
    • testing123456
    • By testing123456 7th Feb 19, 1:42 PM
    • 2 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    testing123456
    • #6
    • 7th Feb 19, 1:42 PM
    • #6
    • 7th Feb 19, 1:42 PM
    Thanks for your feedback.

    Unfortunately the season ticket, while offering some savings isn’t practical as the route is one of these services with 3 carriages when you could fill 6.

    Therefore daily booking is the only way to ensure getting a seat reserved...and when you have a total of a 3 hour commute each day, I choose to pay the extra and be comfortable for the journey!
    • stragglebod
    • By stragglebod 7th Feb 19, 9:25 PM
    • 318 Posts
    • 294 Thanks
    stragglebod
    • #7
    • 7th Feb 19, 9:25 PM
    • #7
    • 7th Feb 19, 9:25 PM
    Can't you send the train co a tweet DM to book a seat?
    • jbuchanangb
    • By jbuchanangb 10th Feb 19, 3:17 PM
    • 404 Posts
    • 134 Thanks
    jbuchanangb
    • #8
    • 10th Feb 19, 3:17 PM
    • #8
    • 10th Feb 19, 3:17 PM
    There are other similar anomalies involving Merseyrail. Some tickets from locations such as Formby and Southport to Edge Hill are cheaper than tickets valid at same time and circumstances from there to Liverpool Central.

    I am interested in the method you have used to buy your tickets to Manchester with reservations, as it is not possible to collect tickets booked online at any Merseyrail station.
    • colcheslad
    • By colcheslad 11th Feb 19, 1:50 PM
    • 183 Posts
    • 85 Thanks
    colcheslad
    • #9
    • 11th Feb 19, 1:50 PM
    • #9
    • 11th Feb 19, 1:50 PM
    Thanks for your feedback.

    Unfortunately the season ticket, while offering some savings isnít practical as the route is one of these services with 3 carriages when you could fill 6.

    Therefore daily booking is the only way to ensure getting a seat reserved...and when you have a total of a 3 hour commute each day, I choose to pay the extra and be comfortable for the journey!
    Originally posted by testing123456
    I'm assuming its TPE where you need the seat reservation? If so, can you use https://www.tpexpress.co.uk/travelling-with-us/last-minute-reservations to reserve in advance? It says you can't use Advance tickets but I'd be surprised if Season Tickets couldn't be used with it
    • Pennywise
    • By Pennywise 12th Feb 19, 4:44 PM
    • 11,218 Posts
    • 21,327 Thanks
    Pennywise
    Can't you send the train co a tweet DM to book a seat?
    Originally posted by stragglebod
    What, every day?
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