Govt preparing to tone down warnings over use of public transport

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Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 47 total)

  • AMcWhirter
    Participant

    Hello BP – In between writing news for the website I have checked Trainline.com and I see there are two TOCs operating Stafford-Edinburgh: XC and TPE.

    No *through* first class Advance fares are displayed.

    Suggest you travel via Manchester Piccadilly using separate tickets.

    I must stress that this advice is given as of today. There *may* be changes in the weeks ahead. So best you keep checking.

    Normally routes into EDI during the month of August would be busy but not this year.

    1 user thanked author for this post.
    BPP

    AMcWhirter
    Participant

    We are seeing conflicting advice from the TOCs.

    Some like EMR and Great Northern toe the govt line.

    But SWR which, like Great Northern, is a commuter operator is bullish.


    SimonS1
    Participant

    This is not correct in terms of the use of Public transport, especially Long distance trains if you could find any, certainly before 4th july.
    Until July 4th, it was not possible to travel where you wanted on Public Transport, and only for Essential travel as designated within The Coronovirus Act in England.

    There remains an “Essential Travel Only” in Wales, for Public transport., and the 5 miles only from your home has only just been lifted. You were not even allowed to stay overnight even in some family situations.
    The 4 Devolved Governments have had, and still do, different rules that are not running to Par with England, so “The UK”, is split up into 4 jurisdictions for the time being.

    Police until just a few weeks ago, were checking at entry gates at stations in London, Mainline train stations, and Underground stations, for your work status, and need to travel.
    “Essential travel Only” as defined under the was being literally policed. Roads and Motorways clearly displayed signs of Essential travel only. People were being turned away.
    The longer distance trains, have not been scheduled, and subject to change at any time.

    Boris Johnson told people in a public broadcast on 10th May that i) they should actively return to work where they could not work from home and ii) can travel to any destinations in England. There has been no policy of “essential travel” since then.

    Indeed there have been variations for Wales, however few long distance journeys (and none of the sleepers, which I was referring to) go through Wales, so I’m not sure of the relevance of that.

    In fact I thought your point was “I don’t see how the sleepers could be re-started”, although in the real world the Scottish Sleeper has been running throughout with few changes, and the Cornish Sleeper has already restarted and will introduce sleeping accommodation next week. Clearly they believe the risks can be managed, so why not try and see the positives in that (bearing in mind it creates employment and prosperity) rather than the usual negative angles designed to imply they can’t be operating at the right standards. Must be bloody hard for the Government trying to resuscitate the economy when round every corner there is negativity and doom & gloom.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    AMcWhirter
    Participant

    UK government appears to have been too successful in getting its message across.

    Today’s tweet is from a GWR London-bound train.


    ASK1945
    Participant

    Alex

    I am not at all surprised by the empty carriages, if my experience of the West Coast route can be compared with GWR.

    My wife and I go up to the North-West quite often, to see elderly relatives. Until last year we could do the journey at a weekend by train, with a tube ride into Euston and then taxi from Piccadily or Lime Street to our destinations and return, for about £150 for the two of us, including everything, by First Class. Door- to-door it took about 3.5 hours each way (excluding any train delays).

    During the few months before Covid we drove – taking about 4 hours each way (again excluding unusual delays) door to door. The costs – about £60 for the diesel. The car has already depreciated and our annual maintenance plan is a flat rate, whatever the mileage, so no extra costs there.

    Last week we went again by car, the traffic was light and the journey took 3 hours and 5 minutes each way.

    I just looked online for going up by train at the end of the month, despite the need to wear masks for the journey (not needed by car). The cost – Standard Class £184 return, First Class £457 return. Then there are the tube and taxi add-on costs. As the return will be on a Sunday, the journey will take 5 hours including travel to/from the stations at each end. The reason for empty carriages anyone?


    AMcWhirter
    Participant

    Ask1945 – That first class price appears overly expensive.

    My suggestions (based on London-Manchester fares):

    1. If you qualify for a railcard like Two Together or Senior you will save one-third.
    2. You appear to have secured the correct off-peak standard class excursion fare (£92.10 each) but the first class rate can be reduced substantially at weekends with a Weekend First upgrade. This is priced at £20 each way on the London-Manchester route. As far as I know you choose any vacant first class seat pay the supplement onboard the train.

    https://www.avantiwestcoast.co.uk/tickets-and-savings/first-class/first-weekend-offer


    ASK1945
    Participant

    Thanks Alex.

    Yes, we had railcards until about 2018 but with the increase of fares we didn’t renew when we started using the car more. We also always used to purchase upgrades.

    I searched for the information about first class upgrade costs, but didn’t find it. Thanks for the link. The website actually says “For the easiest way to upgrade, book your ticket online. If you select a First Class Super Off-Peak or First Class Off-Peak ticket, the cost of the upgrade is already included in your ticket price.

    The cost is actually £25 each (not £20 as you stated) each way, so a first class ticket at a weekend would work out as £92.10 + £50 each making a total of £284.20, which is the same as what I listed above (and not forgetting the added time for the Manchester to London return journey). The railcard would reduce this to £199. This is still not competitive.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    capetonianm
    Participant

    I’m surprised at the escalation in prices, as a couple of years ago when I used to travel regularly to Chester and Liverpool from Surrey I used to get first class returns with a senior railcard for about £70. Obviously that involved having some flexibility in timing.

    If the operators have increased fares to that extent then I think they’re shooting themselves in the foot.

    2 users thanked author for this post.

    MartynSinclair
    Participant

    I have decided to venture out for a meeting in Scotland this week. Checking travel options (BA or Train) – BA wins hands down on cost and schedule…


    BPP
    Participant

    Hi Martyn.
    Some 6 years ago, January 2014 actually, I had a review published in ‘Airways’ magazine on the journey BHX-EDI with the now defunct Flybe comparing the journey with the West coast trip with Virgin. The conclusion was that both time (door to door) and cost were little different. My how things have changed!
    BPP

    2 users thanked author for this post.

    MartynSinclair
    Participant

    The conclusion was that both time (door to door) and cost were little different. My how things have changed!

    I can believe door to door will be similar in time (not cost) but i just don’t fancy underground into the city and then nearly 5 hours in a train. I have to go to a place called Largs which is the airport side of Glasgow, so it makes sense to fly.

    1 user thanked author for this post.
    BPP

    canucklad
    Participant

    If the operators have increased fares to that extent then I think they’re shooting themselves in the foot.

    Or is a strategic pricing to suppress demand .

    I can believe door to door will be similar in time (not cost) but i just don’t fancy underground into the city and then nearly 5 hours in a train. I have to go to a place called Largs which is the airport side of Glasgow, so it makes sense to fly.

    And without flaring up another mask debate, flying significantly reduces the time you’re donning one. As an aside, you’ll enjoy Largs, lovely part of the country, especially if the weather is fine .


    BPP
    Participant

    Hi Martyn
    Thanks for this.
    As late as last year (before the demise of Virgin on the WCML) there was one train from Stafford to Edinburgh via Crewe leaving mid morning returning on a specific service early evening again via Crewe with a First Class fare (using a rail card and bought in advance) of just under £80 return. For me living within a 5-iron of Stafford Main line station and with a meeting in central Edinburgh, the total cost was then comparable.
    This was a regular trip (I am now fully retired) and like you quite used to finding the most economical route. I’m due to go again on a ‘meet up’ trip if/when we can and would agree that at the moment the train is expensive but for me much more convenient.
    I would be interested to know how you make out cost/timewise.
    BPP


    ASK1945
    Participant

    capetonianm wrote:

    If the operators have increased fares to that extent then I think they’re shooting themselves in the foot.

    Or is a strategic pricing to suppress demand .

    canucklad

    Just to remind you – on Saturday Alex showed a picture of a completely empty Standard Class carriage on GWR. Suppressing demand is one thing, no demand is totally different and a recipe for bankruptcy.


    MartynSinclair
    Participant

    As an aside, you’ll enjoy Largs, lovely part of the country, especially if the weather is fine .

    I am hoping to find a nice sea view fresh fish restaurant that DOES NOT serve whisky !

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