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MisterD-Di
Sutton Coldfield
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1096 of 1125  Tue 14th Jan 2020 4:31pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2011  Total posts:934

On 9th Dec 2019 9:38am, Slim said: There's clearly something fundamentally wrong with the whole UK rail ticketing fares system. Last week, I had to go to Liverpool and back the same day. The return fare cost me just under £20. I was going from THL to LIV, on the one train, i.e. no changes. But I didn't purchase a return for Liverpool. I had a return from THL to BHM, then a single from BHM to LIV, and the same but reversed for the return journey. So although on the same train, I had to show different tickets to the inspector depending on where the train happened to be. What nonsense! I saved a few quid by booking online.
I agree the whole system is a complete joke as well as being a rip-off. Our rail fares are far higher than most other European countries and it is deliberately complicated to extract the most money possible out of the poor, exasperated passengers. I rarely use trains except to travel around the West Midlands on my free senior pass. However, we are soon going on a cruise where we sail from Southampton and fly back from Malta. No point in leaving the car at Southampton so we decided the best way was to travel down by train. It turns out that it is considerably cheaper to use split ticketing, and there are now websites that calculate the splits for you. We have ended up with four tickets each for the journey: Birmingham International to Banbury; Banbury to Oxford; Oxford to Basingstoke; Basingstoke to Southampton Airport Parkway. It is a journey of just over two hours and all on the same train. Complete and utter madness! Roll eyes
Railways around Coventry
PeterB
Mount Nod
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1097 of 1125  Tue 14th Jan 2020 10:09pm  
Member: Joined May 2014  Total posts:243

There is even more madness. There is a 'Fare Trial' on the route between London and Edinburgh so the off-peak single is now £75.75 (half the return). Despite being an LNER fare it is valid on 'any permitted' route and for break of journey with no evening peak restrictions from Coventry. So if you want to come home from London c18:00 you pay £75.75 for an off-peak single to Edinburgh, or £82.00 anytime single on Avanti. Peter.
Railways around Coventry
busman
Corley
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1098 of 1125  Wed 15th Jan 2020 8:03am  
Member: Joined Jul 2016  Total posts:24

MisterD-Di, you are WRONG on Rail Fares. A survey by EU has found we are the 11th most expensive in Europe. We the taxpayer spent £7.1bn on UK Railways in 2019 such is the level of Public Subsidy and you are falling for RMT propoganda. Fare deals can be had especially by split ticketing - I have recently done Coventry-Edinburgh return for £35 on Avanti.
Roger Burdett

Railways around Coventry
PhilipInCoventry
Holbrooks
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Thread starter
1099 of 1125  Wed 15th Jan 2020 10:04am  
Moderator: Joined Apr 2010  Total posts:4250

Hi all I don't pretend that our ticketing system isn't very complex, that it should be far more straight forward & I am well aware of the shambles of reliability of our local network, although that might change since a senior head has rolled recently. A return journey to Glasgow, part of which was peaktime, cost £53. That journey was without delay & very comfortable. That was using a pre-booked split ticket. I paid a premium for the first part of the journey being before 9am. Last summer, I provided a week of holiday cover & since all but one client was in the East Midlands, I bought a week's ranger ticket for £75. I enjoyed the best working trainspotting holiday in ages. A friend joined me using the any three days out of seven option on the same ranger.
Railways around Coventry
NeilsYard
Coventry
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1100 of 1125  Wed 15th Jan 2020 10:20am  
Member: Joined Aug 2010  Total posts:2506

I just think its a bit daft that I can do a simple journey say to Euston from Cov and the Trainline offers me tickets varying from £23 return to £266?! Did I hear that the proposed extended platform for Coventry has just been ditched - after all that work (and the loss of The Rocket!)
Railways around Coventry
PhilipInCoventry
Holbrooks
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Thread starter
1101 of 1125  Wed 15th Jan 2020 12:36pm  
Moderator: Joined Apr 2010  Total posts:4250

Hi Neil, I heard the same. In spite of what might be said at local level, it will always be overridden by Whitehall. Until HS2 is decided upon, I don't believe any decision made now has much credibility. The problem I believe with HS2, isn't the concept, it's the route! A century ago, the Great Central railway was built to do what HS2 is supposed to do, but with the emphasis on freight. It connected Sheffield with London, on a no nonsense straight route. That route would make much more sense for HS2, with a spur to Birmingham. Sadly, governments have a habit of appointing folk, to oversee projects, who have no practical experience in that area - Dr Beeching a case in point. Yes, a clever man, he was an ICI chemist. His only experience of a railway was his bathroom towel rail! He closed the Great Central.
Railways around Coventry
PhilipInCoventry
Holbrooks
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Thread starter
1102 of 1125  Wed 15th Jan 2020 1:28pm  
Moderator: Joined Apr 2010  Total posts:4250

When I watch dramas, say like Poldark, serious fiction as that was, or a soap like "Yes Minister", tongue in cheek, they are not widely out on the concept of Parliament, the prejudices, the lies, inner dealings & so on. I'm not hitting at any particular political party, but the stance of human nature is always present. So it isn't so surprising that our nation’s railway is in such disarray. This man really tried to run a railway. Most of the modern best aspects of our current railway were forged by him, yet he fell foul of Parliament, as he wasn't interested in oil shares or the like. Parliament in the seventies wanted to do away with our railway heritage altogether, to just have motorways & a skeleton London Underground & Overground. But for an unexpected turn around in passenger receipts in 1980, I am sure that is what would have happened. Trains were so empty in the seventies, I regularly travelled off-peak to London at 6.20am, arriving in Euston at 8.01. On one occasion with Pete Waterman & his little dog. The train was half empty even on Monday mornings. It's the property prices in the Home Counties that is part of the driving force for our era of mass commuting. Not Parliament or anyone else, I believe. At the end of the day, my opinions are simply just that. I enjoy wholesome discussions, like we have on our forum. I'm unlikely to see the fruits of society’s future plans, not unless my name is Methuselah! My grandchildren hopefully might!
Railways around Coventry
MisterD-Di
Sutton Coldfield
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1103 of 1125  Wed 15th Jan 2020 3:31pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2011  Total posts:934

On 15th Jan 2020 8:03am, busman said: MisterD-Di, you are WRONG on Rail Fares. A survey by EU has found we are the 11th most expensive in Europe. We the taxpayer spent £7.1bn on UK Railways in 2019 such is the level of Public Subsidy and you are falling for RMT propoganda. Fare deals can be had especially by split ticketing - I have recently done Coventry-Edinburgh return for £35 on Avanti.
I am not falling for any propaganda, I have seen it for myself. The system is a shambles and to have dozens of different fares for the same journey is ludicrous. It is deliberately arcane to fleece the travelling public and any sort of competent regulator would have put a stop to it years ago. But then we have all those competing operators too, which helps no-one. I have travelled in several other countries on railways and they are invariably cheap, efficient and clean. I do agree about subsidies, we spend far more now than when they were nationalised, so privatisation has been a disaster. I wonder how much of the subsidy is paid to shareholders of these dodgy operators. Some franchises have been abandoned and left for the government to pick up the pieces. I think it must be you that has fallen for propaganda. Lol
Railways around Coventry
Slim
Another Coventry kid
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1104 of 1125  Wed 15th Jan 2020 8:16pm  
Member: Joined Mar 2013  Total posts:592

On 15th Jan 2020 12:36pm, PhilipInCoventry said: Sadly, governments have a habit of appointing folk, to oversee projects, who have no practical experience in that area - Dr Beeching a case in point. Yes, a clever man, he was an ICI chemist.
Agreed. It never ceases to amaze me when the PM has a "reshuffle". Cabinet ministers who have been heading one facet of government are suddenly heading something completely different. In the real world, they wouldn't get the job because they have not got the relevant experience. Not just government, either. It happens all too often in academia!
Railways around Coventry
Slim
Another Coventry kid
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1105 of 1125  Wed 15th Jan 2020 8:39pm  
Member: Joined Mar 2013  Total posts:592

On 15th Jan 2020 3:31pm, MisterD-Di said: I have travelled in several other countries on railways and they are invariably cheap, efficient and clean. I do agree about subsidies, we spend far more now than when they were nationalised, so privatisation has been a disaster. I wonder how much of the subsidy is paid to shareholders of these dodgy operators. Some franchises have been abandoned and left for the government to pick up the pieces. I think it must be you that has fallen for propaganda. Lol
Which is exactly why HS2 will be built - a certain few people at the top will get very rich from it. Never mind the best interests of the nation. I'm all right, Jack. Forget the downsides: it's a white elephant the country cannot afford moneywise; ditto with the damage to the environment and wildlife; it won't benefit anyone along the route, e.g. Coventry, as the frequency of those services will be reduced because of fewer passengers; service is already being downgraded before the first rail has been laid - top speed reduced by 25mph because the track "won't be dead straight"; number of trains per hour to be reduced by a fifth because "we're worried about it going over budget"; so now it will only be quicker by a number of minutes than the fastest service from BHM to EUS; the money would be far better spent on upgrading the existing network... Whilst you have been reading my post, the projected cost has just gone up by another £1bn!
Railways around Coventry
Helen F
Warrington
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1106 of 1125  Wed 15th Jan 2020 10:14pm  
Moderator: Joined Mar 2013  Total posts:1830

I have family who worked on both BR and some of the privatised businesses and the truth is a lot more complicated than it seems. A thousand million (American billion) more passenger journeys today than when BR was privatised has to have some detrimental effect. No? The previous peak of train travel was the early part of the last century when there were few alternatives and a lot less safety. Our networks were designed for a lot less trains. Track has been uprooted. In Beeching's day it probably looked like a sensible idea. We're the 7th busiest rail network and with the exception of Japan the UK has a lot less space to put in new rail lines. Rail use declined from the pre 1920s peak until the railways were privatised. It's ok to grumble about share dividend but you have to remember that the state under Blair sold BR, had the sale money and spent it. To take it back into government control, you still have to find people who know a lot about the business... like the people who run it now. Rail companies have to balance government rules, contractor costs, other business costs, linking with other train services, engineering, incidents (landslips, suicides, etc and yes, even leaves) and make some profit. The profit isn't a side line, it's an essential part of any business. It's necessary to fund improvements, reassure suppliers that they aren't going to go bust leaving bills unpaid and It's payback for people sinking their money into the business. Yes, it's usually more than the bank rate but that's a compensation for the chance that the value of shares may go down as well as up. Ask people who held shares in Railtrack about the risks of investment and nationalisation. Contractors to the rail companies are going bust or being bought out because they can't afford what Network Rail want to pay eg Atkins, Carillion. When the pool is very small, whoever runs the rail will have to pay high prices to maintain and build. The rail companies themselves are failing and the Government takes the franchise off them and hands it to another company that will probably have many of the same problems and a load of new ones too. So on top of all that, the train operators also have to pay costs and make some profit. They have to weave their trains in and out of each other and get enough money in from passengers to fund it all. The off peak and pre booked tickets are essentially subsidised by commuters and those who can't work out how to get cheap tickets. Off peak is designed to lighten the traffic at peak. Yes, if the whole thing was nationalised then you could set standard prices and have one single ticket to go anywhere you wanted to. But all the other problems that the network has wouldn't go away. They might even get worse because nationalised industries have their own particular issues. However if the governments intend to continuously change what they want from rail businesses (and it not cost anymore) then maybe nationalisation is the answer. Just don't forget to pay the shareholders their money back.
Railways around Coventry
busman
Corley
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1107 of 1125  Thu 16th Jan 2020 8:35am  
Member: Joined Jul 2016  Total posts:24

Well MR D-DI, thank you for assuming I am gullible enough to fall for propaganda. I am not sure how often you ride on railways but I do it every week. Below are a selection of fares booked at ONE notice albeit with a Senior Railcard:- B'ham Intl-Stoke on Trent £3.30 B'ham Intl-Liverpool £6.55 Liverpool-Scarborough £9.70 Scarborough-York £5.70 York-Peterborough £9.50 Coventry-London (LNWR)£4.95 Ditto Avanti £6.95 London-Coventry £4.95 Bristol-Cardiff £5.50 I cannot see that any of these fares are high - true they are on specific trains but booked the day before. I thought Helen F post was a good balanced view and maybe you cannot remember how poorly run the railways were when Nationalised.
Roger Burdett

Railways around Coventry
MisterD-Di
Sutton Coldfield
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1108 of 1125  Thu 16th Jan 2020 9:23am  
Member: Joined Sep 2011  Total posts:934

"Well MR D-DI thank you for assuming I am gullible enough to fall for propaganda." Look at your previous post and you will see that it was you that made exactly that assumption of me. Therefore, given what you posted, I am entitled to make exactly the same assumption and I can see no point in engaging you further. Roll eyes
Railways around Coventry
argon
New Milton
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1109 of 1125  Thu 16th Jan 2020 11:52am  
Member: Joined Jun 2016  Total posts:291

I have enjoyed reading the recent posts about our rail system, not being a rail traveller myself I find them informative, particularly Helen's summing up of our rail history but when personalities intrude into the discussion I lose interest. I find I can learn a lot from the well informed members of the forum and have great respect for it. Keep up the good work folks.
Railways around Coventry
Helen F
Warrington
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1110 of 1125  Thu 16th Jan 2020 12:59pm  
Moderator: Joined Mar 2013  Total posts:1830

As I was thinking about the high volume of train travel in the early part of the last century, it occurred to me that the average length of train journeys has grown considerably. As well as track, a lot of little and not so little stations were removed so short commutes diverted to the roads. My own small village had a station and would have seen people head just one short trip into Warrington's centre. The council is now looking again at that route but the costs of reopening the track (including raised sections, cuttings and a high level bridge) are eye watering. Not to mention the devastation to the homes built along the route now and the poor souls who live in the old station. People used to live a lot closer to where they work Rail commuting into London isn't a measure of how excellent the services are but how appalling the alternatives compare.
Railways around Coventry

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