Happy New Year and Avoiding the Train Fares Hike

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Three being the magic number makes 3rd January the perfect day to wish everyone a Happy New Year. Happy New Year Everyone! The year began with an announcement that rail prices are going to rise (no surprises there then). It’s a little unfair that price hikes get reported in the same breath as bad weather causing signal failures – as that’s pretty irrelevant. Bad weather can also cause cars to crash, planes to stay grounded and me to stay indoors, but it has little to do with fares in the short term. An average 6% rise in commuter fares was reported by the Press Association as well as more than a 5% rise in fares for the London Underground and London buses. As ever, people commuting into London will be the most affected.

But alas, the deed is done. Aside from protesting about it, it might be wise to have a go at saving money on regular train journeys. One of the ways of doing this is to buy two tickets for one journey. So if the journey begins during rush hour (peak), you purchase a ticket to get you as far as the stop you’ll be at when the fare switches to off-peak, and a second ticket to cover you from that stop to your final destination. Technically you’re supposed to get off the train and on to another so you are not ‘cheating’ by staying on the same train, but I’m not the train police.

Another recent revelation I had was that you can get an open return to Bristol from London and break a journey at Salisbury at no extra cost. This was brilliant, because I wanted to visit a friend’s new baby and her in Salisbury then see other friends in Bristol, before returning the next day.

It’s really worth having a look at places that are on the same route as the final destination you want to get to – if you’re doing a round trip – so you don’t end up with multiple tickets you don’t need.

‘And what did the new baby receive as a gift?!’ I hear you cry.