East Anglia: Cheaper fares not being advertised

THOUSANDS of rail passengers are still unnecessarily forking out too much for train travel because of confusing price structures.

First raised by the EADT earlier this year, commuters using some routes are spending up to �25 more then they would by buying a single ticket to their destination rather than a ‘split’ fare. And it appears the issue is continuing.

Examples pulled from the National Rail journey planner website yesterday found significant discrepancies in ticket prices, including:

n Ipswich to Edinburgh – save �25.70 on an ‘anytime’ split ticket to Peterborough.

n Ipswich to London – save �11.40 on an ‘anytime’ split ticket to Colchester.

n London to Newcastle – save �14 using an ‘off-peak’ split ticket to Doncaster.

One passenger told how he was quoted �68 for a ticket from Birmingham to Trimley – but when he asked for a ticket to Peterborough and another from Peterborough to Trimley the price plummeted to �53.70.

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The Office of Rail Regulation last month claimed passengers up and down the country were often paying over the odds because of confusion over prices.

Stephen Joseph, chief executive of the Campaign for Better Transport, urged train companies to bring in a simpler and fairer ticketing system.

“Passengers find the whole ticketing system confusing and are often unsure which is the best ticket for them,” he said.

One passenger contacted the EADT after saving nearly �13 by asking to split his ticket.

The commuter, who asked to remain anonymous, was travelling from Birmingham to Trimley and was quoted �68 for a single ticket. But when he asked to split his ticket at Peterborough, the price fell to �53.70.

“I asked the gentleman to try a ticket from Birmingham to Peterborough, then to Trimley. The operator didn’t bat an eyelid, then quoted me �53.70 for the same journey.

“I suddenly thought of all those people out there that don’t know any better, and how many of them are wasting money on the wrong ticket.”

A spokesman for the Greater Anglia service, used by thousands of people from Suffolk everyday, said split tickets are sold to customers when they are requested.

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