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sidkid | 23:14 Sun 02nd Apr 2017 | Travel
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I wonder if any of the travel gurus can shed some light as to why an off peak return rail ticket London Victoria to Westgate-on-sea costs £23.00 but if you join the same train at Longfield (a good 30mins out of Victoria) an off peak return Longfield to Westgate-on-sea costs £24.70 !!

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Chico will know!
Southeastern don't offer Super Off-Peak tickets on many shorter journeys.

The 'normal' Off-Peak Day Return fare from Victoria to Westgate-on-Sea is actually £34.60 but there's only one train service per day when it applies. (The 0937 ex Victoria, which leaves after Anytime fares apply but before Super Off-Peak ones start at 1000). Thereafter the Super Off-Peak Day Return fare of £23.00 applies.

Since Super Off-Peak fares aren't available between Longfield and Westgate-on-Sea, it's the 'normal' Off-Peak Day Return fare of £24.70 which is used instead.

The anomaly doesn't apply to Period Return tickets though (simply because there are no Super Off-Peak Period Return fares). The Off-peak Period Return fare from Victoria to Westgate-on-Sea is £35.50. The equivalent fare from Longfield is £26.40.
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Thanks for the response. I wonder why these super off-peak fares don't apply everywhere though.
Chico will correct me if I am wrong but I don't think there is anything to stop you going to Longfield, buying the cheap return from Victoria to Westgate then boarding the train there. Unless, of course, there isn't a ticket office.
^^^ That's always a tricky one to answer, JD33, as the rules vary across different types of tickets.

For example you're not permitted to buy an 'Advance' ticket from A to C and then board at B, which is part of the way along the journey. You have to make the full journey in order for the ticket to be valid.

However I can't see any similar restriction applying to Super Off-Peak Day Return tickets:
http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/times_fares/ticket_types/46579.aspx

Longfield has a ticket office, so it could be worth enquiring there.
^^^ Just a further though on that issue:
If you purchased a ticket from Victoria (when you were actually boarding your train at Longfield) you'd need to ensure that the train left Victoria after 1000 (Mon-Fri, exc bank holidays), as it would be that time (rather than the time at Longfield) which would determine whether or not a Super Off-Peak Day Return was valid or not.
I thought that was the case. I knew about AP tickets and obviously you have to get the timings right. I was worried about the break of journey bit, but if I remember correctly alighting at a station to use the facilities does not count as such. So someone could say he'd just hopped off to buy a paper and the train left without him.
When I provided a link to 'Off-Peak and Super Off-Peak ticket terms and conditions' on the National Rail website, above, I was surprised that there was no reference to 'break of journey', as I could have sworn that I'd seen it there before.

I've now discovered that there are TWO web pages on the matter, with this one being the more detailed:
http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/times_fares/ticket_types/46590.aspx

From reading that, a break of journey is always permitted on the return part of an Off-Peak ticket and usually (but not always) permitted on the outbound portion. So it seems that enquiring at Longfield might still be the best way forward!

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