Why the ticket fares between Basingstoke and Winchester are more expensive than other with the travel time?

Since last Summer, I commute every day between those cities, and I was surprised to see how expensive it is. Not only in the single or return tickets, but also with the season tickets.

I've compared vs. two other cities on the same line and at similar distances of each other (Southampton and Fleet), and the difference is huge.

Here are a few numbers:

Basingstoke-Winchester (travel time: 15-17 min)

  • Anytime day return: £9.70
  • Off-peak day return: £9.60 (1% discount vs anytime)
  • 7-day season ticket: £48.20 (29% discount vs. buying per day)
  • Monthly season ticket: £185.10 (36% discount vs. buying a ticket per day)

Basingstoke-Fleet (travel time: 12-20 min)

  • Anytime day return: £7.10
  • Off-peak day return: £6.90 (3% discount vs any time)
  • 7-day season ticket: £32.90 (34% discount vs. buying per day)
  • Monthly season ticket: £126.40 (41% discount vs. buying a ticket per day)

Southampton-Winchester (travel time: 15-17 min)

  • Anytime day return: £7.30
  • Off-peak day return: £7.20 (1% discount vs any time)
  • 7-day season ticket: £29.60 (42% discount vs. buying per day)
  • Monthly season ticket: £113.70 (48% discount vs. buying a ticket per day)

In short, similar routes are:

  • At least 24% cheaper on anytime day tickets 
  • At least 32% cheaper on 7-day season tickets
  • At least 32% cheaper on monthly season tickets

I can't find any reason why these huge differences: it can't be the distance in miles, travel time, nor distance to London (as Fleet is closer to London)

Is there a way to fix this?

  • Sorry, I missed a word in the title; it should read:

    Why the ticket fares between Basingstoke and Winchester are more expensive than other with the same travel time?

    • Thats strange, although unsurprising. It must just be one of those wierd anomolies within the fare system. E.g North Camp to Farncombe via Guildford is cheaper at peak times than the much shorter straight ticket from north camp to Guildford!

    As the fares are set (mostly) by the government, unfortunately I don't think there is alot SWR can do!

  • Hi,

    As we are mainly a commuter railway, demand for certain journeys during peak times is understandably very high.

    To try and make travel on every route as attractive as possible and to fill vacant seats, we generally offer lower fares for journeys less used. This quite often means that there are different prices for different directions/ journeys.

    There is no formal relationship in pricing between Anytime Day or Off-Peak Day prices with season ticket prices, hence this may vary for different journeys.

    I am sorry that this causes frustration to travellers such as yourself, however, we do need to adopt different pricing policies for each market. This will produce some inconsistencies.

    Kind Regards,

    Joseph B

  • Thanks to Joseph B for his answer. 

    Your reply has brought several other questions:

    BijuJose
    To try and make travel on every route as attractive as possible and to fill vacant seats, we generally offer lower fares for journeys less used.

    For that, I understand:

    • Who is "we", meaning, who sets the fares? SWR? or the ATOC (Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC)? or the Government. Does this apply only to the Day fares, or also the Season Tickets?
    • If the journey Winchester-Basingstoke is more expensive than the other two is because has more demand. Do you have numbers on that? Is ask because at first glance seems like those 3 should be equally busy 

    BijuJose
    There is no formal relationship in pricing between Anytime Day or Off-Peak Day prices with season ticket prices, hence this may vary for different journeys.

    At first glance, this seems contradictory to the previous assertion, that the usage was the factor that determined the prices.

    In any case, let's check, on those routes, the multiplier between Anytime Day ticket and 7-day season tickets (that is, how many times you have to multiply the former to obtain the latter):

    • Winchester-Basingstoke: 4.97x
    • Fleet-Basingstoke: 4.63x
    • Southampton-Winchester:4.05x

    but if we look at one of the busiest ones, the multiplier is much lower than the "busy" one Win-Bsk!!!

    • Basingstoke-London Waterloo: 2.64x

    How is that possible?

    I can't find the logic behind it, but the final result is the same: the users of the Winchester-Basingstoke (like me) route lose in every way. 

    Would it be possible to at least reduce the multiplier used for the 7-day season ticket?

    BijuJose
    I am sorry that this causes frustration to travelers such as yourself, however, we do need to adopt different pricing policies for each market

    This is the key issue, that the train service market does not really work like one, because there's no real competition. CrossCountry does the Winchester-Basingstoke route, but the prices are the same!!

    Moreover, if a particular journey is made more expensive because is busier, what options have the user but to use it? We would use our car, but that defeats the very purpose of the public transport system. 

    I really look forward to bring some light to these issues.