Robert Hampton

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15th July 2009

Merseyrail will take you for a ride
Posted by at 11.54pm | No responses | Trains

Merseyrail have introduced a couple of new leisure tickets — this news has slipped out incredibly quietly; so quietly in fact that I haven’t seen it publicised anywhere except the aforementioned well-hidden press release on Merseytravel’s site. There’s nothing at all on Merseyrail’s own, barely-maintained, web site. So let’s look at these exciting new tickets ourselves.

First is the Family Day Ticket, which for just £9.95 gives 2 adults and 3 children a day’s access to the railway within the PTE boundary. The example given compares prices for a return trip from Liverpool to Southport, which at full fare would be £15.40 for 2 adults and 3 kids — this calculation conveniently forgets the existence of the Family Railcard, which would bring the price for the normal tickets down to £8.80. Still, it may be useful for families who want to do a lot of roving around the network, or for whom the £26 initial investment for a Railcard wouldn’t be worthwhile.

The other ticket is the Weekender: £12.95 for three days of off-peak travel (Friday-Sunday or Saturday-Monday) sounds like a bargain, BUT it only covers the Northern and Wirral lines, the CityLink buses and Soccerbus. For a piddling 55p extra, you could buy three Saveaway tickets and use all trains, all buses AND the Mersey Ferries.

So in summary: nice try, Merseyrail, but I think you need to go back to the drawing board on this one. If you really want to encourage leisure travel, why did you introduce a minimum fare of £3 for off-peak tickets last October, meaning some of your fares jumped up by as much as 30% overnight?

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