Pricing
#21
So the entire stretch of Durham Road through Birtley Town Centre to the County Border is the same price?
GNE have stated numerous times they need to make a certain amount based on a pence/pound per mile versus fuel, insurance and wage costs ratio to ensure the service is viable.
Yet they structure their prices in a format that is the total opposite, meaning your journey at pence per mile is significantly more expensive than someone getting off at North Lodge.
Reply
#22
(20/05/2013, 11:36)Andreos1 Wrote: So the entire stretch of Durham Road through Birtley Town Centre to the County Border is the same price?
GNE have stated numerous times they need to make a certain amount based on a pence/pound per mile versus fuel, insurance and wage costs ratio to ensure the service is viable.
Yet they structure their prices in a format that is the total opposite, meaning your journey at pence per mile is significantly more expensive than someone getting off at North Lodge.

Yeah, it's actually been extended, it used to be Barley Mow (a £2.50 single fare from Newcastle to Birtley used to state - Barley Mow as the end point)

Now as you point out it's a huge difference. The start of Birtley to Barley is 2 miles, so travelling to Barley Mow gets you more bang for your buck so to speak, North Lodge is about 4 miles. Madness.
Reply
#23
(20/05/2013, 11:36)Andreos1 Wrote: GNE have stated numerous times they need to make a certain amount based on a pence/pound per mile versus fuel, insurance and wage costs ratio to ensure the service is viable.

I wonder how that formula applies to the OK1. The full route is approximately 30 miles in length between Bishop Auckland and Middlesbrough; the cost of a return ticket for this journey is £4.40. So lets give a conservative approximation of, say, 45 miles for the round trip there and back. Rounding up, the price per mile (£4.40/45) is £0.098. Bear in mind that insurance, maintenance and wage costs must taken out of that figure.

Now, lets look at the 71 and apply the same formula. The full route is approximately 7.5 miles in length between Chester-le-Street and Houghton-le-Spring. Based upon the £3.15 single fare between these destinations, the lowest price of a return is likely to be £4.40 (it may well be £5.50 - I don't know) so we'll use that figure for our calculations. The price per mile (£4.40/15) for this journey comes to £0.293 when rounding is applied.

Conclusion: The Earl of Scarborough must charge a pretty penny to allow GNE to operate buses past the grounds of Lumley Castle.
Reply
#24
What about Stagecoach and Arriva? Do they have any similar "flaws" in their pricing?
We all seem to have spotted many Go North East pricing issues, but I can't recall off hand any big SNE/ANE prices being discussed.
Reply
#25
@AdamY
I wonder if the different vehicle types (Solar versus SPD) impacts on the costs? After all, passengers on the 71 get more rattle and bounce for their buck Wink

@Daniel
I have actually asked on here if other people could share the ANE and SNE prices, but no-one came forward...
Reply
#26
I actually touched upon both. That was simply based on the information on the website though. Neither operate where I live, so I can't give a personal opinion Smile
Forum Moderator  |  [Image: aZkGbTJ.png] Find us on facebook
Reply
#27
A South Shields Stagecoach Megarider which excludes the X34 but includes Economic services to Sunderland is priced at £40.00 for 28 days. A Stagecoach Megarider Plus for South Shields which also includes journeys on the X34 to Newcastle is priced at £52.00 for 28 days. 13 week tickets are also available priced at £127.00 and £163.00 respectively.

Comparatively, a GNE South-Tyneside weekly saver is priced at £11.40 per week, but I don't think that ticket is available as 28 day option. If it was, then I'd imagine it would be competitively priced against the Megarider Plus. This does not cover services from South Shields to Sunderland; for that, as you'll all know, a red Buzzfare is required costing £61.00 for 28 days.
Reply
#28
I'm down in Brighton at the moment, and it's 17.50 a week on Brighton & Hove buses. That ticket will take you as far as the likes of Eastbourne and Tunbridge Wells. It also includes night buses, which from what I see, run every night. Nearly everything I've seen down here so far is on a 10 minute frequency, and I've never had to wait around for more than a couple of minutes for a bus heading my direction. I'm also a fan of their short hop fares, which are quite heavily advertised. Nice to see, rather than a blatent push to get everyone on day tickets. In summary, cracking value for a cracking service.
Forum Moderator  |  [Image: aZkGbTJ.png] Find us on facebook
Reply
#29
Here is the pricing section of their website www.buses.co.uk/tickets/ Interesting to see two companies operated by the same company operating in such a different manner...
Reply
#30
One interesting comparison I've made.

Durham to Newcastle on the X21 or 21 is a 2 zone annual buzzfare which will set you back £822 a year.

Durham to Newcastle with Arriva on the X2 is £575 a year.

Durham to Newcastle on train is £1,148,00 (out of interest it's £816 from Chester Le Street) which means the train is cheaper than Go Ahead from Chester Le Street.

Now there's a massive discrepancy there between GNE and Arriva, now you get less choice with Arriva but for a commuter the Arriva X2 service runs at perfectly reliable times and is now run with decent kit.

Obviously the train stands out because your there in 10 minutes and you pay the premium
Reply
#31
I'm favour of a flat-fare structure as a means of simplifying the cost of travel. Although it may seem controversial to some, I would also probably get rid of the majority of returns and 'day-savers'. However, I would keep weekly and monthly passes for regular users. For a small area like South Shields, a simple £1.00 (or even less) fare could be introduced. Who knows, a marketing campaign highlighting the simplicity of the 'one fare, one journey' concept might even encourage more people to use public transport as the structure is easier to understand. As previously discussed, sometimes people don't necessarily want a day-ticket to travel on two buses for a one-directional journey*, and, quite often, people are under the impression that returns are limited to just one service**. Some of these concerns can be immediately addressed by simply getting rid of returns and day-tickets.

Am I mad in my thinking or does anyone else see the potential merits in this idea?

* By one-directional journey, I mean passengers wishing to travel one-way between, say, Chopwell and Gateshead, (not wishing to make the return journey) who are forced to buy 'day-saver' tickets because there no direct service is available.

** A particular area might have one service operating during the day and a different service during the evening. For example, presumably we all know that return journeys bought on the W2 are valid on the W2A (or the 11 and the 10a to name another example), but are other passengers aware of this?
Reply
#32
(20/05/2013, 22:11)gtomlinson Wrote: One interesting comparison I've made.

Durham to Newcastle on the X21 or 21 is a 2 zone annual buzzfare which will set you back £822 a year.

Durham to Newcastle with Arriva on the X2 is £575 a year.

Durham to Newcastle on train is £1,148,00 (out of interest it's £816 from Chester Le Street) which means the train is cheaper than Go Ahead from Chester Le Street.

Now there's a massive discrepancy there between GNE and Arriva, now you get less choice with Arriva but for a commuter the Arriva X2 service runs at perfectly reliable times and is now run with decent kit.

Obviously the train stands out because your there in 10 minutes and you pay the premium

Juts to add to that post. Durham to Newcastle using Arriva is available under the 'Durham District' zone. Which is how it comes out at £575. Interestingly, a comparable route saver option on Go North East would cost £863, as it only comes in a weekly form.
Forum Moderator  |  [Image: aZkGbTJ.png] Find us on facebook
Reply
#33
(20/05/2013, 22:38)aureolin Wrote:
(20/05/2013, 22:11)gtomlinson Wrote: One interesting comparison I've made.

Durham to Newcastle on the X21 or 21 is a 2 zone annual buzzfare which will set you back £822 a year.

Durham to Newcastle with Arriva on the X2 is £575 a year.

Durham to Newcastle on train is £1,148,00 (out of interest it's £816 from Chester Le Street) which means the train is cheaper than Go Ahead from Chester Le Street.

Now there's a massive discrepancy there between GNE and Arriva, now you get less choice with Arriva but for a commuter the Arriva X2 service runs at perfectly reliable times and is now run with decent kit.

Obviously the train stands out because your there in 10 minutes and you pay the premium

Juts to add to that post. Durham to Newcastle using Arriva is available under the 'Durham District' zone. Which is how it comes out at £575. Interestingly, a comparable route saver option on Go North East would cost £863, as it only comes in a weekly form.

Your right yes, I forgot to mention that, Arriva should really push that price. Pointing out to commuters how much cheaper you are than Go Ahead on the route and you might not get wi-fi but you'll get a seat and you won't get Steve and Karen from MetroFM telling your....we're approaching Birtley!
Reply
#34
@AdamY
I can see where you are coming from re flat fares, but where does it end and if travelling between zones, is it fair to be penalised by a massive amount?

The example given from Low Fell to the Coach & Horses would be approx 5 miles.
We have already clarified the difference between this point and North Lodge is approx 4 miles, if you assume the Birtley 'zone' starts at the south end of the Eighton Lodge Roundabout, we can safely round it so the Birtley zone is 5 miles (approx 2.5 miles either side of the Town Centre).
So.... gtomlinson is travelling 5 miles and it costs him £1.95. Someone travelling twice as far costs £1.95, just because the end point falls in the same zone.

You then have the example you provided between Swalwell & Whickham and Swalwell & Winlaton (penalised for living at the top of a bank)as well as the example I provided between the QE and Shiney & the QE to Houghton (about 5 miles between the two end points, in the same postcode area and in the same town).

As for Arriva between Durham and Newcastle. That is a fantastic fare! Their marketing team need to jump on it and push it massively.
I use the train North from Durham going to Scotland pretty regularly. Generally getting the 17.25ish or 18.25ish trains, there are a massive number of passengers travelling only as far as Newcastle who get on at Durham...
Reply
#35
(20/05/2013, 23:06)Andreos1 Wrote: As for Arriva between Durham and Newcastle. That is a fantastic fare! Their marketing team need to jump on it and push it massively.
I use the train North from Durham going to Scotland pretty regularly. Generally getting the 17.25ish or 18.25ish trains, there are a massive number of passengers travelling only as far as Newcastle who get on at Durham...

It'd be interesting to see how GNE responded if Arriva upped their game on the route. I know they failed miserably with the X21 but it was a poorly marketed route and was done in a whisper as opposed to a shout.

Yeah, I have to admit I used the train when I worked down in Durham and lived in Low Fell. I found it quicker to get the train then either walk if it was a nice summers' evening or get a bus out of Newcastle into Low Fell than catch a 21.

I've just checked and a lot of people who work at the Passport Office in Durham can qualify for corporate train season tickets which saves them a fortune
Reply
#36
Looking at it objectively, Arriva miss out due to the frequency of their services.
GNE and the train win, due to their frequency and for the latter, the speed also.

Passengers are basically paying GNE and the rail operators a premium to get to their destination quicker and having a bigger choice of services.
Reply
#37
(24/05/2013, 10:41)Andreos1 Wrote: Looking at it objectively, Arriva miss out due to the frequency of their services.
GNE and the train win, due to their frequency and for the latter, the speed also.

Passengers are basically paying GNE and the rail operators a premium to get to their destination quicker and having a bigger choice of services.
Surely the fact is that, because the GNE service is so good, a substantial number of passengers are happy to pay a premium fare? Drive down the price and you'll drive down the quality; then the only winner would be the private car!
Reply
#38
(24/05/2013, 16:13)eezypeazy Wrote: Surely the fact is that, because the GNE service is so good, a substantial number of passengers are happy to pay a premium fare? Drive down the price and you'll drive down the quality; then the only winner would be the private car!

I'd say quantity doesn't exactly equal quality in this case, you've simply got GNE established on the route since year dot in various incarnations being the default go to
Reply
#39
Being honest, is the GNE service between Durham and Newcastle good?
All you have to do is look at the service changes and ammendments over the last couple of years to see it is anything but good.

If I was paying a premium for that service, based on it being 'good', I would have wanted my money back a long time ago.
Reply
#40
You're not paying a premium for quality though. Both buses will get you from A to B, and besides, if you got the X21 (i.e. not allocated brand new hybrids), you'd pay the same price (using an angel saver), but get worse quality than Arriva from that aspect?
Forum Moderator  |  [Image: aZkGbTJ.png] Find us on facebook
Reply