Equal fare misery for Bat & Ball … in Ashford not so much

When the new fares are introduced in January 2020, Southeastern have kept their promise to restore identical season ticket fares from Otford, Bat & Ball and Sevenoaks to London Terminals.

However my research indicates that Sevenoaks is still the second most expensive season ticket per mile to London (Charing Cross) at 42p*. That’s only beaten by St Albans City to London St Pancras at 46p.

The price per mile for the season ticket from Ashford International to St Pancras International using the “premium” High-Speed service is only 31p! That price is of course lower than it should be because around 13% of each Sevenoaks fare still goes to cross-subsidise HS1. (The years of special “RPI+3%” increases for non-HS1 Southeastern services to pay for the building of HS1 have remained in the baseline, and so in the fares for subsequent years.) Without this cross-subsidy Sevenoaks to London fares would be “only” 36p a mile – which is still high compared to the fares of other franchises for a similar distance.

All figures are based on the following:

  • Annual season tickets are effectively priced on forty weeks travel
  • Five return journeys per week
  • Mileage is based on the figure shown in the Network Rail online timetables

The differences would still be apparent if another formula (for example 52 weeks travel) was used.


Equal fare misery for Bat & Ball … in Ashford not so much — 2 Comments

  1. I wonder if our new MP might do something about this iniquity for her constituents or doesn’t she give a damn like her predecessor who sat idly by while we were all fleeced?

  2. If you split your annual season ticket at New Cross, you’ll save £592 and pay 36.1p/mile (assuming you take four weeks’ leave). Your train doesn’t even have to call at New Cross, it only needs to pass through.

    Section 14.2 of the new National Conditions of Travel confirms that using two season tickets in this way is 100% legitimate.

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