Saturday, 8 October 2011

Fiftythree Follow-up : Fares Fiasco!

  from Travel South Yorkshire's  
  ever helpful web site:-  
  Thanks - for nothing.   
Back to today's blog.

Still waiting for replies - a week later ...

THIS is a fare table ...
It dates from 1963 and comes from a booklet which was purchased from the Division Street offices of Sheffield Transport. Anecdote aficionados will be delighted to know that fbb purchased same in the first week of his "studies" at Sheffield University. Similarly in most towns and cities details of fares were easily available.

Rural bus operators were less forthcoming but the conductor was legally required to produce his fare table on request to any passenger. Query for present day legality; does this rule still apply? How would the driver of a busy cross-city bus react today if you asked to see his fare table? Does he have one or is it all hidden electronically in his highly expensive and complicated "ticket retailing module"?

The previously blogged "axeing" of through evening and Sumday journeys between Sheffield and Mansfield on service 53 (read again) has significant implications on travel costs as well as adding at least 20 minutes to an already slow journey. Herewith an extract from Derbyshire's timetable page which, helpfully, shows connections. [click on the image for a bigger view]
The Stagecoach website invites a mouse click for "fares information" but then only refers to a selection of multi-journey offers which become complicated and barely comprehensible because of arbitrary company boundaries.

 Megarider Plus 
Available for use on all Stagecoach bus and Supertram services in Sheffield (valid for travel on the entire route on bus services: 20, 20A, 25, 35A, 43, 44, 44A, 52, 58, 78, 79, 83, 87, 88, 88A, 89, 120, 123, 293 and Stocksbridge Supertram Link & Stannington Supertram Link Buses and Stagecoach Supertram. Valid for travel part route on the following services: 50/50A Sheffield to Brookside Bar, 53 Sheffield to Eckington Bus Station, X57 Sheffield to Stocksbridge and Chesterfield to Troughbrook Bottom, 69 Sheffield to Tinsley, , 70/71 Killamarsh/Norwood to Eckington, 240 Sheffield to Ecclesall Road South,Bents Road, 265 Sheffield to Chapeltown Norfolk Arms and X17 Sheffield to Walton, Back Lane/Brampton. This ticket is also valid for local travel anywhere within the Chesterfield Megarider area. Valid at all times between the dates shown on the ticket.

Such consummate clarity!

So a "Megarider Plus" is no good for a month's travel between Sheffield and Mansfield, you would need the more expensive "Megarider Gold". As an aside the services shown in red above (fbb's colours) refer to bits of "tendered" work, sometimes only one or two evening journeys so no use for daytime trips!

At least you CAN get to Troughbrook's Bottom. That IS good news.

 Megarider Gold  
Available for use on all Stagecoach bus and Supertram services in Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire and Gainsborough. Valid at all times except Night Buses. Excludes services operated by Stagecoach Manchester in Derbyshire (236, 237, 358, 390, 360 and school services 842, 395 and 906) and Stagecoach in Hull route X62.
There are also weekly versions with Megarider Gold offering extremely good value over a wide network for frequent travellers.  
But what about a day trip from Sheffield to Mansfield? The only on-line offer is the "Explorer".

But the evening and Sunday service 53A is (from 30th October) operated by T M Travel and, naturally for the British bus industry, there is no interavailability arrangement. Stagecoach tickets are simply not valid on T M Travel buses and vice versa.

So, what would it cost under the new, less convenient, arrangements to make a simple day return trip?

Off  go two e-mails,one to Stagecoach Sheffield asking for fares on the daytime 53, the connecting tram and the connecting "Pronto" bus; the other to T M Travel for fares on the new 53A.

Treana replied from Sheffield Supertram.
The price of a single fare from Halfway to Sheffield city centre is £2.10
The Explorer ticket is not valid on TM travel.
Kindest regards

Mike replied from T M Travel ...
Thank you for your email.
I am sorry, but at the moment there is no such arrangement.
Kind Regards.
... but didn't reveal the requested fare.

Stagecoach Sheffield replied ... 
Thank you for your email.
I have forwarded your communication to Stagecoach East Midlands who operate the 53 service and Pronto.
I have also forwarded your communication to Supertram who will be able to assist with your enquiry.
... with no information at all!

How silly of fbb not to know which bit of Stagecoach operated the 53. How odd that the Sheffield bit appears to know nothing much about one of their group's routes; a route that runs into the City.

A week later nothing has been heard from Stagecoach East Midlands, and T M  Travel have not replied to a reminder e-mail again asking for the fare.

Question 1: Is this "customer service" or "customer ignore"?

Question 2: Is there any reason why you keep your fares secret?

Question 3: How do you think Tesco would manage if they didn't publish any of their prices?

Next blog : due Sunday October 9th  


  1. Although marketed collectively under the Stagecoach name the constituent parts are all separate companies. I have sometimes found that there is a bit of territorial thinking when it comes to dealing with different parts of the empire. In the past there were Explorers covering Southern England sold at different prices according to where you bought them, but all for the same Stagecoach network.
    A few years ago Stagecoach in Cheltenham offered a Megarider covering the whole of England at £16 for a week. Number one son was despatched for trip to Carlisle, with one or two gaps filled by train. Fine until he got to Lancaster where their local ticket was more expensive than his national one. Fortunately the people on the ground where understanding and helpful to a sixteen year old. The extra fares charged were refunded and an apology made for the fact that there had not been proper coordination between the companies about acceptance.

  2. The 53A is a Derbyshire contracted service. As such, during the evenings, seven days a week, all multiple journey tickets issued for and valid on the daytime service, irrespectiveof issuing company, are accepted on the contracted service.

  3. That's not what Stagecoach OR T M Travel told me as the replies above clearly shpw; so if your note IS true, Anonymous, someone should tell the operators. Incidentally, approaching TWO WEEKS after my email enquiry neither Stagecoach East Midlands nor T M travel have bothered to answer my simple fares query.

  4. hi i was wondering if anyone could tell me how much an adult ticket it on the stagecoach bus from brighton to portsmouth?