Commuting, Day rides, Audax, Incidents, etc.
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Re: Urgent!

Postby Cunobelin » 29 Nov 2013, 7:18pm

SWT are becoming more and more difficult

I have flown with a bike and found it easier and less hassle than using SWT

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Re: Urgent!

Postby andrewwoods » 29 Nov 2013, 7:20pm

I've often taken my bike on SWT on various journeys between Weymouth and London. Never been able to book the bike - never had to. Always there's been space.

Hope you have a good trip
Andrew (in Poole)

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Re: Urgent!

Postby 661-Pete » 29 Nov 2013, 7:27pm

I don't know if they use similar rolling stock in the SWT area, as they do in the Southern region, but in the latter, it's usually possible to prop up a bike in the door bay (provided the train's not too crowded). Just make sure it's not on the platform side as the train draws into a station!

Southern trains do have some 'official' bike spaces next to the disabled toilet, but they're poorly designed, tending to obstruct passengers. As are the disabled toilets. :| I'd love to get my hands on the prize wally who designed these toilets with a semicircular door (which often slides open while someone's using the toilet :shock: ).
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Re: Urgent!

Postby Nareloc » 2 Dec 2013, 5:38pm

The Mechanic wrote:Try booking through East Coast. You can book a bike on line for any service in the country

Not quite true. East Coast takes bookings for bikes on services that require advanced booking for bikes - not all services do, some are 'first come, first served'.

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Re: Urgent!

Postby horizon » 2 Dec 2013, 6:19pm

brianleach wrote:There will be no problem and as far as I can see the difference between specific train price and standard fare is around a fiver.

It wasn't when I looked - there was a very big price difference.
When the pestilence strikes from the East, go far and breathe the cold air deeply. Ignore the sage, stay not indoors. Ho Ri Zon 12th Century Chinese philosopher

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Re: Urgent!

Postby jonbott » 2 Dec 2013, 7:53pm

I know I took a train to Bodmin with my bike had to book to go out,but not to return,train was rammed full and I had to lean my bike on some suitcases,which impressed the owners...
I`m def too old for this!

Rob Archer
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Re: Urgent!

Postby Rob Archer » 2 Dec 2013, 8:27pm

I wonder here if some posters are confusing South West Trains (no reservations needed except Waterloo - Exeter) and First Great Western (reservations needed on ALL long-distance services). I'm a booking clerk in another part of the FirstGroup empire and for the last 20 years or so have spent a lot of time doing bike and ticket reservations for friends and their acquaintances. My first piece of advice is to look at the train company's website which must have cycle restrictions clearly displayed as a condition of their franchise. The other bit of advice is NEVER book train tickets online or through a phone line. It's almost always cheaper (at worst the same price) at a station. Station ticket office staff have a legal obligation to sell you the cheapest ticket for your journey (why do you think they're so keen to get rid of ticket office staff?!) You can always book the bike at the same time where necessary. For longer-distance trips book ahead but no too far ahead as cheap tickets become available about 12 weeks ahead. You might have to queue but you'll save money and have a bit more reassurance. Plus it's always an excuse for a bike ride to the station!

If you're still struggling PM me.

Adam S
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Re: Urgent!

Postby Adam S » 2 Dec 2013, 8:52pm

Rob, I'd agree that it's generally sensible advice to buy from a ticket office. Too many people (including myself many moons ago) have been somewhat misled by certain online companies promising to be cheaper than buying at the station when all they're doing is comparing Advance tickets against Anytime tickets. Then they charge a booking fee on top!

However, it sometimes does pay to buy online. Firstly, it can be more convenient for people who live some distance from a station to buy online. Secondly, there are occasional exclusive online discounts available. Within FirstGroup I know that Transpennine Express have a long running offer extending the 16-25 railcard discount from 1/3 to 1/2 when buying tickets for their services through their website: http://www.tpexpress.co.uk/train-ticket ... discounts/ Thirdly, its well known that money can sometimes be saved by splitting tickets at intermediate stations. I have never been offered such a solution when buying tickets at a station booking office (nor would I particularly like to be stood in a queue behind someone while the clerk is checking all possible permutations of split tickets for a journey)

But in general, I agree, often just as easy to buy at the station

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Re: Urgent!

Postby Slowroad » 2 Dec 2013, 9:12pm

Rob - it's a pound dearer to buy tickets at the station now where I live. But I still go there because I don't trust booking bikes on trains online, and because if we don't use them, we'll lose them. I've had excellent service from the majority of my dealings with station staff.
“My two favourite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything. The perfect day: riding a bike to the library.”
― Peter Golkin

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Re: Urgent!

Postby brianleach » 3 Dec 2013, 8:12am

It wasn't when I looked - there was a very big price difference.

You may be right, I was looking at the trainline site.

However having travelled from Hampshire to London for over 40 years I have only found price differences if you have a railcard or travel at specific times of day. At that time of evening I wouldn't expect a great difference. I believe this to be because this is a regular commuter line for all of its length.

This of course is quite different to the northern and western lines which are mainly holiday lines. As you say the prices there can be vastly different.

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Re: Urgent!

Postby LondonBikeCommuter » 3 Dec 2013, 3:17pm

The ticket I bought was a single bournemouth to London Waterloo and cost £11. There were services within 2 hours of mine either side costing £48.50 for the same trip.

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Re: Urgent!

Postby LondonBikeCommuter » 3 Dec 2013, 3:23pm

I'd bet that within say 10 years all ticket offices will be gone and you'll end up with a 'minimum wage' ticket helper standing next to the ticket machine. TFL are looking to get rid of ALL ticket offices not just the end of the line ones but Piccadilly Circus, Marble Arch etc becuase staffing is just so expensive (well that and they can get away with it!)