Discounted rail/coach/bus travel for students.

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UnclePete
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#1
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With the new UH term having just begun and much input on this site from new students understandably asking all the normal questions regarding commuting, residences etc., many of you just started and especially those new to the UK may be interested in knowing about railcards that will give you one-third off rail fares :

The most popular one for students is the 16-25 Railcard, £30 for one year or £70 for three if bought online- and still, as far as I am aware, provided free for UH students as long as they bank with Santander for three or so years while a student. Santander have a branch in The Hutton Hub on the College Lane campus.

Another rail card worth a look at is the Network one, with this the card holder can take up to three adults for the same discount and up to four children (ages 5-15) saving 60% on the child fare.

Both have their pros & cons: the 16-25 is limited to the named cardholder and can be used peak hours ( but not to discount season tickets as far as I am aware) whereas the Network Card cannot (no restrictions weekends/Bank hols.), and the NW card is also limited not covering the whole of the UK ( although quite a good chunk.) Both give you a discount on the very useful Plusbus scheme which all the local operators participate in. Take a look and decide for yourselves.


www.16-25railcard.co.uk
www.network-railcard.co.uk
www.plusbus.info

Other railcards are available: just take a look at the railcard site.
www.railcard.co.uk/about-railcards/

Also worth a look at is www.trainsplit.com - often it is cheaper to buy two or more tickets for your journey rather than one inclusive - I myself will be doing this shortly on a Saturday going from Hatfield to Lowestoft & return. By buying a super off-peak day return to Cambridge then another to Lowestoft via Norwich or Ipswich , ( both with rail card discount) this saves around £10 on one ticket bought at Hatfield for the whole journey. The only stipulation is the train stops at the station the first ticket ends and the second begins. This might be of interest to students from East Anglia.
The alternative via London ( Liverpool St.) is even more expensive although has more frequent faster trains from London- Norwich & return- but then there is the journey into London & out again to factor in.

I also travel sometimes at weekends to Ashford Kent- again by doing a bit of homework before-hand savings can be made. I usually buy a normal cheap off peak day return "not valid for high speed travel" then get a separate top-up ticket to give me validity on the high speed service- this saves around £6 on an inclusive ticket bought at either Hatfield or St. Albans. I normally buy my ticket (s) in advance: oddly enough the separate high speed top up is not available at any cost saving if bought from Hatfield, as they don`t have it on their system, whereas it is if bought from St Albans, Radlett or London St.Pancras...!

For all Hertfordshire travel information the County Council have their own site www.intalink.org.uk

The Association of Hatfield Rail Travellers also have a site www.hatfieldrail.com in which they publish bulletins- two have just come out regarding compensation etc. over the super new timetable that didn`t happen back in May, all the chaos/cancellations which went with it, and no doubt had an effect on commuting students .

Please also read my other article below re. the £100 discount on yearly and term UNO bus tickets or go to www.unobus.info / news and updates / annual bus pass information - note this is limited to new students in Sept. only.

On the UNO buses themselves, since installation of the new ticket machines a month or two back it is now possible to pay contactless when boarding. Electronic fares are generally cheaper than pay as you go with cash. And please remember just about most bus stops except a minority in Herts. are request only - so signal clearly for the bus to stop. ( it says this on the bottom of the bus stop flags).

For those of you who use the National Express Coaches, a National Express Young Person`s Card is also available costing £12.50 a year or £30 for three, giving a third off standard and fully flexible fares, also 15% off travel to events and festivals.
www.nationalexpress.com

Comments welcome.
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KJHaz
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#2
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Hi there. My son is starting on Monday and was thinking of using the Uno bus. He'll be travelling from Stevenage, but we've been told he cannot park on site at De Havilland. Looking at the Uno website it looks like the bus fare is £3.70 a day? Is that correct? If he gets the bus from Herts college at Stevenage and goes to De Havilland. Thank you
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UnclePete
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#3
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(Original post by KJHaz)
Hi there. My son is starting on Monday and was thinking of using the Uno bus. He'll be travelling from Stevenage, but we've been told he cannot park on site at De Havilland. Looking at the Uno website it looks like the bus fare is £3.70 a day? Is that correct? If he gets the bus from Herts college at Stevenage and goes to De Havilland. Thank you
I`ve just had a look myself as I only normally use the buses locally off-peak and the UH student fare for zones 1 & 2 which Stevenage (and Luton) come under as far as I`m aware is £3.90p single, and £5.50 return, the latter which is also an all day UNO bus only ticket. I`m not sure until your son has a UH ID card whether the driver will give him these UH discount fares - I notice the drivers are quite punctillious about seeing this.

The only UNO service from North Herts including Stevenage is the 635, note since the timetable cuts/changes in August the last bus from Hatfield is now 18.33 The Forum, 18.40 dH.

The normal non-student fares I note from their timetable booklet for an adult ( I take it as he is starting at the UH your son is obviously 18 or over) are £6.99p UNO unlimited day travel ticket if bought on the App, £7.50 pay on the bus.

In the interim your son could also use a Hertfordshire Explorer ticket which although costs £9 a day is not limited to just UNO and can be used on other services ( the Arriva 300/01, Stevenage- Hemel Hempstead & return, pass a couple or so minutes walk from de Hav, stop The old Comet Motel ( now being made into UH student residences ) or the next stop at Ellenbrook Lane which is by The Sports Field and just around the corner from the UNO stops at dH. Further details of The Explorer ticket as listed in previous article on the HCC intalink site.

Hope this helps. And don`t forget The Student Centre in The Hutton Hub situated on College Lane are offering £100 off annual and term UNO tickets. See either the www.unobus.info site or my previous articles.
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KJHaz
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#4
Report 3 years ago
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wow, thats expensive. still cheaper than petrol there and back and parking in the overflow car park. His first day is Monday and its an induction week, he can ask about the buses and fares. He's happy to drive it, I'm more cautious as it's so busy and if he's paying to park then the bus seems easier.
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UnclePete
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#5
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(Original post by KJHaz)
wow, thats expensive. still cheaper than petrol there and back and parking in the overflow car park. His first day is Monday and its an induction week, he can ask about the buses and fares. He's happy to drive it, I'm more cautious as it's so busy and if he's paying to park then the bus seems easier.
I know exactly where you`re coming from on that one- I drive around 130 odd miles a week to work & back, as doing shifts- sometimes not finishing until after 1am - and lack of adequate public transport nearby means I have no other option.

I think it`s the lesser of the two evils your son uses the bus in the first instance until he settles in and sees the lay of the land.

It might be worthwhile also looking at weekly/monthly/term/annual tickets etc. as these work out cheaper if used on a daily basis.These he can do when he is at the UH.

I wish your son well.
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KJHaz
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#6
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#6
thank you so much for your help
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