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Lynton and Barnstaple - Operations and Development

Discussion in 'Narrow Gauge Railways' started by 50044 Exeter, Dec 25, 2009.

  1. Pete Thornhill

    Pete Thornhill Part of the furniture Staff Member Administrator Moderator Friend

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    Purchase of a ticket gives unlimited travel and also 50% off a return visit within 28 days to be precise.
     
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  2. Martin Perry

    Martin Perry Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator

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    Moderation Message; it is confirmed that these are separate identities.
     
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  3. mdewell

    mdewell Well-Known Member

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    Are you sure that this is really L&B issue? Viewed from the other side of the country and having no direct knowledge of L&B myself, it seems to me just as likely to be just a NP forum issue blowing something on L&B out of all proportion.
     
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  4. gwralatea

    gwralatea Member

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    Interesting - if you lived your whole life by what anonymous people say on social media then you'd have very narrow horizons and an odd view of the world (and probably be permanently angry).

    So assuming that you don't live your whole life by what anonymous people say on social media, why live this bit by it?
     
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  5. ConRod1

    ConRod1 New Member

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    Thank you @ mpg, I don’t want to detail all ways free tickets may be obtained however, I appreciate your contribution which confirms not all journeys taken generate income. There passenger travel statistics are not a accurate way of ascertaining profitability or popularity. Notwithstanding, free tickets cost the railway money. That’s not to say there should not be perks given to those who have gone the extra mile to become members etc.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2021
  6. RailWest

    RailWest Part of the furniture

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    The situation highlighted by @mgp relates only to shareholders in the CIC. AFAIK it is still the case that members of the Trust do not get any travel 'perks' by way of free or discounted tickets. In fact the L&BRT is the only heritage railway society to which I belong which does not do this in some form or other.
     
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  7. Old Kent Biker

    Old Kent Biker Member

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    @ConRod1, what is the point you are trying to resolve here? Does it matter that not every journey is fully paid for with a ticket? The cost of the ticket is not the overriding concern to most visitors, it is the perceived value they get for it. Surely, the important thing is that the railway as a whole covers its costs and makes a reasonable profit, as can be confirmed (or otherwise) in the Annual Accounts. Are you an L&B member? If not, I'm sure you could borrow a copy of the accounts from someone you know who is.

    The ticket price probably bears no resemblance to the actual cost of a journey, and provision is included in the price to cover the additional cost of the "free" journeys. Also, the longer visitors stay at the railway, the more they are encouraged to spend in the shop and tea rooms while waiting for the next train. I have no figures to quote, but I would imagine (there I go, surmising again!) that only a small minority of trains are fully occupied, so no income is lost to "freebies" taking the place of paying travellers, and that the average number of journeys per paid ticket is pretty close to 1 in any case.
     
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  8. mdewell

    mdewell Well-Known Member

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    Which begs the obvious question. . . Do people join railways to support them or just for the perks?
     
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  9. mgp

    mgp New Member

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    I fully agree with @Old Kent Biker . This individual @ConRod1 comes on to this forum hiding under a cloak of anonymity and then proceeds to try and find every possible fault he can with the L&B. I fully expect the next comment will be that the catering staff should be using cheaper teabags, or that he saw someone was actually given a biscuit and was not charged for it!
    @Old Kent Biker is correct when he says the accounts speak for themselves. If the L&B decide to give some people a free train ticket then so be it.
     
  10. RailWest

    RailWest Part of the furniture

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    You mean they actually have biscuits ? ? :):)
     
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  11. RailWest

    RailWest Part of the furniture

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    Personally it's the former, but at the same time it is nice when an organisation feels able to reward that support with an occasional perk :)

    Given that many people live a long way from the railway(s) which they support, and may visit only once in the proverbial blue moon, then any 'loss' from such perks are probably very small compared with the total number of passenger journeys every year. In most cases it is not the case that someone could use 'their' railway as a cheap form of daily commuting...
     
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  12. Kempenfelt 82e

    Kempenfelt 82e Member

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    @ConRod1, thank you for taking the time to acknowledge and respond directly to my observations. Ultimately I'm confident that we all have the best interests of the L&B at heart and it's this vision of travelling,experiencing,witnessing, contributing towards the rebirth of this iconic and once lost route that we are all so enthusiastic and passionate about. As mentioned before, with so many different elements and opinions of delivering this dream, there are always going to be conflicts of opinion and disagreements. But working together as best as possible to maximise the outputs and efforts of the collective ultimately has to be the goal here. Anyway, enough of the managerial speak bingo, I always have waffled too much and risked labouring the point!

    With regards to the passenger numbers, I'll accept that this may not be the best indicator of success. Putting the physical passenger numbers aside, the perception has certainly been that the railway has been busier than ever and even if the travel has been complimentary on occasions, surely those people are still highly likely to contribute in other areas whether it be sales in the shop or cafe, donations, promotional word of mouth, or even just planting the seed of future inspiration, enthusiasm and support? The accounts will certainly go along way to justifying this position. @Old Kent Biker, apologies to put you on the spot but are you at least able to confirm that the passenger numbers success is reflected by the revenue and profit/investment portrayed in the accounts too? (I'm afraid i'm not currently a member so can't check myself, but continued progress is certainly more likely to encourage me rather to put me off!)

    Paul
     
  13. Old Kent Biker

    Old Kent Biker Member

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    Anecdotally, I believe that is the case - and has certainly been in the past, but as an ordinary member, I only have access to the published accounts.

    According to the L&B website:
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2021
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  14. Snail368

    Snail368 New Member

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  15. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    I support the observations of @Old Kent Biker about why the questions are being asked, and especially that the accounts are the right way to ascertain profitability.

    I would be VERY wary of assuming that free journeys represent a cost to the railway, or of trying to use the number of free or discounted tickets as a proxy for income foregone. Ignoring any questions of secondary spend, you would have to consider when and how those offers are taken up, and whether those journeys would have been made had they not been free or discounted. Knowing my own experience of visiting Woody Bay, I have seen my ticket as effectively a form of admission. The one time I've made an additional journey, I did so because it was already paid; had it involved any expenditure, I would not have made that trip - and my general experience of visiting preserved railways is that fares are all day, not single trip, so would have been alienated had it been per trip. Similarly, the one time I've taken advantage of the 50% offer, I forced my plans to leave Barnstaple earlier than I might have to be at Woody Bay in time to make an extra journey because there was an advantage; it's unlikely that I'd have tried so hard at the start of a very long drive had it been at full fare.
     
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  16. Pete Thornhill

    Pete Thornhill Part of the furniture Staff Member Administrator Moderator Friend

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    They do, and on the last weekend were offering half price cream teas with a valid travel ticket - a good way to clear the left over stock at the season and allowing the railway to get 50% of something they would of otherwise got nothing for.

    It’s almost the same with the discounted return visit, something I have taken advantage of three times this year (as I mentioned earlier in the thread, my three year old son is completely obsessed with the railway so visit regularly as we are regularly in North Devon). Perhaps of interest is that on each discounted visit we always eat there, buy something from the shop for the children and a first class upgrade so we spend pretty much the same regardless of any discounted travel, so certainly for my family the offer does it’s job and encourages a return visit while bringing in useful income for the railway that they wouldn’t potentially have which highlights the point that before bashing discounted or even free tickets, you have to consider the auxiliary spend, something the L&B have recognised and is clearly part of the business plan. There might not be to many railways doing it but in the wider tourist market (the real market the railway is in), it is not unique - an example being the West Midlands Safari Park who also use this type of model.
     
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  17. Selsig

    Selsig Member

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    A post on the L&B Facebook group suggests that Chris Duffell has been appointed to a Trustee role. May I just pass on my congratulations to him, and my commiserations to the trustee not re-elected.

    John
     
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  18. Tobbes

    Tobbes Member

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    Is there a link, please?
     
  19. Selsig

    Selsig Member

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  20. Paul42

    Paul42 Well-Known Member

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