Geographically Sheffield is located in the centre of the UK. With excellent transport links by road and rail to all other major cities, students, therefore, travel to and from here regularly. However, with the cost of living crisis, transport providers like many other businesses through this financial struggle have had to put the fares up to cover increasing costs. This is not good news for students who will along with the cost of living increases have to burden these increases with other commuters. We look at ways to make travelling cheaper for Sheffield students.
The Increase in fares
All businesses are seeing an increase in costs. Since the beginning of the financial turmoil, post-Covid/Brexit and the current cost of living crisis, fuel and staff wages are some of the main expenditures of the transport industry. The increases in affording to fuel and staff methods of travel have been passed onto the travellers. Even those that are subsidised or government-controlled are rising due to inflation and other external factors. For example, in December 2022 the Department of Transport announced that rail fares in England will rise by 5.9%.
With the increases looking like they won’t be going down anytime soon. How can you look to get cheaper travel?
Travel by Rail
Rail travel is one of the most common forms of transport for students. If you don’t drive and are taking long journeys to other cities from Sheffield, chances are you will travel by train.
Get a 16-25 Railcard
These cost £30 per year, but if you make enough journeys this can pay for itself in just a few trips as it offers up to 1/3 off on rail journeys. If you find it useful enough you can even purchase a 3-year railcard before you turn 24 and claim 1/3 off until you are 27. Available as a phone app which will remind you to renew when it runs out.
Book your journey in advance
Advance fairs are significantly cheaper possibly saving up to 40% off the fair. If you know when you are travelling in the future, you can snag some great deals. Advance ticket deals are released around 10-12 weeks before the journey. So it’s worthwhile to plan ahead if possible. Advance tickets can be bought cheaper up to around 10 minutes before departure on some services, however, the really cheap deals have a tendency to sell out much earlier. The trainline.com service offers a ticket alert system to let you know when cheap tickets are released.
Travelling outside of the busy hours or “off-peak” are the times when train tickets are not as expensive. Peak times are before 9.30 and after 5 pm on weekdays, weekends are usually slightly higher than off-peak. booking online or on an app will let you know when peak times are.
If your journey travels through stops, it is sometimes cheaper to split your ticket between several stops, for example, going from A to C, buy 2 tickets, one from A to B and one for B to C, You will end up with more than one ticket and you might not necessarily have to even get off the train. It can cause difficulty though if reserving seats as you may have to move through part of your journey.
Travel by coach
Travelling by coach is a much cheaper option for longer distances than by rail. however, for half the price the time taken to travel can be over twice as long, for example, Sheffield to London by rail is approx just over 2 hours whereas by coach it can be between 3 1/2 to 4 depending on the stops.
National Express offer deals with Unidays, Student Beans, Prime Student and Totum for up to 15% off for even cheaper travel aimed at students
https://www.nationalexpress.com/en/students for more information
Megabus is the intercity bus service operated by Stagecoach, they offer bus services to 9 cities in the UK from Meadowhall interchange. They offer a 10% student discount for Totum cardholders
See more at https://uk.megabus.com/nus-extra-card
Use local bus services
If you’re not travelling further than South Yorkshire or some of the West Yorkshire region then stagecoach is for you, Alternatively, they offer a discount for just using the bus around Sheffield. Student passes offer bigger discounts depending on what you purchase. Weekly. monthly or annual tickets are also available that can be used on Supertram as it is operated by the same company
First bus offer services which will take you further out to the suburbs of Sheffield and even as far as the peak district in one direction and Doncaster in the other. First offer student single tickets for as low as 80p for some journeys with a valid SHU card, UoS card, NUS/NUS Extra card, NUS Apprentice card or ISIC ID card
Travelling within Sheffield?
If you are travelling within Sheffield, a taxi or an Uber is convenient but costly. For example, a single journey from the train station to Sheffield University Student Union could cost around £10 in a hackney-licenced taxi. Whereas walking the same distance can take 20-25 minutes and 11 minutes cycling for no cost.
Live near a Supertram stop?
If you live near a Supertram stop or near to use it on a regular basis, a 28-day pass can provide great value for money to go anywhere on the network for the equivalent of £1.54 a day. The tram is quick, and easy and provides an excellent climate-friendly way to travel compared to other modes of transport.
Sometimes, travelling out-of-hours and for other reasons means that there is no other option but to get a taxi. Prebooking with a reputable company like City Taxis will work out cheaper than, jumping in a black cab at a stand. If you have run out of cash to pay for a taxi don’t forget both universities offer the Safe Taxi Scheme for students.
About Thornsett Properties
Thornsett Properties have been providing modern student accommodation in Sheffield since 1985. We supply accommodation to over 650 undergraduates and postgraduate students studying at Sheffield University and Sheffield Hallam University every year. Tailored to fit with your budget whilst looking for student accommodation. Thornsett Properties are property owners and not agents. All our properties are managed by ourselves and not reliant on third parties. We aim to help you succeed in finding student accommodation in Sheffield