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'I split my ticket into 10 journeys to save £90' - cricket fan goes all out to save cash on his trip to watch England

A cricket fan saved £90 on a return train ticket to watch England's test match against India next week – by splitting his journey into 10 legs and printing out 26 paper tickets.

Colin Hinchley will travel from Derby to Southampton Airport Parkway next Friday to watch the second day of England's fourth test against India – but was left stumped when he found out a return ticket could cost him £159.40.

But Colin decided to hit back, and after searching for 'train ticket splitting' online, he found he could cut the cost to just £69.10 by buying separate tickets for different legs of the trip.

He now has separate tickets for his journeys between Derby and Coventry, Coventry and Banbury, Banbury and Oxford, Oxford and Basingstoke, and Basingstoke and Southampton Airport Parkway – and will swing by each of the stations in reverse on the way back.

Colin has 26 pieces of paper in total to show for it, including his tickets, seat reservations and collection receipts.

See a full explanation of what split-ticketing is and our round-up of ticket splitting tools.

'I used a ticket splitting tool for the info and then booked direct'

He tweeted MoneySavingExpert.com a picture of his tickets to let us know about his great save:

Credit: Colin Hinchley

Colin said: "I searched for train splitting online and used one of the tools – I can't remember which. Cheekily, I used them for the info and then booked directly with CrossCountry.

"By booking via the CrossCountry trains website, I was able to book specific seats, meaning I won't have to keep moving throughout the journey."

He added: "I'll hope England don't collapse like we did in the first innings of this week's test."

How you can split tickets to save money

If a train company serves up a bouncer with a pricey ticket, you don't have to take it on the chin.

Split-ticketing is when you buy a ticket from the origin to a station on the route you're travelling. Then another from that intermediate station to your destination. It's perfectly legal as long as the train stops at the places you buy tickets to and from.

You could, of course, go extreme like Colin and split your journey multiple times along the same route.

There are now two main dedicated split ticketing tools – TrainSplit and Ticketclever – which help you uncover where you can save. TrainSplit also powers a number of other ticket split sites.

When we did a snapshot test of them in February this year looking at 20 journeys across four routes, neither was the clear winner – but TrainSplit edged it. So if you have time to check both, do.

You can find details on these tools and other ways to save money on train tickets with our Cheap Train Tickets guide.

What does CrossCountry say?

A CrossCountry spokesperson said: "Split ticketing is a product of an outdated system of setting fares that was established in the 1990s. 

"We know that because of this rail fares can sometimes seem confusing, which is why the industry is consulting on options to update these rules."

The ticket consultation runs until 10 September and details can be found at britainrunsonrail.co.uk/fares.