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Old 13th January 2017, 16:46   #136
Neil Williams
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If I want to travel from London to Dartford I would not want to be tied to one of the four different routes. If I had to be I'd probably find another way of travelling.
If a return was twice a single, what would be the problem with deciding your outward route and purchasing a single, then deciding your return route when you arrive at the station and purchasing another single? Or, if you changed your mind mid-journey, exchanging your ticket for one for the route you did take and are intending to take? (that could replace actual excesses)

With a system based in some way on mileage, you could have *any route you liked* at the appropriate cost, no need for the Routeing Guide, just buy a ticket for the route you happen to fancy. Bletchley to Milton Keynes Central via London, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Inverness, Glasgow and Birmingham? Go ahead, if you like, here's the fare. Just like you can do things like that in Switzerland - in a couple of minutes at any TVM! (And I have priced out little "tours" like that in CH plenty of times before).
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Old 13th January 2017, 18:17   #137
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Remember that, in this world, all tickets are Advances so you would be tied to a given train, not a given route.
I've possibly jumped into a conversation mid-way through, but are we really saying that commuters would have to book advances for every journey?
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If a return was twice a single, what would be the problem with deciding your outward route and purchasing a single, then deciding your return route when you arrive at the station and purchasing another single? Or, if you changed your mind mid-journey, exchanging your ticket for one for the route you did take and are intending to take? (that could replace actual excesses)
Well we're talking about commuter type routes. It often happens that trains arrive out of sequence so while I might intend to get the Sidcup line train to Dartford, the train which actually turns up first is the Blackheath and Woolwich line train. These are all DOO trains so no chance to swap on the train, and if I had to go back to the ticket office at London Bridge I'd probably end up needing a completely different ticket.
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Old 13th January 2017, 18:20   #138
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I've possibly jumped into a conversation mid-way through, but are we really saying that commuters would have to book advances for every journey?
Under Neil William's proposal, effectively yes. All tickets would be train-specific.
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Old 13th January 2017, 19:00   #139
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I've possibly jumped into a conversation mid-way through, but are we really saying that commuters would have to book advances for every journey?
If such a proposal has been made I have missed it.

The problem is that this thread has got so complicated, with multiple discussions running in parallel, that a suggestion relevant to only one sub-discussion can be taken out of context and then yet another sub-discussion starts up about something that had never been proposed in the first place !

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Old 14th January 2017, 22:32   #140
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Under Neil William's proposal, effectively yes. All tickets would be train-specific.
Not necessarily. They (the flexible ones at least, and nobody in this thread is addressing off-peak because it is a very difficult problem) would however be route specific, in the manner that Swiss and German tickets are.
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Well we're talking about commuter type routes. It often happens that trains arrive out of sequence so while I might intend to get the Sidcup line train to Dartford, the train which actually turns up first is the Blackheath and Woolwich line train. These are all DOO trains so no chance to swap on the train, and if I had to go back to the ticket office at London Bridge I'd probably end up needing a completely different ticket.
This is within Greater London, I guess? Not sure I wouldn't just go for a zonal German-style joint tariff system managed entirely by TfL (and exactly the same as Tube fares) for those services.

Outside of the big cities there are far fewer similar cases.
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Old 14th January 2017, 23:55   #141
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Originally Posted by MikeWh View Post
If I want to travel from London to Dartford I would not want to be tied to one of the four different routes.
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Originally Posted by MikeWh View Post
I might intend to get the Sidcup line train to Dartford, the train which actually turns up first is the Blackheath and Woolwich line train. ... if I had to go back to the ticket office at London Bridge I'd probably end up needing a completely different ticket.
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This is within Greater London, I guess?
Not quite. Of the places mentioned above, Dartford is in Kent and the others in Greater London. Until recently, Dartford was outside the Oyster zones. It has now been included in Oyster zone 8.
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Not sure I wouldn't just go for a zonal German-style joint tariff system managed entirely by TfL (and exactly the same as Tube fares) for those services.
A zonal system with a single management is sensible in and around large cities, but giving that job entirely to TfL will cause howls of outrage from towns such as Broxbourne, Dartford, Redhill and Watford. It seems to me that the northern cities have handled this better, forming City Regions which extend beyond the boundaries of the old metropolitan counties to cover the whole travel-to-work area. It can lead to oddities like Barnsley being in both Leeds City Region and Sheffield City Region, but it does seem to encourage co-operation and avoid the democratic deficit which is such a problem on the edge of Greater London.
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Outside of the big cities there are far fewer similar cases.
If devolution is to be genuine, it will lead to anomalies at boundaries. If the government's plan to devolve local transport to city regions is implemented in full, there will be a very large number of anomalies at boundaries. But will it give us better local rail services across the north of England? Despite the anomalies, I tend to think it will.
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Old 15th January 2017, 09:28   #142
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If devolution is to be genuine, it will lead to anomalies at boundaries. If the government's plan to devolve local transport to city regions is implemented in full, there will be a very large number of anomalies at boundaries. But will it give us better local rail services across the north of England? Despite the anomalies, I tend to think it will.
Would it be more likely that devolution would follow the German model, i.e. provision, operation and management devolved but a national fares model maintained? That model seems to have been very, very successful in Germany, with regional services being rather transformed from the very 1980s-BR look of a loco and a couple of rotting Silberlinge on a 2-hourly frequency to modern DMUs and EMUs much more often - and passenger growth to match.
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Old 18th January 2017, 15:01   #143
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route specific, in the manner that Swiss and German tickets are.
And note that German routes are, at least as I understand it, not restricted to routes in the narrow sense of the word (simple A-B-C-D style linear routing) but can use "Raumbegrenzungen" (area restrictions?) which describe a kind of polygon ā la "A-(B-C/X-Y)-D" which means "A to D via either B and C on the one hand, or X and Y on the other hand, or any route in between".

This could, if desired, provide for routes of the kind "London-(Woolwich/Sidcup)-Dartford" or "York-(Leeds/Doncaster)-Sheffield", the former also being valid via Bexleyheath and the latter also being valid via Pontefract Baghill.

I don't know how the price is calculated for such routings, however (on the longest possible route, some kind of average, or what).
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Old 18th January 2017, 16:14   #144
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And note that German routes are, at least as I understand it, not restricted to routes in the narrow sense of the word (simple A-B-C-D style linear routing) but can use "Raumbegrenzungen" (area restrictions?) which describe a kind of polygon ā la "A-(B-C/X-Y)-D" which means "A to D via either B and C on the one hand, or X and Y on the other hand, or any route in between".
So we start getting back into permitted routes - which is a large part of what people find too complex about the current system.
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Old 18th January 2017, 17:33   #145
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So we start getting back into permitted routes - which is a large part of what people find too complex about the current system.
A major problem with the current GB system is finding out what the permitted routes are and the lack of logic with some of them. Some permitted routes are frankly bizarre and would only be identified by the type of person who is on this forum, whereas other routes are not allowed, yet to the man in the street seem perfectly reasonable (e.g. the shortest journey time between origin and destination).

"Any permitted" on a ticket tells people very little - some people believe it means they can go 'any' way - York to Sheffield via Manchester, say !

With the system described, the routing is clearly printed on the ticket (including options, if appropriate). It helped by the fact that, in Germany, codes are widely used, outside of the railway, in lieu of the full name of towns and cities. This is not the case in the UK, so any routings would need to spell out the name in full (or very close to).

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Old 19th January 2017, 10:07   #146
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A major problem with the current GB system is finding out what the permitted routes are
Agreed; I think a specification that's printed on the ticket is a different beast from the vague "any reasonable route" or "Any Permitted".
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Old 19th January 2017, 21:41   #147
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Agreed; I think a specification that's printed on the ticket is a different beast from the vague "any reasonable route" or "Any Permitted".
What would you print on a Poppleton to Shireoaks ticket?
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Old 20th January 2017, 04:23   #148
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What would you print on a Poppleton to Shireoaks ticket?
One possibility might be "Poppleton - (Harrogate-Leeds-Wakefield-Sheffield / York-Doncaster-Retford) - Shireoaks", implying that anything between the polygon implied by H-L-W-S on the one hand and Y-D-R on the other hand would also be acceptable.
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Old 20th January 2017, 09:47   #149
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...implying that anything between ...
Routeing by implication... And I thought this was going to be a better system.
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Old 20th January 2017, 09:50   #150
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Routeing by implication... And I thought this was going to be a better system.
So add "Any route bounded by" and "without doubling back i.e. passing through a station twice", then. Not implicit then, actually quite explicit.

I'd imagine writing a piece of software to generate that kind of thing from something similar to the current maps would not be an impossible task.
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