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Old 17th February 2017, 17:48   #226
Arctic Troll
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Originally Posted by Robertj21a View Post
ENCTS passes are no longer valid on any Red Arrow leaving Nottingham.
The poster said that, and pointed out that eligibility was removed precisely because the OAPs were starting to prevent fare paying customers from boarding.

It's the same in plenty of places. The first X93 from Middlesbrough to Whitby after 0930 is packed, the first 685 from Newcastle to Hexham and Carlisle is, the first 555 from Lancaster and Kendal is. Given that fare payers don't get off peak discounts, I wonder what it is that's making so many passengers wait until 0930...
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Old 17th February 2017, 18:05   #227
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Given that fare payers don't get off peak discounts, I wonder what it is that's making so many passengers wait until 0930...
That varies by area. In many areas there's two prices for the day ticket, with the cheaper price applying after a certain time.

It is a little annoying to get the bus at 0920 and have to pay for a peak day ticket to find it full of people who've boarded in North Yorkshire where the pass is valid from 0900.
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Old 17th February 2017, 18:28   #228
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The poster said that, and pointed out that eligibility was removed precisely because the OAPs were starting to prevent fare paying customers from boarding.
WRONG! the decision to bar pass holders from using the Red Arrow was a political one taken by Nottingham and Derby Councils in order to save money... they decided that as it was an "express" service it was a premium service and so pensioners could use the lower frequency, longer journey "all stops" services... knowing full well that sitting on an uncomfortable bus seat for over an hour would put many off of travelling... also I'm sure that as the Red Arrow charged premium fares the payment for each pass on this service was higher than on the other all stops services!

IIRC TrentBarton had a lot to say against this decision as, quite rightly, they pointed out that Red Arrow fulfilled all the criteria neccessary to be a part of the scheme (and of course they have lost a valuable revenue stream on the service)
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Old 17th February 2017, 20:17   #229
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WRONG! the decision to bar pass holders from using the Red Arrow was a political one taken by Nottingham and Derby Councils in order to save money... they decided that as it was an "express" service it was a premium service and so pensioners could use the lower frequency, longer journey "all stops" services... knowing full well that sitting on an uncomfortable bus seat for over an hour would put many off of travelling... also I'm sure that as the Red Arrow charged premium fares the payment for each pass on this service was higher than on the other all stops services!

IIRC TrentBarton had a lot to say against this decision as, quite rightly, they pointed out that Red Arrow fulfilled all the criteria neccessary to be a part of the scheme (and of course they have lost a valuable revenue stream on the service)
We had a situation in West Cornwall a few years ago when Cornwall Council announced (in combination with First) that the very popular seasonal open top circular 300 service would no longer operate as such, and the replacement 300 service between Land's End and St. Ives direct (not via Penzance) would no longer be able to be used free by passholders. The decision was then taken to operate the route by a 'heritage vehicle' with a premium fare of 10, but half price for ENCTS passholders. First Day Tickets were also not accepted on the service. BEFORE the late announcement that First were operating a 'heritage vehicle' (a Bristol Lodekka) on it,I had email correspondence with Cornwall Council in which I stated my opinion that withdrawing concessionary pass use was legally debatable if not plain wrong: the sudden
decision to use an old bus did however make it legal.

This situation lasted just for one summer: when the 300 returned over the same route in 2015 it was worked by an ordinary open topper with no restrictions on free pass use (other than prior to 09.30) nor on day tickets, and this continued in 2016 too, so it could be said that Cornwall Council backed down.
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Old 17th February 2017, 20:33   #230
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Tourist routes are excluded under ENCTS so I would have thought using an open top double decker meant Cornwall council were being generous in allowing ENCTS to be used. You wouldn't get away with using it on a tourist open top decker in London!

To quote a tour guide from York "If you're an adult the cost is 5. If you're a pensioner and looking for a special price then you pay 6 because you walk slower."
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Old 17th February 2017, 20:57   #231
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Tourist routes are excluded under ENCTS so I would have thought using an open top double decker meant Cornwall council were being generous in allowing ENCTS to be used. You wouldn't get away with using it on a tourist open top decker in London!

To quote a tour guide from York "If you're an adult the cost is 5. If you're a pensioner and looking for a special price then you pay 6 because you walk slower."
I studied the wording and all the notes of guidance on this very carefully and concluded it was quite clear that the exemption to the requirement for accepting ENCTS applied specifically to tour buses marketed as such which, by the way, don't count as Stage Carriage services under the supervision of the Traffic Commissioners. On my side I had the fact that the previous 300 service had operated accepting passes for several years without a hint it was 'illegal' to do so: this point was ignored by CC's representative. What they did try to say was that 'seasonal' services were exempt, until I pointed out that the definition of seasonal under the scheme was IIRC six weeks, and certainly not the three or four months the service actually ran for. I also said that most of the roads covered by the route were unserved by other buses, so the opportunity for locals to make useful journeys, albeit only for those three or four months, should also have been taken into account. I like to think that common sense prevailed, but, having no contacts in either First Kernow or Cornwall Council, I don't know what caused the change of mind. No 'tour guides' have ever been used on the 300 either, even off the bus at termini.
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Old 18th February 2017, 11:09   #232
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I had the fact that the previous 300 service had operated accepting passes for several years without a hint it was 'illegal' to do so: this point was ignored by CC's representative.
That argument makes no sense which is probably why they ignored it. TfGM allow locally issued ENCTS passes to be used on trains and trams but that doesn't mean it's illegal for them to offer that or that it's illegal for them to withdraw the provision (above the legally required minimum) now they've provided it.

I've Googled ENCTS passes and tourist buses and it returned a meeting document from Cumbria council saying they allow ENCTS passes to be used on tourist routes despite it not being a legal requirement for them to do so.

Quote:
What they did try to say was that 'seasonal' services were exempt, until I pointed out that the definition of seasonal under the scheme was IIRC six weeks, and certainly not the three or four months the service actually ran for.
Which doesn't explain how year round tourist routes in major cities can be exempt but it's apparently illegal for your Cornish bus.

Quote:
I also said that most of the roads covered by the route were unserved by other buses, so the opportunity for locals to make useful journeys, albeit only for those three or four months, should also have been taken into account.
While that's an important consideration it doesn't automatically mean that they have to allow ENCTS if it's not required.


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No 'tour guides' have ever been used on the 300 either, even off the bus at termini.
The tour guide who made that joke was doing a walking tour and the guide himself was probably not that many years off reaching retirement age. I just posted it to give a different prospective. A tourist bus doesn't have to have a guide, many of the cheaper ones don't have a live guide.
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Old 18th February 2017, 12:43   #233
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Originally Posted by Teflon Lettuce View Post
WRONG! the decision to bar pass holders from using the Red Arrow was a political one taken by Nottingham and Derby Councils in order to save money...
AFAIK Derby City Council have yet to confirm whether they will be joining Nottingham City Council in barring ENCTS passes from the Red Arrow. An announcement must be imminent as the change, if announced, is due to come into force from 1st April 2017.
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Old 18th February 2017, 15:46   #234
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Originally Posted by Teflon Lettuce View Post

IIRC TrentBarton had a lot to say against this decision as, quite rightly, they pointed out that Red Arrow fulfilled all the criteria neccessary to be a part of the scheme (and of course they have lost a valuable revenue stream on the service)
So this Bus Company was complaining about not being able to carry ENCTS passengers. What do you say Artic Troll? That's a loss of a subsidy. But wait a minute, it's not a subsidy, it's a reimbursement for carrying passengers. Confused? No wonder Arriva and Trent Barton have web pages about ENCTS and encourage their use. Of course the down side is the effect it is happening on Councils. I think going back to the original poster , I doubt their use effects the price of single tickets but I think that most of us agree that the scheme in its current format will not be around in a few years time due to the severe funding crisis within Local Government. However, will the Government do anything or will they as I suspect, throw it back to the Councils to do as you wish but it no longer becomes a National(England) scheme. I think that as soon as Government placed their pot within the settlement for Councils, it made it easier to blame Councils without recourse to DFT. It really is up to you Theresa!
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Old 18th February 2017, 17:35   #235
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Originally Posted by jcollins View Post
That argument makes no sense which is probably why they ignored it. TfGM allow locally issued ENCTS passes to be used on trains and trams but that doesn't mean it's illegal for them to offer that or that it's illegal for them to withdraw the provision (above the legally required minimum) now they've provided it.

I've Googled ENCTS passes and tourist buses and it returned a meeting document from Cumbria council saying they allow ENCTS passes to be used on tourist routes despite it not being a legal requirement for them to do so.
When gives a clear guide to why giving councils absolute power over bus services is the road to ruin!
This is a council that's withdrawn all subsidy to bus services (leaving countless communities without a service and lots more with no evening or Sunday service) but sees no issue with giving money (that it doesnt have to give) to allow visiting tourists to ride round for free! The slight irony of that is, if the summer services get stuffed with pass holders, they're likely to become unviable as well!
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Old 18th February 2017, 18:02   #236
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the problem with tourist routes is there is no clear definition of what constitutes a tourist route...

ok.. so a sightseeing tour is a tourist route (such as city sightseeing routes)

a service that runs only on summer suns through tourist areas is a tourist route...

but what about a local bus service (such as the 555 through the lakes) that carries a high number of tourists.... is that a local service? or a tourist route?

and what about services that are enhanced during the tourist season to cope with loadings?

the problem here is that the law is vaguely worded... and there then comes the argument between the LETTER of the law and the SPIRIT...

this can be seen in many facets of bus operation.. the most glaring being in drivers hrs legislation... the law states that after 13 days work a driver must have a 24 hr rest period... NOW the spirit of the law is that you must have a clear day off after 13 days working... BUT the LETTER of the law means you can actually work 365 days a year without a break.... after all if you finish today at 1359 and don't start work again until 1401 tomorrow you have fulfilled the requirement of a 24 hour rest period...

I think as far as tourist routes go this is what has happened with the ENCTS... the law is vague leaving it open to interpretation... and of course when that happens there will be a stand off... after all it is in the interests of the councils to interpret it more strictly than the companies do...
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Old 18th February 2017, 19:53   #237
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Nothing stopping Trent making a commercial decision and introducing a Concession fare on the Red Arrow. Something similar exists on the Stagecoach X5
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Old 18th February 2017, 20:54   #238
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Originally Posted by jcollins View Post
That argument makes no sense which is probably why they ignored it. TfGM allow locally issued ENCTS passes to be used on trains and trams but that doesn't mean it's illegal for them to offer that or that it's illegal for them to withdraw the provision (above the legally required minimum) now they've provided it.

.
I have neither the time nor the inclination to reply to your other points, which, as this forum seems to adopt the policy that the person who posts last has 'won' the argument will no doubt lead you to assume that posture too (when I worked for the Probation Service we were trained to come out when we were certain of our argument and not attempt to get the 'last word') but my getting involved in the issue of the 300 route stemmed from the lead article in the local 'Cornishman' in April 2014, revealing that the old circular route was no more, in part because of Cornwall Council's refusal to reimburse pass use. Cornwall Council were quoted in this article as telling the newspaper that it would be 'ILLEGAL' for them to reimburse in future, I was quoted in the following week's paper as saying that was rubbish, or words to that effect, so CC had ample opportunity to defend their stance, which they failed to do, either to the newspaper reporter, whom I briefed, or to me in my two emails. I drew my own conclusions from that, and also from their quietly recanting on it the following summer. As I'm not 'I told you so' I filed it away in my mind and memory until now.
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Old 18th February 2017, 21:01   #239
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Originally Posted by ChathillMan View Post
Nothing stopping Trent making a commercial decision and introducing a Concession fare on the Red Arrow. Something similar exists on the Stagecoach X5
Trent did for a while, but then withdrew it.
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Old 18th February 2017, 21:07   #240
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Originally Posted by Teflon Lettuce View Post
the problem with tourist routes is there is no clear definition of what constitutes a tourist route...

ok.. so a sightseeing tour is a tourist route (such as city sightseeing routes)

a service that runs only on summer suns through tourist areas is a tourist route...

but what about a local bus service (such as the 555 through the lakes) that carries a high number of tourists.... is that a local service? or a tourist route?

and what about services that are enhanced during the tourist season to cope with loadings?

the problem here is that the law is vaguely worded... and there then comes the argument between the LETTER of the law and the SPIRIT...

this can be seen in many facets of bus operation.. the most glaring being in drivers hrs legislation... the law states that after 13 days work a driver must have a 24 hr rest period... NOW the spirit of the law is that you must have a clear day off after 13 days working... BUT the LETTER of the law means you can actually work 365 days a year without a break.... after all if you finish today at 1359 and don't start work again until 1401 tomorrow you have fulfilled the requirement of a 24 hour rest period...

I think as far as tourist routes go this is what has happened with the ENCTS... the law is vague leaving it open to interpretation... and of course when that happens there will be a stand off... after all it is in the interests of the councils to interpret it more strictly than the companies do...
Actually I find the wording of the legislation and its codicils to be fairly comprehensive, save for the 'bus operator being neither better nor worse off' bit, the most essential with no further definition. Bit like 'Brexit is Brexit'.

You can't just say that if you happen to live in a 'tourist area', whatever that may be (I'm sure the various Tourist Boards would claim that's every square foot of the UK) then you will not be entitled to use a pass in your home area. After all, London and Edinburgh are the two top destinations for foreign tourists and both have free passes for local residents offering far greater benefits than the standard ECNTS conditions. You can't, however, use them on Sightseeing Tours and I've never seen this mentioned as an issue save FOR on this forum!
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