Ashchurch for Tewkesbury to Bham University

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by ModChod, 6 Nov 2011.

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  1. ModChod

    ModChod Member

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    Hi,

    I currently work at Birmingham University and commute from Ashchurch.

    A monthly Season Ticket is £316, and I am looking to bring this down. I realise I am very limited on routes due to it being direct, and the few trains that stop at Ashchurch. The outgoing train I catch goes straight to University with no stops. The Return stops at Bromsgrove. Both trains are run by Cross Country.

    Is there anyway I can bring the price down?

    I've had a search and found a few mentions of some routes like this: http://www.railforums.co.uk/showthread.php?t=40437&highlight=ashchurch

    The post at the bottom of that page by paul211 seems interesting but I don't know the ins and outs of these things and would really appreciate some help.

    I suspect that there will be no cheaper option, but if you don't ask you don't get.

    Thanks in advance
     
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  3. bb21

    bb21 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    You are correct in looking at that thread as that thread brings up a very cheap option for you.

    A Bromsgrove - Cam & Dursley ticket is valid for double-back via Birmingham New Street, due to Easement 300422. A monthly season ticket costs £189. A season ticket permits the holder to start/stop short and break the journey an unlimited number of times along the validity of the route so would be valid for you between Ashchurch and University.
     
  4. OwlMan

    OwlMan Established Member

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    I would be wary of breaking my journey whilst using the easement as you are not on a mapped route and the easement only allows you to travel via Birmingham New Street if travelling to/from Bromsgrove not intermediate stations.



     
    Last edited: 6 Nov 2011
  5. ModChod

    ModChod Member

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    Thank you both for your replies. I am trying to get my head around it.

    I assume that the Bromgrove - Cam ticket would be valid because

    1. as a season ticket holder I am allowed to hop on, hop off on along the route.
    2. When I get on at Ashchurch, I COULD have come from Cheltenham Spa on an earlier train and got off at Ashchurch and subsequently reboarded AND COULD be going to New Street with the Intention of getting a train back to Bromsgrove?

    Obviously a keen ticket operator could see that I do not progress past University everyday, but then as I could be catching a later train to complete the journey anyway using my option to break the journey as allowed by my season ticket?

    Have I got the jist of that or am I way off the mark or over complicated things?

    I do have 2 additional queries.

    1. As my return journey stops at Bromsgrove, Is it acceptable for me to have boarded the train before it reaches Bromsgrove? I assume this is because the easement has allowed me to go to New Street and the season ticket allows for me to get off and on again.

    2. Why Cam / Dursley? Would Gloucester or Stonehouse not be acceptable?

    Thanks again.
     
  6. bb21

    bb21 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    You are permitted to break your journey an unlimited number of times with a season ticket. I am not aware of any instructions saying that passengers are not permitted to break their journey if using an easement. If there is no instruction saying you cannot do it, then you can.

    Of course there is the risk that the easements can be modified if the TOC thinks that it is being taken advantage of by the passengers, but that is another matter.

    That's my interpretation.

    They are both, of course, acceptable. However Bromsgrove - Gloucester costs £290 per month and Bromsgrove - Stonehouse costs £204.30 per month. Both more expensive than Cam & Dursley.
     
  7. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    If you are "travelling from Bromsgrove via Cheltenham Spa" then you "may travel via Birmingham New Street", if not then the normal rules apply.

    I do not believe that you can claim break of journey at an intermediate station, however using station facilities while you wait for a train does not count as a break of journey.

    The rules are not as clear as they could be, and as I've said before...

     
  8. tony_mac

    tony_mac Established Member

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    There are barriers at University; your ticket quite possibly won't work in them which will likely lead to you having to explain that you are breaking your journey while using an easement that allows additional travel via Birmingham to Bromsgrove. (And possibly under suspicion for having over-travelled).
    I wouldn't want to be in that position every day.

    You could buy the season ticket to Bromsgrove, then a day return from Bromsgrove to University (the train doesn't need to stop at Bromsgrove if one ticket is a season ticket).
    I think it saves £12 a week on weekly seasons, but less on longer tickets.

    This would not allow travel via Birmingham.

    (For reference, a Cam & Dursley to Birmingham season is the same price as Ashchurch to University.)

    Oh, and if you buy a 'monthly' ticket, it doesn't have to be for exactly one month - you can specify the end date, as long as it is more than a month. That could save a few pounds by skipping the weekend between monthly tickets etc.
     
    Last edited: 7 Nov 2011
  9. bignosemac

    bignosemac Established Member

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    Interpretation of the rules is difficult in this scenario, I agree. But does an easement trump the National Rail Conditions of Carriage?

    The easement allows someone to travel through Bromsgrove and double back from Birmingham New Street. Taking a train from Ashchurch, does the passenger have to alight at Bromsgrove at the first opportunity or can they travel onward to Birmingham, stopping short at University, and not then continuing to Birmingham and back to Bromsgrove?

    BTW. I've got lots of tickets to Bromsgrove. Rarely been there.....
     
  10. island

    island Established Member

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    I imagine the usual UTCCR rules would apply and the interpretation most favourable to the consumer would be taken.
     
  11. cuccir

    cuccir Established Member

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    Some guidance may come from the fact that different easements use different wordings:

    "Journeys from..."
    "Customers travelling from..."
    "Customers holding tickets to..."
    "Customers may double back... when changing"

    This suggests different intentions behind each type of easement. Of course, as island points out, it is not up to a passenger/customer to guess the intentions of regulations, only to follow what they can reasonably be interpreted as saying.

    I think this is reasonable BUT: you may have to be prepared to be regularly challenged if you use the ticket this way; this may result in hassle/discussions with rail staff; it may ultimately result in added easements which mean you cannot use the ticket this way.

    Essentially, whilst I (and most others here) agree in principle with you, we can't guarantee that using a ticket in this way would definitely be valid, and we certainly can't guarantee that you would be able to use it hassle free!
     
  12. John @ home

    John @ home Established Member Fares Advisor

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    I don't agree that any added restriction would mean that you cannot use that ticket in this way. Once the purchase of the ticket has been completed, the contract cannot be changed unilaterally by either party. Therefore a new restriction introduced on 2 January 2012 would not apply at any time during its validity to an annual season ticket bought on 1 January 2012. Similarly, contract law would not require the train companies to honour for such a ticket an additional right introduced on 2 January 2012.
     
  13. cuccir

    cuccir Established Member

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    Yes, I grant you that.
     
  14. island

    island Established Member

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    I personally think it suggests different people writing the wording of each easement and not thinking technically.
     
  15. ModChod

    ModChod Member

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    Hi,

    Thank you all fo your replies.

    I'm tempted to buy a season ticket for a week and try it. I do think the barriers at University could be a problem though, and I can imagine I could well be queried on a regular basis. But the potential savings could make it worthwhile.

    One other thing has been suggested by a lady at Centro. My ticket is up for renewal in January (it's yearly), which is why I am looking into it now.

    She suggested buying a 'Ashchurch - Bromsgrove' and 'Bromsgrove - All Zones' ticket to cover my journey. She even thinks that is what would be automatically issued. I queried the first train not stopping at Bromsgrove and she said it would be fine as long as it passes through the station. Have I understood this correctly? It was my understanding that the train had to stop at the station for this to be valid. She said I would receive a printed document to suport this.

    The savings wouldn't be as big, granted, but there would still be some savings. It would be through the 'Corporate Scheme' (according to Centro) as my employer would buy the ticket on my behalf, and this would work out to £200 a month.

    Thanks again.
     
  16. Mojo

    Mojo Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Your rights are documented in condition 19 of the National Rail Conditions of carriage:

    In this case part (c) applies as you are travelling on a normal season ticket and a PTE season ticket.
     
  17. island

    island Established Member

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    She's right, although probably for the wrong reason.
     
  18. bignosemac

    bignosemac Established Member

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    Equally probable we have a staff member who knows what they are talking about.
     
  19. ModChod

    ModChod Member

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    She did seem knowledgable on the phone. Didn't have to ask anyone or put anything into a computer. She advised that many people from Cheltenham Spa do the same thing (although usually to New Street).

    So, just to clarify. the PTE would be the 'Bromsgrove - All Zones' and the Season Ticket would be Ashchurch to Bromsgrove, allowing me to travel to University, even though on the return journey the train does not stop at Bromsgrove. The lady advised that it must pass through (is it even possible not to pass through on that route?).

    And, am I able to purchase the 'PTE ticket' from Cheltenham Railway Station or does it need to be purchased through Centro?

    Apologies for the questions, but I only started the Job last month, and bought a months season ticket, and I need to buy another months to tie me through to January when my Employer can purchase one on my behalf (they only do it quarterly apparently), so I want to make sure that I can.

    I am new to daily train travel, but enjoying it so far, although the fare structure seem quite bemusing. It's also great to have a forum like this with so many helpful, and knowledgeable people on it.

    Thansk Again.
     
  20. bb21

    bb21 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Yes. The All Zones ticket is a Centro (WMPTE) product, and not a Train Company product. Subsequently Condition 19(c), as quoted by Mojo's response in Post 15, applies. The train must pass through Bromsgrove (although not necessarily stopping) if you decide to split. Any train that goes via University of course goes past Bromsgrove.

    They are issued on dedicated stock iirc. Cheltenham might have the correct stock, however you are better off getting it sorted at a station inside the area before your current season ticket runs out.
     
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