ashford int to city thameslink

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garethe

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hello,

I can see that the city thameslink has caused lots of discussion in the past. So apologies for starting again - however - I recently started using the train again (after a motorbike crash), when I use the ticket machines at the station (AFK) to CTK i get a fare of £137.60 inc HS1 for a 7day ticket. However when I aks at the ticket office I get told that I need to buy a supplement to get me to ctk from st Panc. This to me seems wrong, as the first ticket I bought ( I crashed on the way in to London ) was from the ctk ticket machine for 137.60 inc HS1! How on earth am I expected to get to afk if it doesn't expect me to use the FCC trains... Also in doing some more investiagtions if I pick blackfriars as my final destination it's actually £1 cheaper.. again how am i meant to get there... I am not trying to dodge paying any fares at all, but refuse to believe that one system is more right than the other (ticket office vs machine) just becuase one talks back and tells me its wrong (I would also think the underlying data is the same?)...

Many thanks...
 
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hairyhandedfool

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The issue is what is printed on the ticket. More than likely it will be Ashford to London Terminals. City Thameslink is a London Terminal, but only if you approach from the South. This is because a London Terminals ticket is not valid for any journey going to, from, or via Farringdon (well, there is one exception but it is not applicable here). Because the 'via HS1' fare is more expensive than the 'not via HS1' fare, it is valid by those routes allowed by the 'not via HS1' fare and so is valid to City, but not via Farringdon. Going via St Pancras, you would need another ticket if you held a London Terminals season.

If you want the option of going via HS1 to City, I think a season from Ashford to Farringdon (via HS1) would be the cheapest option.
 
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garethe

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Many thanks for the quick response. What I can't understand is that the ticket machine at City printed from London Terminals to Ashford. Hopefully the ticket machine knows where it is an can dispense the correct ticket. Given there's no other route to get to st pancras from city without going through farringdon to get to teh hs1 - i am a bit lost...
 

hairyhandedfool

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Many thanks for the quick response. What I can't understand is that the ticket machine at City printed from London Terminals to Ashford. Hopefully the ticket machine knows where it is an can dispense the correct ticket. Given there's no other route to get to st pancras from city without going through farringdon to get to teh hs1 - i am a bit lost...
A ticket routed 'via HS1' is also valid 'not via HS1' because it is more expensive, so it is valid to City, but just because it is valid to that station, it does not mean it is valid to travel via Farringdon and St Pancras.

So the machine is perfectly entitled to issue the ticket, unless it is giving you a travel itinerary for travelling via St Pancras on that ticket.
 

button_boxer

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As HHF says, a "plus high speed" ticket from Ashford to Farringdon (which costs £1.10 more than one to London Terminals for the 7 day season) would cover you for the journey you want to make. Effectively you travel all the way from Ashford to Farringdon and then immediately start a return journey via the non-HS route on the same train, stopping short at City Thameslink.

Such a ticket may not operate the barriers at City but that doesn't stop it being valid.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Given there's no other route to get to st pancras from city without going through farringdon to get to teh hs1 - i am a bit lost...
But the ticket isn't to City Thameslink, it's to "London Terminals", which includes St Pancras. I haven't checked the routeing guide but I suspect it would also be valid to take a HS service from Ashford to Stratford International, walk through the Westfield to Stratford and get a train in to Liverpool Street from there.
 

garethe

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Effectively you travel all the way from Ashford to Farringdon and then immediately start a return journey via the non-HS route on the same train, stopping short at City Thameslink.
Now that makes more sense rather than the £15.30, I am being asked to pay by the ticket office. Thankfully my bike is back on Friday :D and I can leave the complete confusion that is ticketing.
 

button_boxer

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Now that makes more sense rather than the £15.30, I am being asked to pay by the ticket office. Thankfully my bike is back on Friday :D and I can leave the complete confusion that is ticketing.
£15.60 would be the difference in price between an Ashford to London Terminals season ticket and an Ashford to London Zones 1-6 out-boundary travelcard (both "plus high speed").
 

LexyBoy

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What I can't understand is that the ticket machine at City printed from London Terminals to Ashford. Hopefully the ticket machine knows where it is an can dispense the correct ticket. Given there's no other route to get to st pancras from city without going through farringdon to get to teh hs1 - i am a bit lost...
Unfortunately ticket machines are not all that clever and will in some situations offer a ticket which could land you a Penalty Fare or in court. (not to mention selling tickets more expensive than needed).

The ticket offered by the ticket office would have been valid, although as pointed out the Farringdon ticket is cheaper.

 

hairyhandedfool

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Yes, the ticket office must offer the cheapest valid through ticket for the journey being made. If the through journey is Ashford International to City Thameslink via St Pancras, then the Travelcard is the cheapest valid through fare.
 

MarkyMarkD

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The non-availability of through tickets (other than Travelcards) to places like CTK is a bit of a nonsense and not obvious to "ordinary passengers".

I have myself more than once inadvertently bought +HS1 tickets to CTK (before I joined this forum) and travelled via STP and then "doubled back" to CTK (and been let through the barriers to Thameslink at STP).

The restriction on this "doubling back" is illogical because it's not really doubling back and because customers are paying the enormous HS1 premium for the privilege of "going the wrong way round". So, really from a fairness point of view the National Rail block on travelling southbound on Thameslink, after travelling northbound from Kent on HS1, should be lifted.
 

bb21

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The non-availability of through tickets (other than Travelcards) to places like CTK is a bit of a nonsense and not obvious to "ordinary passengers".

I have myself more than once inadvertently bought +HS1 tickets to CTK (before I joined this forum) and travelled via STP and then "doubled back" to CTK (and been let through the barriers to Thameslink at STP).

The restriction on this "doubling back" is illogical because it's not really doubling back and because customers are paying the enormous HS1 premium for the privilege of "going the wrong way round". So, really from a fairness point of view the National Rail block on travelling southbound on Thameslink, after travelling northbound from Kent on HS1, should be lifted.
This anomaly really only came about when HS1 came into operation. The solution is really quite simple, in that all tickets routed Plus High Speed could have an option of being sold to a destination similar to London Thameslink, possibly with the addition of another £1/£1.50 or so each way to the London Terminals fare. This way people who need to cross Farringdon do not have to be forced to either split their journey or buy the travelcard alternative.
 

hairyhandedfool

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To avoid confusion, you are not doubling-back, you are effectively over-riding (doubling-back is passing through the same station twice).

The automatic barriers at St Pancras may be programmed to allow tickets to or from 'London Terminals' through. I believe this was the case at Kings Cross Thameslink when it was open.

Also, you don't pay more for 'going the wrong way round', you pay more for using HS1 to get to London Terminals.

You could go to the extent of saying that passengers travelling from Edinburgh to London Terminals should have tube travel between the various north London terminus stations included free of charge just incase they take a different route (on a 'Rte Any Permitted' ticket), it just doesn't work that way I'm afraid.
 

MarkyMarkD

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The wording on the National Rail website implies that it is a form of doubling back, as it is all about not letting you travel southbound on Thameslink after you have travelled into London northbound.

There are many other circumstances where fares exist to allow what you describe as over-travelling. This problem arises because there are not specific CTK fares from Ashford International but they are all "London Terminals" fares.

I think what I am trying to say is that if you turn up at Ashford International, as a normal customer, and ask for a ticket on HS1 to CTK, it is reasonable to assume that the ticket you get is valid for HS1 to STP and Thameslink to CTK. There is no other sensible way to do that journey using HS1. So, there should be a specific "+HS1" route fare to CTK which allows use of Thameslink.

Customers using ticket machines at Ashford international (or, indeed, any Southeastern HS1 station) to get a ticket to CTK are currently very likely to be mis-sold a ticket which doesn't do what they want.
 

hairyhandedfool

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At Ashford, if you wanted to go to City T/L via St Pancras, the ticket office should either offer the Travelcard, or, if it is a single or return journey, a single or return to London Zone U1, these tickets are valid.

There is always the risk that people buying tickets from self service machines will end up with the wrong ticket, this is not specific to journeys on HS1. There are ways to resolve this of course, the easiest is removing the ticket machines.
 

MarkyMarkD

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I think it might be better to sort out ticketing anomalies such that automated ticket machines are capable of serving customers properly!

A normal customer wishing to travel to a named central London station, (CTK in this case), is not likely to think "Hmm, I need to buy a ticket to London Zone U1". They are fare more likely to think "I'll buy a ticket to the station I actually want to go to"; they are then offered "not HS1" and "HS1" alternatives, and then they are sold a "+HS1" ticket to "London Terminals" which isn't valid for the journey they asked the machine to make! That is my gripe - that a fare exists which cannot possibly be used (AFK-CTK +HS1) simply because it's a clone London Terminals fare, incorrectly offered to CTK as well as other London Terminals.
 

hairyhandedfool

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Certainly the machines could be made and programmed better, but I can't think of a sensible way of doing it without the risk of confusing a lot of people.

For Example, I put in AFK to CTK in my fasTis and it brings up the HS1 routes to Zone U1 because it is the fastest permitted route, but without specifying going through south London, or avoiding St Pancras, even stipulating the cheapest fare, it won't offer the cheaper not HS1 fare. Of course I know that this is an issue and can correct for it, but how much more customer focused would that be?

Equally, put AFK to CTK in NRES and it tells you the same route, but says there are no fares (except Travelcards).

Self service machines are great for those who know what they need, but are not so good for those who don't know what they need.
 

MarkyMarkD

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WebTIS shows the AFK-CTK +HS1 fare but "no journeys available", and the Zone U1 fare, and the Travelcard, which is almost the right conclusion apart from the daftness of the AFK-CTK fare which is unusable.

The automated machines (or at least the ones I use) are quite good at showing multiple route validity options - typically +HS1 or not HS1 but also more esoteric ones where they exist (not London or via Tilbury) - so I don't think people would be confused, if only there was an actual AFK-CTK + HS1 fare which allowed travel from AFK to CTK via HS1!
 

garethe

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Great to see the debate still going, it is completely mad. Self service tickets proliferate at stations because they want to reduce costs of staffing stations. Ashford typically has 2 windows open and 3 machines. It is hardly the fault of the consumer if they purchase a ticket in good faith that subsequently turns out to be invalid when they have taken all reasonable steps. It is a fair assumption to make that a ticket office and machine are one and the same for the purposes of a journey from AFK to CTK and both will give you a valid ticket.
 

bb21

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As hairyhandedfool has already pointed out, TVMs do not always offer a ticket that is valid by the route that seems most natural to the passenger.

For example, if I ask for a ticket to Harold Wood from a TVM at Paddington, what does it offer me? You've guessed it - a ticket from London Terminals, which is not valid for travel from Paddington at all. It does not offer a ticket from Zone U1 Londn, which is what is actually required for the journey from Paddington to Harold Wood. As an average punter, would you realise that you need another ticket to get to Liverpool Street before you can use the ticket you just purchased at Paddington? How many people would realise that they cannot use this ticket on the Underground? After all, plenty of National Rail tickets are valid on the Underground.

There are certainly simple things that can be done to make TVMs more accurate in its offerings, however no matter how advanced they become, they're unlikely to be able to provide all the benefits of an actual (properly trained) human being in a ticket office.
 

hairyhandedfool

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Self service machines are only as good as the programming, no matter what they are programmed to do. Currently they can sell you a ticket, but not actually tell you what routes it is valid on.

The NRCoC (condition 21) says that it is the passengers responsibility to make sure the details on it are correct, so to say they have taken all reasonable steps is not entirely true. As I have said, self service machines are great if you know what you need, but not so good if you don't.
 

bb21

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The NRCoC (condition 21) says that it is the passengers responsibility to make sure the details on it are correct, so to say they have taken all reasonable steps is not entirely true. As I have said, self service machines are great if you know what you need, but not so good if you don't.
I agree, however it is not unreasonable for a passenger to expect that a ticket they have just purchased from a TVM should be valid from that station, especially given the fact that TVMs only retail tickets valid from their location unless a different origin is specifically asked for in a small number of cases.
 

OwlMan

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At Ashford, if you wanted to go to City T/L via St Pancras, the ticket office should either offer the Travelcard, or, if it is a single or return journey, a single or return to London Zone U1, these tickets are valid.

There is always the risk that people buying tickets from self service machines will end up with the wrong ticket, this is not specific to journeys on HS1. There are ways to resolve this of course, the easiest is removing the ticket machines.
A Zone U1 ticket is not valid to City Thameslink as it is not an underground or a DLR station.
 

hairyhandedfool

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A Zone U1 ticket is not valid to City Thameslink as it is not an underground or a DLR station.
I can't access The Manual right now, but NRES says

Please note:
‘London Terminals’ tickets do not permit travel between City Thameslink, Farringdon and St Pancras International on the First Capital Connect ‘Thameslink’ route. Such journeys will require a ticket either to the named station or to a destination of ‘London Thameslink’ or to 'Zone U1'.
 

John @ home

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A Zone U1 ticket is not valid to City Thameslink as it is not an underground or a DLR station.
A Zone U1 ticket is valid to, from or via City Thameslink because LU and DLR single & return paper tickets and Group Day Tickets, for which the appropriate zonal fare has been paid, are also valid on National Rail services between West Hampstead Thameslink and Elephant & Castle / London Bridge.

The Manual -> London -> ‘Joint’ stations & inter-available routes -> Inter-available Routes – LU/DLR tickets valid on National Rail services
 

MarkyMarkD

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More similar nonsense:

There is 1 train a day from Rochester (RTR) direct to St Pancras (STP) via City Thameslink (CTK) and 2 back again in the evening.

There is a first-class fare, RTR-STP (named stations at both ends).

And this is NOT VALID on the only direct train between the two stations (via CTK) according to WebTIS.

Eh?

That's despite the general rule that a direct train between any two stations is ALWAYS a permitted route.

(WebTIS insists on a first-class travelcard to use this service, even though you would only travel on one train each way, direct, and never step off National Rail).

So once again, there are fares which are rather difficult to use.
 

island

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The ticket is to London Terminals (not London St Pancrs; RTR-STP doesn't have any first class fares) and routed PLUS HIGH SPEED. It is not valid to cross Farringdon; you would need an FDS from CTK-STP at £3.60 as well.

There are standard-class tickets defined between RTR and STP, route NOT VALID ON HS1, which would be valid on Thameslink.
 
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