Boundary Zone tickets

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by Bletchleyite, 8 Nov 2018.

  1. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Do I recall rightly that the Network Railcard minimum fare does not apply to these?

    Is there anywhere they can be purchased online? Trying to avoid a silly argument with Marylebone booking office.
     
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  3. Gerald Fiennes

    Gerald Fiennes Member

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    a) No
    b) No, but you can buy a ticket from the station closest to the boundary from a web-retailer and it will be valid as you hold a zonal ticket. It may be slightly more expensive (£1 or so in extreme cases) than a pure 'boundary zone x' ticket.
    c) MYB arguments: they are normally pretty good in my experience, it's just the queue to get to talk to them that is the issue!
     
  4. nickswift99

    nickswift99 Member

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    Minimum fare applies to all tickets (£13.10) except Anytime Day Travelcards (£18.10) and there's other exceptions around IoW travel.

    There is no minimum fare on an Annual Gold Card except Anytime Day Travelcards.
     
  5. Belperpete

    Belperpete Member

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    Not directly related to your query, but I once bought a Zone 6 boundary to Bluebell Railway inclusive ticket. I was expecting a blank look from the ticket office (East Croydon), but the guy sold me it no problem. And the Bluebell accepted it, even though it was a Gala Day. Motto: don't underestimate the guys in the booking office.

    However, it would be good if the boundary zone tickets could be bought on-line. I suspect that they aren't because there isn't much demand - which might be because their existence is not exactly well advertised! It might also be because of the potential to use them fraudulently (without having the requisite travelcard).
     
  6. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Cheers all. I think the reason I was remembering wrongly related to off-peak validity on BZ tickets out of Paddington rather than Network Railcards. The ticket office staff at MYB were very polite in correcting my error, though.

    Sadly Chiltern have switched to the rubbish big screen ticket machines which don't do them (SWR's S&B ones do).

    Quite outrageously priced, though, being based on a Tube cash single rather than the Oyster fare. I do understand the desire to reduce paper ticket use, but short of using the Met and getting off to touch in I couldn't exactly use Oyster!
     
  7. Haywain

    Haywain Established Member

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    It will be because online tickets are almost always sold with an itinerary and it isn't possible to create one for a non-existent location.
     
  8. ForTheLoveOf

    ForTheLoveOf Established Member

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    ATOS MixingDeck doesn't insist on selling tickets in conjunction with a particular itinerary, though they do always require you to be able to generate an itinerary to sell a ticket.
     
  9. Wallsendmag

    Wallsendmag Established Member

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    Worldline don't either. They'll be the almost bit.
     
  10. CyrusWuff

    CyrusWuff Established Member

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    As a point of note, Chiltern's previous TVMs (Shere/Worldline FAST) didn't have "remote origin" enabled either, so there's no change in functionality there.
     
  11. themeone

    themeone Member

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    I had a look at SWR machines today in relation to boundary zone tickets.

    Totton station has two machines, a larger older looking machine which takes cards and cash, and a newer, slimmer one which is card only. Both seemed to offer boundary zone fares though with some inconsistencies.

    On the older machine you could apparently buy a ticket FROM a boundary zone, but not TO one. This was reversed on the newer machine, you could select boundary zone as a destination, but there seemed no way to specify origin as anything other than Totton.

    It would of course be nice to be able to do both. Is this an issue relating to the way the machines are setup?
     
  12. Haywain

    Haywain Established Member

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    In short, yes, different manufacturers, different software.
     
  13. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Interesting, please do keep these observations coming.

    As for why BZ tickets are not available online, this is because Rail Delivery Group / train companies do not allow them to be sold. If anyone has any more information on the reasoning for such decisions it would be interesting to hear them.
     
  14. Haywain

    Haywain Established Member

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    You have evidence of this? From my (past) involvement in retail systems testing there is no such restriction imposed by RDG that I am aware of. However, I am aware that most TOCs choose not to (or cannot) sell such tickets because they are not compatible with the web retailing model of requiring a journey to be generated to establish validity.
     
  15. swt_passenger

    swt_passenger Veteran Member

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    I thought there was another theory posted before, that there was no way for an online retailer to check if there was a suitable zonal ticket already held to be ‘extended’. However that seems to apply to TVMs as well.
     
  16. Haywain

    Haywain Established Member

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    I can understand the theory but it would apply equally to railcards online, for example, so I don't think it is that. However, it could date back to the time when there were two levels of boundary zone fares - one for Cheap Day Returns (as they were) and another for everything else.
     
  17. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    I'm not sure whose decision this is, or why, but BZ tickets are not available on TOD, which presents a big problem for websites. Without that, you can't really offer them online, because it would not go down well to customers to insist on charging a postage fee and how could such websites explain that?

    See:
    There is no real issue with an origin/destination of a zonal location; this is already the case with "Zone Ux London" and "London Zones x" tickets which are available online.

    Most websites do require an itinerary to be generated first, but it should then be possible to determine which tickets are valid for that itinerary.

    For example if you were to search for Amersham to Stansted on Trainsplit, you would be offered Amersham to Harrow on the Hill plus Zone U1245 - Stansted singles. There is no good reason why Trainsplit should not be allowed to offer Amersham to Boundary Zone 6 single, plus Stansted - London Zones 1-6 Travelcard instead, if that was cheaper (I've not done a comparison of the fares; this is for illustrative purposes only)
     
    Last edited: 23 Dec 2018
  18. OwlMan

    OwlMan Established Member

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    I understand that it is because excesses can only be sold on a train or at a ticket office, and BZ tickets are a special type of excess
     
  19. Haywain

    Haywain Established Member

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    I must have missed seeing that. But then if we couldn't retail them we wouldn't be looking at how to fulfil them!
    I'm not sure it's quite as simple as that. The fares you suggest generate a journey using the main line component of the journey but that doesn't work for a Boundary Zone fare as the origin/destination (at the BZ end) isn't known. So how would you proceed for determining validity for a ticket from (or to) places that share different London terminals (some examples being Cambridge, Basingstoke and Oxford)?
     
  20. themeone

    themeone Member

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    But to my way of thinking software that doesn't make much sense. Out of the small number of passengers seeking to buy a boundary zone ticket at Totton, what percentage would be wanting a ticket FROM Boundary Zone. Almost nobody, I would think, yet this is the option available from the large machine. Most would surely want a ticket TO boundary zone, yet this is not available.

    I was thinking that perhaps it had been misconfigured at installation (i.e. wrong options set), yet your reply seems to suggest the software is non-configurable and the situation with boundary zone ticket availability from the machine is exactly as intended.
     
  21. Haywain

    Haywain Established Member

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    My reply simply states that machines from different manufacturers may give different results according to the software that each manufacturer uses.
     
  22. MikeWh

    MikeWh Established Member Senior Fares Advisor

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    Bear in mind that you can't sell a travelcard with an out-boundary station as the destination.
     
  23. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Sorry yes I should have written it the other way around. I will amend my post accordingly.

    Of course the other alternative would be Amersham - Zones 1-6 (AAA 7-9) Travelcard, plus BZ6 to Stansted if that were cheaper.

    Either way, the point is that none of the options including Boundary Zone tickets can currently be offered, but the validity can be calculated and there is no good reason to prevent these sales.
     
    Last edited: 23 Dec 2018
  24. Gerald Fiennes

    Gerald Fiennes Member

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    So, given that my travelcard is issued by LUL, does that mean that LUL Ts and Cs apply to the journey from Boundary Zone x to Totton (or wherever)...?
     
  25. Wallsendmag

    Wallsendmag Established Member

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    Strickly speaking BZ tickets aren't an excess and aren't found in the excess menu on Tribute. They are a point to point ticket although one point is virtual.
     

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