Brighton to Bedford Return Child Fare

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pat okeeffe

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I have been given conflicting advice and have argued with staff at St Pancras over the validity of using a £2.00 child return on the above route on London Midland trains rather than FCC trains. These can sometimes result in a faster journey even using then tube across London.

The ticket says "any permitted route" which I thought meant I could use this ticket on any carrier.

At Brighton station ticket office I purchased three of these in conjuction with two adult off peak returns using a family and friends rail card.

Anyone know the correct position?
 
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island

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What exact ticket type is printed on your tickets and what is the price of the adult tickets please? What is printed at the start of the second row on the ticket (I would hope to see CHFAM, I think). Also, London Midland trains do not use London St Pancras International, did you mean East Midlands Trains?
 

yorkie

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I have been given conflicting advice and have argued with staff at St Pancras over the validity of using a £2.00 child return on the above route on London Midland trains rather than FCC trains. These can sometimes result in a faster journey even using then tube across London.

The ticket says "any permitted route" which I thought meant I could use this ticket on any carrier.

At Brighton station ticket office I purchased three of these in conjuction with two adult off peak returns using a family and friends rail card.

Anyone know the correct position?
I think you mean East Midlands Trains.

Tickets can be restricted to a particular Train Company (or Companies) and when this occurs it should be printed in the 'Route' field in the ticket.

EMT do not appear to be fully familiar with this Condition:
National Rail Conditions of Carriage said:
10. Tickets valid only in trains of particular Train Companies
The validity of a ticket may:
a) be restricted to; or
b) prohibit
travel in the trains of a particular Train Company or Train Companies. Any such restriction or prohibition will be shown on the ticket. If you travel in a train with a ticket that is not valid, the relevant parts of Condition 2 or 4 will apply. If you are unable to use a ticket or any part of it, you may be able to claim a refund under Condition 26 or Condition 36.

Sample letters:

To DfT (FOI) via Whatdotheyknow:
Dear Department for Transport,

The National Rail Conditions of Carriage, condition 10, allows tickets to be restricted to, or prohibited from, a Train Company or Train Companies, and that if this applies the restriction will be "shown on the ticket". I understand the location where any such restriction is shown is in the 'Route' field of the ticket.

I am aware that the DfT is currently the Regulator for railway ticketing matters, and therefore I am requesting any information you hold on any exemptions that allow any Train Company to claim that a ticket is restricted to, or prohibited from, a Train Company or Train Companies, without any requirement for the restriction to be "shown on the ticket".

If any tickets are permitted to be so restricted without this restriction being "shown on the ticket", I would like to know if you authorised this, and if so, the date when you authorised it, the reason for authorisation, and any comments submitted by Passenger Focus for the decision.

Yours faithfully,


to EMT:

Dear Sir/Madam,

The National Rail Conditions of Carriage, condition 10, allows tickets to be restricted to, or prohibited from, a Train Company or Train Companies, and that if this applies the restriction will be "shown on the ticket".

I understand the location where any such restriction is shown is in the 'Route' field of the ticket.

Some of your staff informed me that tickets can be restricted without any such restriction being "shown on the ticket".

Before I contact my MP and escalate the matter to Passenger Focus, can you confirm whether your Company follows NRCoC Condition 10, and if so can you also confirm that your staff will be trained in this area?

Yours faithfully,
If no suitable response is given, contact Passenger Focus.
 

tom3107

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I regularly use the £2 child fares issued by FCC on East Midlands Trains and have only every had a problem once - in April last year. The guard claimed it was not valid on EMT because they do not receive any revenue from the fare and that we would have to buy a new ticket for the children. We refused to pay because we were adamant that we were right, and in the end he said that he would "let us off this time".

We emailed EMT and were told that the £2 tickets are perfectly valid on EMT and that the guard would be retrained. Since then, we have never had another problem using them.

Also, it is worth pointing out that although the groupsave restrictions are publicized, there are no restrictions on the £2 tickets shown anywhere.
 

John @ home

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Can someone please tell me what type of tickets these are?
New fares available from Thameslink north to Brighton

To celebrate the re-opening of the Thameslink route across central London on weekends, we now have Super Off-Peak fares available from all stations north of Kentish Town to Brighton.

Don't forget that up to four children aged 5-15 years can travel for up to £2 each with every adult, while children under 5 travel free!

Bookings for your weekend Super Off-Peak Day Return can be made online now or simply ask at your local First Capital Connect station on day of travel.

http://www.firstcapitalconnect.co.uk/tickets-and-fares/off-peak-tickets/super-off-peak/
 

yorkie

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Ditto I'd also like to know what the exact ticket type is as you can't make a judgement on its validity otherwise :-x
We can judge the validity of the ticket, due to NRCoC Condition 10. The 'route' field is where Condition 10 can be invoked, and in this case it says "Any Permitted".

It may not be intended to be valid, but that is a different matter. However as another passenger has confirmation from EMT that the tickets are valid, there's not much of an issue here.

However I'd still like to get some answers from the DfT in respect of TOCs not complying with NRCoC Condition 10, and I'd also like EMT to ensure their staff are adequately trained.

Passengers are regularly asked to pay excess fares on certain trains from Bedford because certain guards incorrectly deems (Super) Off Peak tickets not to be valid on certain trains, despite the restriction codes stating otherwise.

Clearly there remain some rogue staff at EMT who apply their own rules that they made up, and not the rules as defined in the NRCoC.
 

barrykas

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Ditto I'd also like to know what the exact ticket type is as you can't make a judgement on its validity otherwise :-x
The exact ticket type is TKS/TKR and prints as "CHILD FLTFARE S" or "CHILD FLTFARE R" with a route of "Any Permitted" in the OP's example. Returns are generally valid for one month.

The Manual doesn't state any TOC restrictions, just that it's £1.00 on Southern and £2.00 on FCC.

Cheers,

Barry
 

tom3107

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It is also worth pointing out that even the barrier staff at St Pancras happily accept these tickets on the rare occasions that they don't work in the barriers.
 

island

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So basically the ticket itself says nothing about which TOCs it's valid on, but some miscellaneous terms and conditions somewhere say it's FCC only? That's about the same status as GroupSave then.
 

tom3107

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Super off-peaks are definitely valid on EMT. Condition 6 is just mentioning tickets with the origin and destination between Peterborough/Three Bridges/Brighton - having bought one of these tickets the other week, they are marked "FCC ONLY" however tickets from stations on the Northern Thameslink route are marked "Any Permitted"

The "Any Permitted" Groupsave Super off-peaks are the only restricted tickets on EMT, and there is lots of publicity at stations about this.
 

pat okeeffe

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Thanks everyone - the ticket type for the kids as has already been pointed out was CHILD FLTFARE R, Route: Any Permitted, Validity: see restrictions. I was wondering whether the "see restrictions" bit might give East Midlands (Sorry not London Midland) a get out - sounds like it does not judging by the various posts. My Adult ticket was an off peak return with a family railcard concession - so I guess the super saver debate here doesn't directly apply - but interesting nevertheless.

Perhaps Ive been unlucky but I have had at least two run ins with East Midlands staff over this, much to the embarrassment of my family - once with staff at the St Pancras Ticket Office and one by the automatic gates. I have never tried putting a ticket through the automatic gates on the upper level platforms yet.

Its nice to know that I have been probably right in standing my ground.
 

island

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Technically the conditions say it is not valid on EMT. Another set of conditions say that any rule saying which Train Operating Companies you can use will be printed on your ticket. I leave it as an exercise to the reader to determine the final answer.
 

bignosemac

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Surely the 'final answer' is the rule most favourable to the passenger/customer as per contract law?

That would be NRCoC condition 10.
 

clagmonster

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This is very similar to the Groupsave debate. I believe that there are two possibilities:
1) The ticket is not operator restricted, in which case if an EMT guard refuses to accept the ticket EMT are in breach of the NRCoC.
2) The ticket is operator restricted, in which case the company issuing the ticket is in breach of condition 10 by not printing the restriction on the ticket.

It is not clear to me which of these cases is true here.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Surely the 'final answer' is the rule most favourable to the passenger/customer as per contract law?

That would be NRCoC condition 10.
The trouble is that if the ticket is not valid on EMT then there is no contract between the passenger and EMT so surely contract law can not apply.
 

tom3107

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The super off peaks are valid on EMT - this was even confirmed by the guard who I had the issue with, he said that it was only the £2 tickets which were not valid and that the adult super off peak tickets were completely fine.

But EMT then confirmed that I was in the right - To the OP: I am happy to post the letter EMT sent me, even though it is now over a year old the circumstances are the same so it may help you!
 

yorkie

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This is very similar to the Groupsave debate. I believe that there are two possibilities:
1) The ticket is not operator restricted, in which case if an EMT guard refuses to accept the ticket EMT are in breach of the NRCoC.
There is no doubt that is the case.
2) The ticket is operator restricted, in which case the company issuing the ticket is in breach of condition 10 by not printing the restriction on the ticket.
It would be an internal railway matter of no concern to the Customer, but any TOC that refuses to honour a ticket that is marked "Any Permitted" by claiming it is operator specific is in breach of the NRCoC.
It is not clear to me which of these cases is true here.
That surprises me, as it is clear to me.
The trouble is that if the ticket is not valid on EMT then there is no contract between the passenger and EMT so surely contract law can not apply.
Apart from the fact it is valid on EMT, I will again repeat what I said before in a recent thread, that TOCs agree to various terms regarding inter-available ticketing, such as complying with the Ticketing & Settlement Agreement and agreeing to honour tickets in accordance with the NRCoC.

In some cases this means the Operator is compelled to convey passengers for which that operator receives no revenue (this concept was described in in 1999 by Barry Doe, so it's a well-established concept) for example XC get no revenue from a YRK-MIK (Season) and MIK-LDS (non-Season) combination yet are compelled to convey the Customer.

The contracts are bound together through RSP, and if any Company does not want to adhere to the terms, then they can stop accepting ORCATS money and go bust if they want (!). If they're a franchised operator they'd also be in breach of their franchise commitments.
 

bignosemac

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But the contract is governed by NRCoC, which, as the frontispiece says:

"National Rail. Britain's train companies working together."

Now, that particular line may not form part of the contract, but the NRCoC goes on to say that "The Train Companies may not give you less extensive
rights, except in the case of some types of reduced and discounted fare tickets where the relevant condition(s) specifically allow them to do so."

The relevant condition in this case would be Condition 10. Restrictions on who you can travel with, "...will be shown on the ticket."

I'm still of the opinion that discounts or offers, such as the one being discussed here, and the perennial GroupSave debate, should allow travel by any operator over a given 'Any Permitted' route. Unless and until a route/TOC restriction is printed on the ticket. Even if you'd been previously advised of a restriction by a ticket clerk or have managed to find the issuing TOCs own 'rules'.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
But the contract is governed by NRCoC, which, as the frontispiece says:

"National Rail. Britain's train companies working together."

Now, that particular line may not form part of the contract, but the NRCoC goes on to say that "The Train Companies may not give you less extensive rights, except in the case of some types of reduced and discounted fare tickets where the relevant condition(s) specifically allow them to do so."

The relevant condition in this case would be Condition 10. Restrictions on who you can travel with, "...will be shown on the ticket." Therefore I'd argue that under NRCoC, you do have a contract with EMT. They cannot arbitrarily ignore the NRCoC just because another TOC has failed to ensure the ticket's T&Cs (as defined by NRCoC and not elsewhere) explicitly prohibit use with another TOC. It's an internal rail industry matter to sort out between the TOCs and ATOC. Until that's done NRCoC Condition 10 protects the passenger.

I'm still of the opinion that discounts or offers, such as the one being discussed here, and the perennial GroupSave debate, should allow travel by any operator over a given 'Any Permitted' route. Unless and until a route/TOC restriction is printed on the ticket. Even if you'd been previously advised of a restriction by a ticket clerk or have managed to find the issuing TOCs own 'rules'.

BTW, despite knowing CrossCountry don't accept passengers with FGW GroupSave, I've made numerous journeys on XC with GroupSave tickets. Yet to be successfully issued a penalty of any sort, be that excess on board or a later UFN that CrossCountry have pursued. Would be quite happy for them to take me to court. They'd be on a hiding to nothing.
 

island

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Surely the 'final answer' is the rule most favourable to the passenger/customer as per contract law?

That would be NRCoC condition 10.
It is at best unclear whether the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations apply to rail travel.
 

bignosemac

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It is at best unclear whether the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations apply to rail travel.
Why so? But if it is unclear, what would a judge decide?

Personal opinion. Most likely, in the favour of the consumer/passenger.

But we all know, vested interests in the rail industry will never let it get so far as a court precedent. Preferring instead to either; prosecute where overwhelming evidence points to deliberate fraud, or quietly settle by means of 'goodwill gestures' when there is the ambiguity of someone using a ticket that complies with one set of 'rules' but not another.

That's probably the continuing, laissez-faire attitude on all sides.

However, I'm willing to be that guinea pig for a precedent. ;)
 

johnnycache

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Child Flat Fares are issued on a flow by flow basis

If the flow is inter-available then so is the child flat fare

Therefore FCC have to accept a Southern £1 child flat fare on a Southern flow and Southern have to charge £2 on an FCC flow

Any other carriers that participate in those flows hjave to accept them too!
 

Indigo2

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Therefore FCC have to accept a Southern £1 child flat fare on a Southern flow and Southern have to charge £2 on an FCC flow
It's amusing to see on Southern-priced flows (e.g. London Bridge to Brighton), where there is a Southern-priced ANY PERMITTED child flat fare at £1, that FCC have introduced their own FCC ONLY equivalent at twice the price (£2)! Does that mean that they think the £1 fare is not valid on their services, or simply that their pricing manager has made a mistake? I wonder how many people are charged the £2 fare when the £1 would be valid.
 

clagmonster

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It would be an internal railway matter of no concern to the Customer, but any TOC that refuses to honour a ticket that is marked "Any Permitted" by claiming it is operator specific is in breach of the NRCoC.
In such circumstances, I would hope that a TIR would be completed and an issuing error reported, however if no contract between the pasenger and the issuing TOC has been formed then there is no obligation to do this. This is a similar issue to any permitted groupsave discounted tickets which are not valid on Cross Country.



Apart from the fact it is valid on EMT, I will again repeat what I said before in a recent thread, that TOCs agree to various terms regarding inter-available ticketing, such as complying with the Ticketing & Settlement Agreement and agreeing to honour tickets in accordance with the NRCoC.
Whether it is inter-available depends on the terms of the contract, ie the ticket conditons. If it is inter-available, I agree EMT must honour the ticket. If it is not inter-available, the issuing company must mark the operator restriction on the ticket. If the latter and the operator restriction is not marked, I would hope the matter would be dealt with via a TIR.

In some cases this means the Operator is compelled to convey passengers for which that operator receives no revenue (this concept was described in in 1999 by Barry Doe, so it's a well-established concept) for example XC get no revenue from a YRK-MIK (Season) and MIK-LDS (non-Season) combination yet are compelled to convey the Customer.
I agree that revenue does not determine validity (I don't think I have said that it does), and that said combination would be valid on fast York to Leeds trains which are booked to pass through Micklefield, including those operated by Cross Country.
 
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