Coventry to Spalding disrupted journey (complex issue)

Discussion in 'Disputes & Prosecutions' started by Blinkbonny, 22 Dec 2019.

  1. Blinkbonny

    Blinkbonny Member

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    Here's a complicated one if anybody fancies having a go at it.

    My son was wishing to travel from Coventry to Spalding yesterday, coming back today. It didn't seem possible as I assume there is no service from Spalding on Sundays. I told him to travel to Spalding on Saturday but would have to make his own way back to Peterborough on Sunday.

    Ignoring my advice to split his ticket at Nuneaton (as young people will often do!) he bought an off-peak Return to Peterborough and said he'd buy a Single at Peterborough for the journey to Spalding.

    He turned up at Coventry in time to catch the 13.17 to Nuneaton. Unbeknownst to him there was a big rugby match on at the Ricoh and the train arrived packed to the rafters, and he along with others was physically unable to board. (Incidentally, as far as I was aware this service is, famously and controversially, not supposed to stop at the Arena on match days. I don't know when that policy was overturned!)

    A member of the platform staff was informing people that there was coach outside the station to take people onwards. Rather naively, he got on it, assuming it was a rail replacement coach that would travel all the way to Nuneaton. He paid £2 to get on it, before realising his mistake and got off it again. It was a Wasps private hire coach going to the stadium only.

    By now he rang me in panic and I said I'd take him to Nuneaton, as looking at Real Time Trains the next train to Nuneaton, in an hour, was cancelled altogether!

    I drove him to Nuneaton where he caught the next Peterborough service, obviously by now an hour behind his planned journey time.

    He was over an hour late arriving at Spalding. He should get half his fare back - assuming of course that WMT don't wish to quibble over whether there was room to board or not! But hang on, he was only not further delayed by at least another hour by the fact that I drove him to Nuneaton. Am I supposed to do that for free?

    And what about his £2 fare on the coach he was directed to?

    Not only that although he had not yet bought his Spalding ticket, that was always his intention. Does that count for Delay repay? (I can see the difficulty. Somebody could say it was always their intention to arrive at Peterborough and buy a First Class ticket to Inverness!)

    It all seems a bit harsh to me, and I'd be less than satisfied if he only got half his Peterborough return back. (They might even try the old 59 minute dodge!)

    Any thoughts please?
     
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  3. yorkie

    yorkie Forum Staff Staff Member Administrator

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    There is a requirement to purchase all tickets at the start of the journey to ensure that the contract is in place.

    There are websites that automate the process and will issue a through itinerary and single booking reference (e-tickets will also be issued on one PDF where available) which makes the process easier.

    I personally don't see there is any entitlement to Delay Repay beyond Peterborough but discretion may be shown; feel free to put in a claim to Spalding, including a photograph of all tickets, but if the company realises that the final ticket was not part of the original contract, they very possibly do have the right to only pay as far as Peterborough.

    Do we know who was employing the person advertising the coach? If that was the same as the coach operator, then I would approach them for a refund. If it was a different organisation then the coach operator may be reluctant to refund something they are not liable for. If it was me I'd chalk the £2 off to experience. Do we know how misleading the person was? If other people were in the same situation then that strengthens the case. Without knowing exactly what was said, what was stated on the coach, etc it is difficult to say.

    I certainly think a claim is payable for an hour delay to Peterborough, as this was the actual delay experienced.

    If you think the person who was providing misleading information was either a railway employee or someone acting on behalf of, or with permission of, the railway, you could mention this to try to get the £2 back.

    Note that a simple claim will probably be paid very quickly (some train companies have recently paid me within 2-3 days of an electronic claim that was simple) but for complex claims you could be waiting many weeks; I have been waiting over four weeks for West Midlands Trains to get back to me over a matter, and I am not at all confident of getting a resolution any time soon, and I expect I may have to waste more time over that matter.
     
  4. Belperpete

    Belperpete Member

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    I think you will have trouble completing a standard delay-repay form. The train ran. And he didn't do the whole journey by train.

    I would suggest making a customer complaint instead of delay-repay, so that you can explain the situation properly. Importantly, state the time that he would have arrived at his destination had he waited for the next train. Explain that he was travelling through using split tickets, but don't mention when the second ticket was bought. As Yorkie says, as this is not a simple claim, be prepared for it to take a long time for a response.

    I think he should have asked for a refund of the bus ticket from whoever sold it to him, at the time he got back off the bus. However, if it was a member of station staff who directed him to the bus, and provided he still has the bus ticket to submit with the claim, it won't do any harm to complain about it.
     
  5. sheff1

    sheff1 Established Member

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    Was there a special timetable in operation yesterday ?

    In the normal timetable the arrival time in Spalding is 1645 whether you catch the 1317 or 1417 from Coventry as there is no earlier connection forward from Peterborough. It is also possible (at the same price) to arrive at 1645 going via Birmingham, leaving Coventry at 1342.

    Obviously, if the journey was only to Peterborough then there would be an hours delay if the 1317 could not be caught.
     
  6. Hadders

    Hadders Fares Advisor

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    My understanding of the situation regarding Coventry Arena on match days is that when there is a football fixture trains do not call but they do call when there is rugby match.

    Wasps rugby operate their own coaches from Coventry Station to the Ricoh Arena on match days to supplement the train service which is inadequate on a match day.
     
  7. Blinkbonny

    Blinkbonny Member

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    So basically WM don't offer a through service on matchdays?

    Excellent! :rolleyes:
     
  8. Hadders

    Hadders Fares Advisor

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    You cannot travel to or from Coventry Arena when there is a football match on. Trains run through without calling
    You can travel to Coventry Arena when there is a rugby match.

    I will be travelling to a COventry Arena to see a rugby match on Sunday 5th January :D
     
  9. WesternLancer

    WesternLancer Established Member

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    I agree with this as the automated nature of the D_R claims forms / process will not allow any ability to explain that the whole problem started due to inability to actually get on the planned train, which did appear to run.
     
  10. Haywain

    Haywain Established Member

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    I'm not sure that this is correct. Earlier this year I travelled to a football match at the Ricoh and arrived by train. I can't say whether the calls happen post-match though, and I have a recollection that the issue was about overcrowding on the platform.
     
  11. Hadders

    Hadders Fares Advisor

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    That's interesting. I've used the station (as an away supporter) to attend rugby matches once or twice a season since it opened. The trains can be a bit cozy but I've never failed to get on post match. They do have security guards encouraging passengers to take the buses as it's only an hourly service.
     
  12. Blinkbonny

    Blinkbonny Member

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    Thanks for this sheff1 (and indeed for everybody else who has replied). You're right. He had no business going for the 13.17 and no journey planner advises you to. He would have got there just as quickly on the 14.17 - but as that didn't run at all (crowded or not!) it's something of a moot point.

    He had an Off-Peak return to P'Boro which explicitly states "Not Valid via Birmingham" so that was a route that didn't occur to either of us, but of course would have been valid with a Spalding ticket.

    I'm sure I'm not the first parent to find their travel advice is not required - until of course something goes wrong!

    I shall take Yorkie's excellent advice and not over complicate things with the Spalding leg.

    As for the situation with the Ricoh, it's been a farce from day one. It seems to have been built on the principle that if you build it trains will come! It was famously not the case, and despite living in Coventry and even being something of a sports fan, it's re-opening on match days had escaped me.

    But having said that, why should travellers to Leicester, Nottingham and East Anglia be expected to familiarise themselves with the Wasps fixture list? They might even take the Coventry City fixture list into account as would seem to be sensible, but as we all know, that would be a mistake!

    Thanks again everybody.
     
  13. Brissle Girl

    Brissle Girl Member

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    That would be my interpretation too, although it is a moot point if the passenger buys a ticket online for the next part of the journey whilst in transit whether that would still be considered part of the same journey. (Almost certainly not if they didn't buy it until after the departure time of the connecting service, but what if they do it before?)

    More important than delay repay is the position if the last connection of the day is missed and a ticket is not held for that leg of the journey. Maybe not so much of an issue if connecting at St Erth for St Ives, but if your train up the Highland Main Line misses the last train to Thurso then I don't think you could get off at Inverness, ask to buy a ticket to Thurso and then expect the railway to get you there. Now in that example I expect there would be other passengers in the same position who do hold tickets, and whatever was put in place for them which could then accommodate the said passenger, but the point is that there would be no obligation to, and so if the taxi/minibus or whatever was full then would it be tough luck?
     
  14. 221129

    221129 Established Member

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    If a passenger doesnt already hold a valid ticket for the connection then they are on their own.
     

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