Cross-London Transfer: Tower Hill

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by plothi, 26 May 2015.

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  1. plothi

    plothi Member

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    I've got return tickets on Thameslink Great Northern from the Ely direction, via Cambridge, to Dartford.

    On the return leg, would it be possible and permissible to start my cross-London transfer at Tower Hill?

    It's listed on the National Rail website as one of the cross-London transfer stations, but I am guessing that this is because it's near Fenchurch Street. However, one could also travel from Dartford via Woolwich Arsenal, DLR to Tower Hill, then an out-of-station interchange to Tower Hill LU. Then to King's Cross via whatever route (e.g. circle line is simplest).

    So it would surely be acceptable to take that route (via Woolwich Arsenal and DLR, then Tower Hill), but what about just starting the return journey at Tower Hill?

    If that's not an option, then I'm assuming there should be no issue at all in starting the Cross-London transfer either at Cannon Street or Bank? If I don't need to pay the extra for LU journeys that are included in my ticket, then I'd rather not do so.
     
  2. telstarbox

    telstarbox Established Member

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    I don't think it's valid at Tower Hill as the DLR isn't a permitted route for Dartford to London, and also the National Rail page says you can stop short on a cross-London transfer but doesn't say you can start short.
     
    Last edited: 26 May 2015
  3. plothi

    plothi Member

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    Yes, I thought I might hit up against that problem, if it's seen as starting short on the transfer.

    Although I can see that DLR might not work for a Dartford to London ticket, surely it's permissible for a Dartford through (and beyond) London ticket? It's no different, is it, than (say on a Dartford-Ely ticket) going Dartford -- Victoria -- Finsbury Park -- Ely, i.e. finishing (or starting) the London transfer at Finsbury Park rather than King's Cross? In other words, is there any reason the transfer can't start at Woolwich Arsenal?
     
  4. telstarbox

    telstarbox Established Member

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    If it was a Dartford to London Zones 1-6 it would be ok, if it was Dartford to London Terminals it wouldn't because that is a National Rail only ticket.

    Kings Cross-Finsbury Park is different because that section is 'interavailable' - see this post. http://www.railforums.co.uk/showpost.php?p=1315636

    Having said all this I think you'd probably 'pass' a ticket check on the DLR with that ticket and if you went to Bank rather than Tower Gateway, you'd then be inside the Underground system and could exit at King's Cross. But that's at your own risk!

    PS National Rail will produce an itinerary using the DLR for some journeys, such as Dartford to Grays (using the DLR from Lewisham/Greenwich to Limehouse).
     
    Last edited: 26 May 2015
  5. bb21

    bb21 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Tower Hill is an official interchange station, so the ticket (which I understand has a cross-London marker) will be accepted. Coming from Dartford direction using the DLR from Lewisham is perfectly permitted as Lewisham is also an official interchange station, and going via Tower Gateway is AFAIK absolutely fine.
     
  6. telstarbox

    telstarbox Established Member

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    Ah OK - so does that take precedence over the usual permitted routes procedure?
     
  7. W-on-Sea

    W-on-Sea Established Member

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    Sounds fine to me, too. The relationship between permitted routes and cross-London transfer on the tube is at most ambiguous. You can use a ticket that allows cross-London transfer (marked with a maltese cross) for one journey on the tube (i.e if you break your journey on the tube, you have to buy another LU ticket to get you to your NR connection).

    If, however, your ticket does NOT have a Maltese cross, and only allows travel througjh the Thameslink core (but not on the underground) - ie changing at Kings Cross/St Pancras and London Bridge....that may well be a different matter
     
  8. bb21

    bb21 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    A cross-London marker allows a single journey on London Underground and DLR between any of the two interchange stations on the list enclosed below, appropriate to the through route. If the interchange stations are both on permitted routes to/from London (as is the case for OP, Lewisham, Greenwich or Woolwich Arsenal DLR for Dartford) then this would obviously be permitted.
     
  9. plothi

    plothi Member

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    Thank you all, very helpful.

    So it sounds like Dartford through to Ely via Woolwich Arsenal DLR then Tower Hill is permitted, but that starting short at Tower Hill is not permitted -- even though the ticket may be accepted at the gates or by staff at Tower Hill due to it being an out-of-station interchange.

    I think it might just be safer to walk to either Cannon Street (if I want to go on the circle line to King's Cross) or Bank (if I want to use the northern line) and start short there.
     
  10. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    It's questionable whether or not a cross-London transfer for a journey via Woolwich Arsenal & King's Cross is valid via Tower Gateway & Tower Hill, though I can't see anything explicitly disallowing it as there is nothing to say it isn't valid other than potentially the fact that cross-London transfers should be 'reasonable'

    It may be seen as unnecessarily convoluted as you'd have to deliberately go out of your way to take this route (anyone choosing to take the slow route via the DLR would change at Bank as DLR trains from Woolwich Arsenal to go Bank, which is an easy interchange for King's Cross).

    The only out of station interchange on cross-London transfer that is explicitly permitted is between the two Hammersmith stations, however there is nothing to state that any others are disallowed.

    Although Tower Gateway to Tower Hill is an out of station interchange, there are no ticket gates at Tower Gateway, or for interchange at Woolwich Arsenal. So, whether starting short or not, a correctly encoded and undamaged ticket will work the barrier and it is highly unlikely to be questioned.

    I am not saying it's invalid, but if you were unlucky you might potentially encounter staff who might argue that the route is not "reasonable", which would be subjective, but the chances of this happening are negligible.
     
  11. plothi

    plothi Member

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    In the end, I decided to commence my cross-London transfer at Bank, but I was refused access. Foolishly (in hindsight) I presented my ticket at the manned gate (thought it would be easier and quicker with young children in tow) rather than putting it in the barriers, and I was told that the ticket was not valid for the transfer.

    I was fairly tight for time and thought that a 'discussion' might prolong things, so we walked to Cannon Street and entered through the barriers there, then used the circle line to King's Cross. Unfortunately, this route is slower than the Northern Line and was delayed at Aldgate, so we missed our preferred train and had to wait for the next one.

    But surely the person at the gate at Bank was wrong to refuse access? Bank is one of the listed interchange stations and, not being a mainline station in its own right, surely it must only be listed to facilitate a street-level interchange with Cannon Street and/or Fenchurch Street?

    Although I hadn't actually travelled from Dartford (I would have been starting short, not having used any portion of the Dartford-London national rail service), my nominal route would have been Dartford-Cannon Street-walk to Bank-Northern Line to KGX.

    So some questions:

    -If, after having been refused access at the manned gate, I had simply put the tickets in the barriers instead, presumably they would have granted access, but would the staff then have been within their rights to stop me?
    -Is there any justification for them to have refused access in the first place? The National Rail website says that the ticket is valid between any two of the listed stations appropriate to the overall route. Surely the route was appropriate, even if others might have chosen a different route.
    -What should I do if this happens in future (other than always use the barriers)? Should I carry a print of the National Rail website, or is there a TfL document which explains the rules?
     
  12. bb21

    bb21 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Fenchurch Street is not on a permitted route between Dartford and London AFAIK, so should not be your railhead for National Rail legs, although Cannon Street is and I cannot think of any reason why you should be refused access for a Cannon Street - Bank interchange.

    In future just put your ticket through the gate. It should be accepted with a cross-London marker. I doubt National Rail Enquiries printouts are any good for LU gateline staff if they decided in their own mind that they would not accept your ticket. They can't stop you going through the gates in the correct manner if you insert your ticket and the gate opens. They can try but it's likely to end very badly for them.
     
  13. plothi

    plothi Member

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    Thank you for that. I wonder if there is any LU manual reflecting the info on the National Rail website.

    I realise that Fenchurch Street is not relevant to a Dartford ticket, but I mentioned it as I was just thinking through why Bank would be on the interchange list if it is not a national rail station itself.

    I think I'd probably just use the gates in future. I could potentially see a problem in using a gate on a route which is obviously inappropriate. Is it right that the ticket with a cross-London marker will in fact open the gates at any listed interchange station? If so, then for example I'd expect my ticket to be refused at the gate at Paddington but to open the barriers. But if I used the barrier, having shown my ticket and been refused, in that situation, I'd expect to be challenged.
     
  14. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    The manual makes it clear that they should let you in for a cross-London transfer at Bank.

    However the CSAs who do the job description well tend not to be CSAs for very long and soon rise up the ranks and onto better jobs, and the bad ones seem to be almost impossible to get rid of or do anything about. I find it's not uncommon to find CSAs who are not at all acting in accordance with the job description. I, and others I know, have had numerous unsatisfactory experiences. :|

    As for obtaining a copy of the manual, I don't see any reason it shouldn't be provided if you send an FOI request to TfL
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    Yes, but obviously we would not recommend doing this for any cross-London transfer that could justifiably be deemed to be an unreasonable route.
     
  15. 67018

    67018 Member

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    I know it's too late on this occasion, but it would have actually been quicker to walkto Monument, enter through the barriers there and make your way to the Northern Line platforms. The east end of the Circle line has to be one of the slowest ways to travel, especially with the inevitable wait at Aldgate to fit in between H&C/Met trains - in fact I'd bet you could walk from Cannon Street to Moorgate faster than the train would make it!
     
  16. swt_passenger

    swt_passenger Veteran Member

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    Confusingly though, Monument is not on ATOC the list of interchanges. Which is puzzling as it is the same station as Bank as far as LU are concerned. Perhaps Bank is only there for when Cannon St was closed - I believe the latter is now 7/7.
     
    Last edited: 1 Jun 2015
  17. 67018

    67018 Member

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    Interesting - so would a cross London ticket work the barriers at Bank but not Monument? Maybe I was naive in assuming they'd be programmed the same given that they provide access to the same station complex.

    If so, walking to London Bridge would probably still have been a quicker route...
     
  18. Abpj17

    Abpj17 Member

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    Tower Hill may have been better - plenty of confused tourists and staff used to being asked questions. Bank is much more of a business/commuter station...
     
  19. plothi

    plothi Member

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    Yes, I guess they might have let me in at Tower Hill, although I doubt that the ticket would have been technically valid to start the cross-London journey there as it wouldn't be appropriate to the route. Of course, they would have no easy way of telling whether I had in fact started my transfer on the DLR and then decided to change at Tower Gateway/Tower Hill, and that route is arguably no more or less appropriate than changing at Bank to get to either Liverpool Street or King's Cross (both of which are acceptable departure points for Ely).

    I did spot the anomaly that Monument is not listed as an interchange station whereas Bank is. I suppose that, to the extent they are two separate stations at all, Monument adds nothing (in terms of lines) to Cannon Street, whereas Bank does.
     
  20. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Monument/Bank is the same station, effectively. It's just the District/Circle platforms have the name Monument.

    The south end of the Northern Line platforms are very near the District/Circle platforms.

    I doubt the gates are programmed differently but they might be. This needs testing.
     
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