Does Southport station support TOD?

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CheapAndNerdy

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I was under the impression that Southport (and most of the Merseyrail network) did not support the collection of pre-purchased tickets, and the NRE website backs that up, however I tried to purchase a Southport to London Euston ticket using the Avanti App back in March, but the only option offered was collection from Southport. Not wanting to risk the hassle of possibly having to buy another ticket and claim a refund, I instead opted for a Liverpool to Euston ticket (e-ticket) and used my Metrocard to get to Liverpool.

Did I make the correct choice?
 
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AntoniC

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Yes, you did.

As someone who used to commute daily to work from Southport I can confirm there is NO ToD machine at Southport.
There is a machine operated by Merseyrail that lets you buy tickets for the Merseyrail network and thats it.
If you want to get a ticket in the future you could try Meols Cop (next station on the line to Wigan & Manchester) as it`s run by Northern Rail.
 

SickyNicky

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The data also shows that there's no ToD collection available at Southport. It looks like there may be a problem with that app, if it's still offering collection.
 

CheapAndNerdy

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If you want to get a ticket in the future you could try Meols Cop (next station on the line to Wigan & Manchester) as it`s run by Northern Rail.
I've noticed that and it struck me as strange that a 1tph station (covid timetable) can offer ToD but not a pretty popular terminus. :'(


The data also shows that there's no ToD collection available at Southport. It looks like there may be a problem with that app, if it's still offering collection.
Just checked and it is. I will email them.

Cheers guys.
 

AntoniC

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Rumour has it its because Merseytravel won't pay the costs associated with having a ToD machine at the station.
 

Bletchleyite

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I've noticed that and it struck me as strange that a 1tph station (covid timetable) can offer ToD but not a pretty popular terminus. :'(

It's because Merseyrail Electrics will not properly carry out their responsibilities as a part of the National Rail network (neither allowing e-tickets for their flows nor ToD).

Not allowing Railcard discounts on their day tickets (probably the thing they sell most of) is another example of this.
 

323235

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Merseyrail are well know for only liking passengers buy tickets to and from their own network using their own smartcards/ticket machines/ticket offices.

With the decline of paper tickets it is likely to become less and less of an issue that they don't offer TOD.

The reason they are not in a rush to offer e-tickets is because contactless PAYG will become the default on Merseyrail eventually.

It looks like you can say buy Moorfields - High Wycombe as an e-ticket though which is good.
 

RHolmes

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You can collect ToD from the booking office (M2Go) from Merseyrail stations
 

LowLevel

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You can collect ToD from the booking office (M2Go) from Merseyrail stations

Can you? Since when? I've been working trains to South Parkway for years and never known it. They have a stash of preprinted cards that they stamp with with day's date when the TVM fails to permit people to travel on booking confirmations.
 

yorkie

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I was under the impression that Southport (and most of the Merseyrail network) did not support the collection of pre-purchased tickets, and the NRE website backs that up, however I tried to purchase a Southport to London Euston ticket using the Avanti App back in March, but the only option offered was collection from Southport. Not wanting to risk the hassle of possibly having to buy another ticket and claim a refund, I instead opted for a Liverpool to Euston ticket (e-ticket) and used my Metrocard to get to Liverpool.

Did I make the correct choice?
You shouldn't need to buy a new ticket; the rules require TOCs to allow travel and to collect later. It would have been interesting to see Merseyrail put to the test in this issue.

The future is e-tickets but Merseyrail presumably see them as a threat to their own internal ticketing arrangements.

Merseyrail don't appear to have much interest in being part of the integrated National Rail network.

There should be a passenger focussed
body with real powers to force inadequate train companies like Merseyrail to provide a better retail offering to customers, but sadly we lack any such organisation in the UK, and I can't see that changing.

This sort of nonsense is endemic in the rail industry.
 

trainophile

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I think you can buy Advance tickets over the counter at (most) Merseyrail stations, but of course you have to hope that you're asking for one that they can find, and they don't sell out while you're going to the station.
 

Ianno87

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You shouldn't need to buy a new ticket; the rules require TOCs to allow travel and to collect later. It would have been interesting to see Merseyrail put to the test in this issue.

The future is e-tickets but Merseyrail presumably see them as a threat to their own internal ticketing arrangements.

Merseyrail don't appear to have much interest in being part of the integrated National Rail network.

There should be a passenger focussed
body with real powers to force inadequate train companies like Merseyrail to provide a better retail offering to customers, but sadly we lack any such organisation in the UK, and I can't see that changing.

This sort of nonsense is endemic in the rail industry.

Presumably the fact that passengers can even select Southport as a collection point, must mean that people are routinely turning up expecting to be able to collect tickets, but are unable to? I wonder what they are being told at the station?
 

trainophile

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All the websites that I've bought ex-Southport tickets on flag up that I can't collect them from my station of origin, and require me to select a different station from the list.
 

alistairlees

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I was under the impression that Southport (and most of the Merseyrail network) did not support the collection of pre-purchased tickets, and the NRE website backs that up, however I tried to purchase a Southport to London Euston ticket using the Avanti App back in March, but the only option offered was collection from Southport. Not wanting to risk the hassle of possibly having to buy another ticket and claim a refund, I instead opted for a Liverpool to Euston ticket (e-ticket) and used my Metrocard to get to Liverpool.

Did I make the correct choice?
I just tested the Avanti iOS app and got the following

1. Southport to London Euston - offers ToD from Southport

2. Battersby to Hastings - offers ToD from Battersby

I also did a few other tests. It seems that the Avanti app assumes that ToD collection is possible from the origin when no methods of fulfilment other than ToD are available (it correctly forces you to collect elsewhere if you select ToD on a flow that also has eticket).

This is what you get when you employ IBM to do something for you at great expense.
 

yorkie

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Presumably the fact that passengers can even select Southport as a collection point, must mean that people are routinely turning up expecting to be able to collect tickets, but are unable to? I wonder what they are being told at the station?
Hopefully one day someone will put this to the test and let us know, as it would be interesting to see if Merseyrail carry out the correct procedure. I bet they don't!
 

Haywain

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I just tested the Avanti iOS app and got the following

1. Southport to London Euston - offers ToD from Southport

2. Battersby to Hastings - offers ToD from Battersby

I also did a few other tests. It seems that the Avanti app assumes that ToD collection is possible from the origin when no methods of fulfilment other than ToD are available (it correctly forces you to collect elsewhere if you select ToD on a flow that also has eticket).

This is what you get when you employ IBM to do something for you at great expense.
I’m not sure the RDG accreditation team will be impressed with this.
 

Bletchleyite

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Hopefully one day someone will put this to the test and let us know, as it would be interesting to see if Merseyrail carry out the correct procedure. I bet they don't!

I think you can be certain they won't! To be honest, I think we should move to e-ticket being mandatory on all flows as a condition of ATOC membership. Then Merseyrail can do what they like.
 

CheapAndNerdy

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Just received the following response from Avanti:

Avanti Westcoast said:
Thank you for contacting regarding South Port Stations facilities. I can confirm that according to their website there are ticket vending machines and it is from these that you would print your ticket(s) from.

The only alternative near you would be to pick up from Preston station.

I have replied (I resisted the urge to go all Basil Fawlty on them! Well, maybe just a touch :lol:) and asked for the issue to be escalated to a complaint due the poor quality of the response (Preston is just the icing on the cake :rolleyes:). I also responded appropriately to the feedback email that I also received <D

UPDATE: As I was writing this message, Avanti called and apologised for the incorrect information I was given and will be raising the matter with their Digital Delivery team (or some similar name).
 

py_megapixel

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I just tested the GWR website - another one known for being a bit dodgy with the ticketing - and it won't offer ToD from Southport, but it's still not without it's faults: because the only available option for that flow is ToD, you end up in the confusing scenario where you are asked to choose the station you want to collect from, but it won't let you enter Southport! To make matters worse there is no indication to the passenger of why they can't select Southport, so they could easily end up making a mistake.

Unless there's something I'm missing, what this means is there is literally no way to travel on an online-purchased ticket originating from a Merseytravel station, without first visiting another station on a different ticket or by a different mode. That is insane, and could be a real problem if you live in the reasonably substantial area which is served only by Merseyrail.
 

RHolmes

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Can you? Since when? I've been working trains to South Parkway for years and never known it. They have a stash of preprinted cards that they stamp with with day's date when the TVM fails to permit people to travel on booking confirmations.

Thinking back it was actually a Northern manned Merseyrail station where I’ve personally done this (and performed by a rather annoyed ticket office clerk) but surely it must be possible unless they’re using a completely different ticket issuing software to the rest of the UK?
 

Ianno87

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Unless there's something I'm missing, what this means is there is literally no way to travel on an online-purchased ticket originating from a Merseytravel station, without first visiting another station on a different ticket or by a different mode. That is insane, and could be a real problem if you live in the reasonably substantial area which is served only by Merseyrail.

Or having it posted to you.

But, yes, hardly customer friendly.
 

trainophile

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I just tested the GWR website - another one known for being a bit dodgy with the ticketing - and it won't offer ToD from Southport, but it's still not without it's faults: because the only available option for that flow is ToD, you end up in the confusing scenario where you are asked to choose the station you want to collect from, but it won't let you enter Southport! To make matters worse there is no indication to the passenger of why they can't select Southport, so they could easily end up making a mistake.

Unless there's something I'm missing, what this means is there is literally no way to travel on an online-purchased ticket originating from a Merseytravel station, without first visiting another station on a different ticket or by a different mode. That is insane, and could be a real problem if you live in the reasonably substantial area which is served only by Merseyrail.
The reason there’s no e-ticket options on Merseyrail is presumably because the guards don’t have the readers to check them.
 

LowLevel

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Thinking back it was actually a Northern manned Merseyrail station where I’ve personally done this (and performed by a rather annoyed ticket office clerk) but surely it must be possible unless they’re using a completely different ticket issuing software to the rest of the UK?

They choose not to have the functionality. It is a pain but it's how it has always been there.
 
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