ENTCS passes on long distance coach routes?

Martin2012

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Are there many examples of coach routes here in the UK where ENTCS passes are valid for travel. Ones I can think of are:

X5 Oxford to Cambridge
Falcon Bristol to Plymouth (specific sections)
Greenline 757 London to Luton

In the case of a coach route offering local journeys the acceptance of passes makes sense but can anyone suggest any reason as to why coach operators would want to accept passes on long distance services if they are not legally obliged to and doing so will mean less revenue for the operator and potentially less capacity for fare paying passengers?

Or is it simply the case that the acceptance of passes offers a means of generating at least some revenue on quieter journeys?
 
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PeterC

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ENCTS is accepted on the Oxford Tube for local journeys between Oxford and Lewknor.

I thought that the X5 was technically registered as several separate local bus routes.
 

Bletchleyite

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I thought that the X5 was technically registered as several separate local bus routes.
It is, and as a result ENCTS is accepted throughout. To be fair to Stagey, east of Bedford it pretty much is a regular stopping bus service with posh vehicles, it only really runs fast west of Bedford.

There will also be sections of NatEx which are registered and so ENCTS is valid, but they probably won't shout about them, you'd have to nose through Notices and Proceedings to find them.
 

Man of Kent

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There will also be sections of NatEx which are registered and so ENCTS is valid
The fact that they are registered does not automatically entail acceptance of ENCTS. The rules allow services with at least 50% of the accommodation bookable in advance to be excluded, which effectively excludes the entire NatEx network. I think the vast majority of Travel Concession Authorities, if not all, apply this rule.
 

Flange Squeal

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ENCTS passes are valid on First Berkshire's RA2 'Railair' coach (or bus, when they put a Volvo 7900 out!) service between Guildford and Heathrow Airport. Whilst not 'long distance', it's only about 10 miles shorter than the Luton example in the first post.
 

Bletchleyite

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Talking of the X5 there's also the Luton Airport 99, which has two stops that exist only so the route can be registered as a local bus service (Kingston Centre down the side, and the one just off the motorway in Luton) - and at many times of the day those are the busiest stops!
 

PeterC

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Also on the Oxford to Cheltenham/Gloucester 853 service operated by Swanbrook.
I haven't looked at Swanbrookk's website since the new year but last time I checked it said they were accepted, and could also be used from Oxford on the 09:00 departure.
 

peterblue

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Passes are accepted on the X62 Leeds to Hull which is a considerable distance!

It used to be operated by coaches, but it's run by a standard double decker now.
 

Statto

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Talking of the X5 there's also the Luton Airport 99, which has two stops that exist only so the route can be registered as a local bus service (Kingston Centre down the side, and the one just off the motorway in Luton) - and at many times of the day those are the busiest stops!
When i caught the 99 couple of years ago a standard enviro 300 was allocated, Stagecoach accept normal Stagecoach tickets including the explorer on the 99.

The Stagecoach 99 evolved from the Virgin Trains Milton Keynes-Luton Airport shuttle didn't it?
 

Bletchleyite

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When i caught the 99 couple of years ago a standard enviro 300 was allocated, Stagecoach accept normal Stagecoach tickets including the explorer on the 99.

The Stagecoach 99 evolved from the Virgin Trains Milton Keynes-Luton Airport shuttle didn't it?
It's meant to use the previous coaches from the X5 but you do sometimes get a regular bus if one is unavailable. The extras used to be operated using normal buses, too, though I've not seen one on it for a while.

Yes, it's the Stagecoach continuation of that service. While hardly anyone seems to use it to the airport it's well used for commuters particularly to the warehouses around Kingston in MK.
 

markymark2000

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I'm sure companies can refuse to take ENCTS passes if they want to but for big companies, there would be too much uproar and for smaller operators, people would pick to use competitors.

While hardly anyone seems to use it to the airport it's well used for commuters particularly to the warehouses around Kingston in MK.
Lack of promotion and the fact Arriva has a LOT of buses on the local journeys from Luton to the airport, you only have the end to end passengers which they are competing with NatEx on (and while Stagecoach are cheaper, they don't think of Stagecoach as a coach service to the airport, they are a local bus company so it won't cross many peoples mind. Is it worth saying as well that the majority of people who go to the airport, will be prebooked and Megabus doesn't really have a presence in Luton Airport for people to think of it as a viable place to book tickets.
 

TheGrandWazoo

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It is, and as a result ENCTS is accepted throughout. To be fair to Stagey, east of Bedford it pretty much is a regular stopping bus service with posh vehicles, it only really runs fast west of Bedford.

There will also be sections of NatEx which are registered and so ENCTS is valid, but they probably won't shout about them, you'd have to nose through Notices and Proceedings to find them.
Between Bedford and St Neots, it observes all stops, but then it’s limited stop again?
 

Busaholic

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No, they are required to accept them.
A little more accurate to say they're required to accept them except when they don't have to!

There is a long list of reasons why the pass may not be accepted, and many are subject to interpretation. Until a 'test case' comes to court on this, one man's interpretation is as good as another's. The attitude of the local authority towards reimbursement is all-important, and their attitudes vary widely. Sometimes they change their minds at some point too, more than once in the case of Cornwall Council, but they'll never allow the possibility they're wrong.

I'd agree, though, with the statement that a blanket ban by a bus company is definitely illegal, just as running non-accessible buses on a whim would be.
 

transmanche

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Are there many examples of coach routes here in the UK where ENTCS passes are valid for travel. Ones I can think of are: [...] Greenline 757 London to Luton
Back in the day, Green Line services were just 'stage carriage' (as opposed to 'express carriage') services.

Arriva Northumbria's X15 and X18 services used to see some coaches, but now they just use MAX-spec double-deckers. Some journeys between Berwick-upon Tweed and Newcastle take in excess of four hours, covering a distance of approx 90-100 miles.
 

Busaholic

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Back in the day, Green Line services were just 'stage carriage' (as opposed to 'express carriage') services.

Arriva Northumbria's X15 and X18 services used to see some coaches, but now they just use MAX-spec double-deckers. Some journeys between Berwick-upon Tweed and Newcastle take in excess of four hours, covering a distance of approx 90-100 miles.
My sister-in-law regularly travels a long part of that journey into Newcastle using her pass.
 

neilmc

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A bus company can't impose a blanket ban on accepting ENCTS passes on stage carriage services or limited stop services which carry passengers on local journeys (I think I once read that there was a 15-mile cutoff). My ENCTS pass says that it is valid (at least) for all local services between 09:30 and 23:00 Monday to Friday and all day weekends and Bank Holidays - that should be crystal clear.

However there are exclusions - Park and Ride services, limited season tourist operations, routes operated with heritage vehicles and services offering an "added amenity". Some responsible local authorities/operators still allow the ENCTS pass to be used when technically the service could be deemed as one of the above, others try to weasel out of their responsibilities by claiming a service somehow offers an "amenity" when clearly it doesn't - see the threads regarding the Sussex Coaches service from Horsham to Brighton or the "Red Arrow" between Nottingham and Derby where "going faster than other buses" is clearly seen to be an amenity, and they say so on the local authority websites.

As Busaholic says, we really need a court case to send these fraudulent exclusions packing but there doesn't seem to be much local appetite to take this on.
 

Eyersey468

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A bus company can't impose a blanket ban on accepting ENCTS passes on stage carriage services or limited stop services which carry passengers on local journeys (I think I once read that there was a 15-mile cutoff). My ENCTS pass says that it is valid (at least) for all local services between 09:30 and 23:00 Monday to Friday and all day weekends and Bank Holidays - that should be crystal clear.

However there are exclusions - Park and Ride services, limited season tourist operations, routes operated with heritage vehicles and services offering an "added amenity". Some responsible local authorities/operators still allow the ENCTS pass to be used when technically the service could be deemed as one of the above, others try to weasel out of their responsibilities by claiming a service somehow offers an "amenity" when clearly it doesn't - see the threads regarding the Sussex Coaches service from Horsham to Brighton or the "Red Arrow" between Nottingham and Derby where "going faster than other buses" is clearly seen to be an amenity, and they say so on the local authority websites.

As Busaholic says, we really need a court case to send these fraudulent exclusions packing but there doesn't seem to be much local appetite to take this on.
I have always thought that Park and Ride should be included as standard in the scheme.
 

DavidGrain

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I have used my pass on park and rides in Oxford including short rides but then they do serve all the stops on route so Park and Ride just tells you that they go to specific car parks. The Oxford park and rides have separate charges for parking and bus ride. I have been in towns where you just pay for the parking and the bus ride is included in which case the pass is not valid.
 

Robertj21a

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A bus company can't impose a blanket ban on accepting ENCTS passes on stage carriage services or limited stop services which carry passengers on local journeys (I think I once read that there was a 15-mile cutoff). My ENCTS pass says that it is valid (at least) for all local services between 09:30 and 23:00 Monday to Friday and all day weekends and Bank Holidays - that should be crystal clear.

However there are exclusions - Park and Ride services, limited season tourist operations, routes operated with heritage vehicles and services offering an "added amenity". Some responsible local authorities/operators still allow the ENCTS pass to be used when technically the service could be deemed as one of the above, others try to weasel out of their responsibilities by claiming a service somehow offers an "amenity" when clearly it doesn't - see the threads regarding the Sussex Coaches service from Horsham to Brighton or the "Red Arrow" between Nottingham and Derby where "going faster than other buses" is clearly seen to be an amenity, and they say so on the local authority websites.

As Busaholic says, we really need a court case to send these fraudulent exclusions packing but there doesn't seem to be much local appetite to take this on.
They are not 'fraudulent exclusions' - but, otherwise, your summary is generally accurate.
 

DavidGrain

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I believe that at one time National Express were accepting passes on local trips within Birmingham because they were less than a statutory mileage. I cannot confirm this but I believe this no longer applies.
 

Ianno87

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It is, and as a result ENCTS is accepted throughout. To be fair to Stagey, east of Bedford it pretty much is a regular stopping bus service with posh vehicles, it only really runs fast west of Bedford.
????

It's non-stop from edge of St Neots to edge of Cambridge via the A421 (about 15 miles)
 

Eyersey468

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I believe that at one time National Express were accepting passes on local trips within Birmingham because they were less than a statutory mileage. I cannot confirm this but I believe this no longer applies.
As far as I am aware ENTCS passes can't be used on any National Express routes
 

Tetchytyke

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As far as I am aware ENTCS passes can't be used on any National Express routes
I think that's now the case, as NatEx don't register anything local. Back in the day some of the Newcastle-Scotland coaches went up the A68 and were registered as a local stopping service for the villages in north Northumberland, and ENCTS was valid.
 

Tetchytyke

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I have always thought that Park and Ride should be included as standard in the scheme.
For me, it depends on the scheme. If the P&R fare includes parking (as in York) then no. If parking is a separate fee, then yes.

Forcing the issue would just see changes to the schemes to a "free" bus ticket with the parking charge. If the bus fare includes the cost of the P&R infrastructure, then handing it out for free won't work.
 

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