Excess to be charged on an invalid route (for which there is no through fare)

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yorkie

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Leuchars to Glasgow is often quicker via Dundee than via Haymarket:

https://www.fastjp.com/#new?orig1=Leuchars&dest1=Glasgow Queen Street&outdate=20210817&outtime=1490

1223
Leuchars
departs​
1 change — 1 hr 56 min​
arrives​
Glasgow Queen Street
1419
changing at Dundee


1223
Leuchars
departs​
1 change — 2 hr 9 min​
arrives​
Glasgow Queen Street
1432
changing at Edinburgh

But what should happen if someone travels via Dundee on a through ticket?

Let's say someone has an Off Peak Return (SVR) @ £30.50, which is not valid via Dundee (though is entirely reasonable via Dundee)

The cheapest combination of tickets valid for the journey via Dundee (both ways, returning same day) would be £31.40, a difference of 90p (consisting of Leuchars to Perth & Perth to Glasgow tickets), so it would seem to be a valid argument to say that in such a case the customer can only be charged 90pence. However the excess fare procedures are not consistent with such a charge being made...

Discuss!
 
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Haywain

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Change of route refers to changing the stated geographical route on the ticket, which cannot be done if only one such named route is available. In the case stated here what would be charged may depend on where the ticketless travel is detected, with there not being a single valid ticket to cover the sections of journey not covered by the original ticket. However, in general terms it would be the case that the through ticket that covers the non-valid part of the journey is what would be sold.
 
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Mcr Warrior

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Leuchars to Glasgow Cen/QS through tickets are normally routed "Any Permitted" so why is travelling via Dundee not permitted?

And isn't Leuchars-> Glasgow QS a slightly shorter distance via Dundee than via Haymarket (or Edinburgh) anyway?
 

yorkie

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The relevant condition is:
13.2. If you make a journey by a route that is not valid you will be liable to pay an excess fare. The price for this will be the difference between the amount paid for the Ticket you hold and the lowest price Ticket available for immediate travel that would have entitled you to travel by that route
So I can see why it could be argued that the difference of 90p should be charged, rather than a whole new ticket
Leuchars to Glasgow Cen/QS through tickets are normally routed "Any Permitted" so why is travelling via Dundee not permitted?

And isn't Leuchars-> Glasgow QS a slightly shorter distance via Dundee than via Haymarket (or Edinburgh) anyway?
The shortest route is actually via neither of these points, i.e. via the direct route from Linlithgow to Inverkeithing.

(There is not much in it between via Haymarket or via Dundee; indeed when making that direct comparison it is indeed shorter via Dundee, but that comparison doesn't come into it when determining permitted routes)
 

Hadders

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The most straightforward thing to do would be to change the routeing so it is valid via Dundee.

Doubt it’ll happen mind….
 

yorkie

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The most straightforward thing to do would be to change the routeing so it is valid via Dundee.
Or, if they really want to charge extra, introduce a higher priced 'via Dundee' routed fare (ideally priced at £31.40 so there is no longer a need to "split")

Doubt it’ll happen mind….
I agree; I can't see Scotrail or RDG being that pragmatic enough to resolve the issues regarding Leuchars to Glasgow, but even if they do resolve it for this journey, the wider question remains for other examples.
 

Mcr Warrior

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Still confused! Noting that the shortest route between Glasgow QS and Leuchars is the infrequently used line between Linlithgow and Dalmeny via Winchburgh Junction / Dalmeny Junction, however, isn't the token daily (?) service not operating in the timetable just now, so doesn't that then make via Dundee the shortest route? Appreciate the forum experts' thoughts on this.
 

yorkie

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Still confused. Noting that the shortest route between Glasgow QS and Leuchars is the seldom used direct line between Linlithgow and Dalmeny via Winchburgh Junction / Dalmeny Junction, however, the token daily (?) service isn't operating in the timetable just now, so doesn't that then make via Dundee the shortest route?
In the data? No.

If someone was to travel that way, I suspect they would not be challenged, but if they were, and they made this argument, I would expect any request for additional payment to be dropped at that point.

But if Scotrail persisted and the passenger was told they must pay for a new ticket, and if they refused to do so, and if the matter went to court (unlikely) and the defendant made this argument, I would certainly think it would be an excellent argument and I'd like to say the courts ought to rule against Scotrail on that that basis, in the unlikely event of such an eventuality. But the standard 'I am not a lawyer' disclaimer applies.

But, again, even if the Leuchars to Glasgow example would be resolved through amicable means (and in practice I doubt many staff, if any, would charge passengers extra fares for taking the fastest route via Dundee!) it still leaves the wider question unresolved.
 

Watershed

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Leuchars to Glasgow is often quicker via Dundee than via Haymarket:

https://www.fastjp.com/#new?orig1=Leuchars&dest1=Glasgow Queen Street&outdate=20210817&outtime=1490

1223
Leuchars
departs​
1 change — 1 hr 56 min​
arrives​
Glasgow Queen Street
1419
changing at Dundee


1223
Leuchars
departs​
1 change — 2 hr 9 min​
arrives​
Glasgow Queen Street
1432
changing at Edinburgh

But what should happen if someone travels via Dundee on a through ticket?

Let's say someone has an Off Peak Return (SVR) @ £30.50, which is not valid via Dundee (though is entirely reasonable via Dundee)

The cheapest combination of tickets valid for the journey via Dundee (both ways, returning same day) would be £31.40, a difference of 90p (consisting of Leuchars to Perth & Perth to Glasgow tickets), so it would seem to be a valid argument to say that in such a case the customer can only be charged 90pence. However the excess fare procedures are not consistent with such a charge being made...

Discuss!
I'm not sure anyone can definitively answer that, short of the High Court! That said, I would consider @tspaul26's post here highly influential!

It's ultimately down to how NRCoT 13.2 is interpreted. The use of the term "Ticket" in the singular is, I think, a red herring since it does not really apply to a situation where (like here) there isn't any one ticket that would be valid on its own via the non-permitted route that's been taken.

Charging the difference to the cheapest valid combination of tickets would seem to be the only sensible approach in such circumstances.

In the unlikely event you encountered a member of staff who was in full cognisance of the Routeing Guide, I imagine they would suggest several new tickets would "need" to be bought, with the original ticket submitted for a (partial) refund.

This is probably too niche for any class action to be worthwhile, but it does highlight how the railway (well, the DfT) needs to overhaul the NRCoT so that it's a properly drafted legal document, as opposed to the current mess.

Yes, that may mean some people lose out (e.g. if it means the end of half-price change of route excesses), but I don't think the current situation serves anyone very well.
 

tspaul26

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Incidentally, I have previously had confirmation that combining fares in order to calculate the relevant excess amount is permissible when there is no through first class fare for a flow.

This is for the purposes of NRCOT n.15.3:

A standard class Ticket can in most cases be upgraded to first class. Where this is the case you should pay the additional fare due before you board the train. The amount you pay will be the difference between the fare you have already paid and the appropriate first class fare for the journey you wish to make.

Whilst NRCOT n.13.2 refers to a “Ticket” rather than a “fare”, if aggregation of fares is permissible for a STD to 1ST excess where there is no through fare to excess up to then I see no particular reason why the same principle cannot be applied for an off-route excess.
 

kieron

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The shortest route is actually via neither of these points, i.e. via the direct route from Linlithgow to Inverkeithing.
I don't think that's right. The routeing guide instructions say:

The shortest route is calculated by reference to the mileages shown in the National Rail Timetable, available at https://www.networkrail.co.uk/running-the-railway/the-timetable/electronic-national-rail-timetable/

There don't seem to be any trains scheduled to use that line at the moment, but the May '19 timetable did include a Kirkcaldy-Glasgow train. On table 242R, it's shown as far as Dalmeny with a "To Glasgow Queen Street" footnote. On table 231R, it's shown from Falkirk Grahamston to Glasgow, but with no indication that it didn't actually start in Falkirk.

As there is no indication of how far Dalmeny is from Falkirk on either table, that wasn't the shortest route.

In the current timetable, Falkirk Grahamston appears on tables 228, 230 & 231, and Dalmeny on 242, so this wouldn't show how far a similar train would go either.

Given this, the shortest route is via Dundee at 92 miles: Leuchars-Dundee is 8.25 miles on table 26, and Dundee-Glasgow Queen Street 83.75 on 229R.

If you were looking for a route which has fast trains which aren't valid with a single ticket, and you weren't too concerned about whether it was in Scotland, England or Wales, you could try Runcorn-Chinley. The tickets are all "via Liverpool", but it's often quicker to change train in Crewe, Frodsham or Liverpool South Parkway.
 
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