A PDF version of the public information leaflet is available at:
Please be aware the restrictions are quite complex and vary between
the TL bit and the WAGN bit, and depends on travel from south or north
of the Thames and/or north or south or in or through the Travelcard area.
FAQ for FCC off peak ticket SX evening restrictions FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions This section lists questions, which we anticipate you may be asked over the coming weeks. 01 Which trains are restricted? All northbound trains that depart from either London King s Cross, Moorgate, King s Cross Thameslink or St Pancras between 1630 and 1901 Monday to Friday. This includes GNER and Midland Mainline services. Please remember that the Cheap Day Return and 0ne Day Travelcard restrictions on GNER services begin 35 minutes earlier at 1555 and finish in line with our restrictions at 1901. 02 Why are the restrictions on these trains? Because demand for travel on these trains is significantly higher than the number of seats available. Given the size of our fleet, we have already endeavoured to expand capacity on these services by diagramming as many carriages on peak trains as possible. Therefore these restrictions are the next step in our plans to manage demand with the aim of improving the quality of the journey for all our customers. 03 Is travel restricted if customers join the train further along the route? The return portions of all off-peak tickets are restricted on these trains if you join them within the London Travelcard Boundary (except for stations north of Finsbury Park and West Hampstead). Travel is not restricted if your entire journey is outside the Travelcard area. The last stations within the boundary are Crews Hill, Hadley Wood and Elstree and Borehamwood. So for example, an off-peak return ticket would be valid for travel on the 1823 from Welwyn Garden City to Letchworth because although this train departs King's Cross at 1752, and is a restricted train, your journey is outside the Travelcard area. However, you would not be able to use an off-peak ticket on this train for travel from Finsbury Park to Letchworth because Finsbury Park is within the restricted area. The restrictions do not apply to journeys within the London Travelcard area, so for example a journey from Finsbury Park to Alexandra Palace does not come under the restrictions. 04 Why do the restrictions not apply for travel solely within the London Travelcard Boundary? Because if we did restrict our off-peak tickets within the London Travelcard area this would be inconsistent with the 0ne Day Travelcard arrangements which would be confusing for customers. 05 Do restrictions apply to cross-London journeys, such as Brighton to Bedford services which depart London within the restricted time? Restrictions will not apply to customers travelling across the Travelcard boundary area or South of it. So for example, a customer travelling from Brighton on the 1703 to Bedford, arr1938 would be able to travel using the return portion of an off-peak ticket even thought this train departs King's Cross at 1836. Restrictions apply to off-peak return tickets on these trains if a customer joins the train within the London Travelcard Boundary (except for stations north of Finsbury Park and West Hampstead), and is travelling northwards to outside the boundary. East Croydon is the last station inside the Travelcard Boundary on the First Capital Connect route in South London. So for example, a customer would not be able to travel with an off-peak return ticket on the 1747 from East Croydon to Bedford, or from any of the ex-Thameslink stations in South London as these are all within the boundary. 06 Why are the restrictions only on the return portion of the tickets? The restrictions are on the return portion only because we want to achieve a balance between reducing overcrowding, and minimising the inconvenience to our customers. 0utward off-peak travel on these trains is not heavy and restricting these tickets would not have a significant impact on overcrowding. 07 Why are the restrictions only on Northbound flows? The restrictions are only on the Northbound flows because flows Southwards north of London at this time of day are not crowded. Fares on most Southbound flows out of London are controlled by other Train 0perating Companies. 08 Do these restrictions apply in the morning peak too? Restrictions already apply to the use of off-peak tickets in the morning peak. 09 What are we doing to reduce overcrowding in the morning peak? First Capital Connect will continue to work closely with the Department of Transport to find a long term solution to overcrowding which will require substantial investment. In the meantime we are looking at options which may provide some short term relief. In particular we are working with the other Train 0perating Companies in the region to develop the Brighton Route Utilisation Strategy which will implement timetable changes with the aim of providing extra capacity and additional seats on all trains south of London, be that First Capital Connect, Southern or Gatwick Express. 10 Which tickets are restricted? Cheap Day Returns; 0ne Day Travelcards (off-peak); Family Travelcards; and DaySave tickets. Between 1730 and 1830 Monday to Friday the restrictions will also apply to the return portions of Network Away Break and Saver Return tickets. 11 I am an RPI. How should I deal with a customer travelling on an off-peak return ticket on one of the restricted trains? Explain to customer that off-peak return tickets are not valid for travel on this train, and that if they wish to travel on this service they need to buy a full fare ticket or have a season ticket. Charge them the appropriate excess fare to make ticket valid for travel in line with National Conditions of Carriage. Explain to them that in the future if they wish to travel using an off-peak return ticket they need to travel on a train that departs from the London termini before 1630 or after 1901 (or if travelling on a Saver or Network Away Break tickets, before 1730 or after 1830). Hand them a leaflet explaining the restrictions. We will widely publicise the changes, particularly at point of sale where all booking office staff have been briefed to advise customers of the restrictions and posters will be displayed at all stations and leaflets made available. There will also be posters on trains and leaflets handed out before the introduction of the restrictions. We are investigating the option of displaying an on-screen message on self-service ticket machines. 12 Who is affected by these changes? Season ticket holders and those travelling on full-fare tickets will not be affected by these changes. Customers who will notice the change will be those travelling after the morning peak (off-peak tickets are already restricted in the morning peak) to London, and then wanting to return in the evening peak. These are likely to be business travellers and off-peak leisure users, e.g. shoppers, families, 0AP's etc. 13 How will they be affected? They will not be able to travel using the return portion of off-peak tickets on the restricted services. They will be able to use their off-peak tickets if they are willing to travel later or earlier to avoid the restricted trains. If they do wish to use these trains then they need to buy a valid ticket before they travel. 14 Which tickets will be valid for travel on these services? Standard or First 0pen Returns; Standard or First Day Returns; Standard or First Peak Day Travelcards; and Season Tickets. 15 Are there any exceptions? If so, what are they? Yes there are exceptions: Customers travelling to Ely, Littleport, Downham Market, Watlington or King's Lynn are able to use their off-peak tickets on the restricted trains because the lower number of through trains on this route means that under the new restrictions, the first non-restricted train travelling to these destinations would not leave King's Cross until 1945 which is too long to make customers wait. Travel inside the London Travelcard Boundary is not restricted in the evening peak, because if we restrict our evening off-peak tickets this will be inconsistent with the 0ne Day Travelcard arrangements and potentially confusing for customers. Customers travelling on the outward portion of an off-peak ticket will be able to use these services. The restrictions only apply to the return portion of off-peak tickets. Northbound travel on the return portion of an off-peak ticket in the evening peak where a customer joins a train outside of the London Travelcard boundary is not restricted, so for example from Luton to Bedford. Within the Travelcard area, customers travelling northbound from stations north of Finsbury Park and West Hampstead will not be restricted. 16 Why do the restrictions apply to Waterbeach but not to Ely and beyond? Because the frequency of services to Waterbeach is greater than to the stations north of Ely. Also because Waterbeach is close to Cambridge and it wouldn't be able to cope with the number of people that would divert there if it wasn't covered by the evening peak restrictions. 17 Why have we introduced these restrictions? Because we need to take steps to reduce overcrowding on our evening peak services leaving London by managing the supply and demand for these services. We plan that the restrictions will have the effect of prioritising seats on these key trains for customers travelling on full fare or season tickets. We have already taken steps to improve the number of seats available by diagramming these trains to be formed of as many carriages as possible. 18 Won't these restrictions just move the overcrowding onto the unrestricted trains? We have carried out careful analysis of when and where the restrictions apply to ensure that they have the most effect on reducing overcrowding whilst trying to minimise the impact on off-peak ticket holders. We have been particularly careful to avoid simply moving the overcrowding problems to other trains and our analysis shows that this should not happen because the timing and scope of the restrictions will help to spread the demand. We have also doubled the number of carriages from 4 to 8 on the 1902 service from King's Cross (Thameslink) in order to meet the expected demand for this train. We think there may be one train, (the 1615 King's Cross to Cambridge) that could become crowded after introducing the restrictions and will consider the possibility of running a longer train on this service once we can see what the effect is. 19 Why are Network Away breaks and Saver Returns only restricted from 1730 to 1830? By maintaining the availability of Network Away Break and Saver tickets for an extended period we can offer the customer more choice when they decide when they wish to travel and how much they want to pay although we appreciate that it does add to the complexity of the restrictions. By extending the restriction to these tickets at the busiest times we aim to reduce overcrowding on these popular trains. 20 Will restrictions still apply even if a train is delayed and therefore runs outside the restriction times? Yes, the restriction applies to the service even if it is delayed, however in certain circumstances it may be deemed appropriate to lift restrictions. In these cases station staff and on-board announcements will keep customers informed. 21 Will restrictions apply when a non-restricted train is delayed into the restricted times? No. If a non-restricted train is delayed into restricted times restrictions will not apply. 22 Will the customer be charged a penalty fare for travelling on a restricted ticket on these services? No, the appropriate action in these cases, as laid down in the Penalty Fare Rules and our policy is that customers travelling on a restricted ticket will be charged the appropriate excess fare in accordance with the National Conditions of Carriage. 23 What's to stop customers buying two off-peak single tickets? Customers can do this, but the cost is more than the standard return ticket in most cases. 24 What's to stop customers buying an off-peak return ticket to the boundary and then a point-to-point ticket for the remainder of the journey? Nothing, but this would be inconvenient, and the customers who are affected by these changes are unlikely to be that sophisticated in their travel habits. It is possible that a small number of customers will expend considerable energy in finding loopholes in the new restrictions. We will monitor this situation and if significant issues arise will address them in subsequent fares rounds. The Commercial Team will be very glad to receive feedback from colleagues on the ground. 25 Will restricted tickets go through the automatic gates? The ticket gates will be programmed to return tickets that are not valid for travel at the appropriate times. 26 What information has been provided for customers? Posters are being prepared for distribution and display at all stations. A leaflet is also being prepared for ticket office staff to hand to all customers buying tickets and for Revenue Staff to give to customers found travelling on restricted trains with off-peak return tickets. We are investigating the possibility of displaying a message on all self-service ticket machines. Posters will be displayed on trains and leaflets distributed on-train before the restrictions are introduced. The website will display suitable information to advise Internet customers and the FirstInfo staff will receive this brief. There will also be a press release and information in relevant travel and rail press for other operators. 27 Will staff travelling on these services be affected by these restrictions? No. These specific restrictions do not apply to staff travel. For details of staff travel restrictions visit: www.atoc.org Examples Here are some examples to help you understand how the new off-peak restrictions will work. Example 1 If a customer wants to travel from King's Cross on the 1707, arriving in Peterborough at 1810, can they do this on the return portion of an off-peak ticket? Answer: No. They would not be able to use the return portion of their off-peak ticket for this journey as this train is restricted. Example 2 If a customer wants to travel on the 1734 Luton to Bedford arr 1758 can they do this on the return portion of an off-peak ticket? Answer: Yes. They would be able to use the return portion of their off-peak ticket for this journey because although this train is restricted (having left King's Cross Thameslink at 1702), their entire journey is outside the London Travelcard area. Example 3 If a customer wants to travel from West Hampstead (Thameslink) to St Albans on the 1632 service arr St Albans at 1700, can they do this on the return portion of an off-peak ticket? Answer: Yes. They would be able to use their off-peak ticket on this train because this train departed from King's Cross Thameslink before 1630, at 1624. Example 4 If a customer wants to travel from Kentish Town to Mill Hill Broadway, can they do this on the return portion of an off-peak ticket? Answer: Yes. They would not be restricted when using an off-peak ticket because this journey is within the London Travelcard Boundary. Example 5 If a customer wants to travel on the 1619 from Streatham to St Albans arriving at 1730 can they do this on the return portion of an off-peak ticket? Answer: No. They would not be able to use their off-peak ticket to make this journey because as this train leaves King's Cross Thameslink at 1654, it is restricted. Example 6 If a customer wants to travel on the 1642 from London Bridge to Farringdon, arr 1702 can they do this on the return portion of an off-peak ticket? Answer: Yes. They would be able to travel on this service with an off-peak return ticket because their journey is entirely within the London Travelcard Boundary. Example 7 If a customer wants to travel on the 1845 from King's Cross to King's Lynn can they do this on the return portion of an off-peak ticket? Answer: Yes. They would be able to travel on an off-peak return ticket because these restrictions do not apply to stations on the King's Lynn branch north of Waterbeach. However, they would not be able to travel from King's Cross using an off-peak return ticket to any other stations in a northbound direction on this train.
Changes to 0ff-Peak tickets usage from June 2006 Customer Services, Revenue Protection and Customer Relations Staff Briefing Document Summary To reduce overcrowding on our services First Capital Connect will be introducing restrictions on the use of off-peak tickets on our northbound evening peak services from London, coinciding with the introduction of the new timetable. This step is part of our strategy to proactively manage supply and demand for these popular services and improve the quality of the journey for all our customers. 0ur plan is that the new restrictions to off-peak tickets will have the effect of prioritising seats on these trains for season or full-fare ticket holders. The Changes in Detail: From 11 June, customers will not be able to travel using the return portion of the following off-peak tickets on any northbound trains that are timetabled to depart from either London King's Cross, Moorgate, King's Cross Thameslink or St Pancras between 1630 and 1901 Monday to Friday: Cheap Day Returns; 0ne Day Travelcards (off-peak); Family Travelcards; and DaySave tickets. This includes return northbound journeys on these restricted services from all stations within the London Travelcard Area, other than stations north of Finsbury Park and West Hampstead i.e. journeys commencing at Cricklewood or Harringay and all London Travelcard Area Stations north thereof are unrestricted. Return journeys commencing from all stations within Zones 1 & 2 and from all stations on the Wimbledon loop or at East Croydon and traveling northbound beyond the London Travelcard Area will be restricted. Between 1730 and 1830 Monday to Friday these restrictions will also apply to the return portions of Network Away Breaks and Saver Return tickets Restrictions will also apply to GNER evening services northbound out of London King's Cross to Stevenage and Peterborough and Midland Mainline evening services northbound from St Pancras to Luton Airport Parkway, Luton and Bedford. We have worked with GNER and they have amended their existing evening peak restrictions so they fit more neatly with the First Capital Connect conditions. The GNER service restrictions for Cheap Day Returns and 0ne Day Travelcards begin at 1555, 35 minutes earlier than First Capital Connect, however they finish at 1901 in line with our new restrictions. These restrictions will not apply to tickets for Ely, Littleport, Downham Market, Watlington and King's Lynn because of the limited number of through trains on this route. These restrictions will not apply to travel within the London Travelcard boundary, that being stations southwards from and including Crews Hill, Hadley Wood and Elstree and Borehamwood. This is to avoid any inconsistency with the 0ne Day Travelcard arrangements. If customers want to return from London during the restricted times, they will need to ensure that they have a valid ticket for their journey. Tickets which will be valid for travel at these times are: Standard or First 0pen Returns; Standard or First Day Returns; Standard or First Peak Day Travelcards; and Season Tickets. Network Away Break and Saver Return tickets will be valid for travel on trains departing up until 1730 and after 1830. There are no changes to restrictions currently in place at other times of day and we are not introducing restrictions on southbound flows, i.e. contra-peak towards London in the evening, or on trains travelling out of London towards Brighton, Wimbledon or Sutton. First Capital Connect will not be making changes to our fares at this time, other than to correct minor anomalies that exist in the current fare range. These are the harmonisation of Thameslink route Travelcard boundary zone fares with the equivalent station-to-station fare, and the correction of fares on flows via West Hampstead along the North London Line. Automatic Ticket Barriers 0ur automatic ticket barriers at Bedford, Elstree and Borehamwood, Luton, Luton Airport Parkway, St Albans and King's Cross Thameslink will be programmed to return these tickets from London during the appropriate times. Station staff may experience an increased number of customers requiring assistance and a ticket upgrade, particularly within the first couple of weeks of the restrictions being introduced. Penalty Fares Customers travelling on a restricted ticket should not be subject to a penalty fare but should be charged the appropriate excess fare that is required to make their ticket valid in line with the National Rail Conditions of Carriage. Conclusion First Capital Connect anticipate that as a result of the introduction of these restrictions demand for the key evening peak services will be reduced, although on a small number of trains a seat may still not be available for everyone for their entire journey. We will continue to develop strategies to reduce overcrowding and to improve the quality of travel on all our services. Timetable Presentation You will have noticed that the new timetable (Train Times) effective from 11 June does not show the shading which highlighted peak and off-peak trains in previous Thameslink route timetables. This is because it was felt to be unrealistic to meaningfully shade the morning peak services between Peterborough, King's Lynn, Cambridge, Stevenage and King's Cross/Moorgate. Moreover, it would be impossible to represent the new evening peak restrictions diagrammatically. The presentation of both Train Times booklets has therefore been harmonised. Full details of the first Monday - Friday trains on the Thameslink route on which off-peak tickets are valid are shown in Section E of the National Fares Manual 92: Tickets with the restriction code TN (northbound) allow northbound travel on or after the train shown on page E55. Tickets with the restriction code TS (southbound) allow southbound travel on or after the train shown on page E56. In the updated National Fares Manual (93), which will be issued shortly, full details of the first Monday - Friday trains on the Thameslink route on which off-peak tickets are valid are shown in Section E as follows: Tickets with the restriction code TN (northbound) allow northbound travel on or after the train shown on page E50. Tickets with the restriction code TS (southbound) allow southbound travel on or after the train shown on page E50 - 51.