Finishing short when BOJ not permitted

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HowMuch?

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Scotrail / Daily Record £19 voucher. Help, please?

I'm just about to book my tickets, with two vouchers sent by snailmail from a pal in Scotland. But I could do with a bit more info before I do an itinerary.

The conditions page is not too bad, and clear enough as far as it goes. It is a walk-up ticket (or you can book ahead on their special page). Changing journey plans costs a tenner. Any train apart from some well-defined peak ones. BOJ is not allowed. Expiry date is 31 May. Return journey within one month (see below).

http://www.scotrail.co.uk/content/daily-record-rail-offer-terms-and-conditions

However, because the offer is a bit of a hybrid, it is difficult to know which ticket it borrows its exact BOJ and date/time restrictions from. Is it a pair of walk up Advances (but ones that you can buy on the day of the outward journey) ; or a no-BOJ off peak return (but with fewer peak restrictions).

If anyone has the real gen to help me I'd be really grateful. Please note that I am not looking for a way to break the rules. I just want to know if anyone knows what they are.

- Once I book, am I restricted to the specific times I booked (like an advance). If I'm NOT restricted to specific trains, am I restricted to my booked return date? Or can I come back a different day (within 1 month, like an offpeak return) ?

- Does the BOJ restriction work like I understand the BOJ restriction? That you can't start short, or break and resume your journey; but you can legally break your journey and NOT resume - ie you can stop short.

There may BE no answer. Scotrail may have come up with the conditions leaflet and thought "job done" not realising that there are unanswered questions that could cause a problem when the TM meets a ticket he has not been fully briefed on, or for which he has only the same printout to go on as I have (or my printout is the first one he has seen).

Overnighting

If I book a long journey I will get a journey split over two days, and in those circumstances going to a hotel does not count as a BOJ. I've tested this on the special booking page for this ticket, and it works, but you get to the break station superlate (don't mind that) and it gives you a train the next morning at sparrowfart (I definitely DO mind).

Does anyone know whether if I book by phone or at a station, I will be able (without it being a BOJ) to choose a "resume next morning" train at a more reasonable time? The need to avoid a BOJ may make this different from the normal "resume next morning" rule (whatever that is now) which is purely about extending the validity date.

Return after expiry date (no issue for me)

The "expiry" date is 31 May and the return journey can be up to a month later than the outward journey. There were problems a couple of years ago with Club55 over this. I thought that this time they would have been explicit about the return : "the return journey must be on or before the 31 May" OR "the return journey may be after the 31 May provided it is less than one month after the outward journey". The booking form follows the second interpretation.

However, this should not be a problem on the train, because the return coupon will specify a date. I wonder if this will be the model for the next Club55 conditions.

The Scotrail 19quid offer explicitly bars BOJ, but does not mention stopping short.

Does anyone know if barring BOJ automatically bars stopping short?

Even if it doesn't officially bar stopping short, might I still have trouble in practice, from gateline staff not letting me out of an intermediate station (on the grounds that leaving the station IS a BOJ, regardless of the fact that I won't be resuming my journey, and wouldn't be allowed to by the TM anyway ?

Could I be asked to pay some kind of penalty for attempting to leave the station?
 
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John @ home

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The Scotrail 19quid offer explicitly bars BOJ, but does not mention stopping short.

Does anyone know if barring BOJ automatically bars stopping short?
The Conditions of Carriage defines both in the same Condition.
National Rail Conditions of Carriage said:
16. Starting, breaking or ending a journey at intermediate stations

You may start, or break and resume, a journey (in either direction in the case of a return ticket) at any intermediate station, as long as the ticket you hold is valid for the trains you want to use. You may also end your journey (in either direction in the case of a return ticket) before the destination shown on the ticket. However, these rights may not apply to some types of tickets for which a break of journey is prohibited, in which case the relevant Train Companies will make this clear in their notices and other publications.
Those who believe that a prohibition on break of journey is also a prohibition on ending a journey at an intermediate station take the view that, in the final sentence above, "these rights" means
  • the right to start a journey at an intermediate station, and
  • the right to break a journey at intermediate station, and
  • the right to end a journey at intermediate station
But, as far as we are aware, the view that "break of journey" may be used as a shorthand for all three rights has not been tested in Court.
might I still have trouble in practice, from gateline staff not letting me out of an intermediate station ...

Could I be asked to pay some kind of penalty for attempting to leave the station?
Yes. See Professor slapped with £155 railway fine for getting OFF the train one stop early. Note that "East Coast cancelled the fee as a 'goodwill gesture'".
 

yorkie

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The Scotrail 19quid offer explicitly bars BOJ, but does not mention stopping short.
The TOCs lump finishing short with BOJ, and various people have commented on how reasonable/enforceable this is in previous threads. (Perhaps someone will do an Advanced Search and find some of them).

Does anyone know if barring BOJ automatically bars stopping short?
The TOCs appear to consider it to be so, but others disagree.
Even if it doesn't officially bar stopping short, might I still have trouble in practice
There is always the possibility of having trouble in practice, even if it is permitted.
from gateline staff not letting me out of an intermediate station (on the grounds that leaving the station IS a BOJ, regardless of the fact that I won't be resuming my journey, and wouldn't be allowed to by the TM anyway ?
At larger stations, where you may be using station facilities and/or changing trains, there is less chance of being challenged.
Could I be asked to pay some kind of penalty for attempting to leave the station?
Yes, see http://www.railforums.co.uk/showthread.php?p=846564&highlight=break+excess#post846564

NRCoC said:
If you start, break and resume, or end your journey at an intermediate station
when you are not entitled to do so, you will be liable to pay an excess fare. This excess
fare will be the difference between the price paid for the ticket you hold and the price of
the lowest priced ticket(s) available for immediate travel that would have entitled you to
start, break and resume, or end your journey at that station on the service(s) you have
used.

It's a contentious issue, we do not have full agreement over it. There are numerous threads on the matter, some of which go into great detail.
 

hairyhandedfool

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It's also worth noting that not long before that professor's case, there was a couple that were travelling on a Megatrain ticket who were each given a penalty fare for stopping short at Eastleigh.
 

yorkie

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It's also worth noting that not long before that professor's case, there was a couple that were travelling on a Megatrain ticket who were each given a penalty fare for stopping short at Eastleigh.
Indeed, and it's also worth noting the Penalty Fare was successfully appealed, as the NRCoC states an excess should be charged. The PF legislation does not allow a PF to be issued for breaking a journey/finishing short.
 

jkdd77

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The Conditions of Carriage defines both in the same Condition.
Those who believe that a prohibition on break of journey is also a prohibition on ending a journey at an intermediate station take the view that, in the final sentence above, "these rights" means
  • the right to start a journey at an intermediate station, and
  • the right to break a journey at intermediate station, and
  • the right to end a journey at intermediate station
But, as far as we are aware, the view that "break of journey" may be used as a shorthand for all three rights has not been tested in Court.
Yes. See Professor slapped with £155 railway fine for getting OFF the train one stop early. Note that "East Coast cancelled the fee as a 'goodwill gesture'".

My interpretation is that the professor should have been charged an excess from the amount already paid (possibly less an administration fee?) to the cheapest walk-up single available on that train, which would presumably have been a First Anytime Single anyway.

As such, it is arguable that the UFN was incorrectly issued, being made amount for the wrong amount, in failing to take account of the money already paid.
 

All Line Rover

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The Conditions of Carriage defines both in the same Condition.

Those who believe that a prohibition on break of journey is also a prohibition on ending a journey at an intermediate station take the view that, in the final sentence above, "these rights" means
  • the right to start a journey at an intermediate station, and
  • the right to break a journey at intermediate station, and
  • the right to end a journey at intermediate station
But, as far as we are aware, the view that "break of journey" may be used as a shorthand for all three rights has not been tested in Court.

This is an interesting interpretation of the rules which I have not considered before.

If you break something, you end up with at least two parts, so logically a break of journey does NOT involve starting or finishing short.

The way the NRCOC says "these rights MAY not apply to some types of tickets for which a break of journey is prohibited, in which case the relevant Train Companies will make this clear in their notices and other publications" means that it can be interpreted in two ways. The first interpretation is that all of the rights (starting, breaking and resuming or ending at journey at an intermediate station) do not apply because only some tickets may prohibit a break of journey. The alternative interpretation, which is more favourable to the consumer, is that the right to start and/or finish short may not apply when a break of journey is prohibited, meaning that sometimes the right to start and/or finish short does still apply when a break of journey is prohibited.

If the NRCoC was definitely referring to the first interpretation, why is it not worded like this?...

"Certain tickets prohibit a break of journey, in which case the relevant Train Companies will make this clear in their notices and other publications. When a break of journey is prohibited, you may not start, break and resume, or end your journey at any intermediate station."​

...That wording would be much more watertight.

The second interpretation implies that for starting/finishing short to be prohibited, this must be made clear by the TOC's, in addition to the break of journey restriction. Which means that when NRE and Avantix Traveller say "BOJ: No" this does not automatically mean that starting/finishing short is prohibited, unless this is mentioned elsewhere. The ONLY time when this is the case is for Advance tickets, where it is clearly stated that "You may not start, break and resume, or end your journey at any intermediate station except to change to/from connecting trains as shown on the ticket(s) or other valid travel itinerary."

This is not the case for Super-Off-Peak and Off-Peak tickets, so I have come to the conclusion that a BoJ restriction does not automatically prohibit starting/finishing short when using these ticket types. Obviously this is not the interpretation that the TOC's prefer, but as a BoJ is not defined in the NRCoC, nor is it made clear that a BoJ automatically prohibits starting/finishing short, I doubt that a TOC could (legitimately) charge an excess fare or prosecute someone for doing so.
 

MarkyMarkD

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From a consumer's point of view I would agree with you. But in fact most of us probably know that if you look at the fare restrictions, whilst there is a "BOJ: Yes" or "BOJ: No", there is not a field which says "Start short: Yes" or "Finish short: Yes".

Accordingly, I think it is actually ATOC's intent that BOJ means all three.

It would be a very easy thing for them to update NRCOC accordingly, by defining break of journey as meaning all three.
 

All Line Rover

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It would be a very easy thing for them to update NRCOC accordingly, by defining break of journey as meaning all three.

It is not "very easy" to update the NRCoC, as it is such an important document.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
From a consumer's point of view I would agree with you. But in fact most of us probably know that if you look at the fare restrictions, whilst there is a "BOJ: Yes" or "BOJ: No", there is not a field which says "Start short: Yes" or "Finish short: Yes".

Accordingly, I think it is actually ATOC's intent that BOJ means all three.

Of course it is ATOC's intent, but what I'm saying is that from a technical perspective, I don't think such a rule (preventing starting/finishing short) could be enforced on any ticket except where this is explicitly mentioned, such as on Advance and Megatrain tickets.
 

benk1342

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If you break something, you end up with at least two parts, so logically a break of journey does NOT involve starting or finishing short.

I disagree with this. Consider the sentence: "She broke our date."

On the other hand, "She broke out date" means she cancelled the date. On this interpretation I guess not travelling at all could theoretically subject you to an excess fare for breaking the journey, but that excess would be £0 as not travelling at all is free. :)

So instead consider: "She broke our engagement." or "She broke her wedding vows."

Also, if breaking necessarily implied resuming then the use of the words "and resume" in the NRCoC would be rendered meaningless. When interpreting a contract you must strive to give meaning to all the words.
 

All Line Rover

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I disagree with this. Consider the sentence: "She broke our date."

On the other hand, "She broke out date" means she cancelled the date. On this interpretation I guess not travelling at all could theoretically subject you to an excess fare for breaking the journey, but that excess would be £0 as not travelling at all is free. :)

So instead consider: "She broke our engagement." or "She broke her wedding vows."

Also, if breaking necessarily implied resuming then the use of the words "and resume" in the NRCoC would be rendered meaningless. When interpreting a contract you must strive to give meaning to all the words.

That's a fair point, but as the NRCoC does not define what a BoJ is, it would be difficult, if not impossible, to enforce such an interpretation.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
What I mean is that as part of a fares review or any other significant review, such as the laughable "simplification", this could have been clarified. As with a number of things it seems that clarity isn't really the intention.

Oh, I thoroughly agree. :) Which is why I had reservations about mentioning this, as this issue is much more likely to be "clarified" if everyone goes around starting/finishing short claiming that their interpretation of the NRCoC is correct. ;)
 

benk1342

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That's a fair point, but as the NRCoC does not define what a BoJ is, it would be difficult, if not impossible, to enforce such an interpretation.

No contract defines every word that appears in it. When a word isn't defined, and its meaning is not clear from the context, you fall back on the law of contract construction. One such rule is that you must read the contract in such a way that gives meaning to all the words, if possible. In other words, you have to assume that every word was included for a reason.
 

hairyhandedfool

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If ATOC (or the TOCs) wanted to close that interpretation they wouldn't need to adjust the NRCoC, they'd just have to adjust the ticket T&Cs.
 

DaveNewcastle

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No contract defines every word that appears in it. When a word isn't defined, and its meaning is not clear from the context, you fall back on the law of contract construction. One such rule is that you must read the contract in such a way that gives meaning to all the words, if possible. In other words, you have to assume that every word was included for a reason.
That this post (and your previous post) is a very good piece of general advice which we should all remember.

I say this because I have seen a tendency for some people on here to treat Railway Regulations and Conditions as a playground in which interpretations can be drawn on the whim of the individual. Perhaps wishing to find the construction that they hope for or to undermine the application of the Regulations.

Whilst I have seen our Higher Courts asked to analyse Contracts in the most convoluted and even perverted manner and even taking days to do so, it beggars belief that any Railway passenger will ever enjoy the opportunity to have such attentive and expensive arguments applied to their choice of tickets. (Unless they suffered a fatality or other grave liability).

The need to read down the whole Contract to understand its terms is fundamental.
 

Username

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Once I book, am I restricted to the specific times I booked (like an advance).

In short, no.

Once you book you will be restricted only in the sense that the date of outward travel has been set and changes to the date of outward travel are not permitted. This does not however mean that you are restricted to any specific service you may have booked - e.g. you may reserve seats on the 10.41 service from Glasgow Queen Street to Aberdeen on Wednesday the 9th of May for your outward journey but change your plans and travel on an earlier or later service departing Glasgow Queen Street on the 9th of May, so long as you keep to the peak time restrictions.

Reservations are not compulsory with this ticket and staff will not ask to see any. They will require to see the supporting voucher from the paper but that is all.

If I'm NOT restricted to specific trains, am I restricted to my booked return date? Or can I come back a different day (within 1 month, like an offpeak return) ?

You may return within one calender month from the date of outward travel and there is no requirement to specify this return date at the time of purchase. Simply leave the return date box on the supporting voucher empty until the day you wish to travel.

- Does the BOJ restriction work like I understand the BOJ restriction? That you can't start short, or break and resume your journey; but you can legally break your journey and NOT resume - ie you can stop short.

There may BE no answer. Scotrail may have come up with the conditions leaflet and thought "job done" not realising that there are unanswered questions that could cause a problem when the TM meets a ticket he has not been fully briefed on, or for which he has only the same printout to go on as I have (or my printout is the first one he has seen).

To an extent it depends where and when you intend to stop short as to whether any restriction could or would be enforced. If it is an unbarriered station then there is little to worry about - train staff are unlikely to even notice, let alone care, that you alight before your stated destination. Certainly, no conductor is going to chase you down and tackle you on the platform.

At a barriered station it may come down to the time of day as to whether anyone cares or bats an eyelid. For example, on this ticket type you can travel to Glasgow on the 07.14 service from Inverurie as it arrives in Glasgow after 09.30. However you cannot travel to Dundee on this same service as it arrives in Dundee at 08.53. It would not be permitted to circumvent these time restrictions by purchasing a ticket to Glasgow but stop short at Dundee and I would expect the gateline staff at Dundee to enforce that.

If however you were travelling at a later time outwith the restriction then they may not even think twice about it.

In short they're more likely to be clued up on the time restrictions than they are on the break of journey restrictions.

Overnighting

If I book a long journey I will get a journey split over two days, and in those circumstances going to a hotel does not count as a BOJ. I've tested this on the special booking page for this ticket, and it works, but you get to the break station superlate (don't mind that) and it gives you a train the next morning at sparrowfart (I definitely DO mind).

Does anyone know whether if I book by phone or at a station, I will be able (without it being a BOJ) to choose a "resume next morning" train at a more reasonable time? The need to avoid a BOJ may make this different from the normal "resume next morning" rule (whatever that is now) which is purely about extending the validity date.

Best answer to that is the old "suck it and see" one. Chances are the online booking engine will assume you wish to continue on the first available service. A real person may appreciate the comfort to be found in a slightly longer lie in bed. Try calling and see what they say.

I wouldn't have thought any online booking service should be offering services too early anyway given the "not arriving before 09.30" restriction. Then again it would depend on whether travel was at a weekend (no such restriction) or what you consider "sparrowfart"

Return after expiry date (no issue for me)

The "expiry" date is 31 May and the return journey can be up to a month later than the outward journey. There were problems a couple of years ago with Club55 over this. I thought that this time they would have been explicit about the return : "the return journey must be on or before the 31 May" OR "the return journey may be after the 31 May provided it is less than one month after the outward journey". The booking form follows the second interpretation.

However, this should not be a problem on the train, because the return coupon will specify a date. I wonder if this will be the model for the next Club55 conditions.

This flat fare promotion is in fact modeled on the Club 55 promotion and is aligned with the same terms and restrictions. Amazingly enough the company did learn something from the Club 55 validity debacle of a few years ago and whilst the sale of these promotional tickets stop on a specified date the validity of the return portion is as stated on the ticket.

In other words you cannot purchase the promotional ticket after May 31st but if you purchase a ticket on May 31st, you must complete your outward travel by the end of the day but then you still have the usual calender month to complete your return journey.

The purpose of the voucher (with dates) is simply to prevent it's re-use. You can use the promotion as many times as you wish but a new voucher must be used each time you wish to purchase tickets - primarily to drive sales of the paper I'd imagine. It'll be for this same reason that photocopies of the voucher are not acceptable. The Sainsbury promotion worked along the same lines, requiring a fresh voucher with each set of tickets.
The Club 55 promotion differs from both of these in that there is no third party retailer looking to promote their sales so I don't see the Club 55 ever going down the voucher route.

The Scotrail 19quid offer explicitly bars BOJ, but does not mention stopping short.

Does anyone know if barring BOJ automatically bars stopping short?

Even if it doesn't officially bar stopping short, might I still have trouble in practice, from gateline staff not letting me out of an intermediate station (on the grounds that leaving the station IS a BOJ, regardless of the fact that I won't be resuming my journey, and wouldn't be allowed to by the TM anyway ?

Could I be asked to pay some kind of penalty for attempting to leave the station?

It would be safer to operate under the impression that no break of journey includes no finishing short but as I've said above, it's more likely to raise a flag if you appear to be breaking your journey to get around the time restrictions which apply to this ticket.

As stated, Monday to Friday customers can travel on all services except those arriving into Glasgow Queen Street, Glasgow Central, Edinburgh Waverley, Haymarket, Dundee or Aberdeen before 09.30.

Journeys which involve a change at the above stations before 09.30 will also be restricted. For example, a passenger travelling from Edinburgh to Fort William will not be able to travel on a service from Edinburgh which is scheduled to arrive into Glasgow before 09.30.

Journeys which do not involve a change, but which pass through the above stations before 09.30 are permitted. For example, a passenger travelling from Edinburgh to Aberdeen will be able to pass through Dundee before 09.30 so long as the service they are travelling on is not scheduled to arrive into Aberdeen before 09.30
 

All Line Rover

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If ATOC (or the TOCs) wanted to close that interpretation they wouldn't need to adjust the NRCoC, they'd just have to adjust the ticket T&Cs.

I agree. Although I still don't think that the NRCoC is watertight enough to prevent someone from agreeing with the second interpretation, it would only take a new line of "start/finish short: No" in NRE and Avantix Traveller to clarify matters.
 

monty9120

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i asked london midland why if i went from stourbridge to watford and stourbridge to euston. using the same trains it costs £8 to watford and £3 something to euston. apparentely all advanced fares arent avaliable on all routes

so even though i can get a ticket further for cheaper i may be fined getting off early. seems silly really
 

jkdd77

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I believe that there was a case reported on MSE (possibly by Fare-Cop) a few years ago, where a person bought a then-Saver Return, "stopped short" on the outward leg [with no intention of "resuming" his journey], refused to pay the excess fare demanded, and was successfully prosecuted for fare evasion.

I don't know how the defendant pleaded, and, if it was a not guilty plea, what sort of defence was put up.

It does act as a reminder that, even if the more generous interpretation of "BoJ" is arguable, the cards (and relevant criminal laws) are stacked heavily in favour of the TOCs in practice.

I would certainly not advise "starting short" or "finishing short" on a flexible ticket that prohibits BoJ, unless perchance the passenger has a spare £60,000 lying around ready to hire a top QC to appeal by case stated (on the interpretation of BoJ) to the High Court following a conviction for fare evasion, and frankly would not advise it even in those circumstances.
 

benk1342

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That's a fair point, but as the NRCoC does not define what a BoJ is, it would be difficult, if not impossible, to enforce such an interpretation.

Just flipping through the NRCoC for another purpose and noticed this:

NRCoC 16 said:
For the purposes of this Condition ... you will be treated as breaking your journey if you leave a Train Company’s or Rail Service Company’s stations after you start your journey....
(Emphasis added.)

In other words, the NRCoC does define breaking as leaving, without any reference to resuming.
 

All Line Rover

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Just flipping through the NRCoC for another purpose and noticed this:


(Emphasis added.)

In other words, the NRCoC does define breaking as leaving, without any reference to resuming.

That's a good point, although I'm surprised that starting short is not mentioned. In any case, there are ways to get around that, but not ways that I would want to disclose publicly. ;)
 
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