Gatwick Express to Victoria with Super Off-Peak Brighton to London Z1-6 travelcard?

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by Bungaroosh, 27 Apr 2015.

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  1. Bungaroosh

    Bungaroosh Member

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    Hello,

    I wonder if anyone can point me in the direction of a definitive answer.

    I will be travelling with a Super Off-Peak Day Travelcard from Brighton to London Zones 1-6 (Route: ANY PERMITTED).

    I need to drop off a hire car at Gatwick around 22:30 and then jump on a train to London Victoria (eventual destination Wembley Park London Underground station). I'm in quite a hurry to get to the destination as it's quite late and I'll have to start work early the next morning.

    There is an array of Gatwick Express and Southern trains of varying speeds around that time, but ideally, I'd like to hop on a Gatwick Express if there's one leaving around the time I can get to Gatwick station after dropping off the hire car etc.

    With the ticket detailed above, can I travel on a Gatwick Express train from Gatwick to Victoria at that time?

    Regarding "Break of Journey" on Super Off-Peak Tickets, Southern Railways' website has this to say:

    It's not all that clear, and there are some reasonably quick Southern services around that time (and some slow ones), but it'd be great if I can just use a Gatwick Express if there's one there without incurring a penalty fare.

    Many thanks in advance for any pointers.
     
  2. higthomas

    higthomas Member

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    Break of journey is allowed on either (there seem to be different prices on weekends) Super off-peak ticket. You can use Gatwick express services.

    Edit: Also, looking in the Gatwick Express passenger charter I found this statement:
    What are they on about?
     
    Last edited: 27 Apr 2015
  3. Bungaroosh

    Bungaroosh Member

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  4. talldave

    talldave Established Member

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    Simple answer is they're incompetent. It took them over 5 months to fix an error on their website stating what time Off-peak tickets are valid from. Even then, they fixed the desktop site but not the mobile one. Total muppets.
     
  5. Bungaroosh

    Bungaroosh Member

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    Hmm, I just tweeted them and they replied "Am afraid Super off peak is not valid on Gatwick express."

    :/

    I would love to know if the ticket in post #1 is valid on a late night Gatwick to Victoria train, well out of peak hours. Super Off-Peak returns/travelcards from Brighton in any case only differ from Off-Peak with regard to Super Off-Peak having restricted late afternoon/early evening hours from London back to Brighton.

    I don't want to go through the rigmarole of a penalty fare but don't see whether there's a real need to buy a dedicated Gatwick Express ticket. It's a bit of an unusual situation as the fast Brighton to Victoria off-peak trains [currently] don't stop at Gatwick.
     
    Last edited: 27 Apr 2015
  6. Kite159

    Kite159 Established Member

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    They don't know what they are on about, a super off peak return from Brighton to London Terminals is valid on the Southern trains which are branded as Gatwick Express.

    Southern are trying to claim that Gatwick Express branded trains are a premium product as they take a couple minutes faster to get to Victoria than a regular service which calls at East Croydon & Clapham.
     
  7. Bungaroosh

    Bungaroosh Member

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    Thanks Kite.

    It's just that I have to "break my journey" at Gatwick airport (returning a hire car) and then get on a dedicated regular Gatwick [only] to Victoria only Gatwick Express at around 10:30pm. Normally nobody would bother breaking a Brighton to Victoria journey at Gatwick at those times, but a break of journey is permitted according to their website.

    I might just have to hope I can catch the fast Southern 22:27 train (32 mins to Victoria). I wish there was a definitive answer as to whether the ticket is valid on Gatwick Express though!
     
  8. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    And this nonsense is what causes regular Southern trains to be full of luggage piled in doorways rather than sensibly placed in luggage racks in trains intended for the purpose.

    It should really be the same price.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    A check of brfares.com would suggest to me it is valid...but don't be surprised if you get arguments.
     
  9. Kite159

    Kite159 Established Member

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    Agreed, get rid of the "premium" for a non-stop service, or even having it stop only at Clapham (i.e. skipping East Croydon) (maybe even having a couple service start from Clapham using P16/P17), and encourage passengers heading to Gatwick to use it
     
    Last edited: 27 Apr 2015
  10. talldave

    talldave Established Member

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    The ticket will open the barriers at both ends (as it's Any Permitted), so you won't have to have an argument with any of the redcoat gestapo team.

    Again, don't expect any common sense or correct answers out of Southern's Customer service team. There is at least one sane person there (Yorkie knows who), but the majority of the time, they answer with complete gobbledegook. My latest email saga is one which I am just going to have to reply "I give up", since they fail to read what you write and answer with completely irrelevant cut & pasted comments, prefixed with an apology for it taking them so long to not read your email and paste together an inappropriate reply.

    Presumably, with the limited characters of Twitter, they have to work doubly hard to compress their incorrect answers and gobbledegook?!!
     
  11. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Southern's Gatwick Express route is no different to any of their other routes, apart from it uses heritage rolling stock which can also be found on some Brighton Express route services and selected trains to Eastbourne. The only other difference is that the trains which do not run through to Brighton are generally empty in the coaches furthest from London, so you can get a coach to yourself.

    Unfortunately a small, but vocal, number of Southern staff make all sorts of false claims about their Gatwick Express route. You can ignore claims such as the one above. Some of them may even purport to a fictional company of the same name as the company that used to run this route, before it was transferred to Southern, which ceased trading in 2008.

    if you are given a penalty fare it would be invalid for two reasons:
    1) the ticket is valid
    2) you cannot be given a penalty fare for this reason.

    If you are incorrectly charged, I am absolutely confident we'll get you not just your money back, but further compensation.

    I have a 100% record in getting forum members refunded/compensated when they've incorrectly been charged, you have a PM.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    If you want to ask Southern a question regarding ticketing on Twitter, wait until Huw is on. He is very helpful and knows his stuff, and is the only one I know of who is good.
     
  12. bb21

    bb21 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Your ticket is valid on Gatwick Express services as others have mentioned.

    I think the reference to "Anytime only" refers only to London - Gatwick fares. Different arrangements apply when your tickets are to/from Three Bridges and further. (Isn't our ticketing system wonderfully simple? ;))
     
  13. jkdd77

    jkdd77 Member

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    For what's worth, I don't believe the purported BoJ restriction is enforceable, regardless of whether the ticket purchased is a (Super Off-Peak) Travelcard or Day Return, since:
    1) The Southern website offers confusing and contradictory information on the question on BoJ, and the note in the corner on brfares.com (itself an unofficial website) is not made publicly available from any official site;
    2) The terms that are incorporated into the contract are established at the point of purchase, and the actual T & Cs made available from the 'information box' at the point of purchase on the Southern website (and on other websites), expressly state that BoJ is permitted on Super Off-Peak tickets unless the restriction code states otherwise;
    3) The relevant restriction code (usually PB): http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/times_fares/ticket_types/63469.aspx carries no restriction on BoJ, and:
    4) Condition 16 of the NRCoC states that BoJ is permitted unless it is made clear to the contrary when the ticket is purchased, and, given the above, the purported restriction cannot reasonably be said to have been made clear.
     
    Last edited: 28 Apr 2015
  14. Bungaroosh

    Bungaroosh Member

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    Thanks everyone! I got on and off the 2250 Gatwick Express without anyone checking my ticket and the barriers at both ends happily let me through.

    As Gatwick is between Brighton and London, and as the Any Permitted travelcard allows a break of journey, there shouldn't have been a problem, but I hadn't been looking forward to the prospect of a wrangle with a ticket inspector.

    Those refurbished 1980s trains by the way: I *really* like them as a Brighton to London train (smooth, quiet, comfortable, lots of legroom), yet as an airport express service they are totally unfit for purpose: very high step up to single-width doors and minimal baggage space. A good many airport travellers would struggle getting suitcases on and off without assistance. Also they're rammed with Sussex commuters on a morning/evening.
    I love them as fast Brighton to London trains though - better than the Electrostars with the green seats

    I've a feeling this circumstance might arise again as it's often a good deal to hire cars from Gatwick rather than Brighton (cheaper prices and much longer opening hours and open on Sundays and bank holidays). Armed with your collective expert advice I'll make the trip with a lot less trepidation about a potential discussion with a ticket inspector next time.

    Many thanks again!
     
  15. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Great, I was confident the barriers would (correctly) let you through.

    As for the lack of on-board check, these trains have been driver only operated (DOO) for a long time, but used to have on-board ticket inspectors who would be happy to sell people tickets but also used to quibble over tickets they didn't like (but would back down if you knew your stuff, for example if you produced a Southern route map :lol:), however they were ditched by Southern in favour of ticket barriers (the barriers were a franchise commitment), which was a backwards step in my opinion, but it means less arguing.
    It's been a very long time since a forum member had a dispute with a ticket inspector on board Southern's Gatwick Express route, despite tickets being used that the inspectors may not like, as on-board ticket inspections are incredibly rare these days.
    Agreed.
    Glad we could help!:)
     
  16. talldave

    talldave Established Member

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    Just for my understanding, if you were returning a hire care, then surely you were starting short - in that you drove part of the way and only picked up the train at Gatwick. Therefore, you didn't break your journey? Or have I misunderstood (highly probable).

    PS: I couldn't agree more on the unsuitability of the 442 rolling stock for an airport service. However, you failed to mention the additional annoying interior door that closes on every other passenger whilst they attempt to disembark with their obligatory 2.4 suitcases - simply because someone couldn't be bothered to program them to lock open if the train's sat in a station.
     
  17. bb21

    bb21 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I don't think we need another thread discussing the relationship between "starting short" and "breaking journey". There are plenty already out there.
     
  18. tsr

    tsr Established Member

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    What I would add is that there are still regular ticket inspections on Gatwick Express branded services. However, they are now often (but not always) targeted in a fairly regimented manner; if you're not travelling at any of a range of specific times in specific directions, you may never see them.

    I cannot comment on whether the OP was travelling at a time when I would normally expect an inspection, but just because it didn't happen, doesn't mean it won't/wouldn't!

    I can also say that I personally have yet to see evidence that inspections are targeted based on any statistics of when people may be likely to use tickets with a given route/TOC/"brand" restriction.
     
  19. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Being over 30 years old, I doubt any of the 442 is computer controlled.
     
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