Guards selling split tickets which aren't valid and without explanation

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sheff1

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Recently I was on a Hope Valley stopper and someone boarded at Chinley and asked for a day return ticket to Manchester. Completely unprompted, the guard said he would issue two tickets as that would be cheaper. He then issued a return Chinley to Strines followed by one from Strines to Manchester.

The passenger was confused and asked what was happening. The guard explained that 2 tickets cost less than one and they should always ask for this when travelling ...
... but the train we were on did not stop at Strines so the ticket was not actually valid*. More worryingly, the guard did not explain that the tickets would only be valid for the return journey if the train stopped at Strines - most don't; the last one which does is the 1749; and some (e.g. the 1743 & 2228) don't even pass through Strines.

I suppose the fact that the tickets were issued on a train that didn't stop would assist if the passenger was challenged on the return (most likely on one of the EMT services) but, although he was obviously trying to be helpful, it seems wrong that the guard could potentially cause the passenger to travel illegally later in the day by issuing something the passenger hadn't asked for and quite clearly did not understand.

* I understand that, by selling it, the guard had effecticely given authority to travel on that train
 
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TheEdge

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Ladies and gentlement, the exact reason I utterly hate split tickets and the obsession on this site of them being offered by default.

Retail staff are strung up on here when someone says they were not offered a split but then they are strung up when they do sell them.
 

Deerfold

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Ladies and gentlement, the exact reason I utterly hate split tickets and the obsession on this site of them being offered by default.

Retail staff are strung up on here when someone says they were not offered a split but then they are strung up when they do sell them.

I don't think there's a problem with being annoyed by not being able to buy a split, but also being annoyed by people selling split tickets without explaining what they are or when they're valid. I wouldn't expect to be sold one I wasn't hadn't asked for.

When people are recommended them on here they're almost always given a full explanation on how to use them - and most people asking on here are looking for something other than the advice they'd get from a booking office or National Rail or they'd just use them.
 

Solent&Wessex

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but then they are strung up when they do sell them.

No, they are being strung up for not selling one correctly.

I would have no problem in someone selling one, but they must do it correctly. Most don't - and ticket offices are just as bad. Merseyrail ticket offices will sell someone with a Merseyrail ticket or pass a ticket from the boundary to Manchester, normally NLW, but give them a journey itinerary that shows them going on a train which doesn't stop or even go near NLW. Lots of ticket offices and guards / STM staff round Manchester will sell people with GM passes a ticket from the boundary to where ever they are going - i.e. Blackrod to Preston, Greenfield to Leeds, but then give them times and a print out to go on the TPE services which don't stop or in some cases go past the boundary. I had one today who was travelling from somewhere the other side of Manchester in GM land to York. He had been sold a Littleborough to York Rte Via Halifax Return, but had been given a timetable print out from the same machine at the same time which showed a journey to Piccadilly, then Piccadilly to York direct on the fast TPE which stops only at Huddersfield and Lds on the way.

Fine, save someone a few pounds, but don't give them completely incorrect information in the process. Either do it right or don't do it all.

I do not offer them by default, but will do sometimes for some journeys. But I always check the stopping pattern of the trains and advise accordingly, and will sometimes endorse return portions to say that the restrictions have been advised, to stop the "the bloke who sold me the ticket said it would be ok" brigade.
 

yorkie

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Retail staff are strung up on here when someone says they were not offered a split....
By who? When? To avoid going off-topic, please PM me.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
.... I had one today who was travelling from somewhere the other side of Manchester in GM land to York. He had been sold a Littleborough to York Rte Via Halifax Return, but had been given a timetable print out from the same machine at the same time which showed a journey to Piccadilly, then Piccadilly to York direct on the fast TPE which stops only at Huddersfield and Lds on the way.....
Presumably that'd be a TIR sent to the issuing TOC (I think we can all guess which TOC ;))
 

RJ

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Sometimes it's a pain in the rear when people try to be "helpful", if they don't know what they are talking about. Hope the punter didn't come to any grief in this instance..
 

yorkie

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I this case, that is all that really matters.
If it was a single, yes of course.

But not for a return, the return portion of which would be valid on trains operated by a train company whose Guards are likely to take issue with it!
 

najaB

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If it was a single, yes of course.

But not for a return, the return portion of which would be valid on trains operated by a train company whose Guards are likely to take issue with it!
I suppose that might be a problem if there were no available trains that stop at the splitting point.
 

maniacmartin

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I suppose that might be a problem if there were no available trains that stop at the splitting point.

I think you are missing the point, that the average passenger will not be well versed in the NRCoC, and will not necessarily know that the train not have to stop at the splitting point. In fact, given they were sold a split that didn't stop at the splitting point on the outbound journey, they may well be led by the guard's actions to believe that it is valid to sail straight through.
 

AlterEgo

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Apart from anything else, it's also a breach of the TSA to sell split tickets without them being requested first.
 

AM9

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As a related question, what would happen if somebody held a valid pair of split tickets and the train was cancelled? Getting on the next available train wouldn't be a problem as the NRCoCs allow for that, - even with advances. If the next train, (or any subsequent on that day didn't stop at the 'ticket transfer' station), would the passenger be penalised for not complying with whichever bit of rule 19 applied?
 
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yorkie

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As a related question, what would happen if somebody held a valid pair of split tickets and the train was cancelled? Getting on the next available train wouldn't be a problem as the NRCoCs allow for that, - even with advances. If the next train, (or any subsequent on that day didn't stop at the 'ticket transfer' station), would the passenger be penalised for not complying with whichever bit of rule 19 applied?
My advice is to seek staff advice.

It is unlikely that the relevant company would expose itself to further liabilities in the form of increased Delay Repay payments, but it is a possibility.

I do feel that both parties should act reasonably to determine if delay can be minimised, as it will often benefit both the customer and the relevant train company/companies.

Of course, the matter may be more problematical if it does involve multiple train companies.
 

sheff1

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In this case, that is all that really matters.

But it isn't. As I thought I had made clear, any problem would arise on the return journey.

Considering the time the ticket was sold, it was very likely that the passenger would have returned after the last train which stops at both Strines & Chinley had departed.
 

hairyhandedfool

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Apart from anything else, it's also a breach of the TSA to sell split tickets without them being requested first.

I'm afraid that isn't true, in fact the TSA names occasions where multiple tickets should be offered, provided it meets the needs of the passenger and is retailed in an impartial manner.

However, it would be true to say that a through fare should be offered in any situation where one exists and a passenger has not specifically asked for a particular fare.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
As a related question, what would happen if somebody held a valid pair of split tickets and the train was cancelled? Getting on the next available train wouldn't be a problem as the NRCoCs allow for that, - even with advances. If the next train, (or any subsequent on that day didn't stop at the 'ticket transfer' station), would the passenger be penalised for not complying with whichever bit of rule 19 applied?

Contrary to popular belief, not all rail staff are complete b*****ds. Usually I'd advise speaking to a member of staff, ideally one who is ticket trained, but if possible, have a word with the guard of the train you are considering using. Provided the train isn't packed out, most Guards are pretty reasonable, especially in times of disruption.

I wouldn't recommend just jumping onboard and waiting to be discovered though, that might end badly.
 

Doctor Fegg

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Apart from anything else, it's also a breach of the TSA to sell split tickets without them being requested first.

Out of interest, can you point me to the paragraph in the TSA where this is stated?
 

AM9

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Contrary to popular belief, not all rail staff are complete b*****ds. Usually I'd advise speaking to a member of staff, ideally one who is ticket trained, but if possible, have a word with the guard of the train you are considering using. Provided the train isn't packed out, most Guards are pretty reasonable, especially in times of disruption.

I wouldn't recommend just jumping onboard and waiting to be discovered though, that might end badly.

Whoa there! I wasn't intimating anything negative about any of the ticket inspecting staff. My question was simply a supplementary on split ticketing arising from the OP's position. It's just about an indeterminate situation regarding the need to stop where two tickets 'meet'. I was just wondering what an inspector (maybe an RPO), would do when presented with a pair of tickets where the passenger left from a a minimally staffed station, boarding a DOO train. In the south-east, it's quite possible to travel quite complicated journeys, not interacting with anybody who is likely to know what to do. Add in the complications of skip-stop services, the scenario that I postulated cold occur.
 

hairyhandedfool

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Whoa there! I wasn't intimating anything negative about any of the ticket inspecting staff. My question was simply a supplementary on split ticketing arising from the OP's position. It's just about an indeterminate situation regarding the need to stop where two tickets 'meet'. I was just wondering what an inspector (maybe an RPO), would do when presented with a pair of tickets where the passenger left from a a minimally staffed station, boarding a DOO train. In the south-east, it's quite possible to travel quite complicated journeys, not interacting with anybody who is likely to know what to do. Add in the complications of skip-stop services, the scenario that I postulated cold occur.

Sorry, it was a long day and I was probably too tired to be writing posts. It probably could have done with a smiley or two here and there. Yeah, I can imagine in Penalty Fare areas it'd be a struggle to find people in some/many cases, I didn't consider that.
 

Merseysider

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out of interest, can you point me to the paragraph in the TSA where this is stated?
Forgive the lack of capital letters in places. The editing page decided it'd be a great idea to convert everything into lowercase for no bloody reason.

PART VI: Retailing Standards
6-25 RIGHTS AND RESTRICTIONS said:
(1) obligations of the operator making the sale
when selling a rail product, an operator must not say or do anything which is inconsistent with the rights and restrictions, the national rail conditions of carriage and/or any other conditions which apply to the rail product.
(2) awareness of the purchaser
an operator which sells a fare (otherwise than through a self-service tim) must take reasonable steps to ensure that the purchaser is aware, before the sale takes place, of the rights and restrictions that apply to the fare.

6-30 THE IMPARTIALITY OBLIGATION said:
(1) the general rule
(a) an operator which sells fares, or provides information about them, on a train or at an impartial point of sale or an impartial information centre must act fairly and impartially between operators. Any such information that is provided must be factual, accurate and impartial.
...
(d) operators must accurately sell to purchasers the fares appropriate for the journey described by the purchasers.
...
(2) specific requirements
...
(e) the operator must not give any information which it knows to be inaccurate or misleading. The operator must not give any opinion which is not based on verifiable fact.
...
(3) requirement to offer a full range of fares
(a) if an operator offers a fare for sale at a ticket office at a station at which it is the lead retailer or on a train or at an internet site or at a telephone sales office or at a site that is an impartial point of sale, it must also offer for sale all fares relating to that flow which have similar rights and restrictions, including those which entitle the purchaser to use other operators' trains.

6-31 MATCHING OF FARES TO PRODUCE A THROUGH JOURNEY said:
the operator must use its reasonable endeavours to ensure that the combined fares meet the purchaser's requirements.

6-34 ROUTEING GUIDE said:
an operator must ensure that:
(a) a purchaser and a potential purchaser of a fare can obtain information about the permitted routes for the corresponding flow;

6-37 STAFF said:
(1) competence
each operator must ensure that its staff who work at an impartial point of sale or an impartial information centre:-
(a) have received appropriate training in each operator’s timetable and about rail products which are offered for sale there or about which information is available there; and
(b) are competent to advise customers correctly so as to achieve compliance with clause 6-30 above.
(2) customer service skills
each operator must ensure that all its staff who work at an impartial point of sale or an impartial information centre receive adequate training in customer service and sales skills, so as to achieve compliance with clause 6-36(1) above.
 
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Starmill

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I have seen people within Manchester to Chinley split at New Mills Central before on the TransPennine service that stops at Chinley and doesn't go via New Mills at all. I don't think a check of tickets reached them though.
 

najaB

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Apart from anything else, it's also a breach of the TSA to sell split tickets without them being requested first.
Out of interest, can you point me to the paragraph in the TSA where this is stated?
PART VI: Retailing Standards...
I may be being dense, but I can't see how this prevents selling split tickets without them being asked for, though I can see that having sold them the seller is obligated to explain how to use them.
 

AlterEgo

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I may be being dense, but I can't see how this prevents selling split tickets without them being asked for, though I can see that having sold them the seller is obligated to explain how to use them.

The essential premise of impartiality is that an agent of a TOC (say a clerk or a guard) is supposed to act without favour or disfavour to any TOC. He also cannot proactively suggest ways to undercut the through fare - this is not impartial behaviour. He can, as HHF says upthread, sell split tickets where they are specifically requested, or sell them where there is no alternative but to, for example where no through fare exists.

Basically, if you get LM clerks advising Virgin customers at MKC that splitting at Crewe is going to save them money, even if they advise the restrictions and caveats properly, this is not impartial retailing and falls foul of the underlying principle. (The underlying principle basically holds together all TOCs as equals in a "one railway" kinda way)

Customers picking holes in the system is fine and legal and I wholeheartedly support people who do this. But railway staff proactively picking holes in the railway's fares system is not okay.

A website is not an impartial retailing outlet and so websites may indeed suggest splits. (the excellent folks at Trainsplit for example)
 

najaB

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The essential premise of impartiality is that an agent of a TOC (say a clerk or a guard) is supposed to act without favour or disfavour to any TOC. He also cannot proactively suggest ways to undercut the through fare - this is not impartial behaviour.
I suppose it is a matter of how the rules are interpreted. In your example I can see the potential conflict, but what if there isn't another TOC involved? Scotrail ticket offices quite regularly offer splits for Scotrail priced routes.
 

AlterEgo

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I suppose it is a matter of how the rules are interpreted. In your example I can see the potential conflict, but what if there isn't another TOC involved? Scotrail ticket offices quite regularly offer splits for Scotrail priced routes.

Then I agree it's certainly a grey area, if only in situations where the issuing TOC takes 100% of the revenue on a TOC specific ticket. Pricing the route doesn't mean the TOC gets all the money under ORCATS. Better safe than sorry in my view, but I appreciate your point.
 
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embers25

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If it was a single, yes of course.

But not for a return, the return portion of which would be valid on trains operated by a train company whose Guards are likely to take issue with it!

Also what if barrier staff saw the ticket and queried that the train didn't stop at Strines. I realise Northern would eventually stop any prosecution but still not greeat to create the potential issue in the first place.
 

Merseysider

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Also what if barrier staff saw the ticket and queried that the train didn't stop at Strines. I realise Northern would eventually stop any prosecution but still not greeat to create the potential issue in the first place.
Honestly, the chances of that first bit happening are very low. Most barrier staff of Northern are subbed STM folk who don't always know where the train's actually come from. I've had some truly ridiculous tickets approved when going through Picc's staffed entrances, such as Birkenhead -> Liverpool, Lancaster -> Morecambe, and Belle Vue -> Buxton when alighting an ex-Buxton train. Given Strines is actually remotely near Manchester it'd be passed whatever the other station on the ticket is. ;)
 
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