I would be prepared to pay extra to reduce the chances of a train company wrongly prosecuting me for using split tickets

yorkie

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So, to avoid a valid ticket being rejected and possibly being prosecuted, the suggestion (,which I reject) appears to be:
* Avoid combinations of tickets
* Avoid advance tickets
* Avoid (super) off peak tickets
* Allow more than the contracted interchange times

See also: https://www.railforums.co.uk/thread...euston-on-a-saturday-on-a-valid-train.203750/

My advice is to stick to your contractual rights, use a retailer that will support you. If asked to pay extra, pay it, then you have evidence of a breach of contract. Enlist the assistance of the retailer and forum members in getting redress for the breach of contract.
 
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Ianno87

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Given the NRCoT allows you to travel on a later service if you miss the connection due to a delay on the railway, I don’t see the point of making your journey longer than necessary by building in ‘robust’ connections? (assuming you have sufficient mobility to make the transfer in the minimum valid connection time).
I would build in extra time, purely just to save having an argument (even if I'm completely correct).
 

yorkie

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The fact that several people have stated they are prepared to pay extra and/or extend their journeys just to avoid an unwanted accusation that they have breached the contract, by a staff member who is themselves guilty of breaching the contract, and bringing their employer into disrepute, demonstrates just how widespread and serious the problem is.
 

Ianno87

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The fact that several people have stated they are prepared to pay extra and/or extend their journeys just to avoid an unwanted accusation that they have breached the contract, by a staff member who is themselves guilty of breaching the contract, and bringing their employer into disrepute, demonstrates just how widespread and serious the problem is.
I'm just resigned to it being a problem that's more likely to get worse than better, and symbolic of the industry's general customer-hostile attitude. Frustrating with it being something that ought to be so simple and easy to get right.
 

daodao

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I'm just resigned to it being a problem that's more likely to get worse than better, and symbolic of the industry's general customer-hostile attitude. Frustrating with it being something that ought to be so simple and easy to get right.
The UK NRCOT approach to split ticketing, that a combination of National Rail tickets can be used for a single journey and regarded as if it is a single contract, is beneficial to passengers when it is honoured. Yorkie's approach to making use of this is reasonable, particularly if one uses a supportive retailer who will provide a journey itinerary and support if problems arise. However, it is counter-intuitive, which is why it is not so simple and easy to get right, and can lead to arguments with rail officials and the risk of prosecution, as happened unfortunately to the OP on the original thread. Given the nature of my job, I cannot personally risk doing something which puts me at significant risk of prosecution, however unfounded, hence the title of this thread.
 
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robbeech

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The fact that several people have stated they are prepared to pay extra and/or extend their journeys just to avoid an unwanted accusation that they have breached the contract, by a staff member who is themselves guilty of breaching the contract, and bringing their employer into disrepute, demonstrates just how widespread and serious the problem is.
Agree but can't say i'm surprised. The fares system and the way the operators handle it is set up in a purely defensive way so that they will win more often than not. Sadly, this still isn't good enough so some staff from a number of tocs (this sort of behaviour is certainly not limited to XC) will push this further irrespective of whether this action is lawful or not. They'll likely get away with it MOST times so it's worth doing it wherever they can.

This sort of thing has been going on for years now but has really stepped up in the last couple of years as split ticketing has taken off. There is absolutely no justifiable reason why any member of revenue collecting staff on any operator will not by now have heard of split ticketing, and there is no justifiable reason why they won't have heard of the array of disputes that come from these scenarios. As such, i believe there can only be two possible reasons for a guard to refuse a set of valid split tickets in the type of scenario we discuss here. EITHER, they are greedy, and think they can pull a fast one by charging a new ticket and allowing their employer to benefit and in most cases, benefit themselves with commission on what could likely be an expensive ticket, particularly for long distance journeys where an advance was originally held, OR, they have been wrongly (deliberately or through incompetence, a discussion not for this topic) given these incorrect rules by a colleague or by senior staff and they are blindly following them. The first one should be met with disciplinary action from their employer but this rarely (i suspect never) happens because there's no incentive to penalise someone who is making you more money. The second one doesn't really wash with me anymore i'm afraid. We have had our initial cooling off period now, this is YEARS old. I'm really not convinced there can be guards out there, certainly not for long distance operators like XC that don't know that there are FREQUENT issues with these rules, any reasonable guard would be questioning this internally and looking up the rules and taking action accordingly, something that they may find difficult to do when the commission fairy is tapping on their other shoulder. This of course points us straight back to the first possibility.
 

robbeech

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The UK NRCOT approach to split ticketing, that a combination of National Rail tickets can be used for a single journey and regarded as if it is a single contract, is beneficial to passengers when it is honoured. Yorkie's approach to making use of this is reasonable, particularly if one uses a supportive retailer who will provide a journey itinerary and support if problems arise. However, it is counter-intuitive, which is why it is not so simple and easy to get right, and can lead to arguments with rail officials and the risk of prosecution, as happened unfortunately to the OP on the original thread. Given the nature of my job, I cannot personally risk doing something which puts me at risk of prosecution, however unfounded, hence the title of this thread.
And this folks, is how they do it.
 

yorkie

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Yorkie's approach to making use of this is reasonable, particularly if one uses a supportive retailer who will provide a journey itinerary and support if problems arise.
And if people book through sites such as TrainGenius, MyTrainTicket, Trainsplit etc, there are representatives on this forum and I am happy to facilitate any contact between passenger & retailer.

However, it is counter-intuitive, which is why it is not so simple and easy to get right, and can lead to arguments with rail officials and the risk of prosecution, as happened unfortunately to the OP on the original thread. Given the nature of my job, I cannot personally risk doing something which puts me at risk of prosecution, however unfounded, hence the title of this thread.
But unless you buy an Anytime fare routed Any Permitted you cannot guarantee avoiding an argument or threat of prosecution.

In practise, if you are incorrectly told your ticket isn't valid, and you agree to buy a new ticket, you are not going to be prosecuted, and can then claim redress (refund + compensation).

Furthermore, if you were prosecuted, I know of solicitors that have done a great job for forum members in the past who not only won the case but got damages from the TOC too. So you'd not lose out financially. The people at the biggest risk are those who do not appoint a suitable solicitor.

People who do not know their rights, have the right contacts, etc are at risk, but as you are a member of this forum and you can choose a retailer who I can arrange direct contact with easily, you have nothing to worry about.

This isn't about split ticketing really; see the thread about the Super Off Peak ticket being rejected at Euston. It can happen to anyone! But if you are using split tickets, buy it from a retailer that offers all tickets in one transaction and you will be given additional support and the contractual position will be abundantly clear without anyone having to even look at the NRCoT!

So I really wouldn't be paying any extra if I were you.
 

daodao

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But unless you buy an Anytime fare routed Any Permitted you cannot guarantee avoiding an argument or threat of prosecution.
My initial post was primarily about split ticketing. There are no certainties, but it is about relative risk, so in terms of likelihood mainly (but not exclusively) applies to advance tickets for the 2nd or subsequent portion of a "split-ticketed" journey, or for time-limited (e.g. off peak) tickets in the same situation when a delayed 1st segment would mean that the 2nd or subsequent portion of the journey would now be in the peak period. Other issues such as a Super Off Peak ticket being rejected incorrectly at a London terminal can presumably be resolved (if not at the time, then subsequently) by reference to a fares manual.

Sadly, my need/desire to purchase split tickets is unlikely to be an issue for the foreseeable future. I had intended to do so on 23rd March, but the conference I had planned to attend was cancelled (not unexpectedly).
 

Bletchleyite

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This already is a separate discussion! The OP says he wants to pay extra to avoid prosecution. I'm saying if you use the system with care thats unnecessary.
No one is claiming that it wasnt a "legal" connection (thats on the other thread). However the connections wernt designed for split ticketing. 10 mins at Picc is unrealistic for normal travellers.
Sorry, forgot the thread had been split.

So you'd propose that the connection time at Picc should be extended? What would you up it to? 15 minutes?

I think it could potentially become a bit more granular, as I think it is in Switzerland. There are connections that are reliable (e.g. northbound at Leighton Buzzard from fast to slow) as there is motivation to hold the connection so as not to knacker the service further north and it can't be anything other than same platform - one minute would be quite enough there. Similarly from mainline to the Windsor branch at Slough could easily be 2 minutes, but from other platforms more. And there are some which are potentially rather longer, such as the example you gave of Piccadilly main station to 13/14. Then what you'd do to prove it as legitimate is use the journey planner.

However, unless that was implemented there are no grounds to suggest that someone should not receive the benefit, through ticket or no, if they have complied with the rules set out or obtained an itinerary from an accredited journey planner.
 

Bletchleyite

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But unless you buy an Anytime fare routed Any Permitted you cannot guarantee avoiding an argument or threat of prosecution.
I'd add to that "and travel on a through train operated by the main TOC via the main route" - people do get pulled up incorrectly for even Permitted and totally reasonable routes. I've heard of XC (yes them again) making issues of travel from Euston-Birmingham-Manchester, say, which is Permitted. (Sorry for the repeated edit there, I forgot which journey it was).
 

robbeech

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But unless you buy an Anytime fare routed Any Permitted you cannot guarantee avoiding an argument or threat of prosecution.
Whilst my type of rail travel may not follow that of most users, i have had more "discussions" with staff over validity of SOR/SDR than any other type of ticket so whilst i agree that there would usually be a lower likelihood of an issue, it doesn't remove the possibility altogether.


SOR - Anytime Return
SDR - Anytime Day Return
 

londonbridge

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But surely it makes sense to book yourself onto the fastest valid itinerary, if there’s a delay, your tickets are valid on a later service. If you’ve padded all your connections out and booked train-specific tickets, you can’t jump on an earlier service if everything has run on time and it turns out you could’ve made a connection that you didn’t consider robust.
But you can ask the train manager on the earlier train for permission to travel and a polite request will often succeed. Indeed I've done this on more than one occasion when I've arrived at the station earlier than anticipated.
 

_toommm_

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There is also a wider culture of staff members not being trained correctly or supported correctly throughout their careers. When the NRCoC changed to the NRCoT, it by and large afforded more rights to passengers - the biggest one for me being able to use PTE issued seasons with Condition 14.2. In my experience, staff aren't singing from the same hymn sheet, some knowing of the new rules and some still quoting the NRCoC. I do feel that as TOCs have a legal obligation to accept valid tickets, that any changes should be relayed to any staff who interact with passengers throughout their day. I'm sure some TOCs do this, but I can think of one or two I regularly travel with who don't do this; or some TOCs who give staff a general overview, then relying on them to 'fill in the gaps' with some of the more obscure tickets or rules.
 

Hadders

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I've never had an issue using a combination of tickets to make a journey, and I use split ticketing extensively. In fact guards have sometimes congratulated me on my choice of tickets during a ticket check.

On a couple of occasions I have had issues when using 'through' off peak tickets:

- One was on a London Midland train in the afternoon rush hour. The guard claimed my ticket was not valid, we had a conversation which ended up with the guard agreeing with me
- The second occasion was at Kings Cross where a VTEC (as was) member of staff claimed my ticket was not valid for travel at that time. A VTEC manager was called who sided with their member of staff. As it happens this was witnessed by several forum members. In the end I was allowed to travel on the basis that the matter would be dealt with on the train (I was catching a GTR service). Nothing happened on the train.
 

Bletchleyite

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But you can ask the train manager on the earlier train for permission to travel and a polite request will often succeed. Indeed I've done this on more than one occasion when I've arrived at the station earlier than anticipated.
You can, but as this won't tend to be given in writing it can cause issues later if you encounter an RPI - "the guard said..." "prove it".
 

island

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On a couple of occasions I have had issues when using 'through' off peak tickets:

- One was on a London Midland train in the afternoon rush hour. The guard claimed my ticket was not valid, we had a conversation which ended up with the guard agreeing with me
- The second occasion was at Kings Cross where a VTEC (as was) member of staff claimed my ticket was not valid for travel at that time. A VTEC manager was called who sided with their member of staff. As it happens this was witnessed by several forum members. In the end I was allowed to travel on the basis that the matter would be dealt with on the train (I was catching a GTR service). Nothing happened on the train.
I ran into similar issues some years ago whilst using an off-peak ticket at 08:10 from Euston. The particular ticket had, for some odd reason, evening restrictions but no morning restrictions. I repeatedly got refused by Virgin (as was) staff at the manual barriers and having to argue, and eventually took to carrying around a printout from the Manual (as was).

The ticket, which was priced by London Midland, mysteriously gained morning restrictions one or two fares rounds later...

I also hit perennial issues with GWR at Paddington with a couple of barrier staff who insist they know the rules and do not need to look things up or ask a manager because they’ve “been doing this job for over 10 years”. In this case, I eventually planned my trips to use platform 1/8/9 departures.
 

Bletchleyite

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I ran into similar issues some years ago whilst using an off-peak ticket at 08:10 from Euston. The particular ticket had, for some odd reason, evening restrictions but no morning restrictions. I repeatedly got refused by Virgin (as was) staff at the manual barriers and having to argue, and eventually took to carrying around a printout from the Manual (as was).

The ticket, which was priced by London Midland, mysteriously gained morning restrictions one or two fares rounds later...
I think I recall that ticket coming up in discussion and it was definitely a mistake that it had no morning restrictions, so I'm not surprised (a) they fixed it, or (b) a member of staff was confused by it.

What's more concerning is the all-too-common problem of staff saying tickets aren't valid that *aren't* obscure.
 

Journeyman

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I've not done it for a few years, but I used to travel from Edinburgh to Cheltenham fairly regularly, and by splitting in Birmingham, it was about half the price of buying a through ticket. I used to use First Class advances, and no-one ever batted an eyelid.
 

RJ

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Why? If this is something that worries you then you're probably better off buying whatever ticket National Rail Enquires recommends and be done with it.

If your ticketing arrangements comply with the NRCoT then there's no extra to pay. If individuals say otherwise then either nip the matter in the bud or be prepared for a dispute. Either way you'll need to communicate with whoever is representing the company in a language that they really understand.
 
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RJ

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I also hit perennial issues with GWR at Paddington with a couple of barrier staff who insist they know the rules and do not need to look things up or ask a manager because they’ve “been doing this job for over 10 years”. In this case, I eventually planned my trips to use platform 1/8/9 departures.
There is a way to communicate effectively with people with that approach. Protesting that your ticket is valid won't necessarily get your voice heard, but there is definitely a language that is understood.
 
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jtuk

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Sorry, forgot the thread had been split.

So you'd propose that the connection time at Picc should be extended? What would you up it to? 15 minutes?

I think it could potentially become a bit more granular, as I think it is in Switzerland. There are connections that are reliable (e.g. northbound at Leighton Buzzard from fast to slow) as there is motivation to hold the connection so as not to knacker the service further north and it can't be anything other than same platform - one minute would be quite enough there. Similarly from mainline to the Windsor branch at Slough could easily be 2 minutes, but from other platforms more. And there are some which are potentially rather longer, such as the example you gave of Piccadilly main station to 13/14. Then what you'd do to prove it as legitimate is use the journey planner.

However, unless that was implemented there are no grounds to suggest that someone should not receive the benefit, through ticket or no, if they have complied with the rules set out or obtained an itinerary from an accredited journey planner.
May be worth someone breaking this off into a new thread, but in terms of connection times,

a) Are these published anywhere? I recall seeing a list in someone's printed timetable, but not since the 90's
b) Do these ever change? I'd normally have been comfortable changing at Piccadilly in five minutes assuming nothing at p13/14, but since the incorporation of those useless barriers blocking off the Virgin platforms (i.e. stopping easy walking from 1-3 to higher platforms, 8-12 to lower platforms and 4-7 to anywhere), and the introduction of the gateline full stop, it's a heck of a lot more annoying/slower to change at Picc than it used to be, now if on a tight enough connection to prevent use of the Piccadilly Tap I'll turn back on myself when using a train and go up the stairs and use the footbridge
 

robbeech

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BR Times publishes the minimum connection times at stations when you search for them.

Yes they can change but it is rare, a major change to a station might prompt an increase although sometimes this doesn’t happen leaving things a little tight. Doncaster platform 0 is an example of this.
 

Bletchleyite

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May be worth someone breaking this off into a new thread, but in terms of connection times,

a) Are these published anywhere? I recall seeing a list in someone's printed timetable, but not since the 90's
b) Do these ever change? I'd normally have been comfortable changing at Piccadilly in five minutes assuming nothing at p13/14, but since the incorporation of those useless barriers blocking off the Virgin platforms (i.e. stopping easy walking from 1-3 to higher platforms, 8-12 to lower platforms and 4-7 to anywhere), and the introduction of the gateline full stop, it's a heck of a lot more annoying/slower to change at Picc than it used to be, now if on a tight enough connection to prevent use of the Piccadilly Tap I'll turn back on myself when using a train and go up the stairs and use the footbridge
On (b) I do agree, the partial barriering of Picc was ridiculous, they should have barriered the whole thing in one go. Maybe they will at some point.
 

TUC

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If someone doesn't want to risk hassle from split ticketing and wants to pay for a through ticket, fine, no onr is stopping them, but why the proposal for a NRCoT chsnge to stop others from benefiting from split ticketing? Life does not have to be confined to nice straight lines and freedom from ambiguity.
 

robbeech

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If someone doesn't want to risk hassle from split ticketing and wants to pay for a through ticket, fine, no onr is stopping them, but why the proposal for a NRCoT chsnge to stop others from benefiting from split ticketing? Life does not have to be confined to nice straight lines and freedom from ambiguity.
Because maximum revenue is the focus, it’s business.
 

TUC

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Because maximum revenue is the focus, it’s business.
But the OP was being made from a passenger perspective, not a business one. I cannot see why any passenger would want to pay any more than they need to.
 

robbeech

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But the OP was being made from a passenger perspective, not a business one. I cannot see why any passenger would want to pay any more than they need to.
Sadly, I can. This sort of thinking is not limited to the railway. Most people do not like conflict, they do not like getting into arguments, and the railway has a reputation for conflict and arguments where both the passenger and (less often but not insignificant which is the point of this and many other threads on this forum) the staff, are in the wrong. For this reason, we see the consumer in a position whereby to minimise hassle they're prepared to pay more money. The business, in this case the railway wins here, every single time so there is no incentive for Operators, Retailers, Regulators, Government bodies to do anything about it as by doing so they would almost guarantee a reduction in revenue with no alternative gain.

As i've mentioned before, we've come through the bedding in period now with these rules, they've been in place and been in reference to increasingly common journey types / ticket types for a number of years now so there are no longer any excuses for staff to be genuinely of the belief that these sorts of restrictions exist. It is purely for financial gain in what must be almost all cases, and the longer it goes on, the more it becomes the norm and the higher the risk of it being accepted as normal to the point where the regulations are revised in favour of the operator, if only through a lack of understanding.
 

TUC

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I come back to, a passenger who doesn't want the risk of conflict can pay more for a through ticket if they want. It's the notion that they want to stop the rest of us from benefiting from split ticketing I din't understand.
 

robbeech

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I come back to, a passenger who doesn't want the risk of conflict can pay more for a through ticket if they want. It's the notion that they want to stop the rest of us from benefiting from split ticketing I din't understand.
I wholly agree here.
 

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