Is this ticket actually valid?

Oscar M

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Yesterday, I planned on having a day out using the West Midlands Day Ranger. I was intending to travel from Bristol Temple Meads to Birmingham New Street and in the late afternoon/early evening make a return journey.

I was intending to catch a direct CrossCountry service from Bristol Temple Meads to Birmingham New Street, calling at Bristol Parkway and Cheltenham Spa only using the following tickets:

Off-peak day return from Bristol Temple Meads to Bromsgrove - £15.80
West Midlands Day Ranger - £28.80

I bought these tickets because Bromsgrove is the first station that the CrossCountry service passes through which is within the West Midlands Day Ranger boundary.

The off-peak day return to Bromsgrove is not valid via Birmingham, however, my assumption was that as I use the ticket for the portion of my journey up to Bromsgrove then switch to a day ranger once the train passes through for onward travel to Birmingham, I haven't technically travelled via Birmingham on that ticket.

I enquired GWR, CrossCountry and National Rail regarding whether this ticket is actually valid and I have received mixed answers. The staff member at the GWR ticket office was unsure and so I contacted National Rail and CrossCountry. CrossCountry informed me that their system deemed the ticket as invalid, and advised me to talk to the train manager onboard the service I was intending to catch.

National Rail have told me the ticket should be valid but have also advised me to either contact CrossCountry or talk to the train manager onboard (And as CrossCountry have also advised me to talk to the train manager, that appears to be my only option, which I'm not too keen on doing as I would have already bought the tickets by then).

I would appreciate some advice on the validity of these tickets. Thanks! :)
 
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221129

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The ticket combination is valid. As the West Midlands Day ranger is a zonal ticket.

A Bristol - Bromsgrove single with a Bromsgrove - Birmingham single would NOT be valid however.
 

Bletchleyite

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Condition 14.2 of the National Rail Conditions of Travel reads as follows:

14.2. If you are using a Season Ticket, daily Zonal Ticket, or another area based
Ticket such as a concessionary pass, ranger or rover in conjunction with another
Ticket and the last station at which one Ticket is valid and the first station that
the other Ticket is valid are the same, then the train does not need to call at that
station for your combination to be valid


This precisely describes your situation, and thus the combination you suggest is valid unless the Rover specifically excludes validity on CrossCountry (a few of them are only valid on specified TOCs and I don't know about that specific one).

Don't however be surprised if you encounter a clueless member of staff who thinks otherwise. It would be worth printing a copy of the Conditions to take with you to show such a member of staff, but if they really get pushy it's best to pay any additional fare requested, ensure you keep the tickets and pursue a refund later, rather than let them write out an Unpaid Fares Notice which could well end up in the hands of shysters like Transport Investigations Ltd who could be hard to get off your back even if totally in the right.
 

swt_passenger

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This is basic stuff. the National Rail condition of travel 14.2 clearly states the train does not have to call:

“14.2. If you are using a Season Ticket, daily Zonal Ticket, or another area based Ticket such as a concessionary pass, ranger or rover in conjunction with another Ticket and the last station at which one Ticket is valid and the first station that the other Ticket is valid are the same, then the train does not need to call at that station for your combination to be valid.”

source:
 
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Mcr Warrior

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Take it that direct Bristol Temple Meads -> Birmingham New Street services are always routed via Bromsgrove?
 

Starmill

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Take it that direct Bristol Temple Meads -> Birmingham New Street services are always routed via Bromsgrove?
Almost, but certainly not always. They can occasionally run via Stourbridge Junction e.g. 2020 the Paignton to Birmingham New Street on weekdays.
 

Bletchleyite

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Oh, I never knew that. Thanks.

Worth making sure you're on the right one, as if it isn't booked to go via Bromsgrove then the combination is definitely not valid. Realtime Trains should help there.

(If it's booked to go that way but diverts then conventionally it is valid)
 

yorkie

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I can probably count the number of times I have avoided Bromsgrove on one hand; it isn't common.

But yes providing the train is booked that way, it is valid and the train does not need to call there under the current rules.
 

Oscar M

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Thanks for everybody's replies.

I knew about the conditions around split ticketing with a zonal ticket but I was unsure about the specific route that was valid, as the journey planner will route you via Worcester (Route PW + BI), whereas the service I was intending to take uses route PB, and I was unsure whether it was valid on this route as there is no service from Bristol to Bromsgrove which uses this route as far as I'm aware so I couldn't validate the route's validity using journey planners
 

AlterEgo

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In addition, if the train was not booked to go that way I would expect a little discretion to be shown, although as others have pointed out, it would strictly not be valid if it wasn't booked to go that way.
 

Oscar M

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Worth making sure you're on the right one, as if it isn't booked to go via Bromsgrove then the combination is definitely not valid. Realtime Trains should help there.

(If it's booked to go that way but diverts then conventionally it is valid)
If it went via Stourbridge Junction then I believe it would still be valid as it would be considered a break of journey at Droitwich Spa. (You are permitted to go via Droitwich Spa on the ticket)
 

Bletchleyite

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If it went via Stourbridge Junction then I believe it would still be valid as it would be considered a break of journey at Droitwich Spa. (You are permitted to go via Droitwich Spa on the ticket)

That is slightly more debatable, as there has been some discussion of the precise meaning of "the last station...the first station", which strongly implies it has to be the border station and not some other one a bit further in, i.e. no overlap is allowed. At least that wording provides some ammunition to the more awkward staff out there.

14.2. If you are using a Season Ticket, daily Zonal Ticket, or another area based
Ticket such as a concessionary pass, ranger or rover in conjunction with another
Ticket and the last station at which one Ticket is valid and the first station that
the other Ticket is valid are the same, then the train does not need to call at that
station for your combination to be valid
 

Oscar M

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Joined
31 Mar 2021
Messages
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Location
Weston-super-Mare
That is slightly more debatable, as there has been some discussion of the precise meaning of "the last station...the first station", which strongly implies it has to be the border station and not some other one a bit further in, i.e. no overlap is allowed. At least that wording provides some ammunition to the more awkward staff out there.

14.2. If you are using a Season Ticket, daily Zonal Ticket, or another area based
Ticket such as a concessionary pass, ranger or rover in conjunction with another
Ticket and the last station at which one Ticket is valid and the first station that
the other Ticket is valid are the same, then the train does not need to call at that
station for your combination to be valid
That is a good point. I suppose you could say that Droitwich Spa is the last valid station on your first ticket for the route you're taking, in this case, via Stourbridge Junction. (But I'm unsure if that would work as it's not the first station on the route where the ranger is valid)

I wonder how that would work if Droitwich Spa was the boundary for the ranger.
 
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