Lincoln to London Terminals

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by Starmill, 1 Jun 2015.

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  1. Starmill

    Starmill Established Member

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    There is something very suspicious going on with the fares between Lincoln and London Terminals.

    The logical options to me are to to change at Nottingham for St Pancras or to change at Retford or walk from Newark Castle to Newark North Gate for King's Cross. One of the direct trains to either would also be very sensible.

    Take a look at the Anytime Single fares. There is an Any Permitted one for £72. Sounds good and looks like via Nottingham is a permitted route, and via Newark North Gate is the shortest route. There's a £77.50 ticket routed VIA RETFORD - great, seems fair to allow that and charge a bit more as that might sometimes be quicker and is going further north, and £72 would also undercut the Retford - London fare. But then we have the highest priced option at £81 - EMIDSTRAINS.ONLY. What? A check of the easements reveals perhaps what they were thinking:

    So according to ATOC, Lincoln to London via Nottingham is a 'Circuitous Route' ! Even though there are direct trains, a set of Advances sold this way, and a curious walk-up ticket that is not valid unless this route is taken. EMT are charging more for a journey that can only be made on the slightly slower route via Nottingham, and you cannot use any other operator to come back should you purchase a return, or break your journey? WebTIS at least will not allow the use of an Any Permitted ticket via Nottingham, not even on the direct train. But by insisting that in order to use that train (or go via Nottingham at all, a fairly sensible route - and I would argue one of the most sensible if you can't walk across Newark*) you buy an EMIDSTRAINS.ONLY ticket they are both charging more and offering less flexibility for doing so. This seems like a terrible solution to a problem of their own making to me, and sets a rather negative precedent. Posters on here are fond of saying that buying the most expensive ticket is the easy way to make sure you aren't going to end up with problems en route - but if you bought the EMIDSTRAINS.ONLY (Guys, why the '.'?) Anytime Return from Lincoln to London (costing £160.50 rather than £139 for an Any Permitted) and then boarded the direct Virgin Trains East Coast service back there from Kings Cross in the evening you would be charged for another Any Permitted Anytime Single because you are travelling on the wrong TOC and an Excess cannot remove the TOC restriction - even though here it would be a negative excess.

    Lastly there is the reason I noticed this issue. WebTIS shows the following message which appears to be an error (?) in the conditions of the EMIDSTRAINS.ONLY. Surely it's valid on any East Midlands Trains train?

    Capture8.jpg

    Please somebody tell me I have got something wrong here. The way some TOCs are using their own TOC ONLY fares is very very dodgy indeed.

    *I recognise that a direct train from Lincoln to Newark North Gate also solves this problem, but there aren't that many of them and they appear to be at very odd times.
     
    Last edited: 1 Jun 2015
  2. kieron

    kieron Established Member

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    This easement is part of the set published on 7/6/13, so was there long before they started trying to categorise easements. "EMT Only" Lincoln-London tickets cost the same as "any permitted" Nottingham-London ones, so I imagine the easement was added because they didn't want the anytime Lincoln-Nottingham-London fare to undercut those.
    I've noticed that before with journey planners. Where tickets with different routes are valid on a train, they only ever offer one route, and usually the most restrictive. Then they don't let you select a different route on the way back. It's wrong, but it's not aimed at anyone in particular.
    It looks as though someone at Virgin decided to shove an advert onto the end of one of WebTIS's standard messages. It doesn't actually say that the ticket you chose would actually be valid on any Virgin trains, but it does look wrong.

    On the wider issue, it's pretty easy to avoid the restrictions on this route. It doesn't affect off peak tickets (where "EMT only" is cheaper than "Any permitted"), or the daily Lincoln-London train. And, as it only affects journeys to and from specific stations, you can easily buy (say) a Lincoln-London Fields return and travel via Nottingham on any train you like.

    It's pretty easy to imagine what ATOC could do if they didn't like people paying East Coast prices on East Midlands Trains, as well.
     
  3. Indigo2

    Indigo2 Established Member

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    Well, the categories were always there in the electronic version of the data. It was only when the method (and sub-contracting company) used to generate the human-readable routeing guide was changed, that they started showing the easement category in the public list. But it was always there.
     
  4. clagmonster

    clagmonster Established Member

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    I'd disagree with Webtis here, The National Rail Conditions of Carriage state:
    "13. The route you are entitled to take
    (a) You may travel between the stations shown on the ticket you hold in:
    (i) a train on which you are able to make your entire journey without
    changing trains;"
    http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/static/documents/content/NRCOC.pdf

    Thus the direct train if valid by the NRCoC alone, and there is no need to consult the routeing guide.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    I don't see any reason why EMT couldn't reroute the EMIDSTRAINS.ONLY fare to route Nottingham.
     
  5. greatkingrat

    greatkingrat Established Member

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    Maybe because then Thameslink would be entitled to some small percentage of the fare?
     
  6. clagmonster

    clagmonster Established Member

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    Surely its no different to Nottingham - London Terminals tickets being routed 'Any Permitted' rather than EMT only. Unless the Nottingham fare is regulated and the Lincoln isn't.
    In any case, I'd be surprised if Thameslink got a cut through ORCATS, in no case is the quickest or most convenient journey going to involve them.
     
  7. RJ

    RJ Established Member

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    There is a Via Nottingham fare to/from Rolleston set at the same price as the EMT Only fare. I usually buy this ticket if I need to get to London. Sometimes permitted routes appear in the yellow pages to facilitate operator specific tickets - there are some silly ones like Warwick to Didcot being valid via London, but only for Virgin's Advance fares.
     
    Last edited: 3 Jun 2015
  8. Haywain

    Haywain Established Member

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    Well, if the ticket was routed Nottingham, then ORCATS would distribute small amounts to Thameslink, and CrossCountry and possibly others, and there is the possibility that many people would buy the Any Permitted ticket and just pay the excess to route Nottingham. This would hit the revenue taken from the existing ticket which is clearly designed to undercut the Any Permitted ticket for the direct train only.
     
  9. RJ

    RJ Established Member

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    There are also CDS/R fares between Collingham/Newark Stations/Rolleston/Swinderby and London Terminals which are not valid via Nottingham by virtue of this easement.

    It should not be enforceable on direct trains - Collingham and Newark Castle have a return through service on Saturdays which these tickets could be used on. However, the retail systems are set up to disallow it, which would appear to go against the principle of direct trains always following a permitted route.
     
    Last edited: 3 Jun 2015
  10. First class

    First class Established Member

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    This is wrong. Clearly no actual knowledge of ORCATs distributions.
     
  11. kieron

    kieron Established Member

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    I'm not sure they are. The routeing guide instructions say

    An "any permitted" ticket ... can be used on any route not listed in the Routeing Guide for which a lower priced route specific fare exists.​

    Lincoln to London via Nottingham is a route not listed in the Routeing Guide for which a lower priced route specific fare exists (for off-peak tickets), so an "any permitted" ticket can be used on it.

    As this phrase is intended for routes which are not allowed by the routeing guide, no route-specific terms in the routeing guide negate it.

    The easement does mean you can't travel from Lincoln to London via Worksop on any single ticket, though.
     
  12. RJ

    RJ Established Member

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    But Lincoln to St Pancras via Nottingham is a mapped route.
     
    Last edited: 4 Jun 2015
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