LNER reservation compulsory from 18 May! (Update: other TOCs limiting capacity but not requiring reservations)

Status
Not open for further replies.

Taunton

Established Member
Joined
1 Aug 2013
Messages
4,812
As a business traveller, the highest payers, I go from London for the day to Leeds, York, etc, with no real idea when work will be completed. I just come back when done, sometimes 3pm, sometimes 7pm. Businesses work this way because most people at the meeting not from London come by car and just leave when done. That's why a train every 20-30 minutes works well. Even if I tried to make a reservation when ready to come home, what happens if they have all gone for the day.

As with so much in the current situation, the car, where none of this is an issue, will become king. Hello M1.

Now I am aware that on the East Coast my unrestricted ticket revenue is shared among the various operators by Orcats, whereas Advances with reservations are all revenue to the individual operator. So it's really just naked commercial opportunism dressed up.

I would also have thought that anything leading to face-to-face confrontations between front line rail staff and thwarted passengers is the last thing you would want currently.
 
Sponsor Post - registered members do not see these adverts; click here to register, or click here to log in
R

RailUK Forums

Taunton

Established Member
Joined
1 Aug 2013
Messages
4,812
Are you able to WFH at all?
Done so for years. It's not all it's cracked up to be. We find we cannot make significant progress with major sales opportunities currently, or send people up to deliver it. You need to meet.
 

Qwerty133

Established Member
Joined
7 Oct 2012
Messages
2,308
Location
Leicester/Sheffield
As a business traveller, the highest payers, I go from London for the day to Leeds, York, etc, with no real idea when work will be completed. I just come back when done, sometimes 3pm, sometimes 7pm. Businesses work this way because most people at the meeting not from London come by car and just leave when done. That's why a train every 20-30 minutes works well. Even if I tried to make a reservation when ready to come home, what happens if they have all gone for the day.

As with so much in the current situation, the car, where none of this is an issue, will become king. Hello M1.

Now I am aware that on the East Coast my unrestricted ticket revenue is shared among the various operators by Orcats, whereas Advances with reservations are all revenue to the individual operator. So it's really just naked commercial opportunism dressed up.

I would also have thought that anything leading to face-to-face confrontations between front line rail staff and thwarted passengers is the last thing you would want currently.
They actively want people to travel by car at the minute if that is at all possible so if such restrictions encourage those who can to drive that is realistically a positive.
 

Ianno87

Established Member
Joined
3 May 2015
Messages
7,774
They actively want people to travel by car at the minute if that is at all possible so if such restrictions encourage those who can to drive that is realistically a positive.
Which means you need your car insured for business use.

Frankly, business travellers for the time being just need to accept Skype for the immediate future, unless there is a genuine *need* to meet face to face (which is different from it being "nice" or "desirable" to be face to face, which I for one can't wait to get back to)
 

Bletchleyite

Veteran Member
Joined
20 Oct 2014
Messages
54,848
Location
Up and down the south WCML (mostly)
Which means you need your car insured for business use.
If your occupation is an office-type one, which is the sort of business travel you seem to be thinking of (most of which is off at the moment anyway), that typically costs next to nothing or is even in some cases offered free by default (Direct Line used to do this, may still do). People seem to think it's really expensive, it invariably isn't. I've always had it on my policy even when I was much younger.
 

Ianno87

Established Member
Joined
3 May 2015
Messages
7,774
Done so for years. It's not all it's cracked up to be. We find we cannot make significant progress with major sales opportunities currently, or send people up to deliver it. You need to meet.
I agree, it's not all it's cracked up to be. My work, it's easier to communicate and work together face to face, and gets better results, but stops short of being a "need" in the grand scheme of things.
 

Ianno87

Established Member
Joined
3 May 2015
Messages
7,774
If your occupation is an office-type one, which is the sort of business travel you seem to be thinking of (most of which is off at the moment anyway), that typically costs next to nothing or is even in some cases offered free by default (Direct Line used to do this, may still do). People seem to think it's really expensive, it invariably isn't. I've always had it on my policy even when I was much younger.
Also balanced against (say) driving from Leeds to London and back during a day being horrendously unproductive use of time, that few people would be keen on. And you'd really have to justify to your employer as a good use of time (plus safety implications of long periods driving)
 

Ianno87

Established Member
Joined
3 May 2015
Messages
7,774
TBH Skype etc is probably better than visiting someone and sitting 2m away from them, though.
Agree - Skype is the "necessary evil" for the time being (and doesn't work tooooo badly); but it gives a "2:1" outcome of the meeting where it could be more "first class" in person in normal non-social distancing time.
 

Bletchleyite

Veteran Member
Joined
20 Oct 2014
Messages
54,848
Location
Up and down the south WCML (mostly)
Also balanced against (say) driving from Leeds to London and back during a day being horrendously unproductive use of time, that few people would be keen on. And you'd really have to justify to your employer as a good use of time (plus safety implications of long periods driving)
Plenty of people drive business travel of that nature all the time - indeed, it's pretty much the point of company cars. I prefer not to, but I think the train being the default is very much a London (to or from) thing.
 

Carlisle

Established Member
Joined
26 Aug 2012
Messages
3,196
People will cope because they have to. It's like wartime in that regard.
During conventional wartime progress & communications are relatively straightforward & easily understood & accepted by most whereas what’s happening here is more akin to highly restrictive measures justified by countries sometimes for very lengthy periods in the name of addressing terrorist insurgencies or similar .
 
Last edited:

Ianno87

Established Member
Joined
3 May 2015
Messages
7,774
During conventional wartime progress & communications are relatively straightforward & easily understood & accepted by most whereas what’s happening here is more akin to highly restrictive measures justified by countries during lengthy terrorist insurgencies etc
Current travel restrictions are probably more restrictive than wartime, where non-essential travel was discouraged, but not legislated against (I don't think). You could go out if you really wanted to. Schools, workplaces etc carried on.
 

Bletchleyite

Veteran Member
Joined
20 Oct 2014
Messages
54,848
Location
Up and down the south WCML (mostly)
Current travel restrictions are probably more restrictive than wartime, where non-essential travel was discouraged, but not legislated against (I don't think). You could go out if you really wanted to. Schools, workplaces etc carried on.
The key difference from actual wartime is that if you did choose to go out contrary to advice, it would be you and you alone that got blown up. Therefore it's quite right that it should be an individual decision (or at least for discussion among families). Shielding is perhaps the analogy here - it is not mandatory.

It's a bit more like the blackout regulations - you need to limit what you do for the greater good, not for your own safety.

While there's no concept of a virus being able to act like that, if it was only the person who took a risk who was affected by the outcome of that risk I would be opposed to all measures. But it's not.
 

Taunton

Established Member
Joined
1 Aug 2013
Messages
4,812
Plenty of people drive business travel of that nature all the time - indeed, it's pretty much the point of company cars. I prefer not to, but I think the train being the default is very much a London (to or from) thing.
I find you are correct. We have colleagues around the country for whom lengthy Cross Country journeys, eg Bristol to Sheffield, might look practical, but they drive, as they find the Cross Country approach of minimal formations with cramped seats, extensive overcrowding, inability to get a seat, etc, just makes it useless for business travel.
 

Bletchleyite

Veteran Member
Joined
20 Oct 2014
Messages
54,848
Location
Up and down the south WCML (mostly)
I find you are correct. We have colleagues around the country for whom lengthy Cross Country journeys, eg Bristol to Sheffield, might look practical, but they drive, as they find the Cross Country approach of minimal formations with cramped seats, extensive overcrowding, inability to get a seat, etc, just makes it useless for business travel.
As per my other thread, I would not even consider XC for business travel (or indeed any other travel unless totally unavoidable). It's just utter dross.
 

Grumbler

Member
Joined
27 Mar 2015
Messages
302
How is this compulsory reservations system going to cope with delays on connecting services, particularly via London? What if the incoming train arrives late, or there is a delay on the Underground, what is the traveller supposed to do when he arrives at the other terminus only to find his booked train has already departed? Or should he allow an extra hour or three just in case, meaning possibly having to kill time and letting several trains go in order to make sure getting on the right one? And what about the return journey, if he does not know in advance the precise date and time of departure, what is he supposed to do? Ask at the non-existent ticket office of a country station on the day of travel?
 

Mainline421

Member
Joined
7 May 2013
Messages
137
How is this compulsory reservations system going to cope with delays on connecting services, particularly via London? What if the incoming train arrives late, or there is a delay on the Underground, what is the traveller supposed to do when he arrives at the other terminus only to find his booked train has already departed? Or should he allow an extra hour or three just in case, meaning possibly having to kill time and letting several trains go in order to make sure getting on the right one? And what about the return journey, if he does not know in advance the precise date and time of departure, what is he supposed to do? Ask at the non-existent ticket office of a country station on the day of travel?
LNER's solution appears to be that they que at the travel centre to get a reservation for the next train :!: And I assume they will be paying for hotels as obliged to if there's no more trains that day (Not - in reality they will probably suddenly not need a reservation).
 

Wallsendmag

Established Member
Joined
11 Dec 2014
Messages
2,174
Location
Wallsend or somewhere on the ECML
LNER's solution appears to be that they que at the travel centre to get a reservation for the next train :!: And I assume they will be paying for hotels as obliged to if there's no more trains that day (Not - in reality they will probably suddenly not need a reservation).
the LNER app and Website are being updated to offer free reservations up to 5 minutes before departure.
 

londonbridge

Member
Joined
30 Jun 2010
Messages
880
And yes, as speculated upthread: I can see this being one of those decisions that never gets reversed.
In the same manner, some shops which have switched to 'card only' will quite possibly 'forget' to go back to accepting cash when this is all over.
 

Andyh82

Established Member
Joined
19 May 2014
Messages
2,022
Where the intercity services are the de facto semi-fast local trains, I expect some will give up on rail, never to return. Sad.
It is current policy that if you can give up on rail, you are supposed to give up on rail.

The only people travelling are supposed to be those who can’t work from home, and don’t have a car.
 

Parham Wood

Member
Joined
13 Jun 2011
Messages
196
I completely agree with this.

Some of the things that are proposed seem wildly disproportionate to the risk of infection.

For example what is the evidence to suggest that the risk of someone sitting back to back is similar to when you are facing someone (or on the same row) As long as you do not turn around (or indeed where a mask) you surely have a fairly good barrier between you. Yes some molecules may remain in the atmosphere but it feels like we are taking things to the extreme. A course in relative v absolute risk would not go amiss!
It appears (reasonably so IMO) that if two people facing wear a mask the risk of infection is considerably reduced, less than 10% in some studies if I recall correctly. If a person with COVID does not wear a mask then the risk of infection of someone in front without a mask is very high and let's say medium if they are wearing a mask. So this is why all people in enclosed public spaces should wear a mask. This is all common sense. Remember normal breathing can transmit virus molecules but coughing or sneezing will transmit a much heavier dose that has more chance of infecting other people.

There are not many studies published about how the virus spreads in an enclosed space such as a train, bus or office. Take the case where you are in one of these spaces for a few minutes or more. Studies show that the virus particles from say a cough or even normal breathing will not just magically obey the 2m limit and only go straight in front. Normal breathing particle are lighter as they are not mixed with the moisture that comes with a cough so they will rise up in the air whereas cough particles will tend to fall to the ground quicker. So this means the particles will start off going away from the front of the infected person but many will rise up in the air and where they go next is dependent on the air flow in the space. They could go further forward, go back over the person or really anywhere. Studies show that over time anyone in the same room could catch the virus particularly if they do not wear a mask. So yes sitting behind a person is a little safer in the short term but as time goes by it gets less so. A lot depends on the room airflow, the filters installed in the air conditioning plant and I presume the volume of fresh air that is mixed with the circulated air.

So I think any bus or train travel is risky even with social spacing. The risk depends on whether a traveller has the virus in your carriage, whether masks are worn, the air flow and the time exposed. With fewer people in a carriage due to social distancing the risk is reduced mainly in my opinion because you have fewer people in the carriage and thus the risk that one of these may have the virus. Also with fewer people the onward infection rate is reduced as less people in the carriage will be infected.

I cannot understand why it is not a legal requirement to wear a mask or face covering on a train or bus (except that if it was there are not enough masks to go around so this may be a reason). Ideally temperature checking should be done but this is impracticable for public transport that is why the Government say check your temperature before you leave. Finally you will always get the idiots who will still travel knowing they have the virus or have one or more symptoms but will not self isolate until they have been tested perhaps giving lame excuses like I thought is was just a cold. Sadly this is where the best laid plans will fall down.
 

Grumbler

Member
Joined
27 Mar 2015
Messages
302
the LNER app and Website are being updated to offer free reservations up to 5 minutes before departure.
So the traveller arrives at the London station for the final leg of the journey a few minutes before departure and is supposed to try to book a seat using a mobile phone or risk being stranded there for hours or even overnight? Bonkers!
 

Ianno87

Established Member
Joined
3 May 2015
Messages
7,774
So the traveller arrives at the London station for the final leg of the journey a few minutes before departure and is supposed to try to book a seat using a mobile phone or risk being stranded there for hours or even overnight? Bonkers!
The standard RFUK worst case whataboutery has almost certainly been thought about. Surely a few nominal socially-distanced 'spare' seats kept on the train combined with some staff common sense and discretion would be the solution here.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Top