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

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mpthomson

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While I don't disagree with the policy per se in these difficult times (and not querying why it hasn't happened previously) it's not been very well communicated or implemented, I think.

LNER say one person per four-seat row, with two rows empty to the next seat. Fine: but that means seven passengers per standard carriage, and only if they sit in the optimal sequence and don't all run for the tables. Passengers are told to fnd a seat but they could have used the traffic lights reservation system to block out seats which would have made it more obvious. What happen if one passenger travels London - Newark and one Newark - Leeds on the same service? Will someone wipe down the seat and table at Newark?

The always busy and almost non-stop 0700 Leeds-London should be interesting...
They won't be busy tho. Even the Azumas that are running currently have fundamentally no one on them....
 
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Ianigsy

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I tried the website at lunchtime and at 2pm it seemed quite happy to offer me a season ticket holder's reservation from Leeds to Wakefield on the 1714.
 

Bletchleyite

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theironroad

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This is why I think reservations are the best way to manage it.
Realistically, just how is that going to work at busy stations on non inter city trains?

How's that going to work at somewhere like Woking where fast trains run every few minutes to London coming from various origins?

While at barriered stations it's possible to control the numbers entering the station as a whole, it's just not feasible to have staff or police limit people on particular trains and stopping people entering creates its own problems on public side of barrier. It's called mass transportation for a reason.

Passengers need to take some personal responsibility by not travelling at peak times and if they really have to , to be prepared and early in case the train they want is too busy.
 

theironroad

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Another example of meaningless information: 'Most Seats need to be Empty'. How many exactly, and how will it be policed?

It's not acceptable to have to wait until a train arrives to find out how such a thing is being administered.
A EDB to GLQ non stop an vv could be policed by allowing only a limited number of people on it, but that's it really.

This is a passenger self-policing exercise and with people's different tolerance levels to 2m and other characteristics, the potential for arguments and flare ups is much heightened.
 

Bantamzen

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Incoming in 3...2...1...

This is why I think reservations are the best way to manage it.

Realistically, just how is that going to work at busy stations on non inter city trains?

How's that going to work at somewhere like Woking where fast trains run every few minutes to London coming from various origins?

While at barriered stations it's possible to control the numbers entering the station as a whole, it's just not feasible to have staff or police limit people on particular trains and stopping people entering creates its own problems on public side of barrier. It's called mass transportation for a reason.

Passengers need to take some personal responsibility by not travelling at peak times and if they really have to , to be prepared and early in case the train they want is too busy.
Actually to be fair, it might be easier to manage at larger stations, particularly staffed and barriered ones. However at the vast majority of stations around the country that don't have staff, don't have barriers, and have trains passing through that don't have any revenue checks taking place onboard. We haven't yet resolved that little matter yet....
 

Bletchleyite

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Actually to be fair, it might be easier to manage at larger stations, particularly staffed and barriered ones. However at the vast majority of stations around the country that don't have staff, don't have barriers, and have trains passing through that don't have any revenue checks taking place onboard. We haven't yet resolved that little matter yet....
And Northern sell Advances from pretty much all of them. So clearly it's workable in some form.
 

Bantamzen

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It's a ticket sold with a compulsory reservation. Might be a counted place rather than a seat, but it still prevents oversale, and most people do use the correct train even without any enforcement.
Do you have some data on this? What is stop me buying a ticket right now for the 10:56 Baildon to Ben Rhydding for tomorrow, but tomorrow morning rocking up to 09:56? I certainly won't be stopped walking onto the platform, I won't checked on the train, and I won't get checked at the destination. So do you see the problem yet?
 

Bletchleyite

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Do you have some data on this? What is stop me buying a ticket right now for the 10:56 Baildon to Ben Rhydding for tomorrow, but tomorrow morning rocking up to 09:56? I certainly won't be stopped walking onto the platform, I won't checked on the train, and I won't get checked at the destination. So do you see the problem yet?
I don't know if west Yorkshire is a hotbed of rebellion, but I think most people would comply.
 

ChiefPlanner

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Enthusiasm for "reservations" seems a specialized interest , should I seek one for the empty SAC - Harpenden journey ..?

Have the Underground (which is carrying rather more passengers than National Rail , considered this idea. Course they don't. Ditto Local buses all over.

If anyone really wants to see the railway made unusable and therefore unaffordable then carry on pontificating. .
 

Bletchleyite

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Enthusiasm for "reservations" seems a specialized interest , should I seek one for the empty SAC - Harpenden journey ..?

Have the Underground (which is carrying rather more passengers than National Rail , considered this idea. Course they don't. Ditto Local buses all over.
It's clearly not workable for the Underground, but away from there and LO most trains operate a lower frequency and poeple tend to go for a specific one, so booking a seat on it is not a big step. Even local buses tend not to be every 5 minutes in most places outside the big cities - my local half-hourly route would fit it perfectly. Half an hour is a long time to wait if you can't get on.

It absolutely flummoxes me that people are still so dismissive of the idea when two TOCs have already adopted it, and a number abroad, too. To me it is clearly the best way to ration something which is limited, and where simple queueing is not workable due to the complexity of the offering.
 

ChiefPlanner

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It's clearly not workable for the Underground, but away from there and LO most trains operate a lower frequency and poeple tend to go for a specific one, so booking a seat on it is not a big step. Even local buses tend not to be every 5 minutes in most places outside the big cities - my local half-hourly route would fit it perfectly. Half an hour is a long time to wait if you can't get on.

It absolutely flummoxes me that people are still so dismissive of the idea when two TOCs have already adopted it, and a number abroad, too. To me it is clearly the best way to ration something which is limited, and where simple queueing is not workable due to the complexity of the offering.
Reservations on longer distance passenger service is one thing , "local public transport" is something else - I do not propose batting this one any further and am going to something practical and productive.
 

Bantamzen

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It's clearly not workable for the Underground, but away from there and LO most trains operate a lower frequency and poeple tend to go for a specific one, so booking a seat on it is not a big step.

It absolutely flummoxes me that people are still so dismissive of the idea when two TOCs have already adopted it, and a number abroad, too. To me it is clearly the best way to ration something which is limited, and where simple queueing is not workable due to the complexity of the offering.
Two long distance operators, and I've said previously I'd actually welcome that. I usually never travel long distance without reservations where available. But local & commuter trains, and more importantly the people that use them don't always have lives that neatly fit into this kind of regimented script. Often people rock up to a commuter station with a view of getting on the next one, not to have stand around trying to find an available train to reserve on. As @ChiefPlanner says, it would render them unusable and expensive.
 

NorthOxonian

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It's clearly not workable for the Underground, but away from there and LO most trains operate a lower frequency and poeple tend to go for a specific one, so booking a seat on it is not a big step. Even local buses tend not to be every 5 minutes in most places outside the big cities - my local half-hourly route would fit it perfectly. Half an hour is a long time to wait if you can't get on.

It absolutely flummoxes me that people are still so dismissive of the idea when two TOCs have already adopted it, and a number abroad, too. To me it is clearly the best way to ration something which is limited, and where simple queueing is not workable due to the complexity of the offering.
I wouldn't have a problem with the idea, if I believed it would be a temporary measure. But I think TOCs would attempt to maintain it long beyond it being necessary, which would reduce flexibility for many travellers. Those worst affected would be those making short journeys on long-distance TOCs - such as Warrington - Wigan, Darlington - Newcastle, or Swindon - Chippenham.
 

Bletchleyite

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I wouldn't have a problem with the idea, if I believed it would be a temporary measure. But I think TOCs would attempt to maintain it long beyond it being necessary, which would reduce flexibility for many travellers. Those worst affected would be those making short journeys on long-distance TOCs - such as Warrington - Wigan, Darlington - Newcastle, or Swindon - Chippenham.
This is in some ways a different debate, and that is a possible concern - a lot of long-distance travellers are in favour of it, and with LNER in particular having very high walk-up fares (compared with the WCML, where Virgin's removal of SuperSavers and reduction in Saver prices which then became regulated at that level mean they sit about 10% or so cheaper than ECML ones) it is for many de-facto already the case anyway.

I can't however see the likes of Northern persisting with it, nor TPE which however much they bleat about it and get fancy LHCS in isn't an InterCity operation. So I think I'd only be concerned if I made any of the journeys noted above.

GWR is a bit mixed - the Bristols and Cardiffs are no more IC than TPE is, and the Cherwell Valley services are just local stopping services with slightly posh rolling stock, but the Westcountry services, which are in a way a bit like the Highland Chieftain and the likes, probably do fit the concept, at least between Padd and Plymouth.

But anyway, I'm not proposing them long-term (which does give me mixed views, I can see up and downsides) but rather for the duration of the requirement for social distancing.
 

theironroad

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It's clearly not workable for the Underground, but away from there and LO most trains operate a lower frequency and poeple tend to go for a specific one, so booking a seat on it is not a big step. Even local buses tend not to be every 5 minutes in most places outside the big cities - my local half-hourly route would fit it perfectly. Half an hour is a long time to wait if you can't get on.

It absolutely flummoxes me that people are still so dismissive of the idea when two TOCs have already adopted it, and a number abroad, too. To me it is clearly the best way to ration something which is limited, and where simple queueing is not workable due to the complexity of the offering.
If you mean Avanti and lner then I'm just as flummoxed as to how you can see it working on the likes of swr, se, gtr etc
 

Bletchleyite

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If you mean Avanti and lner then I'm just as flummoxed as to how you can see it working on the likes of swr, se, gtr etc
Maybe not so well on the innersuburban lines with 4tph or more. But I don't see why it wouldn't work on less frequent services - Weymouth, Portsmouth, the Brighton Express, HS1 and so on. Even LNR, where most stations only get 2 or 3 useful TPH to/from London which is the main destination. Certainly TPE and the hourly Northern rural routes. Absolutely the likes of the Cambrian.

Regarding buses I see it similarly - yes on half-hourly routes where you may be stood around a long time if you can't get on (e.g. my local route), definitely yes on sub-hourly rural routes, no on a big urban route with buses every 10 minutes or more when waiting for the next one is no great problem.
 

Mainline421

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Enthusiasm for "reservations" seems a specialized interest , should I seek one for the empty SAC - Harpenden journey ..?

Have the Underground (which is carrying rather more passengers than National Rail , considered this idea. Course they don't. Ditto Local buses all over.

If anyone really wants to see the railway made unusable and therefore unaffordable then carry on pontificating. .
They are actually considering this in New York

But I do agree with your point this is unworkable for many types of journey, and would make LNER unusable for many as an essential public transport if they try and continue this once usage returns to normal levels
 

ChiefPlanner

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They are actually considering this in New York

But I do agree with your point this is unworkable for many types of journey, and would make LNER unusable for many as an essential public transport if they try and continue this once usage returns to normal levels
With the issues they have in NYC with the homeless etc , which are now banned from the subway overnight in the small hours (to allow enhanced cleaning of car interiors) - which has been pretty difficult , you might get a responsive and co-operative response at say 86th/Lexington Ave on the IRT , - just try that in say 149th St/Broadway in the Bronx or the far reaches of East NY.

No chance at all - I love the city and it's people , and to say they are forthright is an understatement.

In passing - Portillo on R4 and his comment was not to blanket ban access to public transport to say 10% , - but to ask the question how do we get 100% sensible use of the resource.
 

Bantamzen

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They are actually considering this in New York

But I do agree with your point this is unworkable for many types of journey, and would make LNER unusable for many as an essential public transport if they try and continue this once usage returns to normal levels
Reservations on the NY Subway? Have these people even ridden it? Even @Bletchleyite couldn't think that could possibly work! ;)

Seriously, NYC would have to be open 100 hours a day to make that work...
 

ChiefPlanner

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Reservations on the NY Subway? Have these people even ridden it? Even @Bletchleyite couldn't think that could possibly work! ;)

Seriously, NYC would have to be open 100 hours a day to make that work...
To quote several authors - "the World's Greatest Subway System" - however there about 3000 NYPD working on the system at the moment. They would need about 100,000 I reckon to enforce this. As I said , "No chance"

They are as cash strapped as TfL in any case.

It's not Bletchley for sure.
 

Bantamzen

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To quote several authors - "the World's Greatest Subway System" - however there about 3000 NYPD working on the system at the moment. They would need about 100,000 I reckon to enforce this. As I said , "No chance"

They are as cash strapped as TfL in any case.

It's not Bletchley for sure.
I can just see New Yorkers getting turned away from the A train because they hadn't booked a seat...

It would be almost as messy as a Yorkshireman being turfed off the train to get his beer for the same reason...
 

Bletchleyite

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Even I wouldn't suggest it for the NYC Subway, the Tube, Merseyrail or anything like that. I would say the maximum overall frequency for which it could or would work is probably 3tph/3bph. Most stations in the UK have a service of that frequency or less when it comes to services that are actually useful for a given journey, and a good many bus services (including almost all non-urban ones) too.
 

Bantamzen

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Even I wouldn't suggest it for the NYC Subway, the Tube, Merseyrail or anything like that. I would say the maximum overall frequency for which it could or would work is probably 3tph/3bph. Most stations in the UK have a service of that frequency or less when it comes to services that are actually useful for a given journey, and a good many bus services (including almost all non-urban ones) too.
For one moment my little heart sang, I thought sanity had returned. Then you went back to reservations on services where for a starter for 10 you couldn't possibly enforce. Oh well...
 

ChiefPlanner

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I can just see New Yorkers getting turned away from the A train because they hadn't booked a seat...

It would be almost as messy as a Yorkshireman being turfed off the train to get his beer for the same reason...
As the song says - "Take the A Train - the quickest way to Harlem" - non stop 59th - 125th down 8th Avenue ,and much appreciated for that 70 block dash +. Not one to stop people boarding without a reservation for sure.
 

Bantamzen

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The point, again, is that you don't need to enforce it. Enough people will play along that it will work, particularly in the circumstances.
Until they figure out they don't have to, which in this part of the world would be at a maximum a couple of trips.... "No beggar is checking t' tickets, it'll be reet...". All that hassle for a system people will start to ignore when people figure out they can travel when they feel like it, and then is only for relatively short period of time.

A slight case of over-thinking I'm afraid!

As the song says - "Take the A Train - the quickest way to Harlem" - non stop 59th - 125th down 8th Avenue ,and much appreciated for that 70 block dash +. Not one to stop people boarding without a reservation for sure.
"Good morning Sir, do you have your reservation for the A Train Express?"

"Get the <bleep> outta here!"
 
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