London - Gatwick fare differentials

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soil

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Victoria - Gatwick Airport is £13.50, routed Southern Only.
London Bridge - Gatwick Airport is £8.50, routed Southern Only.

There is a Southern train service from London Bridge to Victoria, from where one could catch the Victoria - Gatwick train.

Obviously that would be slow and unpleasant, but a much better idea is to simply buy the £8.50 London Bridge - Gatwick ticket for a journey starting from Victoria. Is this valid?

---
St Pancras, Farringdon and Blackfriars - Gatwick Airport have fares of £9.90 routed 'Not Underground'.

The intention is obviously that one catch the Thameslink service running directly to Gatwick from these stations.

However checking nationalrail.co.uk for a late time, when the Thameslink + underground are not running, it suggests transferring by bus or taxi to Victoria, and then connecting onto the Gatwick Express, and with a fare of £9.90. This suggests that via Victoria, on any train, is a valid route for these tickets.

If you check a normal time of day then routing via Victoria routes on the underground, and fares go up to £17.30 (Southern only), £17.50 (not via Gatwick Express), and £22.50 (Any Permitted).

However obviously with no underground this is not an option.

So in general is it possible to make ones own arrangements between stations on a ticket routed 'Not Underground' (which might, incidentally, be using a separate Oyster Card ticket on the underground) in order to exploit a cheaper ticket?

I suspect the ticket should be endorsed Not Underground, First Capital Connect Only, because it seems to me that say Blackfriars - walk to - Victoria - Gatwick Express to - Gatwick is a valid routing on this ticket.

And that there is not much Southern can do to stop the cheaper London Bridge - Gatwick Airport (Southern Only) ticket being used on the faster Victoria - Gatwick Airport service?
 
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MikeWh

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I think you'd have difficulty using London Bridge to Gatwick via Victoria as you'd be doubling back through Battersea Park.
 

soil

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I don't know if it would help validity problems, but the off-peak day return fares are similar to the single.

St Pancras/Blackfriars/Farringdon - Gatwick is £10 off-peak day return, not underground
London Bridge-Gatwick is £9.50 off-peak day return Southern only, £10 FCC only, £10.20 Not Gatwick Express

Ex-Gatwick you can get around operating restrictions by e.g., buying an FCC-only day travelcard and then just changing onto a Southern service at East Croydon, on the basis that it's valid on that service through the travelcard.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
So what does this actually mean?

"LONDON GROUP STATIONS
These stations form the London Group of routeing points for travel from to or
via London. Customers may travel to or via any of the stations which is on
the permitted route or train service for the journey being made. "
 

yorkie

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In the context of a ticket specifically from London Bridge, it has no meaning as it wouldn't be applicable.

It would, however, assist in the selection of valid terminals to use if the ticket origin was from London Terminals, or if the ticket was valid via London Terminals.
 

soil

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Do Victoria trains all in fact 'pass through' Battersea Park.

There appears to be a wide loop around it.

https://maps.google.co.uk/maps?q=Ba...k+Rd,+London+SW8+4BH,+United+Kingdom&t=m&z=16

Also I don't quite understand about the basis for using the Underground on a 'London Terminals' or other fare.
The Routeing guide says that for a Routeing code 'LONDON', 'If the routeing code is "LONDON", journeys include the cost of cross-London transfer either by London Underground or Thameslink services. In all cases the transfer points should be along the correct line of route given by the ‘permitted route’ map combinations. ' but otherwise?
 

yorkie

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Do Victoria trains all in fact 'pass through' Battersea Park.
Victoria trains from London Bridge? Yes, as they call there (bar one or two peak trains).

You could argue that it's possible to change at Denmark Hill onto a train that by-passes Battersea Park though.

So, yes, I think it is, strictly speaking, valid via Victoria, but I wouldn't like to be arguing with RPIs over that.

Also I don't quite understand about the basis for using the Underground on a 'London Terminals' or other fare.
You cannot use London Underground on a London Terminals ticket, except as applicable on designated 'inter-available' routes.
The Routeing guide says that for a Routeing code 'LONDON', 'If the routeing code is "LONDON", journeys include the cost of cross-London transfer either by London Underground or Thameslink services. In all cases the transfer points should be along the correct line of route given by the ‘permitted route’ map combinations. '
That's correct.
but otherwise?
Otherwise? as in if "LONDON" is not listed in the Routeing Guide (Section C)? Then, generally speaking, you cannot go via London.

There may be some exceptions where the routeing code "LONDON" is not listed in the Routeing Guide (Section C) but the ticket is routed via London. In this case, ATOC recently confirmed that permitted routes would be from origin to the via point, and from the via point to destination. This would have exactly the same validity as if the routeing code was "LONDON".

There are also some exceptions where the routeing code "LONDON" is listed in the guide, but the ticket does not have the cross-London 'maltese cross' marker. In this case, the ticket is still valid via London, but arguments with barrier staff can ensue! I attempted this once, on a Grantham <> Stroud ticket a few years ago (the routeing London has since been removed) and had to argue my way through barriers at King's Cross LU station, but I was well prepared for it and won the 'debate'.
 

soil

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Victoria trains from London Bridge? Yes, as they call there (bar one or two peak trains).
Actually I was thinking about the trains Victoria - Clapham Junction - East Croydon - Gatwick Airport.

You could argue that it's possible to change at Denmark Hill onto a train that by-passes Battersea Park though.

So, yes, I think it is, strictly speaking, valid via Victoria, but I wouldn't like to be arguing with RPIs over that.
No I was looking at it the other way round - it seems reasonable to say that you pass through Battersea Park on a suburban train INTO Victoria, but perhaps not the fast train OUT of Victoria. But I don't really know the route well.

You cannot use London Underground on a London Terminals ticket, except as applicable on designated 'inter-available' routes.
Which are what?

If I query the route London Liverpool Street - Gatwick, Marylebone - Gatwick, etc. I get 'London Terminals - Gatwick' £13.70 published by Southern, not via Gatwick Express.

Neither station appears in the relevant maps (SC, LB, SL+LB), so I take it I just choose any station I like that's in the group and route from there, and then I do Underground to get there. But I'm not sure the basis for that????
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
This link shows the Blackfriars via Victoria routeing as valid, subject to transfer on foot.

http://ojp.nationalrail.co.uk/service/timesandfares/BFR/GTW/240612/0315/dep

It doesn't seem to be valid on any of the maps, but I don't know if routeing between London stations is special somehow.
 

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If I query the route London Liverpool Street - Gatwick, Marylebone - Gatwick, etc. I get 'London Terminals - Gatwick' £13.70 published by Southern, not via Gatwick Express.
This is a well-known issue. The booking system offers the London Terminals fare without really checking if it is a terminal valid on the London Terminals ticket.

Neither station appears in the relevant maps (SC, LB, SL+LB), so I take it I just choose any station I like that's in the group and route from there, and then I do Underground to get there. But I'm not sure the basis for that????
You can do that, however the cross-London transfer on LU will have to be paid for separately and is not included on a London Terminals ticket.

This link shows the Blackfriars via Victoria routeing as valid, subject to transfer on foot.

http://ojp.nationalrail.co.uk/service/timesandfares/BFR/GTW/240612/0315/dep

It doesn't seem to be valid on any of the maps, but I don't know if routeing between London stations is special somehow.
The £9.90 fare appears to be defined between Gatwick Airport and Cluster Q632 (LONDN CTL FCC-C1), which includes the five Thameslink stations between St Pancras and Elephant & Castle.

On possible reason why this itinerary was being offered is that permitted routes between these five stations (which are all part of London Group) and Gatwick Airport are defined in the Routeing Guide by the permitted routes between London Group and Gatwick Airport. Victoria is another member of London Group which has permitted routes to Gatwick Airport. The booking system notices that the bus transfer (not on foot) between Blackfriars and Victoria is not via London Underground, therefore it decides that Blackfriars - (Bus) - Victoria - (Train) - Gatwick Airport is a valid route for the ticket in question.
 

soil

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I get these routes:

London Bridge - Victoria:
Route: London Bridge, Borough Market Junction, Metropolitan Junction, Blackfriars Junction, London Blackfriars, Elephant & Castle, Loughborough Junction, Canterbury Road Junction, Brixton Junction, Shepherds Lane Junction, Clapham High Street, Voltaire Road Junction, Factory Junction, Linford Street Junction, Battersea Pier Junction, London Victoria

Victoria - Gatwick Airport
London Victoria, Battersea Pier Junction, Battersea Park, Pouparts Junction, Clapham Junction, Wandsworth Common, Balham, Streatham Common, Norbury, Thornton Heath, Selhurst, East Croydon, South Croydon, Purley Oaks, Purley, Earlswood (Surrey), Salfords, Horley, Gatwick Airport

So that doesn't appear to double back.

Regarding the Blackfriars, St Pancras, Farringdon, Victoria, London Bridge routes, the shortest distances are, respectively:
26 m 74ch
31 m 48ch
27 m 40ch
26 m 53ch
26 m 47ch

So in general routeing on foot (0 miles) via Victoria (26 mi 53ch) will always be within 3 miles of the shortest route, so seems to be valid on that basis?
 

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I get these routes:

London Bridge - Victoria:
Route: London Bridge, Borough Market Junction, Metropolitan Junction, Blackfriars Junction, London Blackfriars, Elephant & Castle, Loughborough Junction, Canterbury Road Junction, Brixton Junction, Shepherds Lane Junction, Clapham High Street, Voltaire Road Junction, Factory Junction, Linford Street Junction, Battersea Pier Junction, London Victoria

Victoria - Gatwick Airport
London Victoria, Battersea Pier Junction, Battersea Park, Pouparts Junction, Clapham Junction, Wandsworth Common, Balham, Streatham Common, Norbury, Thornton Heath, Selhurst, East Croydon, South Croydon, Purley Oaks, Purley, Earlswood (Surrey), Salfords, Horley, Gatwick Airport

So that doesn't appear to double back.

Regarding the Blackfriars, St Pancras, Farringdon, Victoria, London Bridge routes, the shortest distances are, respectively:
26 m 74ch
31 m 48ch
27 m 40ch
26 m 53ch
26 m 47ch

So in general routeing on foot (0 miles) via Victoria (26 mi 53ch) will always be within 3 miles of the shortest route, so seems to be valid on that basis?
You might want to use the eNRT to perform mileage checks - the line from Elephant & Castle to Clapham High Street hasn't seen any timetabled passenger services for many years.

 
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yorkie

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Actually I was thinking about the trains Victoria - Clapham Junction - East Croydon - Gatwick Airport.

No I was looking at it the other way round - it seems reasonable to say that you pass through Battersea Park on a suburban train INTO Victoria, but perhaps not the fast train OUT of Victoria. But I don't really know the route well.
Oh right, well they definitely go via Battersea Park.

It's the suburban trains via Denmark Hill where the avoiding Battersea Park argument could be used (by changing trains).
Which are what?
The only place I can find a definitive answer to that question is in The Manual, an extract is available here, download the attachment (PDF format) and look at page 5. (though the information is about 5 years out of date, I doubt it's changed. There are plans for current versions of The Manual to be publicly available by next year).
If I query the route London Liverpool Street - Gatwick, Marylebone - Gatwick, etc. I get 'London Terminals - Gatwick' £13.70 published by Southern, not via Gatwick Express.
Where did you query that?

Unfortunately that ticket would not be valid from Liverpool St or Marylebone.

This misleading information does happen from time to time, from certain sources, as certain journey planners & many ticket machines struggle with the concept of London Terminals tickets.

However a ticket booking site should charge the correct through fare, inclusive of the Underground, which would be the single from Zone U1256 London not from London Terminals.
Neither station appears in the relevant maps (SC, LB, SL+LB), so I take it I just choose any station I like that's in the group and route from there, and then I do Underground to get there. But I'm not sure the basis for that????
No, you can't do that. If you have a London Terminals ticket, it is not valid to start on London Underground (with certain exceptions e.g. London Terminals to Aylesbury where inter-available ticketing applies).
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
So in general routeing on foot (0 miles) via Victoria (26 mi 53ch) will always be within 3 miles of the shortest route, so seems to be valid on that basis?
I don't think this argument holds water, otherwise you could start any journey with a 0 mile walk to justify that another route is shorter.
 

cjohnson

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Victoria - Gatwick Airport is £13.50, routed Southern Only.
London Bridge - Gatwick Airport is £8.50, routed Southern Only.

There is a Southern train service from London Bridge to Victoria, from where one could catch the Victoria - Gatwick train.

Obviously that would be slow and unpleasant, but a much better idea is to simply buy the £8.50 London Bridge - Gatwick ticket for a journey starting from Victoria. Is this valid?
As far as I can see, one mapped route from London Bridge-Gatwick is via SL+LB. This allows London Bridge-Denmark Hill-Victoria-Gatwick without doubling back. NRE and some booking sites will sell you the £8.50 "Southern only" single for this journey.
 

pkkelly

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A rather easier and safer way to save money is simply to split at East Croydon - all Southern services from Victoria to Gatwick stop there:

London Victoria to East Croydon = £5.30 Anytime Day Single
East Croydon to Gatwick Airport = £4.90 Anytime Day Single

...saving £3.00 against the NOT GATWICK EXP London Terminals to Gatwick Airport Offpeak Day Single, and £3.30 against the Anytime equivalent.

Further savings are to be had if the passenger is prepared to change trains at East Croydon to swipe in/out on Oystercard - peak/off-peak fares are £4.50/£2.80 bringing the through journey to Gatwick down to £9.40/£7.70.
 

johnnycache

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As far as I can see, one mapped route from London Bridge-Gatwick is via SL+LB. This allows London Bridge-Denmark Hill-Victoria-Gatwick without doubling back. NRE and some booking sites will sell you the £8.50 "Southern only" single for this journey.
But you can't do this journey using Southern trains only as the Denmark Hill Victoria leg (avoiding Battersea Park) is on Southeastern
 

yorkie

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But you can't do this journey using Southern trains only as the Denmark Hill Victoria leg (avoiding Battersea Park) is on Southeastern
Hmm, true, but if it is a permitted route, then the journey can still be done on Southern trains for all sections where it is possible, and alternative means can be used for any other sections.

For example, London - York Route: GC Only. This could be used between London - Doncaster on a GC train, but once you reach Doncaster there is no way to get to York on GC services, so the ticket is effectively unusable beyond Doncaster. But it's still valid from London to Doncaster.

This was recently debated in the thread Inverness/Aberdeen EC Only - Query?. With the exception of marks87, I think it's a fair observation to state that everyone else agreed that a Edinburgh - Inverness route EC Only ticket is valid on an EC train between Edinburgh - Aberdeen.
 

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By going London Bridge - Battersea Park, Battersea Park - Clapham Jct, Clapham Jct - Gatwick there would be no doubling back.
True, but I feel the purpose of the discussion is to get a cheaper fare from Victoria.
 

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are you saying that if i have a ticket from one station in a routeing point group to a destination that ticket can be used from any other station in the group to that destination even if the fare is higher?

for instance (a non-London example):

if i have a ticket from southampton airport to eastleigh (£2) should i be able to travel from southampton central to eastleigh (£3.60) because southampton central and southampton airport are both in the same group?
 

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are you saying that if i have a ticket from one station in a routeing point group to a destination that ticket can be used from any other station in the group to that destination even if the fare is higher?

for instance (a non-London example):

if i have a ticket from southampton airport to eastleigh (£2) should i be able to travel from southampton central to eastleigh (£3.60) because southampton central and southampton airport are both in the same group?
No. There is a difference between routeing groups and ticketing groups. In the case of London, the routeing group contains Bethnal Green whereas the ticketing group (London Terminals) includes Vauxhall. In the case of Southampton there is no ticketing group called Southampton Stations.
 

calc7

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are you saying that if i have a ticket from one station in a routeing point group to a destination that ticket can be used from any other station in the group to that destination even if the fare is higher?

for instance (a non-London example):

if i have a ticket from southampton airport to eastleigh (£2) should i be able to travel from southampton central to eastleigh (£3.60) because southampton central and southampton airport are both in the same group?
Routeing Group is different to Station Group, the latter being for origins/destinations.
 

soil

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Hmm, true, but if it is a permitted route, then the journey can still be done on Southern trains for all sections where it is possible, and alternative means can be used for any other sections.

For example, London - York Route: GC Only. This could be used between London - Doncaster on a GC train, but once you reach Doncaster there is no way to get to York on GC services, so the ticket is effectively unusable beyond Doncaster. But it's still valid from London to Doncaster.
Hmm.

These are the fares from LBG to GTW:

SDS Southern-Only £8.50 (Southern)
SDS FCC-Only £9.90 (FCC)
SDS Not Gatwick Express £10 (FCC)

Since the Gatwick Express is non-stop Victoria -Gatwick, the existence of a Not Gatwick Expess ticket, suggests that LBG-VIG-GTW is a permitted route.

So the FCC-issued not via Gatwick Express LBG-GTW SDS would work for VIC-GTW, and is 20p cheaper than the VIC-ECR ECR-GTW combination.

The £8.50 Southern-Only ticket, however, is a bit trickier, what it comes down to is whether a 'TOC only' type ticket restricts the permitted routes.

The Routeing Guide says

'If a choice of routes is available and the fare for the journey is described as "Any Permitted" route or is unrouted, you are free to choose any of the routes listed in the Guide. Where the fare specifies a particular route, you may choose only those routes listed in the Guide which pass through the station shown in the route description. '

The ticket is routed 'Southern only', but whether this restricts the routeing is not completely clear. The VIC-LBG route is covered by Southern, but in order to avoid Battersea Park and therefore doubling back, you need a Southeastern train.
On the one hand if you board at VIC on a LBG ticket you haven't actually doubled back, since you travelled LBG-VIC on foot, and therefore did not pass through Battersea Park. OTOH it's impossible to actually travel the route on a Southern-only ticket without doubling back or using a Southeastern train on a route covered by SOuthern.
 

bb21

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Since the Gatwick Express is non-stop Victoria -Gatwick, the existence of a Not Gatwick Expess ticket, suggests that LBG-VIG-GTW is a permitted route.
I don't think you can draw such a conclusion.
 

soil

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yorkie

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...The Routeing Guide says

'If a choice of routes is available and the fare for the journey is described as "Any Permitted" route or is unrouted, you are free to choose any of the routes listed in the Guide. Where the fare specifies a particular route, you may choose only those routes listed in the Guide which pass through the station shown in the route description. '

The ticket is routed 'Southern only', but whether this restricts the routeing is not completely clear.....
There is no geographical routeing on this ticket, it's a TOC specific routeing (covered by Condition 10 of the National Rail Conditions of Carriage).
 

Indigo2

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are you saying that if i have a ticket from one station in a routeing point group to a destination that ticket can be used from any other station in the group to that destination even if the fare is higher?

for instance (a non-London example):

if i have a ticket from southampton airport to eastleigh (£2) should i be able to travel from southampton central to eastleigh (£3.60) because southampton central and southampton airport are both in the same group?
Just to give a slightly clearer answer, the routeing guide says with regard to this
NRG said:
Some stations are grouped together to improve interchange between trains
by offering customers access to a wider choice of train services and station
facilities. A customer may travel via any station in such a group, including
doubling back, provided that the group is on one of the permitted routes
between their origin and destination stations. This extended availability is for
interchange purposes only and does not apply where the origin or destination
stations are part of a group.
So as Southampton Airport Parkway is within Southampton Routeing Group, you would not be allowed to double back to Southampton Central (neither/nor start short there, if BoJ is permitted on the ticket) on a ticket from there to Eastleigh.

You would be allowed to double back to Southampton Central however on a ticket from outside Southampton Group, e.g. Bitterne to Eastleigh is valid via Southampton Central by my reckoning, and gives a very slight saving over the SOU-ESL fare. Whether starting short when doubling back within a station group like this is really permitted however, is occasionally quite hotly debated on here.
 

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Just as a further note, National Rail shows that LBG-GTW via Denmark Hill is valid on the Southern-only ticket.

http://ojp.nationalrail.co.uk/service/timesandfares/LBG/GTW/today/0930/dep?via=Denmark_Hill
No. It shows a £16.00 journey opportunity at 0941 which requires more than one ticket, consisting of a £2.80 Anytime Day Single and a £13.20 Off-Peak Day Single. This appears to be a London Bridge - Denmark Hill £2.80 Anytime Day Single plus an unknown £13.20 Off-Peak Day Single.
 

yorkie

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No. It shows a £16.00 journey opportunity at 0941 which requires more than one ticket, consisting of a £2.80 Anytime Day Single and a £13.20 Off-Peak Day Single. This appears to be a London Bridge - Denmark Hill £2.80 Anytime Day Single plus an unknown £13.20 Off-Peak Day Single.
I think that has changed overnight!
 

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I'm going to try to summarise

1) A ticket from London Terminals to (say) Gatwick Airport is valid from any London Terminal which can access one of the routes in the Routeing Guide - normal rules apply ie no doubling back without an easement

The only one i'm not sure about is St Pancras as the rule south of the river is normally that St Pancras is only a London Terminal from the north - but is this a valid rule?

2) A ticket from an individual London Terminal (say London Bridge) to Gatwick Airport is valid for travel via any other London Terminal as long as there is no double back and the routes are as per the routeing guide for London Routeing Group to Gatwick Airport Routeing Point. Mileage doesn't come into it.

For example London Bridge -Blackfriars (via Herne Hill) - Gatwick Airport would be fine

London Bridge -Denmark Hill - Victoria (not via Battersea Park) - Gatwick Airport would be fine

London Bridge - Waterloo East - Waterloo - Clapham Junction - Gatwick Airport would be fine

3) A TOC dedicated ticket (say Southern only) from an individual London Terminal (say London Bridge) to Gatwick Airport is valid by all the same routes as in 2) above but this validity in practice is limited to those routes over which the TOC operates

Is there anything here which anyone disagrees with?
 

soil

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3) A TOC dedicated ticket (say Southern only) from an individual London Terminal (say London Bridge) to Gatwick Airport is valid by all the same routes as in 2) above but this validity in practice is limited to those routes over which the TOC operates

Is there anything here which anyone disagrees with?
With regard to 3), the question is whether it is legitimate, in effect, to walk (nominally at least) from Denmark Hill to Victoria (not via Battersea Park) in order to abide by the Southern-only restriction on a route (not via Battersea Park) operated by Southeastern.
 
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