London Terminals - Changing at St Pancras from the North for City Thameslink

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AL 1970

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Hi,

I've had an Annual Season ticket from Leicester to London for a number of years and upon purchasing have always been issued with a ticket that states "London Terminals". Subsequently when I arrive at St Pancras Intl via East Midlands Trains, I then transfer onto the First Capital Connect line and travel 2 stops to City Thameslink to complete my journey....not once being stopped or having my ticket rejected by the barrier at either destination.

A month or so ago when making the change at St Pancras the barrier suddenly rejected the ticket and I was informed by the FCC staff / Revenue collector that my ticket was not valid, the reason given was that I was not permitted to travel between "London Terminals" and my ticket only covered me as far as my first "London Terminal e.g. St Pancras.... all despite me completing the same journey for a number of years and being sold the ticket from a ticket office barely metres away!

There were lots of frustrated commuters in the same boat, particularly as when purchasing the tickets.....the various computer terminals default to the wording "London Terminals" and not "City Thameslink"....so it's impossible to purchase a ticket for this route..unless you buy a Travel-Card which you quite clearly don't need to travel 2 stops on FCC.

From debating this on a number of occasions with the barrier staff etc as St P....I've now been told that I can travel North from St Pancras on FCC as I guess which I sometimes do as this is a "permitted route" between London to Leicester......which makes sense.

However I've also been told that if I boarded a FCC train between Leicester and St Pancras heading SOUTH eg. Perhaps changing from EMT to FCC at Luton....then I'd be fine to travel through to City Thameslink as this would be my arrival "London Terminal"...despite passing through the same St Pancras station! In the interests of time I'm naturally not going to do this.

In a nut-shell...what they are saying is that I would have to travel North from St P...to travel south as they would then ignore St Pancras on the South journey through to City Thameslink! Additionally I'm not permitted to change at a London Terminal to continue my journey to my intended "London Terminal".

I now know from lots of recent research that "London Terminal" means the 1st Terminal you arrive at from the North eg. St Pancras....but it's the follow-up explanation about if I approach on an FCC train that they ignore St Pancras that puzzles me.

I'm certainly not going to be changing trains at Luton, but didn't know if anyone was experiencing similar issues or someone more savy than me could clarify?

FCC may be right, but the perception is that this has suddenly become a money making exercise as on some days the barrier's are fine and allow entrance and on other's they reject the tickets. When fronted on why this is.....they ultimately admitted that it depends who is in charge of the gate and if they want a lot of grief from frustrated commuters.....

It's also laughable that the computer does not allow the counter-staff to issue a ticket that states "City Thameslink" and now defaults to a travel-card which clearly isn't a requirement....this was confirmed by the gate staff at St P who confirmed you can "no"t buy a ticket from Leicester to St P....that combines EMT + FCC.

I'm not sure why because if I travel through to Essex for example, I can buy a ticket that combines EMT and C2C....so why should FCC be any different?

Any guidance / clarification or thoughts appreciated.

Cheers
 
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telstarbox

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yorkie

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Welcome to the forum.

There is a lot of misinformation there, and you have been given incorrect advice on numerous occasions. It's a complex issue and not all rail staff understand it, let alone customers. These questions do crop up regularly on this forum, the most recent was about a week ago.

It's not true that tickets expire at the first London Terminal you reach, however tickets to London Terminals are not considered to be valid at, or via Farringdon. Therefore, from the North the limit is St Pancras.

However some flows from the North have tickets to London Thameslink at no extra price but that does not apply from Leicester.

Bizarrely, there is no Season that allows you to do what you want to do, other than a Travelcard.

I'd also suggest buying the Season from somewhere like Narborough or Oakham, it's the same price as from Leicester but gives you additional validity via Nuneaton or Peterborough which may be useful.

Also if you buy monthly Seasons, be sure to get odd-periods to cover 5 week blocks (e.g. if you work Mon-Fri then you'd want it to start on a Monday and finish on a Friday usually) but taking into account Bank Holidays, Annual Leave etc.

There was a thread specifically discussing a Leicester-London Season and the fact it's not valid beyond St Pancras here: Leicester -> London. Many Questions, while the more general matter of London Terminals tickets not being valid beyond Farringdon has been discussed in too many threads to mention!
 

AL 1970

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Cheers.....I noticed that ruling recently, hence my fears that the ticket with "London Terminals" on it is technically not correct..... despite working for a number of years through the barrier's and being accepted by the barrier staff.

The problem is the ticket staff at EMT and revenue staff at St Pancras have confirmed that they can't issue tickets with City Thameslink on.....I'm just wondering if "London Thameslink" is what should be issued and if the computer will say "Yes" this time instead of "No".

Many Thanks
 

yorkie

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Sorry. London Thameslink is available at no additional cost from some origins as described here but this does not apply to tickets from Leicester.

Therefore, if entering Leicester to London Thameslink, computer says "No".

When you bought the ticket, did you specifically request a ticket to City Thameslink?
 

AL 1970

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Yorkie - Cheers for this information and that's really helped to clarify.

I also had a read through the "Leicester" link that contained some useful information......although I still can't work out why there is not a permitted route to City Thameslink.....when Oakham to London has numerous!

I'm not sure if something has changed since I purchased the season ticket in December last year.....but when I went in via the EMT season ticket purchase link just now (below)...typed in destination "City Thameslink"....it now subsequently gives me the option of "London Thameslink", "London Terminal" or "London Zones 1-6"....so it does look like there isn't a requirement to buy the more expensive and not required Travelcard.

http://www.eastmidlands.trainsfares.co.uk/season/Requirements/st_qtt.asp

Pretty sure at the time I may have just asked for London when I purchased as it's always worked for the past 2-3 years eg. since St Pancras opened.

Thanks once again for your help.....looks like I'll just have to get the calculator out again and work out the cheapest way to cover the St P to City sector!

One final thing....do you know if I am ok to travel on FCC between St P and Luton etc on FCC......Does an EMT ticket cover me permitted route?

Many Thanks
 

yorkie

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Yorkie - Cheers for this information and that's really helped to clarify.

I also had a read through the "Leicester" link that contained some useful information......although I still can't work out why there is not a permitted route to City Thameslink.....when Oakham to London has numerous!
There is no ticket to that destination from Leicester.
I'm not sure if something has changed since I purchased the season ticket in December last year.....but when I went in via the EMT season ticket purchase link just now (below)...typed in destination "City Thameslink"....it now subsequently gives me the option of "London Thameslink", "London Terminal" or "London Zones 1-6"....so it does look like there isn't a requirement to buy the more expensive and not required Travelcard.

http://www.eastmidlands.trainsfares.co.uk/season/Requirements/st_qtt.asp
Yes, you are right. If you booked a ticket online, clearly entering the destination as City Thameslink, I'm not a Contract Law expert but I would expect that to be binding. Whether or not looking it up and using that as evidence that a ticket bought from a station without specifically stating City Thameslink would be binding, I do not know. It's certainly misleading.

If FCC/EMT will not honour your ticket to City Thameslink, I'd consider contacting the media, especially if you can find many other commuters in the same position.

But I'd give them a chance to resolve the matter amicably first.


One final thing....do you know if I am ok to travel on FCC between St P and Luton etc on FCC......Does an EMT ticket cover me permitted route?
There are no EMT only fares available from Leicester, the only options are inter-available fares, therefore the use of any Train Company, operating on permitted routes, such as FCC is permitted.

Also to clarify, I'd either buy a ticket from Oakham (for extra validity between Peterborough & London King's Cross / Liverpool St including via Cambridge) or from Narborough (for extra validity via Nuneaton & London Euston including via Birmingham), at the same price as the Leicester fare. Unfortunately I don't think it is possible to buy a ticket that is valid on all 3 routes. This can be useful, for example if you got the Narborough ticket, if you went straight from work to Glasgow you'd only need a Nuneaton - Glasgow ticket, and with the Oakham ticket, if you went straight from work to York, you'd only need a Peterborough - York ticket, and so on. Also in the event of minor disruption there may not be ticket acceptance on alternative routes for tickets to Leicester, but you'd be covered anyway.
 

craigwilson

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From the north, on a London Terminals ticket, you can travel to St Pancras, but as the next station (Farringdon) is not a London Terminal, you cannot carry on any further, as you're travelling in excess of the validity of your ticket by leaving "London Terminals" to travel to a non-"London terminal".

From the south, you'd arrive at London Bridge first; as the next two stations (Blackfriars and City Thameslink) are also London Terminals you can continue as far as City Thameslink but you cannot continue to Farringdon or St Pancras, as again, you're exceeding the validity of your ticket by continuing forward from there. For the same reason as above.

Your Leicester-London Terminals ticket would be valid to City Thameslink if Farringdon was a London Terminal, and would avoid all this hassle. However, sometimes one gets the impression that this would be rather too simple a solution, and that certain TOCs would rather leave anomalies like this in place. Too much money to be made from penalty fares and the like. :roll:
 

MikeWh

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Well I'm puzzled. If you put Leicester and City Thameslink into the national rail season ticket calculator it offers 3 different tickets:

Leicester to London Terminals: £229.80 per week
Leicester to London zones 1-6: £242.80 per week
Leicester to London Thameslink: £236.00 per week

So, is the last ticket available or not? If it isn't, £13 is significantly less than the £20 required for 10 single Oyster journeys in zone 1, yet gives you unlimited travel throughout zones 1-6.
 

bb21

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It would seem that such a flow (Leicester - London Thameslink) does exist, which is news to me.

You can purchase this ticket with Southern.

Nevertheless FRPP is refusing to give me a price.
 
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34D

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Yes, you are right. If you booked a ticket online, clearly entering the destination as City Thameslink, I'm not a Contract Law expert but I would expect that to be binding. Whether or not looking it up and using that as evidence that a ticket bought from a station without specifically stating City Thameslink would be binding, I do not know. It's certainly misleading.

If FCC/EMT will not honour your ticket to City Thameslink, I'd consider contacting the media, especially if you can find many other commuters in the same position.

But I'd give them a chance to resolve the matter amicably first.
Can I suggest that you get any proposed communication to FCC proof-read by someone on here. A letter has to be carefully drafted, as you could be admitting to serial fare evasion (between St Pancras and City Thameslink) otherwise.

Where precisely was your current season ticket purchased from, please? Potentially a complaint to that outlet first?

Also to clarify, I'd either buy a ticket from Oakham (for extra validity between Peterborough & London King's Cross / Liverpool St including via Cambridge) or from Narborough (for extra validity via Nuneaton & London Euston including via Birmingham), at the same price as the Leicester fare.
Just to put this another way, buying Oakham-London Terminals also let's you travel via Huntingdon or Cambridge should you ever need to, and also allows you to travel ON THE UNDERGROUND ONLY from Kings Cross to Moorgate if this were something that would be of use to you?
 

hairyhandedfool

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I've never known London Thameslink tickets to be available from any stations other than Bedford-West Hampstead inclusive, but then I've not needed to look for them in the last five years or so. Tickets direct to/from City Thameslink tended to only be from/to GN stations (Welwyn Garden City, Stevenage, etc) back then also.

....Nevertheless FRPP is refusing to give me a price.
It appears to be a market rate season ticket and may not appear in the fares finder (Weekly rate £236, Base rate £205).
 

hluraven

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The issue of buying tickets online when stating a destination (such as ZFD etc) but being issued with "London Terminals" incorrectly instead is one that is being dicsussed at an ATOC working group some time this week IIRC.

The TOCs are aware of the issue and have agreed not to penalty fare in this instance, but occasionally they still do - appeal these if you get them as it should not be happening and escalate to London TravelWatch if your appeal is rejected.

EDIT: They have agreed not to PF when the passenger asked for the correct station either online or at a ticket office, rather than a passenger turning up at the wrong station with a London Terminals ticket they correctly bought wrongly thinking it was valid - although this is hard to know for sure which situation is which.
 

Indigo2

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It seems that the correct ticket to purchase for daily travel from Leicester to City Thameslink is a Leicester to London Thameslink season route "NOT UNDERGROUND". See here on BRfares.com for detail of the market-priced base rate: £787.20 for 1 month.
 

island

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You are lucky you didn't get a Penalty Fare all along, to be honest. But it does seem tickets are available for the journey to City Thameslink, which should help you buy the right ticket in future.
 

swt_passenger

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Not immediately relevant to this problem, but this whole issue can only get worse wth Crossrail, because transfers will be possible on the paid side at Farringdon. Unless they think of a workable standard solution they could end up with many of the same problems as occur on Thameslink.

Questions such as why isn't a Reading or Norwich to London Terminals valid at Farringdon. Or Brighton to London terminals valid at Paddington...

My solution would be to just define all of zone 1 (both LU and NR) as 'Central London', and sell tickets to there rather than London terminals. This could be the price of the current fare to zone 1. Sell it to passengers as a simplification... :lol:

To cater for people who only want the relevant mainline terminal, leave an option to sell fares to the named terminal (or possible terminals) on line of route as well.
 

34D

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My solution would be to just define all of zone 1 (both LU and NR) as 'Central London', and sell tickets to there rather than London terminals. This could be the price of the current fare to zone 1. Sell it to passengers as a simplification... :lol:

To cater for people who only want the relevant mainline terminal, leave an option to sell fares to the named terminal (or possible terminals) on line of route as well.
To be fair, I would probably support this. I'd also suggest that (to keep simple) named terminal only would mean just that - ie passengers from Croydon either pay the u1 price for flexibility, or name one southern terminal ie victoria or charing cross or city thameslink or cannon street (usual break of journey rules apply).
 

thedbdiboy

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The issue of buying tickets online when stating a destination (such as ZFD etc) but being issued with "London Terminals" incorrectly instead is one that is being dicsussed at an ATOC working group some time this week IIRC.
The matter is going to be discussed more fully in September. The underlying issues have been around for ears, and have been getting worse as routes such as Thameslink/LOROL have expanded. The need to tackle it before Crossrail comes on stream is concentrating minds.
 

hluraven

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The matter is going to be discussed more fully in September. The underlying issues have been around for ears, and have been getting worse as routes such as Thameslink/LOROL have expanded. The need to tackle it before Crossrail comes on stream is concentrating minds.
Ok, thanks for the update, I was told "a few weeks" a few weeks ago!
 

rdwarr

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Be careful with some of these "hidden" London Thameslink fares though. I use Stevenage to London Bridge (which is valid for all London Thameslink stations) which is £88 per week. Southern will sell me Stevenage to London Thameslink but it's priced at £109 because it includes the Underground.
 

bb21

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Southern will sell me Stevenage to London Thameslink but it's priced at £109 because it includes the Underground.
That is not a ticket to London Thameslink. That is a Travelcard to London Zones 1-6.
 
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