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London to Southend Routes - Gold Card Rules

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angels1five

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There are two franchises on the London to Southend in Essex route and I live on the LST - SOV route. I have an annual Gold Card including a travelcard zones1-6. The ticket is from Southend Victoria to Zones 1-6 and can be used on any permitted route. The cost was £4740.00.

For the past few months and for several months to come, work is going on for Crossrail and Abellio Greater Anglia (AGA) have been laying on a partial bus replacement service on most weekends. In the past, C2C (who run the SOC to Fenchurch Street route) have accepted AGA Gold Cards but for the past two weekends they haven't so last weekend I had to buy a ticket from the boundary of Zone 6 to SOC and this weekend I took the bus replacement service from Newbury Park on the Central Line to Billericay. It added around an hour to my journey.

Anyway, someone Tweeted that if you had a Gold Card from HOC, Rochford, Southend Airport, Prittlewell or SOV, then travelling into Southend and then out again from SOC and to Zone 6 was a permitted route and he had a letter from c2c to prove it. He posted a photo of the letter which I can post here if anyone wants to see it.

Seeing how this would solve my problem - because what I haven't told you is that the replacement bus from Billericay will be running between Christmas and New Year when I have to get to work in central London by 8am - I asked for clarification from c2c and AGA via their Twitter accounts. AGA stayed silent but c2c merely pointed me to this link:

http://data.atoc.org/routeing-guide?utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=SocialSignIn&utm_source=Twitter

Does anyone here understand the rules in enough detail to be able to give me a definitive answer to whether I am able to use my AGA season ticket Gold Card to use c2c services when there is engineering works necessitating a replacement bus service?

Many thanks in advance.
 
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319321

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[youtube]NZ5vpbU5_E4[/youtube]
The National Rail Conditions of Carriages say that you can
- take a train that uses the shortest route (this is the shortest route to Upminster)
- any direct train (there are no direct trains to Upminster)
- trains that use the routes shown in the National Routeing Guide

The front page of the National Routeing Guide says:
National Routeing Guide said:
If you are planning a journey we would strongly advise you to make use of
the Journey Planner at www.nationalrail.co.uk. Any ticket indicated for use in
conjunction with a particular journey when using the Journey Planner will
automatically be valid for the route and service indicated.

Your ticket is for journeys between Rochford and London Zones 1-6. You are allowed to use any boundary station of Zone 6 and any valid route to that station. For your ticket, the boundary stations you can use are Upminster, Rainham and Harold Wood, hence my using the journey to Upminster as an example.

You can use the National Rail Journey Planner to show you ticket as being valid on this route by searching for a journey from Hockley to Upminster. If no options are shown via Southend, you can then add Basildon as a via point (this is the shortest route). Once a journey plan from Hockley to Upminster is displayed, click the -Travelcard- button at the top of the table of journey options. Choose one of these journeys then print the details. My video linked to above shows this process.

I would suggest that you print off a journey plan for today, and as far in the future as possible as evidence of your route being valid, and possibly even as far as printing and carrying one for each day that you wish to travel.

I know from experience that the c2c inspectors will refuse valid tickets and refuse to be reasonable. c2c refuse to guarantee that their ticket inspectors will allow passengers with valid tickets to travel.

ATOC, presumeably acting on c2cs and Greater Anglias instructions have been introducing hidden rules that prevent journeys via Southend from being shown for London Termianls tickets. They might try and do this for Travelcards as well in the future.

It is the general opinion of this forum that just because a journey is not being shown as valid on the journey planner, it is not automatically invalid, as your routeing options are defined by the National Rail Conditions of Carriage and the paper routeing guide. The journey options you may take were also set at the time that you purchased the ticket as that was when the contract was created, so they cannot be removed even if the routeing guide changes.
 

CyrusWuff

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miscellaneous-worms-can-tin-opening_a_can_of_worms-opening-jfa2492_low.jpg


That's a matter of opinion! The way the rail industry would generally prefer it to be interpreted is that an 'out-boundary' Travelcard is valid from the origin (and intermediate stations) to the edge of Zone 6 on a direct line of route to the relevant London Terminal(s), i.e. Liverpool Street for stations between Southend Victoria and Hockley.

In this particular example, there are tickets explicitly from Southend Victoria routed via Romford (point-to-point) or Any Permitted (Travelcards), and others from "Southend Stations" (Victoria and Central) with route Any Permitted (at a premium price) which are undeniably valid via either route.

Others are of the opinion that a letter from ATOC dating back to 1999(!) basically gives you carte blanche to pick any station you like in Zone 6 and work out routes from your origin to there.

Suffice to say that one of these is less likely to cause issues should you encounter Revenue Protection...
 

kieron

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Does anyone here understand the rules in enough detail to be able to give me a definitive answer to whether I am able to use my AGA season ticket Gold Card to use c2c services when there is engineering works necessitating a replacement bus service?
If you had a season ticket from somewhere like Hockley, you could rely on the understanding of www.nationalrail.co.uk. If you requested a Hockley-Upminster journey (such as this one*), and then selected "with Travelcard", it should offer you a day travelcard from Hockley for a route via Southend, as well as one for a route via Brentwood. Once you get to Upminster, a travelcard can be used to go to a zone 1 station as normal.

I understand that you don't have a Hockley travelcard at the moment, but you should be able to get one fairly easily at a railway station, using a process called a 'changeover'. There's a brief description of what you need to do here. You should get a small refund for this as a Hockley travelcard is slightly cheaper than a Southend Victoria one.

I don't know how much difference this will make to rail staff, but if you have a way to show them that that site considers the travelcard you have to be valid at their station or on their train, it should help. There's a new version of the terms and conditions for travelling by train (available here) which says that "The National Rail Journey Planner ... will display valid tickets for your chosen journey alongside the train times", which should also help. Any staffed station should have a copy available, even if you do not.

* If this doesn't give the expected result, please delete any nationalrail.co.uk cookies you have and try again. It sometimes gets confused.
 
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319321

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Both c2c and Greater Anglia have now confirmed that Southend Victoria - London Zones 1-6 Route ANY PERMITTED is valid for travel on c2c services.
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319321

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Here is a PDF of many of the recent tweets from c2c_rail, greateranglia, myself and others.

The facts that can be established as:

  1. Normally, when there is engineering work causing the line via Romford in to London being closed, c2c accept Greater Anglia tickets, either via Southend Central or often people will drive or bus to a station thats on the line but closer to them so they don't have to loop around Southend.
  2. The past two weekends, this arrangement has not been put in place. c2c claim that Greater Anglia cancelled this ticket acceptance in June. It would appear that Greater Anglia would have to pay c2c to accept its customers if it made a request for ticket acceptance after some sort of industry deadline. Greater Anglia did not want to pay, so decided to make people travel by bus.
  3. This caused significant incoinvience, particularly to season ticket holder who might have lived an equal distance (between Billericay and Laindon for example), so would only have had 10-15mins added to their journey. The journey time in to London from Billericay is normally 31m but is around 80m (but the bus is often delayed in the London Traffic). Some people also dont like buses as they dont have toilets and are more uncomfortable.
  4. Both c2c and Greater Anglia's twitter accounts were telling people that regardless of what particular ticket they held, Greater Anglia tickets were not valid on c2c services at the weekend.
  5. Greater Anglia own many of the flows from their stations to c2c stations, so that seems very harsh, but it appears on the ground the ticket inspectors were at least letting people with Greater Anglia tickets to stations only on the c2c line through.
  6. Some Greater Anglia tickets from some stations on their line are valid to London or through London on the c2c line any day of the week. This is because using the c2c line is the shortest route to get to London Terminals from stations West of Rochford and the shortest route to get to Upminster (the boundary of Zone 6) from stations West of Hockley (inclusive).
  7. It would appear that c2c decided not to allow passengers with the tickets described in paragraph 6 to travel.
  8. By the fact that c2c and Greater Anglia were not asking passengers where their ticket was from and to, many passengers with valid tickets were being told that their tickets were not valid on c2c services.
  9. Those passengers that tried to travel via Southend or were made to pay for a c2c ticket, despite already having a valid ticket for that route. It is possible that some passengers were given penalty fares if they were travelling back from London on the c2c route, given that London Terminals and Travelcards will open the barriers at Fenchurch Street.
  10. Over the weekend, I tweeted several times and also contacted
  11. On the Monday and Tuesday following the weekend, I managed to get both c2c and Greater Anglia to admit that the tickets described in paragraph 6 were in fact valid for travel on c2c services.
I think that Greater Anglia should be breached for the fact that they could have minimised inconvience to passengers at no cost to itself had it made the request for ticket acceptance in time. I also think they could be breached for not paying c2c if the payment request was reasonable.


One of the worst journey time increases for a ticket not described in paragraph 6, and tehrefore not valid for travel on c2c services is Rayleigh to Upminster. Hockley to Upminster was 1hr 10m, while Rayleigh to Upminster was around 3.5hrs.



I am also appalled at the way that neither company made any provision for or seemed aware of the inter-availablity of the tickets. I would have at least thought that c2c would have know given the issues described in the Rochford Ticket thread. I believe that those passengers who were made to buy additionals tickets despite already having valid tickets should be refunded, and where applicable additional compensation paid.

The conditions set out in the ORR SNRPS as a condition for being allowed to operate a Passenger Railway Company, the franchise agreement and the Ticketing and Settlement Agreement all make clear that train companies are supposed to be honoring inter-available tickets and that the provision of inter-available tickets is essential to the operation of National Railway system.
 

319321

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The attached PDF gives a good summary of what was going on. It's in reverse chronological order.
 

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319321

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The previous PDF files was missing a significant number of tweets in the conversation between myself and Greater Anglia. This one has them in.
 

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Muzer

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That's a matter of opinion! The way the rail industry would generally prefer it to be interpreted is that an 'out-boundary' Travelcard is valid from the origin (and intermediate stations) to the edge of Zone 6 on a direct line of route to the relevant London Terminal(s), i.e. Liverpool Street for stations between Southend Victoria and Hockley.

But how do you define "relevant London Terminal(s)" and "direct line of route"? What if someone's destination is genuinely a station in zone 6, the best route to which involves skirting around London in a way which would not normally be valid for a London Terminals ticket?

Others are of the opinion that a letter from ATOC dating back to 1999(!) basically gives you carte blanche to pick any station you like in Zone 6 and work out routes from your origin to there.

If there were an explicit rule somewhere stating exactly how outboundary travelcards worked then we would be clear. As it is, I really see nothing unreasonable about finding routes to zone 6 stations that don't pass through other stations in the zones. It's a logical system that makes about as much sense as deciding that you must first head towards a London terminal even though it's perfectly reasonable for your journey to be to somewhere else entirely.
 

MikeWh

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But how do you define "relevant London Terminal(s)" and "direct line of route"? What if someone's destination is genuinely a station in zone 6, the best route to which involves skirting around London in a way which would not normally be valid for a London Terminals ticket?

If there were an explicit rule somewhere stating exactly how outboundary travelcards worked then we would be clear. As it is, I really see nothing unreasonable about finding routes to zone 6 stations that don't pass through other stations in the zones. It's a logical system that makes about as much sense as deciding that you must first head towards a London terminal even though it's perfectly reasonable for your journey to be to somewhere else entirely.

Although there is some additional flexibility, the route chosen must be a permitted route to the zone 6 station which doesn't enter the zones before reaching the intended destination. This means that only a portion of the outer boundary of zone 6 is reachable from any one out boundary station. As an example, Gravesend is obviously valid to Slade Green, Barnehurst and Crayford; possibly valid to St Mary Cray via Rochester (I haven't checked properly); but won't be valid to Knockholt via Rochester, Swanley and Sevenoaks because the permitted route for that would be via Hither Green or Lewisham.
 

Muzer

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Although there is some additional flexibility, the route chosen must be a permitted route to the zone 6 station which doesn't enter the zones before reaching the intended destination. This means that only a portion of the outer boundary of zone 6 is reachable from any one out boundary station. As an example, Gravesend is obviously valid to Slade Green, Barnehurst and Crayford; possibly valid to St Mary Cray via Rochester (I haven't checked properly); but won't be valid to Knockholt via Rochester, Swanley and Sevenoaks because the permitted route for that would be via Hither Green or Lewisham.

That's what I said in my second paragraph...
 

MikeWh

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That's what I said in my second paragraph...

I must have misunderstood it then. I thought you were saying you could take any roundabout route as long as it avoided the zones.
 

John @ home

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I really see nothing unreasonable about finding routes to zone 6 stations that don't pass through other stations in the zones. It's a logical system that makes about as much sense as deciding that you must first head towards a London terminal even though it's perfectly reasonable for your journey to be to somewhere else entirely.
Yes. The specific wording of the advice obtained from ATOC in 2012 is:
An external Boundary Zone 6 ticket is valid as below:

It is only valid if used with a valid Travelcard/Freedom pass that covers Zone 6.
It is valid to the first crossing of the outer boundary of Zone 6, using any permitted route (observing any fare related restriction) to any station within Zones 1-6 that the associated Travelcard/Freedom pass is valid to.
This is copied from post #8 in this thread.
 

greatkingrat

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I think that Greater Anglia should be breached for the fact that they could have minimised inconvience to passengers at no cost to itself had it made the request for ticket acceptance in time. I also think they could be breached for not paying c2c if the payment request was reasonable.

Leaving aside the general ticket validity question, I don't think there is any obligation on TOCs to arrange ticket acceptance on other TOCs, as long as they have provided some form of alternative transport (such as buses).
 

Muzer

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Yes. The specific wording of the advice obtained from ATOC in 2012 is:This is copied from post #8 in this thread.
Oh, so that validity is VERY different to the one I thought! I thought it was "any permitted route" (sorry MikeWh, I was just being lazy in my vocabulary — I did in fact mean "find permitted routes" rather than "find routes") to any station that would not require you to pass through a station also in the zones. Instead, it's any permitted route to any station in the zones, valid up to the crossing of the boundary of the zone! So, for example, I thought you wouldn't be allowed to use permitted routes to London Terminals (only to the stations on the boundary of the zones), but in fact you can. I clearly need to expand my search, then, to find the limits of my season ticket's validity ;)
 

Paul Kelly

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Oh, so that validity is VERY different to the one I thought! I thought it was "any permitted route" (sorry MikeWh, I was just being lazy in my vocabulary — I did in fact mean "find permitted routes" rather than "find routes") to any station that would not require you to pass through a station also in the zones. Instead, it's any permitted route to any station in the zones, valid up to the crossing of the boundary of the zone! So, for example, I thought you wouldn't be allowed to use permitted routes to London Terminals (only to the stations on the boundary of the zones), but in fact you can.
FWIW I disagree with this. I believe it needs to be the first station you pass through after crossing the Zone 6 outer boundary that you use to find the permitted routes.
 

furlong

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FWIW I disagree with this. I believe it needs to be the first station you pass through after crossing the Zone 6 outer boundary that you use to find the permitted routes.

Because as soon as you reach the first station within the zones (regardless of whether or not the train stops there), your ticket is governed by the Travelcard Agreement. The Ticketing and Settlement Agreement (which provides for use of the Routeing Guide) applies to any component of the ticket not covered by the Travelcard Agreement i.e. outside and up to the boundary of the zones. I can find no provision for use of the Routeing Guide within the area covered by the Travelcard component of the ticket.
 

angels1five

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Thanks all. It would seem there's a lot of ways to interpret the rules and from my point of view, I only want to be able to get to work without having to take a replacement bus.

I travelled to London on Saturday by going HOC to SOV and walking to SOC and then taking the c2c to West Ham. I had to ask to be let into the gates at SOC and then out again on my way home but I wasn't questioned and was just allowed to pass. I didn't encounter the Revenue on the trains I took so never got to actually test the ticket fully but I travel to London often at the weekend and as the engineering work is scheduled to take place every weekend until early November and then again over Christmas, I will be travelling via SOC to get into town at the weekend.

I noticed that AGA were still telling season ticket holders on Twitter that c2c were not accepting their tickets over the weekend without enquiring where their ticket started. It's not good enough for the money the ticket costs.

Thank you everyone for your help/advice.
 
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