London - Worcester Anytime Returns

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Mutant Lemming

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I was under the illusion (silly of me I know) that your basic Anytime return would be valid on 'any reasonable route'. London - Worcester has three anytime fares dependent on route but with quite staggering differences at £71 (via Evesham), £146 (giving Eveshan and Stroud as options) and £173 (valid only via Birmingham). While I can understand the most straightforward and direct route being the cheapest, the fares for the two alternatives (which still don't give you full flexibility of routes) are quite staggering.

How much would one have to pay for a fully flexible anytime ticket entitling you to travel any of the above routes as the three anytime fares quoted on the FGW site are all route specific?

How does the saying go ? ...... even Dick Turpin had the decency to wear a mask.
 
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Ivo

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It may also be worth noting that Any Permitted fares do exist from Great Malvern, costing only a fraction more than the fare mentioned above for Worcester via Birmingham (£178 in NFM 11).
 

bb21

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In this instance it states that the most expensive fare (at £173) is valid via Birmingham only.
There appears to be no fare that allows travel over any of the three recognised routes.

A Change of Route Excess will be zero cost if the clerk / guard can be asked to do it, although it is not needed, as others have stated, a ticket for a more expensive route is automatically valid over a cheaper route.

I don't get your point. The most expensive ticket is fully flexible over all these routeing options.
 

LexyBoy

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Oh come on, don't be daft! Mutant Lemming has failed to appreciate, from what has been said, that a given routed ticket is also valid by any permitted route for which there is also a cheaper routed ticket. If you use a Trainline-based web site it says quite clearly: "This ticket is only valid for routes passing through Birmingham." He hasn't been rude in any way and, whether tony_mac is right or not (he is, I know, but that's not relevant), it's not unreasonable for ML to ask a question regarding the difference between what he has seen on the web site that sells the ticket and what someone has said on here.

I agree - especially as folk nowadays are often extra careful as they're afraid of being fined for taking the wrong train/route/time. From the "official source", it appears pretty clear cut that you must travel via Birmingham (even though this is wrong).

MutantLemming - for an official declaration of the rules, we must turn to the NRCoC, specifically 13(a)(iii):
13. The route you are entitled to take
(a) You may travel between the stations shown on the ticket you hold in:
(iii)
trains which take the routes shown in the National Routeing Guide.

Then we look at the Routeing Guide...
Routeing Guide Section A said:
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.
Hmm... doesn't sound promising, but then lower down in the same document we find:
CALCULATING EXCESS FARES
On occasions the Routeing Guide will prevent a customer from making their
preferred journey. In such instances and where appropriate, the customer
should be offered the opportunity to purchase an excess fare ticket, prior to
travel, which allows the journey to be made by their preferred route.
Where a journey is undertaken by an alternative route to that for which the
ticket was originally purchased, and for which a higher fare applies,
additional payment is required to enable the customer to make or complete
their revised travel arrangements.
Since the Via Birmingham ticket is more expensive than the other routes, no additional payment is required.

NRE is and I guess other sites will not show that the Via Birmingham is valid on any route except via Birmingham. (Worse, in some cases where there is an Any Permitted and a (mapped) route-specific fare, it will only offer the route specific fare on services taking that route. This is a problem when the route-specific fare is more expensive!). It would be more accurate, if possibly more confusing to the average passenger, to state "you must travel via X; if you do not travel via X then an excess fare may or may not be charged". Of course, if it were a TOC-Only restriction then it would not be valid at all on other operators - hardly obvious when both operator and geographic restrictions are shown under Route:.
 

tony_mac

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I think that my post was too brief to be completely clear, but I think it has now been explained better now.

It isn't very obvious to a regular passenger that a 'route via Birmingham' ticket would be valid not via Birmingham. It makes even less sense when a route 'Not London' ticket is valid via London, but it does happen.
 

Mutant Lemming

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What is the "it" that states this?

If you had read the original post rather than jumping on the 'let's bash the oik bandwagon' you would have noted that I was referring to the First Great Western website
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
In further reference - the FGW website had the most expensive ticket described as via Birmingham ONLY exactly as so with the ONLY in block capitals which is why I questioned further as to if the ticket was issued as such would it be valid via other routes.
 
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Deerfold

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If you had read the original post rather than jumping on the 'let's bash the oik bandwagon' you would have noted that I was referring to the First Great Western website

I was not meaning to bash anyone, just trying to clarify so I could respond without any confusion.

I'm afraid I didn't think that was clear - I didn't know where (if anywhere) you had checked after initially seeing the fares on that site.

As you were disputing tony_mac's comment I thought you may have sought additional information.
 

34D

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As an aside, I seem to recall that the off-peak returns on this route have (or at least had) very generous validity periods (as in from 04:30 for a ticket I purchased a few years ago).
 
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