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Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by MJN11, 3 Feb 2019.
It isn't true on any trains from Motspur Park!
I think that might be a technical fault occurring on trains and SWR are working on it being fixed.
Today's Herald & Post local newspaper for Luton has the following article on p.4:
Use contactless on Shuttle bus
A new contactless payment system is on Thameslink's Luton Airport Shuttle bus. Customers travelling between the airport and Luton Airport Parkway railway station will be able to tap their contactless bank cards on the reader to pay for a single fare. They can ask the driver for a specific fare and receive a paper ticket and receipt, too. There are also plans to extend contactless Pay As You Go (PAYG) to Luton Airport Parkway train station this autumn. Customers using contactless to travel from London to the airport will see two separate charges. There will be one for the rail journey and another for the bus journey. The through fare to the airport will be the same as the 'add on' fare option (i.e. rail journey to Luton Airport Parkway plus the bus fare on top).
Latest guesses from LU's T&R update:
Phase I: Radlett, Brookmans Park and Potters Bar - June 25th (which hasn't happened as far as I know).
Phase II: St Albans City, Harpenden and Luton Airport Parkway [contactless only] - October 22nd.
Phase III: Welham Green, Hatfiled and Welwyn Garden City [contactless only] - November 26th.
Phase IV: Iver to Reading - no date set, Oyster and contactless, but NOT valid on long distance GWR services.
Interestingly, TfL's geography has let them down because they think Brookmans Park is between Hadley Wood and Potters Bar.
Is this going to be a permanent restriction? Or just temporary?
I don't know. It is possible that the Oyster/contactless fares will be cheaper than the paper equivalents to compensate for only having the slow services.
Would cause loads of problems for unknowledgeable average passengers though, certainly in the Reading to London direction where there aren't platform-specific barriers. I really hope they don't go ahead with a ludicrous permanent restriction like that. And what about the GWR fasts that stop at Slough, for example?
With GWR already having different evening peak pricing on their two service types stand by for another totally predictable mess...
Guess that'll be differentiated by the mainline platforms at Paddington not accepting Oyster. If so going to be loads of passengers arriving at Paddington having tapped in at Reading only to face a Penalty Fare at the Paddington Gateline as well as a TfL maximum charge.....
I know I know ....
Slough and Maidenhead are the same as Reading. Only valid on stopping services, which TfL-Rail are expected to take over at the same time.
How is that going to be enforceable though? How is "high speed services" defined? It is awfully woolly. Quite frankly, it'd be better not to have Oyster to Reading at all than this absolute mess.
Presumably it is too complicated to agree on pricing - Reading to Paddington anytime single is £25.10 but GWR stand to lose lots if there is a cheaper off-peak single fare because of the volume of commuters who travel into London before 6.30am and out of London in the 7pm - 8pm window
I really don't see why TfL should not charge something similar to £25 for the peak single. If TfL don't charge a £25 single for Reading to Paddington, it will create even more issues if ultimately contactless is extended to the fast services.
At least it silences the answer to the question about validity via Staines (and via Guildford to Gatwick) that was always likely to be no.
The outcome of the DfT's consultation on extension of pay as you go may dictate the point at which faster services are included.
Yes, maybe. But TfL are in a difficult place because it would be even more difficult for them to not allow Oyster / Contactless when that it their preferred method of payment.
Given how woolly 'high speed services' has become when you have 1707 Frome / 1718 Oxford / 1807 Frome / 1906 Bedwyn operated by IETs and 387s running pretty fast to Maidenhead and the Oyster fare structure, maybe the time has come for a blanket evening peak ban on off-peak tickets anyway.
Is this GWR don't accept Oyster / Contactless at all, or do they accept it on trains which stop east of West Drayton? It sounds like it wouldn't be valid on the Maidenhead / Twyford / Thames Valley peak services operated by 387s but would be valid on the relief line services operated by 387s.
Ah, OK, read it now.
If you read "Please note that Oyster, contactless payment and TfL staff travel facilities will not be valid on the longer distance services between Paddington and those stations operated by Great Western Railway" literally, it suggests that you can travel to Iver, Langley, Burnham and Taplow on a GWR service but not to Slough, Maidenhead, Twyford or Reading. TfL services only to GWR stations.
Would it be easier and simpler for Oyster and contactless not to be accepted on Intercity services?
Although this may only work at the Paddington end thinking about it.
The point is that it isn't so easy to identify what an "intercity" service is these days when IETs are used on 'LTV' services - eg Bedwyns, Oxfords etc. Far easier to just say that it is only valid on TfL Rail services beyond West Drayton.
Define Inter-City? This branding hasn’t been used for 20 years.
Before the present day GWR franchise adopted the standard Delay Repay concept, their former passengers charter had the distinction between Intercity (HST, now IEP), Regional (Wessex Trains/Regional Railways Wales & West), and Thames Turbos (Network SouthEast) former operations.
The ex HST routes was what I was thinking of regarding Oyster and contactless not being accepted on those departures - similar as how the Thames Day Rangers and Rovers are not accepted in the afternoon peak departing Paddington.
The difference is that there is a defined list of departures which you can't use for the Thames Rover and Off-Peak Day tickets. It's long - but not unfathomably so - because it 'only' includes trains for a 3 and a bit hour stretch of the day. Imagine how long the list would have to be if you had to list all departures, all day long, that it's not valid on.It just wouldn't work!
And how would you even explain that on Oyster acceptance posters? Send people to an internet link, which people without internet access can't then see (and which can be easily unilaterally changed at any time by the train companies when it suits them, e.g. on very busy days)?
The only likely solution I can see is to brand the services which Oyster isn't to be valid on, as something other than just GWR. And then they'd have to purport that it's possible to restrict tickets by brand, which it isn't without changing the NRCoT.
It's all a total mess. The sooner GWR (and the DfT) accept they can't keep their sacred overpriced Anytime tickets between Reading and London non-undercut forever, the better.
But they can - it just needs the Oyster fare to be set at £25 single peak and about £15 off peak. There is no reason why the Oyster fare needs to be cheaper than the current tickets.
There must be a fare which GWR and DfT could agree on. There will have to be if the DfT's consultation on pay as you go seems it to be a good idea (although of course once Crossrail is running there will be distinct gatelibe at Paddington).
Maybe this is actually about the issues caused by platforms 1, 8 and 9 at Paddington (and for that matter any other platform where the gates are not staffed) and how the minimum touch in fare is set.
At present, you can use Oyster out to West Drayton and there are no platforms except the two Heathrow Express ones that don't potentially allow any train to arrive and depart from. Even after the Crossrail services finally go live , there are still purported to be at least two semi-fast services operated by GWR at Paddington High Level.
It might work for the Anytime Day Single as that is a fair half-the-Return affair, but it wouldn't work at all for the Off-Peak Day Single where it's the normal 10p-less-than-the-Return spiel. I think it's accepted that due to the fact that the paper fare structure is remaining in place for the moment outside the Zones, that return journeys on PAYG will generally cost a little more from/to stations outside the Zones. But twice the price simply wouldn't be accepted.
I think the idea is that this kind of problem is dealt with by the application of daily price capping.
The DfT are going to have to come up with a solution for this when they take forward the proposals made in their consultation on the extension of pay as you go to the stations in a roughly forty mile radius of London.
One of the three TVMs in the main ticket hall in Potters Bar now has an Oyster reader installed.