Minor changes make major impacts (off-peak/peak)

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by py_megapixel, 10 Jun 2019 at 22:29.

How do you feel about TOCs retimetabling off-peak services to depart during peak times?

  1. I don't have a problem with it at all.

    7 vote(s)
    20.0%
  2. It should only be done as a last resort.

    6 vote(s)
    17.1%
  3. It should only be done if off-peak tickets will still be accepted on it.

    15 vote(s)
    42.9%
  4. It should never be done.

    2 vote(s)
    5.7%
  5. Other

    5 vote(s)
    14.3%
  1. py_megapixel

    py_megapixel Member

    Messages:
    51
    Joined:
    5 Nov 2018
    Over the past few years one hourly service from one of several stations I sometimes travel from has been moved from 2 minutes before each hour (i.e. scheduled at xx:58) to 1 minute after each hour (xx:01). This 3-minute change may seem insignificant, but it means that what was the off-peak 15:58 now departs in the peak at 16:01. As this is a very significant fare increase to arrive at your destination later than before, it seems likely that passengers wishing to travel around 4pm will have left to overcrowd the train half an hour earlier - or, even more likely, the local buses.

    My fare questions are:
    - have there been any cases of TOCs reclassifying trains which would be peak as off-peak to solve this kind of problem?
    - are there many examples of this happening?
     
  2. Registered users do not see these banners - join or log in today!

    Rail Forums

     
  3. ForTheLoveOf

    ForTheLoveOf Established Member

    Messages:
    5,264
    Joined:
    7 Oct 2017
    Whilst there may be cases where this is done to increase revenue, I think it's far more likely there are other explanations for such a change. If there is a large gap in the timetable then sensible TOCs will implement an easement for specific tickets to affected destinations, but if we are talking about a half-hourly service then I don't think this is really warranted.
     
  4. infobleep

    infobleep Established Member

    Messages:
    8,646
    Joined:
    27 Feb 2011
    Surely a solution to this is to buy a ticket from the station before the one you hoard at, assuming it's not much more expensive as wouldbt3that then allow travel on the train departing at 16:01? Or are there some ticket restriction codes that forbid this?
     
  5. Haywain

    Haywain Established Member

    Messages:
    3,469
    Joined:
    3 Feb 2013
    It's never that simple. Whether starting late would be an option would depend on the specific wording of the restriction.
     
  6. robbeech

    robbeech Established Member

    Messages:
    2,607
    Joined:
    11 Nov 2015
    Flows like Cheltenham to Swindon have seen prices for a certain morning train (around 0830) now fall outside the validity period of the CDR. The SVR is around twice the price. As I do not have access to historical data I’m not sure if it’s the timetable that changed or the restriction code. When asked, GWR stated that the previous acceptance on that service (which was always done by wag of an easement in the wording) was a mistake and the CDR should NEVER have been allowed on that service (despite there being specific wording put there to allow it for many many years)
     
  7. Bill Badger

    Bill Badger Member

    Messages:
    246
    Joined:
    28 Nov 2008
    It can work the other way on occasions. A while back the 0959 from Farnborough to Waterloo was retimed to 1000, making Network Cards valid.
     
  8. Silverdale

    Silverdale Member

    Messages:
    502
    Joined:
    14 Apr 2018
    It can also work the other way when an Off-Peak restriction is based on arrival time (e.g. at a London terminal) rather than departure time.

    It can also be that rather than necessarily increasing overcrowding, by directing passengers to another service, a small change in departure time directs them from an already overcrowded service to one which is less so.
     
  9. ForTheLoveOf

    ForTheLoveOf Established Member

    Messages:
    5,264
    Joined:
    7 Oct 2017
    It doesn't appear that this is the case - the wording of the restriction doesn't appear ever (well, in recent times) to have included any early trains from Cheltenham to Swindon (in that specific direction). In fact, the easement for Swindon to Cheltenham's early train (variously the 08:41 and 08:36) was only introduced at the start of 2015.

    This area is certainly one where some of the differentials between the Anytime and Off-Peak fares beggar belief!
     
  10. robbeech

    robbeech Established Member

    Messages:
    2,607
    Joined:
    11 Nov 2015
    Is there historical restriction code data knocking about ?
     
  11. ForTheLoveOf

    ForTheLoveOf Established Member

    Messages:
    5,264
    Joined:
    7 Oct 2017
    I have been given access to copies of Avantix Traveller going back to the start of 2014, and PDF NFMs from then going back to mid 2008. The former has the restriction codes as well as their associated text; the latter has just the codes.
     
  12. Deerfold

    Deerfold Established Member

    Messages:
    9,833
    Joined:
    26 Nov 2009
    Location:
    Yorkshire
    Presumably this depends what your destination is as restriction codes vary by destination as well as by ticket type.
     
  13. robbeech

    robbeech Established Member

    Messages:
    2,607
    Joined:
    11 Nov 2015
    I’d certainly be interested to know what has changed in the last few years with W4 and WG
     
  14. geoffk

    geoffk Member

    Messages:
    785
    Joined:
    4 Aug 2010
    This sometimes happens in the morning when Northern's "leaf fall" timetable comes in each October. As journey times are extended, trains often start their journey a few minutes earlier so your off-peak train at, say, 0931, becomes a peak train at 0929 for those few weeks. I would say that charging a peak fare in these circumstances was sharp practice.
     
  15. infobleep

    infobleep Established Member

    Messages:
    8,646
    Joined:
    27 Feb 2011
    That as may be. It is probably perfectly legal.

    Iraike leaf fall timetables leading to previously valid connections no longer being valid and people having to get up say 30 minutes earlier in order to make their connecting train. The connecting train being 4he only one that has been retimed. Mine a time have I seen people run for connecting trains during the leaf fall timetable period.
     

Share This Page