More Northern faux-reservable services on Advance tickets from May TT change?

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mm333

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Just booked Guiseley-London Advance tickets for the weekend of May's timetable change (new TTs from 15 May).

On the Friday I've been given a reservation for the Leeds-London leg, but on the Sunday VTEC (with whom I booked the tickets) have allocated me a reservation on the Leeds-Guiseley leg for "Coach: * Seats: ***"

Are all connecting legs getting the reservations-that-aren't-reservations from May?
 
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yorkie

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That has always happened if you travel on an advance ticket with a specific connecting service stipulated.
Only if the service is "reserveable" or, in this case, misleadingly labelled as such.
 

mm333

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It's not just that line. Other Northern+VTEC journeys I've checked, like South Milford or MetroCentre-London are coming up with reserved services on the Northern leg after TT change.

But not on other TOCs. A Sunday 15 May Advance from Shoeburyness-Leeds isn't giving me a reserved C2C service. And a Kings Cross-Goxhill on the 16th isn't given me a reserved EMT service from Newark-Habrough, but is giving me a reserved Northern service from Habrough to Goxhill.

So looks like just Northern then.
 

Lincoln

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These "reservations" are simply a way of ensuring the passenger is on the right train for the ticket they hold - in the case of Advance tickets it is the only effective way to manage it.

EMT and Northern appear to do it sporadically on their services. In these cases as a reservation coupon has tied the passenger to the connecting train; then the opportunity to use alternative connecting trains has been lost - so could also be a form of controlling loadings.
 

Hadders

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It'll be Northern introducing its own Advance fares between Leeds and Guisley. To do this they have to make the train reservable but an unintended consequence is that a reservation is produced when it is a connecting service for an Advance with another operator.
 

gray1404

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I thought the idea of Northern having counted place reservations on their services was so they could offer their own Route: Northern Only Advance fares on such routes.
 

Bletchleyite

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Only if the service is "reserveable" or, in this case, misleadingly labelled as such.

I notice in LM's printed timetables they don't show trains with pseudo-reservations as reservable. Are other TOCs having the sense to follow suit?

It seems NRE doesn't show pseudo-reservation services as reservable any more either (I just did a random search of some LM services), but RTT does. I guess there's a new flag on the TSDB?

Edit: or not...NRE doesn't now show whether *any* service is reservable or not. So a loss of functionality there.

Edit edit: the eNRT does not show a diamond against pseudo-reservable services.

Provided this is the case, I really don't mind about this being done. LM did try offering proper reservations for a couple of months, but it was unworkable as turnarounds at Euston are too tight for them to be placed in a timely fashion and they caused a lot of arguments when they were placed 2 minutes before departure once people had boarded and taken seats. And provided services are not overcrowded I don't mind the offering of Advances, and this is required to do that.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
It'll be Northern introducing its own Advance fares between Leeds and Guisley. To do this they have to make the train reservable but an unintended consequence is that a reservation is produced when it is a connecting service for an Advance with another operator.

Correct.

TBH, while it would reduce flexibility for a minority, if providing this facility on all trains meant Advance tickets would print *all* legs on the ticket that would be a benefit to the vast majority of passengers who just want to do what the ticket says. Losing the "suggested services" as used to be printed on the large format tickets was a real nuisance, meaning you have to carry the itinerary as well as the tickets.
 
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Hadders

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I thought the idea of Northern having counted place reservations on their services was so they could offer their own Route: Northern Only Advance fares on such routes.

It is. But an unintended consequence is that the system gives a compulsory reservation for Northern train where it forms the connecting leg of a longer Advance journey.

This is a backwards step IMO. If Northern want to introduce cheaper fares then it would be better if they introduced super off peak tickets.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
TBH, while it would reduce flexibility for a minority, if providing this facility on all trains meant Advance tickets would print *all* legs on the ticket that would be a benefit to the vast majority of passengers who just want to do what the ticket says. Losing the "suggested services" as used to be printed on the large format tickets was a real nuisance, meaning you have to carry the itinerary as well as the tickets.

But the reservations on the connecting service won't be suggested they'll be compulsory. This means passengers will lose flexibility to take a slightly earlier service where there is a tight connection changing into the 'main service'. We might be ok with 12 minutes to change at Birmingham New Street for example but many would not be and would prefer an earlier train just to be safe.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
TBH, while it would reduce flexibility for a minority, if providing this facility on all trains meant Advance tickets would print *all* legs on the ticket that would be a benefit to the vast majority of passengers who just want to do what the ticket says. Losing the "suggested services" as used to be printed on the large format tickets was a real nuisance, meaning you have to carry the itinerary as well as the tickets.

But the reservations on the connecting service won't be suggested they'll be compulsory. This means passengers will lose flexibility to take a slightly earlier service where there is a tight connection changing into the 'main service'. For example, we might be ok with 12 minutes to change at Birmingham New Street but many would not be and would prefer an earlier train just to be safe.
 

gimmea50anyday

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Northern's advance tickets are a pain in the a$$, people book them thinking they have booked with TPE, and naturally get very p|$$ed off with me when I charge them for new tickets....


As for reservations for connections, I accept them if they are a train or two out, as long as they make the main bulk of their journey in good time, and Im pretty sure that everyone, including revenue staff would accept a train early to ensure you had plenty of time to make the booked main leg of hour journey would be perfectly acceptable
 
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LowLevel

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My opinion is about the same. All sorts of histrionics when you charge someone 4 times what they've already paid. They're ludicrously cheap and I refuse to let someone who has paid 3 quid to travel on an all stops 142 in 2 hours travel on my train early.
 

Bletchleyite

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But the reservations on the connecting service won't be suggested they'll be compulsory. This means passengers will lose flexibility to take a slightly earlier service where there is a tight connection changing into the 'main service'. We might be ok with 12 minutes to change at Birmingham New Street for example but many would not be and would prefer an earlier train just to be safe.

They can perhaps choose a booking engine (or book at a station) that lets them extend connection times, then?
 

yorksrob

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Actually, it's a damned nuisance if we're to be forced into taking specific connecting services. Quite apart from anything, it will stop people enjoying the retail mecca that is Leeds station, so it will have a negative effect on railways finances.

What is needed across the network is a general relaxation of the rules for secondary (non-InterCity) legs of long journeys.

That way, TOC's could still offer AP's for middle distance journeys whilst not ebcumbering longer distance travellers with unnecessary regulation.

Of course it depends if TOC's are willing to give up an aspect of petty, pointless regulation.
 

Hadders

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They can perhaps choose a booking engine (or book at a station) that lets them extend connection times, then?

Booking at stations soon won't be an option for anyone served by GTR!

What you say in theory is correct but in practise it's a bit different. Let's say my parents book a journey from Northampton to Edinburgh. The booking engine might give them a 12 minute connection at New Street. They are in their 70's and would consider this too risky so they'd prefer to to get an earlier connection. Now, you and me both know how to force booking engines to give additional time for connections but it's not immediately obvious how you do this. Many passengers find travelling by train stressful and this will just add to it.

Then there's the issue of the 'regional' and 'commuter' TOC's offering Advance fares. As noted above do they really need to offer these types of fares? In my view Advance fares should only be offered by the 'inter city' TOC's.
 

philjo

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I used to regularly book EC advance tickets for my Dad to go to one fo the stations on the Wharfedale line.

The suggested connection on the outward involved a 5 minute change from the GN service to East Coast at Stevenage (involving changing from platform 1 to 3 over the bridge) so he always catches a much earlier service to ensure he was at Stevenage for the booked train.


on the return journey, if the suggested connection running from Ilkley was cancelled, then he would miss the booked EC train as that arrived at the same time the EC train departed. so we would always get the previous train into Leeds (& also meant he could visit M&S at leeds station to get something to eat on the EC train )
When the local connecting trains trains run at a regular frequency I don't see what benefit it is to restrict to a specific train. (also espec if in peak hours you can't get on some of the Airedale/Wharfedale services leaving Leeds!)

THis situation has changed slightly recently as it is often much cheaper now to get VTEC only single for Leeds to Stevenage (& use his bus pass for the LACON discounted single from stevenage for the last connection on GN.) so he would now use a CDR for the Leeds to Ilkley portion.
 
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gray1404

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Then there's the issue of the 'regional' and 'commuter' TOC's offering Advance fares. As noted above do they really need to offer these types of fares? In my view Advance fares should only be offered by the 'inter city' TOC's.

I disagree. A TOC should be able to offer whatever they want. It increases choice and value for customers. Competition is good and given the distances being covered by some of the non intercity TOCs now (LM Liverpool to London) it is reasonable they can offer advance fares. And why should Northern be prevented from offering Liverpool to Manchester advances if TPE and EMT can.
 

Tetchytyke

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It is. But an unintended consequence is that the system gives a compulsory reservation for Northern train where it forms the connecting leg of a longer Advance journey.

This is a backwards step IMO. If Northern want to introduce cheaper fares then it would be better if they introduced super off peak tickets.

It makes no difference. Strictly speaking you should only be travelling on the appropriate connecting service stated on the itinerary anyway. And if they have limited mobility or children, etc, then they should be asking for extended connection times on the booking.

Most of the wibbling tends to be from people who want to take a connecting service two hours earlier so they can break their journey peruse WH Smith.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Then there's the issue of the 'regional' and 'commuter' TOC's offering Advance fares. As noted above do they really need to offer these types of fares? In my view Advance fares should only be offered by the 'inter city' TOC's.

And how does one define an "InterCity TOC"? Northern run trains between cities, are they intercity? TPE have some very long-distance services, what about them?

Or are you really saying that people doing interurban journeys (e.g. Newcastle to Carlisle) should lose out on cheaper tickets because you don't want to catch the train you're supposed to? Northern offering advances brings a £20 return down to £10, the idea those should go because it's inconvenient for people connecting off a London train is madness.

As always, a solution looking for a problem. Most people catch the train they're supposed to. If they get the train before it then they'll usually be OK, and if they're not they're at the station for their booked train anyway.
 
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Bletchleyite

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I disagree. A TOC should be able to offer whatever they want. It increases choice and value for customers. Competition is good and given the distances being covered by some of the non intercity TOCs now (LM Liverpool to London) it is reasonable they can offer advance fares. And why should Northern be prevented from offering Liverpool to Manchester advances if TPE and EMT can.

I don't really care who offers them *provided* they do not offer them on trains on which there are normally, or would be expected to be for a special event, standing passengers.
 

Mojo

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I disagree. A TOC should be able to offer whatever they want. It increases choice and value for customers. Competition is good and given the distances being covered by some of the non intercity TOCs now (LM Liverpool to London) it is reasonable they can offer advance fares. And why should Northern be prevented from offering Liverpool to Manchester advances if TPE and EMT can.

I agree with your point too. Some non-Intercity routes can also be a fair distance and quite expensive; for example London to Portsmouth.
 

Bletchleyite

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It makes no difference. Strictly speaking you should only be travelling on the appropriate connecting service stated on the itinerary anyway. And if they have limited mobility or children, etc, then they should be asking for extended connection times on the booking.

Most of the wibbling tends to be from people who want to take a connecting service two hours earlier so they can break their journey peruse WH Smith.

I would agree, and I think it would be a sensible simplification that all Advance tickets must be used on the booked trains throughout, with all of those trains printed on the ticket for ease of identification.

If you want to do a broken-up journey, either split tickets or buy a walk-up.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
I agree with your point too. Some non-Intercity routes can also be a fair distance and quite expensive; for example London to Portsmouth.

The thing is, InterCity was formed based on routes that would break even, essentially. London to Weymouth, say (not so much Portsmouth) really is an inter-city type service with inter-city type rolling stock, even if it was not InterCity. Same with say the TPE Scottish services.
 
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Tetchytyke

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on the return journey, if the suggested connection running from Ilkley was cancelled, then he would miss the booked EC train

And if you rock up half an hour early and ask the guard, 10 times out of 10 there won't be an issue. And if there is, you're at the station for your booked train anyway. Also if you do miss your connection due to a cancellation, that is the TOC's problem and they have to get you home.
 

Mojo

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The thing is, InterCity was formed based on routes that would break even, essentially. London to Weymouth, say (not so much Portsmouth) really is an inter-city type service with inter-city type rolling stock, even if it was not InterCity. Same with say the TPE Scottish services.
The point which I was replying to mentioned "inter city TOCs," not services which you think should be classed as InterCity or not.

That is just one example of many; London to Dover (or indeed most places in Kent including Ashford and beyond) could be another example of non-Intercity journeys where walkon fares (in particular, walkon singles) are quite pricey and Advance fares have the potential to benefit both customers and the Tocs. The fact that Northern, Southeastern, Southern, and SWT, amongst others, are offering limited Advance fares, shows that.
 

Bletchleyite

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The point which I was replying to mentioned "inter city TOCs," not services which you think should be classed as InterCity or not.

You'd have to ask the OP what they meant, then. "inter city TOCs" are not necessarily the same thing as "InterCity TOCs" i.e. the ones derived from BR's InterCity buiness unit.
 

Mojo

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You'd have to ask the OP what they meant, then. "inter city TOCs" are not necessarily the same thing as "InterCity TOCs" i.e. the ones derived from BR's InterCity buiness unit.
I think it's quite clear what he meant given the subject of this thread, and regardless, my reply would have been exactly the same!
 

infobleep

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I agree with your point too. Some non-Intercity routes can also be a fair distance and quite expensive; for example London to Portsmouth.
If I want to go from Guildford to Edinburgh I can get an advanced purchase ticket. Should I wish to go from Guildford to Hastings I can't, despite both Southern and South West Trains offering advance purchase tickets.

Personally I'd extend advance purchase tickets to cover multiple TOCs, where both are not intercity TOCs.
 

sheff1

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Also if you do miss your connection due to a cancellation, that is the TOC's problem and they have to get you home.

I can see this causing issues.

Many people taking a short Northern journey to connect into long distance trains at places such as Sheffield, Doncaster, Leeds, York, Newcastle etc prefer to catch the 'local' train before the suggested one to make sure they are in plenty of time to get the train they were booked on for the main leg. If the earlier 'local' is late or cancelled they are still then likely to be able to catch the long distance connection.

If these people are now forced onto the later 'local' train then, if it is late or cancelled, they will miss the long distance connection and will need to be accommodated on a later train (or be put in taxi if there is no later train). They will then need to claim compensation for the delay from Northern. I can imagine Northern saying that, as their train was only, say, 10 mins late the passenger is not due compensation.
 
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Bletchleyite

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I can imagine Northern saying that, as their train was only, say, 10 mins late the passenger is not due compensation.

Northern cannot say that, because they operate (or will from the new franchise at least) Delay Repay.

If it is longer than the official connection time (and no booking engine or ticket office will sell a ticket where that is not met) it matters not what they think. It matters what is written.

Delay Repay is a simple matter of fact - did a delay to a train cause an overall delay to the passenger's overall journey, or did it not. If it did, and the delay overall was in excess of the specified times, it is due. No questions, no getouts, doesn't matter what the reason is.
 

Hadders

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Or are you really saying that people doing interurban journeys (e.g. Newcastle to Carlisle) should lose out on cheaper tickets because you don't want to catch the train you're supposed to? Northern offering advances brings a £20 return down to £10, the idea those should go because it's inconvenient for people connecting off a London train is madness

I'd rather see more super off peak tickets than Advance fares. They would offer passengers more flexibility than an Advance and cause less confusion. To be fair they would need to be time restricted but this could be done to keep passengers off busier trains.

Personally, I'd restrict Advance fares to o the historical Inter City operations where seat reservations can be done properly.
 
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