No Advance Fares From Ashford Int'l Before 09:43?

Status
Not open for further replies.

TheJRB

Established Member
Joined
14 Feb 2011
Messages
1,165
Location
Ashford, Kent
In my search for advance fares for a variety of journeys (all on Saturdays) from Ashford International, I have encountered an oddity. No advance fares seem to show up before trains which connect with the 09:43 to St Pancras. These are all with one adult and one child using a Family & Friends railcard. I could understand this if this was a weekday I was looking at, but for a Saturday? I'm very confused.

Take for example Ashford International to Crewe on Saturday 18th August. Both Virgin and Southeastern show only Off Peak singles and returns until 09:43 where a £28.45 total advance single option becomes available. I am truly baffled and am wondering whether there is a reason for this or whether this is an error.
 
Sponsor Post - registered members do not see these adverts; click here to register, or click here to log in
R

RailUK Forums

island

Veteran Member
Joined
30 Dec 2010
Messages
11,810
Location
0036
Southeastern bars advances on HS1 for arrivals before 0958 M-F. I guess someone's coded it wrongly.

(Have you checked that the corresponding ticket from London Terminals is available and it's not out of quota?)
 

radamfi

Established Member
Joined
29 Oct 2009
Messages
8,767
Just checked Ashford to Crewe for that date and it allows early Advance fares if you route via Tonbridge but not via St Pancras. So, unless there is a new weekend restriction that we don't know about, you should be fine to put the Tonbridge routing in the journey planner but actually travel via St Pancras, as there will be no reservations between Ashford and London. No doubt someone will now say that you have to use the Ashford to Charing Cross train in your itinerary...
 

craigwilson

Member
Joined
3 Jan 2010
Messages
424
Location
Buxton, Derbyshire
Just checked Ashford to Crewe for that date and it allows early Advance fares if you route via Tonbridge but not via St Pancras. So, unless there is a new weekend restriction that we don't know about, you should be fine to put the Tonbridge routing in the journey planner but actually travel via St Pancras, as there will be no reservations between Ashford and London. No doubt someone will now say that you have to use the Ashford to Charing Cross train in your itinerary...

I think this is the relevant restriction code for Advance tickets on Virgin Trains services, connecting from Kent. As radamfi says, this shouldn't apply to weekends though.

You are free to make the connections you please, as far as I am aware, however on the outbound leg from Kent (going to meet the VT service), as a matter of personal habit I tend to follow the itinerary exactly, as at least if you are delayed then it makes getting your ticket endorsed for the following train more easy - you have a specific itinerary and can say "I took this train to Charing Cross, but it was delayed by 30 mins" for example.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Southeastern bars advances on HS1 for arrivals before 0958 M-F. I guess someone's coded it wrongly.

(Have you checked that the corresponding ticket from London Terminals is available and it's not out of quota?)

Are they all from one quota? Or do the "Virgin Trains Only" tickets from London Terminals have a different quota to the "VWC+CONNECTIONS" tickets that I would get from an origin in e.g. Kent?
 

island

Veteran Member
Joined
30 Dec 2010
Messages
11,810
Location
0036
Good point; try originating from Tilbury or Ascot or somewhere else that would be route +VWC & CONNECTNS.
 

radamfi

Established Member
Joined
29 Oct 2009
Messages
8,767
Out of interest, is the weekday restriction on Advances on HS1 publicised anywhere? Or does it not need publicising, because you are supposed to follow the itinerary?
 

John @ home

Established Member
Fares Advisor
Joined
1 Mar 2008
Messages
5,148
Out of interest, is the weekday restriction on Advances on HS1 publicised anywhere?
Validity Code VV appears on the National Rail web site.

Perhaps someone with access to the electronic version of VV could tell us whether "Monday - Friday" is omitted in error.
 
Last edited:

Paul Kelly

Verified Rep - BR Fares
Joined
16 Apr 2010
Messages
3,765
Location
Reading
Perhaps someone with access to the electronic version of VV could tell us whether "Monday - Friday" is omitted in error.

That indeed seems to be the problem. The electronic data shows restriction VV as barring arrivals at St Pancras between 0230 and 0958, and departures from St Pancras between 1600 and 1859, both only for trains operated by Southeastern.

The restriction is showing as applying 7 days a week - there is an additional type of data record in the electronic data format for a time restriction to be shown as only applying on certain days, but the data for VV does not constain any such records, so it would appear that by default the time restrictions apply 7 days per week.

Here are the full records for anyone who wants to read it in conjunction with the RJIS Datafeeds Interface Specification for Fares and Associated Data.

Code:
RHDCVV01011231YYYYYYY
RHDFVV01011231YYYYYYY
RRHCVVIWC VALUE & GROUPIES ADVANCE  VALID ON DATE&TRAIN SHOWN ONLY.LMTD CHNGE.NO RFND.                                                  NNY
RRHFVVIWC VALUE & GROUPIES ADVANCE  VALID ON DATE&TRAIN SHOWN ONLY.LMTD CHNGE.NO RFND.                                                  NNY
RTRCVV0001O02300958ASTPTAN
RTRCVV0002O16001859DSTPTAN
RTRFVV0001O02300958ASTPTAN
RTRFVV0002O16001859DSTPTAN
RTTCVV0001OSE
RTTCVV0002OSE
RTTFVV0001OSE
RTTFVV0002OSE

(Note that this data dates from late last year, and may be out of date.)
 

TheJRB

Established Member
Joined
14 Feb 2011
Messages
1,165
Location
Ashford, Kent
Thanks to all who have posted. I assume this is simply an error then. Is there somewhere I should contact to see if it can be fixed?

Just checked Ashford to Crewe for that date and it allows early Advance fares if you route via Tonbridge but not via St Pancras. So, unless there is a new weekend restriction that we don't know about, you should be fine to put the Tonbridge routing in the journey planner but actually travel via St Pancras, as there will be no reservations between Ashford and London. No doubt someone will now say that you have to use the Ashford to Charing Cross train in your itinerary...
Would it actually be possible to search for tickets via Tonbridge and use those tickets on HS1? Surely the only restriction is on the train out of and back to London and does not say "Not Valid on HS1". Is there any chance it could really be challenged by SE staff on a Saturday?
 

radamfi

Established Member
Joined
29 Oct 2009
Messages
8,767
Would it actually be possible to search for tickets via Tonbridge and use those tickets on HS1? Surely the only restriction is on the train out of and back to London and does not say "Not Valid on HS1". Is there any chance it could really be challenged by SE staff on a Saturday?

Certainly I would have no hesitation in using HS1 on a Saturday or Sunday with such an Advance ticket. You will only have one reservation coupon, from London Euston to Crewe, so (in my opinion) you can use any connecting train, via Tonbridge or HS1.

Validity Code VV appears on the National Rail web site.

Is there any publicity on stations in Kent about this? I had always believed that Advance tickets were unrestricted in the '+Connections' part of the journey and the National Rail site says much the same:

http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/times_fares/advance_conditions.html

If the ‘Route’ also states ‘and Connections’, travel is allowed on appropriate connecting trains where shown on the ticket(s) or other valid travel itinerary.

There is no mention of having restrictions along the same lines as for Off-Peak tickets.
 

Bungle73

On Moderation
Joined
19 Aug 2011
Messages
2,584
Location
Kent
Is there any publicity on stations in Kent about this?
No.

I had always believed that Advance tickets were unrestricted in the '+Connections' part of the journey and the National Rail site says much the same:

http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/times_fares/advance_conditions.html



There is no mention of having restrictions along the same lines as for Off-Peak tickets.
I have used an Advance ticket from St. Pancras on HS1 in the evening peak. The barrier rejected it, but the member of staff let me through with no fuss. It wasn't checked on the train.

According to something I saw that someone wrote they said they've had Advance tickets rejected by the barrier, but never by a human.
 

yorkie

Forum Staff
Staff Member
Administrator
Joined
6 Jun 2005
Messages
52,679
Location
Yorkshire
I don't think internal restrictions can bar the passenger from acting in accordance with published instructions.
 

junglejames

Established Member
Joined
8 Dec 2010
Messages
2,069
Im with Yorkie on this, in that im not sure if South Eastern can really enforce this. Unless they are now allowed to put their own restrictions on the 'appropriate connecting trains'. No doubt thats the argument SE would come back with. But is it the case?
 

radamfi

Established Member
Joined
29 Oct 2009
Messages
8,767
If SE do enforce it, what fare would you be excessed to? A SOS from Ashford to Crewe?!

This could be the start of a worrying trend if similar restrictions are applied to other lines in SE England. At least from Ashford there is an alternative route.
 

cav1975

Member
Joined
24 Sep 2010
Messages
255
Its all part of the amazing campaign by Southeastern to Make using HS1 as expensive and difficult as possible.

The result - the nearly empty "High Speed" trains on the north Kent line through Chatham.

When are they going to realise that it is just another local service and remove all these silly restrictions and surcharges?
 

Bungle73

On Moderation
Joined
19 Aug 2011
Messages
2,584
Location
Kent
Its all part of the amazing campaign by Southeastern to Make using HS1 as expensive and difficult as possible.

The result - the nearly empty "High Speed" trains on the north Kent line through Chatham.

When are they going to realise that it is just another local service and remove all these silly restrictions and surcharges?

There's always quite a few people on them when I use them, especially at peak times.
 

TheJRB

Established Member
Joined
14 Feb 2011
Messages
1,165
Location
Ashford, Kent
There's always quite a few people on them when I use them, especially at peak times.

Absolutely. The first off peak train at 09:43 from Ashford is very busy (in fact the same train is busy on Saturdays too), partly I think due to people like my next door neighbour who have been told that travelling during the peak is not permitted by their employer. I've been on that train where there's been a queue of about ten people for the toilet. Hence why we prefer travelling at about 08:00 on a Saturday!
 

radamfi

Established Member
Joined
29 Oct 2009
Messages
8,767
My guess is that SE don't enforce the rule in practice, but have it merely to ensure that Advance tickets for travel at those times of the day are not sold through websites.
 

TheJRB

Established Member
Joined
14 Feb 2011
Messages
1,165
Location
Ashford, Kent
My guess is that SE don't enforce the rule in practice, but have it merely to ensure that Advance tickets for travel at those times of the day are not sold through websites.

But why attempt to restrict on a Saturday? That rule has been wrongly implemented hasn't it? Or are you saying they would not enforce it from Monday to Friday as well?
 

Mojo

Forum Staff
Staff Member
Administrator
Joined
7 Aug 2005
Messages
18,394
Location
0035
It's bizarre that Southeastern have chosen to create a rule for what must be a small number of Advance tickets, yet there are long-distance walk up tickets available from Ashford for travel via London less than two thirds of the SDR/SOR price which are unaffected (priced by other Tocs).

Out of interest, what tickets have this evening peak restriction on Southeastern? Out of Advance tickets I regularly buy for travel to/from Ashford via London, tickets routed XC+Connections do not seem to have the restriction, yet Virgin VV tickets do, as do +AP Slough.
 

radamfi

Established Member
Joined
29 Oct 2009
Messages
8,767
It's bizarre that Southeastern have chosen to create a rule for what must be a small number of Advance tickets, yet there are long-distance tickets available from Ashford for travel via London less than two thirds of the SDR/SOR price which are unaffected (priced by other Tocs).

Out of interest, what tickets have this evening peak restriction on Southeastern? Out of Advance tickets I regularly buy for travel to/from Ashford via London, tickets routed XC+Connections do not seem to have the restriction, yet Virgin VV tickets do, as do +AP Slough.

There are many examples of cross-London Advances being cheaper than an Anytime Single to London so that is why I am concerned that peak restrictions on Advances could be rolled out across the South East.

Advance tickets from Ashford to Ipswich have either +AP GRTANG&CONCTS (code OB) and +AP AGA PLUS HS1 (code OC) as the route.

Code OB is: "Valid on Greater Anglia (TOC Code: LER) and connecting services. Seat reservations are compulsory."

Code OC is: Valid on Greater Anglia (TOC Code: LER) and connecting services. Seat reservations are compulsory. Tickets with a Route Code of AP GA & HS1 may be used on Southeastern's services via High Speed One at any time."

Now, the implication from code OC is that you need it to be able to travel on HS1. But there is no specific prohibition in the routing or conditions. However, if you try to book it on the Southern website, there is no availability in the early morning, although the evening seems fine.

Advances between Ashford and Peterborough appears to have no peak restriction. However if you try to book it at the Southern site, it blocks morning and evening peak trains unless you direct the site to search via Tonbridge.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
But why attempt to restrict on a Saturday? That rule has been wrongly implemented hasn't it? Or are you saying they would not enforce it from Monday to Friday as well?

Sorry, yes I am saying that I would not expect them to enforce it on any day.
 
Last edited:

Paul Kelly

Verified Rep - BR Fares
Joined
16 Apr 2010
Messages
3,765
Location
Reading
The electronic versions of OB and OC both have the same:
No arrivals at St Pancras between 0230 and 0958, and no departures between 1600 and 1859, applying seven days a week, but only to services operated by Southeastern.
 

craigwilson

Member
Joined
3 Jan 2010
Messages
424
Location
Buxton, Derbyshire
Out of interest, what tickets have this evening peak restriction on Southeastern? Out of Advance tickets I regularly buy for travel to/from Ashford via London, tickets routed XC+Connections do not seem to have the restriction, yet Virgin VV tickets do, as do +AP Slough.

I've had an VT advance ticket before where I've been crossing London during the evening peak, and the recommended connecting train in the itinerary to get me back to Margate in that particular instance was the 17:30 from London Bridge (ex-Cannon Street).

It was a joyous experience. :roll: :lol: Especially with a large holdall!
 

radamfi

Established Member
Joined
29 Oct 2009
Messages
8,767
I wonder if the other TOCs are aware that they could be losing money due to the restrictions imposed by SE and the incorrect implementation of restrictions at the weekend? In particular, the inability of websites to select the Tonbridge route unless you request it may well be costing Virgin, fGW et al some sales.
 

TheJRB

Established Member
Joined
14 Feb 2011
Messages
1,165
Location
Ashford, Kent
The electronic versions of OB and OC both have the same:
No arrivals at St Pancras between 0230 and 0958, and no departures between 1600 and 1859, applying seven days a week, but only to services operated by Southeastern.
So it is not a mistake that it's applied to all seven days then?

I wonder if the other TOCs are aware that they could be losing money due to the restrictions imposed by SE and the incorrect implementation of restrictions at the weekend? In particular, the inability of websites to select the Tonbridge route unless you request it may well be costing Virgin, fGW et al some sales.
I've emailed Southeastern with regard to the issue so it should be interesting to read their response when it arrives.
 

TheJRB

Established Member
Joined
14 Feb 2011
Messages
1,165
Location
Ashford, Kent
Southeastern replied the following to me today:

I'm very sorry that you've been unable to purchase Advance tickets for your journey from Ashford International to Crewe on Saturday 18 August, via our High Speed line. I can understand how frustrating this must be for you.




Unfortunately, there was a glitch in the system, which resulted in the 'VV' restriction being incorrectly applied at weekends instead of just weekdays. We've now made the necessary amendment and you should find the fare that you want is available online in the next few days.




Thank you for telling us about this and please accept my apologies for the inconvenience caused.

Whilst the fares aren't showing up just yet, I have all faith that they will appear in "the next few days". Thank you to Southeastern for listening and I look forward to finding the fares in due course.
 

Paul Kelly

Verified Rep - BR Fares
Joined
16 Apr 2010
Messages
3,765
Location
Reading
If true, that's an impressive result! I'm sure there must have been very many people in the past who just put up with the lack of availability on weekend mornings and didn't query it. It must have been a good complaint e-mail...
 

TheJRB

Established Member
Joined
14 Feb 2011
Messages
1,165
Location
Ashford, Kent
If true, that's an impressive result! I'm sure there must have been very many people in the past who just put up with the lack of availability on weekend mornings and didn't query it. It must have been a good complaint e-mail...

I essentially suggested that restriction code VV was being wrongly applied to weekend mornings and asked for them to confirm that was the case.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Advance fares for VWC & CONNECTNS are now available before 09:43 on weekends from Ashford International, but there still aren't advance fares for some other routes (e.g. through Paddington or King's Cross). So it's only the wrongly applied VV restriction code that has been fixed, not the others. Might be worth contacting SE again at some point to get that done.

Still though, it's a success on the part I wanted fixing! :D
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Top