No direct trains London St P to Leicester this Saturday 13 April

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by suzanneparis, 10 Apr 2019.

  1. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    NRE is the definition of a Permitted Route. If NRE says it is valid, it is, regardless of whether it is meant to be or not. I believe that's actually written somewhere - @yorkie might know.
     
  2. suzanneparis

    suzanneparis Member

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    Thanks both. That's reassuring.

    Though it's worrying that mainline station ticket staff said NRE is wrong. Surely they must know what the correct response is.

    I just checked and NRE is still showing a return from Leicester to London as coming back on Saturday from Euston.
     
  3. LA50041

    LA50041 Member

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    It’s written on the front page of the routing guide

     
  4. suzanneparis

    suzanneparis Member

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    Thanks for that info Bletchleyite and LA50041.

    Separate but related question. Why would mainline railway station ticket offices not agree with the info on NRE? Do they have some powers that somehow supercede NRE? They apparently said they had been already asked the question before. But that the answer was no, the ticket is not valid on trains from Euston and that you have to get the train/bus/train from St P. Even though they also knew it was on NRE. I find it genuinely strange. I would have thought ticket office staff would know that if it's shown on NRE then it is allowed.
     
  5. ForTheLoveOf

    ForTheLoveOf Established Member

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    The issue of staff on the ground being woefully trained on this kind of issue is pervasive right across the industry. Fundamentally it comes from two things - firstly, that the TOCs don't seem to make any kind of concerted effort to ensure that staff are properly trained on how to handle questions about ticket/route validity, and secondly, that it seems that very few staff take a sufficient personal interest in the matter to learn it themselves. The former is inexcusable, the latter is understandable though a little disappointing.

    Nothing more will change in this regard unless and until there is a good incentive for TOCs to ensure that all staff are properly trained - for example, a franchise requirement linked to a penalty for poor training, or a change in the law so that failing to ensure that staff provide accurate information constitutes a criminal offence (that is actually enforced). But neither of those is happening any time soon.

    The only power that staff have beyond the NRCoT or NRE is to waive a particular restriction or requirement. They cannot remove rights, impose additional restrictions, or say that NRE is incorrect if it said that tickets (from places like Leicester) aren't valid on the WCML. No doubt in this particular case they may have been briefed on the issue - and no doubt the briefing was wholly inaccurate and misleading. It's very frustrating that the TOCs aren't taken to task more often and more severely over such failures.
     
  6. i4n

    i4n Member

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    Nothing unusual there, one person in my station ticket office is adamant that my season ticket isn't valid from that station (I make use of the break of journey facility on a season ticket) despite the routing guide, their companies customer services, 3 guards and a revenue protection person telling them otherwise! I get some right evil looks off of them when they're on duty and I ask the person at the barrier to let me though as it doesn't work them...

    As others have said, National Rail Enquiries shows that as a valid route so it is a valid route,
     
  7. suzanneparis

    suzanneparis Member

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    Many thanks fortheloveof and i4n.

    Doubtless there's no point in me complaining to the TOC about this because I would guess that I would be fobbed off. Is there an industry body or regulator worth mentioning this to?
     
  8. ForTheLoveOf

    ForTheLoveOf Established Member

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    That is very heart of the issue. Try telling the DfT and, if you get any semblance of an answer at all, they'll fob you off saying in essence "we manage all franchises carefully and are satisfied with the performance of the franchisee" - in other words, "they're giving us the cash and not causing us any problems so we're not about to kick the hornet's nest". Try telling Transport Focus and they might just say that the member of staff was right because they're so inept! Try taking the matter to the Rail Ombudsman and, from the cases we've heard about so far, they'll not understand what on earth the issue is, or they'll simply take what the TOC says at face value.

    Really, the only option for recourse is to take it up with your MP, and to hope that your MP isn't a 'yes (wo)man' or looking to score political points. Sadly, the number of such MPs who also have an interest in railway matters is very low :(
     
  9. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    If you are charged an excess fare, you can escalate it to the Ombudsman if you don't get it back.

    A decent retailer will back you up if required too.

    Some ticket office staff are incompetent
    No, but some think so.
    There are strange people in customer-facing roles, to which they are unsuited.

    It's strange but not uncommon.
    I've experienced ticket office staff making up their own rules; it's an industry wide problem. It wil never be solved.
     
  10. suzanneparis

    suzanneparis Member

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    Thanks very much fortheloveof and Yorkie.

    How sad that our wonderful railways have come to this.

    Contrast the UK with France. I was in a very small station in the south last year which only had a handful of trains a day. Great ticket office with a member of staff who not only helped me buy the cheapest ticket but also did so in good English. And he clearly understood the railway system. Perhaps they have good training for staff in France.
     
  11. ThisIsSurbiton

    ThisIsSurbiton Member

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    You're within 3 miles of the shortest route, because there is no link from Euston to St Pancras in the distance data so a distance cannot be calculated that way. It's almost the shortest journey from *Euston* to Leicester (via Bletchley and Bedford is slightly shorter, by just less than the magic 3 miles). I hope your journey goes without a hitch, people shouldn't be put into uncomfortable situations because of lack of staff understanding/training.
     
  12. suzanneparis

    suzanneparis Member

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    Thanks thisissurbiton.

    I am sorry but I don't understand the 3 mile rule.

    But are you saying that my ticket isn't valid?
     
  13. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    It is valid because the NRE Journey Planner says it is. That's all you need to know.
     
  14. suzanneparis

    suzanneparis Member

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    Thanks again
     
  15. ThisIsSurbiton

    ThisIsSurbiton Member

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    Quite right - but if you're interested, the shortest journey is always OK, as is a journey within 3 miles of that, like yours. This helps especially in areas where the rail network is very complicated, and the "main line" might not be the absolute shortest way from A to B.

    Any journey planner site (NRE, train company or 3rd party retailer) will have considered this and wil only give you journeys it considers to be valid.
     
  16. suzanneparis

    suzanneparis Member

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    Thanks for the explanation thisissurbiton. But how do you know the length of journey?
     
  17. ThisIsSurbiton

    ThisIsSurbiton Member

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    You and I don't, but whoever sells you the ticket might have to, to decide whether your journey is valid. One of the pieces of information that journey planners receive is a long list of distances from every station to the next, and this is what they use to calculate the length of your journey. For longer journeys, other things come into play that need to be considered.

    As Bletchleyite says, any retailer, or NRE, will have done all this and any journey they offer for the fare you want is OK.
     
  18. infobleep

    infobleep Established Member

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    National Rail Enquiries will also give journeys that aren't valid but in such cases they will tell you you need multiple tickets. In some cases they will show you the total price of this combination of tickets and in other cases they will say no fare avilable.

    This occurs because they want to route you via the fastest route and in some cares they want you to use modes of transport for which point to point tickets are not a valid. For example the Croydon Tramlink is one such mode of transport they want to put you on, on which single and return tickets are not valid. At least not between West Croydon and East Croydon.
     
  19. RT4038

    RT4038 Member

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    And I expect you could also find plenty of French stations which are the opposite - likewise stations in this country with top class staff. Bet they don't have any truck with 'permitted routes' in France - you buy a ticket for the departure and route you specify and no deviation allowed! Be careful what you wish for.
     
  20. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Indeed. As is the case here, it's very important to ensure it gives the fare you want on the journey you want, not that it simply shows the journey.

    If it does, as it does here, it is Permitted, simple as that. Doesn't matter if it should be Permitted, or it's a technicality, or it's ridiculous or anything like that.
     
  21. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Indeed, it's rather easier to say if a ticket is valid or not if it lists the trains on which it is valid on it, and it is not valid on any others.
     
  22. suzanneparis

    suzanneparis Member

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    Curiouser and curiouser

    East Midlands Trains are showing on their timetable returns from London as leaving from St P using bus for part of the journey and some from Euston via Nuneaton to Leicester.

    But..... they also have a webpage devoted to the engineering works and only mention the bus replacement route. Not the Euston route.

    See:
    https://www.eastmidlandstrains.co.u...taking-place-this-April/#Friday-19th-(Good-Fr

    AND
    upload_2019-4-12_17-22-20.png

    But... it was EMT staff (is that right for the ticket office?) who said the Euston route was not allowed??
     
    Last edited: 12 Apr 2019
  23. ForTheLoveOf

    ForTheLoveOf Established Member

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    They don't necessarily want people to go via Euston. At the end of the day, it's valid, multiple websites show it as such and that's the end of the matter!
     
  24. suzanneparis

    suzanneparis Member

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    Sorry, for theloveof, I wasn't disputing the excellent and kind help from you and others.

    I just find it weird that EMT have the route on their website but their staff claim it's not valid.
     
  25. MichaelAMW

    MichaelAMW Member

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    I suspect that the advice is intended to be more general, i.e. for passengers to all MML stations. There happens to be a specific alternative for Leicester (as indeed there is for Nottingham via Grantham) that isn't covered by the general message.
     
  26. suzanneparis

    suzanneparis Member

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    Fare point MichaelAMW regarding the general info.

    But that doesn't explain the misinformation given out by the ticket office staff saying that the ticket from London Euston to Leicester wasn't valid.
     
  27. Hadders

    Hadders Established Member

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    Railway staff making things up is not unusual. It's not right but it happens.

    EMT won't want to encourage travel via Nuneaton because if everyone went that way the trains wouldn't cope. They would rather people used the replacement bus service.
     
  28. suzanneparis

    suzanneparis Member

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    And... my partner just went into an EMT mainline station again. Was told that both the EMT website and the NRE website are both wrong and you cannot use your ticket on the Euston to Nuneaton to Leicester route tomorrow . Different staff member.
     
  29. suzanneparis

    suzanneparis Member

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    Partner just asked an intelligent and helpful EMT on board train guard . She told him my ticket is valid tomorrow on the Euston to Nuneaton to Leicester route !
     
  30. alistairlees

    alistairlees Member

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    Ok. This is obviously all very unsatisfactory. However, all forum members are convinced that your tickets are valid and will (and must be accepted), so you should just travel. If you have any issues - such as being asked to pay for a different ticket - then you will undoubtedly be able to claim your money back and (I would expect) will get compensation. Regarding the staff members who are giving incorrect advice, you should report this to EMT, advising them of the time, station and (if available) staff member's name.

    Otherwise enjoy your trip.
     

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