"Not via London" - no obvious route

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AndyNLondon

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I was looking up fares for Alexandra Palace (my local station) to Reading, and noticed a few listed on brfares.com that have route "Not via London", e.g. this super off-peak return. Which got me wondering, what route(s) is this ticket be valid on? AIUI, the valid routes for a "A to B not via X" ticket are the permitted routes that don't go through X - correct? And my inexpert reading of the routing guide is that the only permitted route from Ally Pally to Reading is "London". Which implies that there's no way to use the ticket, which surely can't be right?

I've tried to get the National Rail website to offer me one of these tickets, but asking it for Alexandra Palace to Reading avoiding London Terminals it shows two options: AAP - Highbury & Islington - Richmond - Reading; or AAP - Highbury & Islington - Vauxhall (by tube) - Clapham Junction - Basingstoke - Reading. And it prices both of these as multiple single tickets, suggesting that the "not via London" tickets aren't valid for those routes.

(The question is theoretical for me, as in practice I'd probably want to go via Paddington anyway, to meet a friend there, but it piqued my curiosity and I figured that if this forum can't come up with an answer then who can?!)
 
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mikeg

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Quite possibly there aren't any routes via London and indeed there aren't unless the shortest route avoids London terminals or you are using your ticket on a through service which avoids London. The latter isn't possible and I'm not sure how the former could apply.

So why the fare?

It should be noted that it is clustered with fares for a great many other stations:
Code:
1022 HAGGERSTON 1443 DALSTON JUNCTION 6019 NEW SOUTHGATE 6934 STOKE NEWINGTON 
 1023 HOXTON 4935 WHITECHAPEL 6021 PALMERS GREEN 6961 BETHNAL GREEN 
 1024 SHOREDITCH H ST 6000 DRAYTON PARK 6025 ALEXANDRA PALACE 6962 CAMBRIDGE HEATH 
 1082 SHADWELL 6004 ESSEX ROAD 6027 BOWES PARK 6966 LONDON FIELDS 
 1085 WAPPING 6009 HIGHBURY & ISLTN 6119 FINSBURY PARK 6967 RECTORY ROAD 
 1429 DALSTON KINGSLND 6012 HARRINGAY 6867 HACKNEY DOWNS  
 1441 CANONBURY 6015 HORNSEY 6926 CLAPTON

Hoxton, for one, you could change at Clahpam Junction, for example.

So I imagine it's an effect of clustering and the ticket shouldn't be sold, rather than anything intentional.
 

furlong

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These cases are thankfully rare, but this matter was clarified by ATOC very straightforwardly back in 1998. The routeing on the ticket is just one factor that the Routeing Guide may or may not need to take into account in any specific case. A similar situation arises when using a conflicting routeing with a cheaper fare. In these cases, in effect ATOC tells us to think of it as "Also via" or "Also not via" rather than "Only via" or "Only not via".

Qu.5: What are the permitted routes where a ticket is routed "not London"; in particular, what if the only route given in the Guide is "London"?

In this case, you can use the ticket via London. The routes "London" and "not London" are not necessarily mutually exclusive.

Source.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
(I should of course add that if you search the forum you'll find several threads attempting to square the circle and I think the only real consensus you'll find here is that tickets such as these should be avoided unless you enjoy getting into arguments you might lose expensively.)
 
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Paul Kelly

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AAP - Highbury & Islington - Richmond - Reading
I suspect this is the originally intended route for the NOT VIA LONDON fare. Certainly AAP to Earley (one station before Reading) is permitted that way, as it's within 3 miles of the shortest route.
 

greatkingrat

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The fare is set by South West Trains, so I think the intention is for it to be used Alexandra Palace - Highbury - Clapham Jn or Richmond - Reading, even if that route is not officially permitted by the Routeing Guide.
 

AndyNLondon

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Thanks all, sounds suitably baffling!

(I should of course add that if you search the forum you'll find several threads attempting to square the circle and I think the only real consensus you'll find here is that tickets such as these should be avoided unless you enjoy getting into arguments you might lose expensively.)
And that's not a fun kind of argument, especially when winning it would have such a small benefit :|
 

John @ home

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The shortest route by rail between Alexandra Palace and Reading is 50.25 miles via Highbury & Islington, Willesden Jn, Richmond and Staines. This is therefore a Permitted Route. The route does not pass through any "London Terminals" station, so it can be used with a ticket routed "Not Via London".
 

JamesRowden

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The shortest route by rail between Alexandra Palace and Reading is 50.25 miles via Highbury & Islington, Willesden Jn, Richmond and Staines. This is therefore a Permitted Route. The route does not pass through any "London Terminals" station, so it can be used with a ticket routed "Not Via London".

Unless you jump on a freight train. :D
 

furlong

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The shortest route by rail between Alexandra Palace and Reading is 50.25 miles via Highbury & Islington, Willesden Jn, Richmond and Staines. This is therefore a Permitted Route. The route does not pass through any "London Terminals" station, so it can be used with a ticket routed "Not Via London".

Which just replaces one contentious issue with a different one. Alexandra Palace to Kings Cross is around 5 miles, and Paddington to Reading is around 36 miles - a total of 41 miles, so no, even if you join the camp that believes you need to add on 3 miles for Kings Cross to Paddington (which I don't) you don't come close to 50.25 miles.
 

edwin_m

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The routes "London" and "not London" are not necessarily mutually exclusive.

Sir Humphrey would be proud of that one.

Would this be valid using bits of the District Line? Highbury to Ealing Broadway changing at West Brompton then Earls Court or Gunnersbury then Turnham Green, thence GWML to Reading?
 

hairyhandedfool

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I think there are a couple of issues at play here.

First is clustering, which does occasionally throw up a few odd routeings (Manchester Stns to Darwen via Darwen for example), this could just be another example of that.

Secondly, the Routeing Guide was drawn up in a time when there were three basic types of route, Any Permitted, the name of a place you had to go through, or "Direct". The Routeing Guide has notes on what to do where no permitted routes go through a named place, but because none of the "Not via..." routes existed, there is no scope for a situation where none of the permitted routes are valid and no through trains exist. It is therefore impossible to conclude that this ticket actually has a permitted route.

It should be noted that a fare existing does not mean the fare should ever be sold. In fact I'd hope that a ticket with no valid routes never gets sold.

I'm increasingly of the opinion that the chap who claimed that "London" and "Not London" are "not necessarily mutually exclusive" didn't actually try to find an answer and, as some would put it, just "made something up". With nothing else to back up that claim I wouldn't advise anyone try it out without making sure they know a very good lawyer.
 

bb21

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I'm increasingly of the opinion that the chap who claimed that "London" and "Not London" are "not necessarily mutually exclusive" didn't actually try to find an answer and, as some would put it, just "made something up". With nothing else to back up that claim I wouldn't advise anyone try it out without making sure they know a very good lawyer.

You don't say. :lol:

To this date, I cannot figure out what logic the bloke applied in that response. To claim that "something" and "not something" or such like are not mutually exclusive in everyday usage is amazing to say the least, and an insult to the general public's intelligence to put it bluntly, as if they could not recognise waffling from analysis.
 

hounddog

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You don't say. :lol:

To this date, I cannot figure out what logic the bloke applied in that response. To claim that "something" and "not something" or such like are not mutually exclusive in everyday usage is amazing to say the least, and an insult to the general public's intelligence to put it bluntly, as if they could not recognise waffling from analysis.

Never mind 'everyday usage' it's complete nonsense in any usage.
 

Paul Kelly

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I always liked to think it meant you could change short of London from a "to London" map sequence onto a "from London" map sequence, thus you were using the "LONDON" map routes but going "NOT VIA LONDON". But I am becoming less convinced of that as time goes by.
 

jimbo99

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Reminds me of some years ago buying a ticket year ago from West Wickham to Farringdon. The bloke said "'ere you go, you'll love the railway logic". The ticket said "Farringdon Underground not Underground"

Of course we know what it means... (Change at London Bridge and go via Thameslink rather than use the Underground service.)
 

MarlowDonkey

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The fare is set by South West Trains

When CrossRail opens, is it intended that stations from Iver to Reading will be added to Oyster and Contactless? What about the three branches? If there are to be no through trains post electrification, platform based readers at Slough, Maidenhead and Twyford might suffice.

Alexandra Palace to Reading could then become an Oyster fare.
 
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