Off peak not valid at all on Fridays - GWR

Aasimuk

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For the past few weeks, I've been traveling from Bristol Temple Meads to Dawlish Warren on a Friday evening, coming back Sundays with the family (amazing holiday park in that neck of the woods!)

When using the ticket machines, it tells me that the off peak return ticket is not valid for Fridays, so have been buying peak returns (not a huge difference in price)

Decided to buy from the manned ticket office this week, and was sold an off peak return for travel on Friday. Were they right to do this, or could I have been penalty fared?
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yorkie

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That text is nonsense and it would breach fares regulation for GWR to charge an Anytime fare for travel on any weekday evening, including a Friday.

If you've been paying extra due to misleading information, you should seek a refund and an apology from GWR as well as a promise they will rectify the misinformation.
 

alistairlees

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The restriction text is ten or more years out of date. It is valid on Fridays. It’s also valid from 08.10 from Stapleton Road.
 

Watershed

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Also worth noting that, even if you'd bought the "wrong" ticket, you couldn't receive a Penalty Fare. You would simply have to pay the difference ("excess") to the appropriate fare, e.g. the Anytime ticket.

If in doubt, you can just buy the cheaper ticket and excess it later.
 

WelshBluebird

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Looks like the text actually just says the return portion isn't valid for Friday travel. So even if the text is accurate (which based on above posts sounds like it may not be), it isnt saying you can't travel down to Dawlish on the Friday, but instead that you can't return a Friday.
 

alistairlees

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Looks like the text actually just says the return portion isn't valid for Friday travel. So even if the text is accurate (which based on above posts sounds like it may not be), it isnt saying you can't travel down to Dawlish on the Friday, but instead that you can't return a Friday.
There’s no “if” about the accuracy of the text. It is very wrong.
 

Starmill

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Also worth noting that, even if you'd bought the "wrong" ticket, you couldn't receive a Penalty Fare. You would simply have to pay the difference ("excess") to the appropriate fare, e.g. the Anytime ticket.

If in doubt, you can just buy the cheaper ticket and excess it later.
This is correct, however there's a strong likelihood of being issued an incorrect Penalty Fare for various reasons, and this is one such in some areas of the country. For example, Northern's internal guide to revenue protection says to issue a Penalty Fare for using an otherwise valid Off Peak Day ticket at a barred time.
 

30907

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Looks like the text actually just says the return portion isn't valid for Friday travel. So even if the text is accurate (which based on above posts sounds like it may not be), it isnt saying you can't travel down to Dawlish on the Friday, but instead that you can't return a Friday.
That's how I read it too, but the OP should still complain and be refunded the difference for each of their journeys purchased from such machines.

BTW I presume the machine at Stapleton Road at least shows 08.10 along with the rubbish text :)
 

Aasimuk

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Thank you to all of you for your advice on this - It actually says this restrictions for all stations in the Exeter area, so will definitely raise this with their customer services, but how far I get will be another thing!
 

Wolfie

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Thank you to all of you for your advice on this - It actually says this restrictions for all stations in the Exeter area, so will definitely raise this with their customer services, but how far I get will be another thing!
If you don't get very far l would suggest that you threaten legal action for the total of the overcharges.
 

30907

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Thank you to all of you for your advice on this - It actually says this restrictions for all stations in the Exeter area, so will definitely raise this with their customer services, but how far I get will be another thing!
The restriction code is WG (may be worth referencing) so the error may well affect a large number of destinations. It is however shown correctly on NRE, BRFares, and presumably online retail sites.
 

DorkingMain

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This is correct, however there's a strong likelihood of being issued an incorrect Penalty Fare for various reasons, and this is one such in some areas of the country. For example, Northern's internal guide to revenue protection says to issue a Penalty Fare for using an otherwise valid Off Peak Day ticket at a barred time.
That's incredibly poor (especially when NRCOT 9.5 explicitly states should be charged an excess) but then many TOCs treat NRCOT as guidance rather than a specific set of terms they agreed to.
 

Starmill

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That's incredibly poor (especially when NRCOT 9.5 explicitly states should be charged an excess) but then many TOCs treat NRCOT as guidance rather than a specific set of terms they agreed to.
They generally seem to me to take the view that they can pick and choose which parts of the NRCoT to apply.
 

Wolfie

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They generally seem to me to take the view that they can pick and choose which parts of the NRCoT to apply.
Only the Courts can dissuade such an attitude. Probably why some of the apologists on here decry anyone involving them.....
 

swt_passenger

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That's incredibly poor (especially when NRCOT 9.5 explicitly states should be charged an excess) but then many TOCs treat NRCOT as guidance rather than a specific set of terms they agreed to.
I read it as section 10.2.3 applies in penalty fare areas, so that overrides 9.5.
Section 10 is also referred to within section 9.
I still think it could be better explained though.
 

yorkie

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Penalty Fares cannot (lawfully) be charged for travel on a time restricted ticket at an invalid time, though in this case the ticket is valid on Fridays except during the morning peak.

Here is a thread for when this debate cropped up in early 2019: https://www.railforums.co.uk/thread...t-at-a-time-an-anytime-should-be-used.176186/ and here is one from 2017: https://www.railforums.co.uk/threads/penalty-fares-from-colchester.148448/

Here is a thread where someone travelled on an Off Peak Return at a valid time, but Avanti deemed it invalid and charged for a new Anytime fare: https://www.railforums.co.uk/threads/penalty-for-travelling-in-peak-on-off-peak-ticket.195101/
 

Starmill

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I read it as section 10.2.3 applies in penalty fare areas, so that overrides 9.5.
Section 10 is also referred to within section 9.
I still think it could be better explained though.
My reading was precisely the opposite. Which is a key reason why a judge is probably required to actually decide.
 

Watershed

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I read it as section 10.2.3 applies in penalty fare areas, so that overrides 9.5.
Section 10 is also referred to within section 9.
I still think it could be better explained though.
I think 10.2.3 needs to be understood as referring to situations such as travelling on an Advance ticket on the wrong time train. The fact that 9.5 specifically sets out the penalty that may be applied for travelling on an Off-Peak ticket at a barred time makes clear that such a ticket isn't fundamentally invalid, but rather requires payment of an excess.

It is somewhat of a mess though, as you say.
 

robbeech

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They generally seem to me to take the view that they can pick and choose which parts of the NRCoT to apply.
This is simply because they’ve done that for years and got away with it. There’s literally nobody to stop them. Including :
Only the Courts can dissuade such an attitude. Probably why some of the apologists on here decry anyone involving them.....
The courts won’t really stop them either. It’ll never get that far because the operators will pay up to make the problem go away allowing them to keep acting the way they do. It’s the inverse of ‘pay when challenged’

This situation has clearly been going on for a while. It’s possible (but realistically unlikely) that the operator has made thousands in additional revenue from this so there’s clearly no incentive to change it. It’s possible other people have already been through this ordeal with them, obtained a refund snd the operator has brushed it under the carpet and not done anything about it. It’s possible you can fight for refunds for all historic transactions (though they’ll conveniently be able to ask for proof which may be difficult) and succeed in getting sone money back. The likelihood of them changing it is low because nobody will stop them although I always like to think a thread on this forum increases the chances of something getting done.
 

Wolfie

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This is simply because they’ve done that for years and got away with it. There’s literally nobody to stop them. Including :

The courts won’t really stop them either. It’ll never get that far because the operators will pay up to make the problem go away allowing them to keep acting the way they do. It’s the inverse of ‘pay when challenged’

This situation has clearly been going on for a while. It’s possible (but realistically unlikely) that the operator has made thousands in additional revenue from this so there’s clearly no incentive to change it. It’s possible other people have already been through this ordeal with them, obtained a refund snd the operator has brushed it under the carpet and not done anything about it. It’s possible you can fight for refunds for all historic transactions (though they’ll conveniently be able to ask for proof which may be difficult) and succeed in getting sone money back. The likelihood of them changing it is low because nobody will stop them although I always like to think a thread on this forum increases the chances of something getting done.
Sounds about right, sadly.
 

robbeech

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Sounds about right, sadly.
Even in court it can be hit or miss. The railway are usually the good and the passenger the bad and it can be challenging to get the court to see it any differently.
 

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