Overnight break on outward portion of return

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by fandroid, 14 Aug 2015.

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  1. fandroid

    fandroid Member

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    This basic question posed here has probably been discussed many times before, but here goes:

    My rather unique travelling pattern often involves a journey like this:

    Start from home at Basingstoke before 9am to go to Heathrow, fly to Germany, stay overnight, return to Heathrow the next day, then travel by train to a northern city eg Leeds. After a quick delivery there I either go back to home by the fastest train route possible, or stay overnight and go home early(ish) the next day.

    I work for a charity. They like me to save as much money as possible, and travel as fast as possible from Germany until delivery (within the limits of airline punctuality!). Advance tickets are not normally much use because my journey time back from Germany is not confirmed until late on the first day, and airline arrival times at Heathrow plus arrivals delays make the railways look like paragons of punctuality.

    I would like to use Offpeak Returns, say Basingstoke to Leeds, but that would involve an overnight break on the outward leg. I can get to Hayes and Harlington as a permitted route to London (Paddington) and buy a return ticket to Heathrow from there, picking up the Leeds journey the following day using Heathrow Connect and an East Coast train from Kings Cross.

    The wording in the CoC is a bit ambiguous about overnight breaks on outward portions of Offpeak Returns. What is the view of esteemed experts?
     
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  3. yorkie

    yorkie Forum Staff Staff Member Administrator

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    Yes, that's right.
    I consider the following forum member to be not just an 'expert' but his posts on this matter to be considered authoritative:-
     
  4. fandroid

    fandroid Member

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    Looking at the first of those previous Forum answers on the same basic question, I initially worried about the 'restart the journey before 12.00 the next day' condition, but I see that later answers simply say that the journey must fall within the normal time restrictions of that type of ticket.

    The reason why it's worth trying to do this for me is the fact that I'm allowed to start my journey (on Offpeak and SuperOffPeak returns) before 9am from Basingstoke and that I still get my Senior Railcard discount for that initial journey stage within the Network Railcard area. That is a big saving over either Anytime Returns or combinations of singles for the journeys up to/from London.

    The slightly iffy bit is the journey on the FGW trains via Reading. Websites seem to indicate more restrictions for the via Reading route in the morning peak, than they do for the Waterloo route (Where I would use my Oystercard on the Tube to get to Heathrow).
     
  5. Hadders

    Hadders Fares Advisor

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    On-line booking engines regularly mis-interpret off peak timing restrictions so they cannot always be defined as authoritative.
     
  6. yorkie

    yorkie Forum Staff Staff Member Administrator

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    The "before 1200" thing is the old rules. However some staff may still think they apply, as the rail industry isn't great at training staff.
    The network area rule applies to this ticket, and indeed all (Super) Off Peak fares where the origin is within the 'Network area' and the destination is outside it:-
    There is no restriction between Basingstoke & London on such a ticket.

    The restrictions apply from King's Cross (or St Pancras etc) to Leeds.
     
  7. fandroid

    fandroid Member

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    Thank you for clarifying these points.

    So, if I were travelling all the way from Basingstoke to Paddington, on an OffPeak ticket to an ultimate destination outside the Network area, using the permitted route via Reading can I use the non-stop trains on which peak restrictions normally apply (for any Offpeak tickets)? Or am I confusing things with the restrictions on down trains from Paddington in the evening peak?
     
  8. gray1404

    gray1404 Established Member

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    Have I understood this correctly, the outward part of on Off Peak can be used over 2 days (unless a break of jourrney is expressly excluded in the ticket restriction code)? It is up to the customer to decide if they want to make the journey over one or two days?

    Have I understood this correctly?
     
  9. 158801

    158801 Member

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    This is the official wording for most Off Peak Returns :

    "..Off-Peak Singles and the outward portion of Off-Peak Returns are valid for travel on the date shown on the ticket and until 04:29 the following morning. If the journey cannot be completed in this time, the ticket may be used to continue the journey on the following day. Unless otherwise indicated in the relevant restriction code, time restrictions apply as from the initial origin station on both days. The appropriate restrictions for the actual day on which travel is being undertaken apply (for example, it may be that day 1 is on Sunday, no restrictions apply, but on day 2, the Monday-Friday restrictions
    apply). All travel must be completed by 04:29 in the morning after this second day. Please note that break of journey is not permitted on some journeys, as detailed inthe ticket restrictions..."

    Now, to me, this is the railway opening up a can of worms and have ambiguous statements.

    For example, I want an Off Peak Return from Edinburgh to Newcastle. As far as I am aware it is impossible not to complete a journey all in one go. In other words, whenever I leave Edinburgh, all trains along the ECML will take me to Newcastle.
    It's not as though I will finish work at 22:00 and realise I want too go to Newcastle. So I trundle down to the station and realise I can only get to Musselburgh - so I have the night there and continue the next day.
    Alternatively, why alight at Berwick for the night when the same train can take me all the way to Newcastle?

    So, is an Off Peak return from Edinburgh to Newcastle valid to break the journey at Berwick-Upon-Tweed and continue the next day ?
     
  10. Hadders

    Hadders Fares Advisor

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    Yes it is although be aware that you might encounter some poorly trained staff on day 2 who will deny it's valid.

    It is for you to decide whether or not to break your journey overnight. It has nothing to do about whether or not it is physically possible to complete your journey that day. There is also no requirement to travel as far as possible etc.
     
  11. fandroid

    fandroid Member

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    This is why I originally said that the wording is ambiguous. "The journey cannot be completed in this time" can have two causes, either one dictated by start time and timetables, or one dictated by what the passenger wants to do on his/her journey.

    The crucial point seems to be whether a break of journey is permitted or not. If it is, then the passenger may have business (in your example, at Berwick) which prevents completion of the journey on the first day. I don't think it's a can of worms. For once the railway industry is thinking of what a varied cross-section of the population might want from their train journey, and has made a reasonable provision to make it fairly flexible. (Always optimistic!)
     
  12. Hadders

    Hadders Fares Advisor

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    This post is extremely helpful in clarifying the position.

    http://www.railforums.co.uk/showpost.php?p=810888&postcount=65

     
    Last edited: 16 Aug 2015
  13. 34D

    34D Established Member

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    I do disagree with this (not that my lowly opinion matters). I see two versions of events:

    'cannot be completed' due to the journey being a long one - this is fine, and probably the intention of the rule

    'cannot be completed' due to someone arriving at the station after the last usual connection to their destination has gone: whilst machines (and indeed ticket offices) may issue tickets, I don't believe their intention is to allow a break of journey. Example here could be a York-Yarm ticket attempting to be used after 20:16 (m-f) and the pax insisting on an overnight break in Northallerton.

    Finally, this is off peak returns (ie code SVR, SSR, etc) and not off peak day returns (code CDR) that we are discussing.
     
  14. Hadders

    Hadders Fares Advisor

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    I would refer you to yorkie's comments above about the authoritativeness of the post I referred to.
     
  15. 34D

    34D Established Member

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    Unless the member being referred to has some qualification or position I am not privy to, it is just one member opinion versus another.

    Unless his day job is as a director of ATOC or a very senior official with the DfT, then it's only a personal opinion.

    (I'll probably get a PM now telling me that said member is someone like Elaine Holt or Sir Bob Reid or Lord Adonis)
     
  16. ainsworth74

    ainsworth74 Forum Staff Staff Member Global Moderator

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    thedbdiboy can be considered authoritative on this topic.
     
  17. yorkie

    yorkie Forum Staff Staff Member Administrator

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    I don't think it's fair to speculate exactly 'who' someone is unless they want their identity revealed, but all I can say is you have my word he is a very authoritiatve source. If that aint good enough, then then so be it.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    There is no restriction whatsoever on the trains you can use into London on these tickets, as detailed in the restrictions.
    There is no such thing as restrictions that apply to "any" Offpeak tickets.

    The restrictions that apply to a ticket are those detailed in the restriction text for the relevant restriction code. These days restriction codes are usually (though not always, e.g. if printed on older machines) printed on the ticket, and if they're not printed on the ticket you can look up the restriction code on www.brfares.com which also has the restriction text.
    There are no restrictions on Down trains from Paddington whatsoever on the return portion of a Basingstoke to Leeds ticket.

    The reason you're confused is that I am guessing you normally purchase Basingstoke to London tickets. These have very different restrictions, which are nothing like the restrictions on Basingstoke to Leeds tickets.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    Also here is evidence the brief was received by Train Companies:
    Of course not all TOCs will have bothered to read it or pass it down to staff, but the brief stating it is the customers decision was issued and does exist.

    (I can also confirm AlterEgo was, at that time, working in a relevant position at a TOC, so was indeed in a position to confirm this)
     
  18. PermitToTravel

    PermitToTravel Established Member

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    With all respect due to thedbdiboy, I couldn't agree less about authoritativity, practically speaking. While advice on an internet forum can provide useful interpretations of rules or insider information can even provide enlightenment about the intentions with which such rules were written, it would be daft for any travellers to put themselves into a position of having to say to a court that an anonymous poster on an internet forum told them that another anonymous poster on the same forum could speak with authority regarding a contract the traveller was to enter into with an entity the latter poster may or may not work for.

    Nowhere in any terms and conditions or on any industry websites exist the derogations that it is purported above exist. A post on a forum, however well informed, can for the purposes of forming a contract and determining the conditions of said contract be considered to be approximately as authoritative as a bloke down the pub saying that all train tickets last until the next prime numbered vernal equinox.
     
  19. bb21

    bb21 Forum Staff Staff Member Global Moderator

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    You always have the option to purchase separate tickets for travel on the two days if you so wish. An argument can always be made questioning the authenticity of such a "brief" if the person in question has not seen it, or traced it physically as being from the purported source, and even then questions over the power of ATOC over individual TOCs.

    What we need is an effective watchdog for the industry. A real dog, not a sheep ala Transport Focus. Fat chance of that happening.
     
  20. 158801

    158801 Member

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    So, if the outward portion of an Off Peak return is valid two days, would it no be pertinent for tickets to show an expiry date of the following day ?

    Valid from 15 Aug 15 : Valid Until 16 Aug 15 ?
     
  21. bb21

    bb21 Forum Staff Staff Member Global Moderator

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    Not quite. The journey must have been started on the first day.
     
  22. sheff1

    sheff1 Established Member

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    If the poster we are told is "very authoritiatve" is/was, indeed, that authoritative one could reasonably expect that the terms and conditions they posted on here back in 2011 would be included on relevant industry websites by now. The lack of such conformation, 4 years on, does not fill me with confidence that any more authority should be given to said comments than to any other comments made by anonymous posters on internet fora.
     
  23. jkdd77

    jkdd77 Member

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    The NRE website is certainly an official source of information, and its published T & Cs relating to (Super) Off Peak tickets state: http://ojp.nationalrail.co.uk/servi...estriction=PV&callingPage=/en/s/fares/tickets
     
  24. yorkie

    yorkie Forum Staff Staff Member Administrator

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    The journey "cannot be completed in this time" because fandroid has broken his journey (which is permitted) and gone to Germany, so it "may be used to continue the journey on the following day". Case closed.
     
  25. PermitToTravel

    PermitToTravel Established Member

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    A journey from Basingstoke to Leeds can absolutely be completed in one day, if the traveller chooses to do so. Being able to travel via Germany and resume use of a ticket the next day is a relaxation of that requirement, and it's one not provided for in any of the T&Cs I've found so far.

    Are you trying to convince us or yourself?
     
  26. bb21

    bb21 Forum Staff Staff Member Global Moderator

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    There is no requirement for the journey to be started at a time when the journey is possible, as agreed by NRE.

    In my example, Leicester to Exeter St Davids can certainly be done in one day, but NRE correctly advertises a through ticket for an itinerary involving an overnight BoJ.
     

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  27. PermitToTravel

    PermitToTravel Established Member

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    It's good to know that it does that; thanks. The OP can rest assured that they may, at least at some times of day, do what they're asking about :p
     
  28. Indigo2

    Indigo2 Established Member

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    I didn't think about the difference in meaning between "the journey" and "a journey" before. This interests me. The ticket conditions refer to "the journey", i.e. the journey the passenger is actually making, rather than "a journey" from the passenger's origin to his/her destination. So it strikes me that it's the particular details of the actual journey being made that pertains to the permission to break overnight, rather than a more theoretical consideration of "a journey" from origin to destination.
     
  29. yorkie

    yorkie Forum Staff Staff Member Administrator

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    Are you denying that a passenger is free to break their journey, as per the T&Cs?

    If not, then you will accept that if a passenger exercises that right, it may then subsequently not be possible to complete the journey?

    The T&Cs permit break of journey.

    Are you trying to convince us of something or yourself? ;)

    If you are simply saying the rules should be clearer, we are in agreement (there are, however, better ways of arguing this!)

    But if you are saying that the rules mean a break of journey can be denied then that clearly isn't what the T&Cs say.

    Alternatively, if you believe it's not entirely clear and there is doubt, this would appear to apply...

     
  30. Haywain

    Haywain Established Member

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    The relevant part of the Terms & Conditions is clear enough for me, and for many others, to interpret in the manner stated by thedbdiboy who is indeed a source that can and should be considered authoritative. However, this being an internet forum many of us wish to preserve an element of our anonimity. If some readers wish to feel that this only gives them rights which are less beneficial then they are at liberty to excercise those less beneficial rights rather than the wider interpretation that ATOC and TOCs intend. Meanwhile, some may gain greater benefits from the tickets they buy by accepting the advice given by thedbdiboy, and those who confirm that it is authoritative.
     
  31. fandroid

    fandroid Member

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    Well! I think that the robust discussion above has justified my asking a question that has been answered here previously. Many thanks to those who have robustly upheld the liberal interpretation of the T&Cs. I am now sufficiently emboldened to give it a go whenever my journey is predictable enough to know what time I will be presenting myself on day 2 at one of the London terminals.

    I think that those who want to break overnight for more mundane reasons than myself can be fairly confident that they can defend their position with any railway staff.

    This week I am due to go to Germany again and deliver to Newcastle. I will be flying into Newcastle, but even then it is worth me buying a SuperOffpeak return from Basingstoke as it will cover most of my journey to Heathrow and then give me a journey from Newcastle to Basingstoke without paying for the Tube. All cheaper than singles (except possibly Advance, which I cannot normally take advantage of).
     
    Last edited: 17 Aug 2015
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