Paddington to Oxford - evening peak restrictions from Boundary Zone 6

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by JB_B, 15 Apr 2019.

  1. JB_B

    JB_B Member

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    My friend holds a 1-week zones 1-6 travelcard. She has a Network Card. She needs to go to Oxford from Paddington tomorrow evening 16th April and back late the same evening. She'd prefer to take a fast train in the peak - eg the 17:22 from Paddington.

    I've suggested that she gets a Boundary Zone 6 to Oxford off-peak day return for £13.05.

    See: http://www.brfares.com/#faredetail?orig=0072&dest=OXF&rlc=NEW&tkt=CDR

    This is restriction W1 which is (as far as I can see) valid on all trains from Paddington to Oxford in the evening peak.

    (That's a stark contrast to the equivalent day off-peak day return from Paddington at £18.10 which is restriction J9 and severely limited during the evening peak. See: http://www.brfares.com/#faredetail?orig=PAD&dest=OXF&grpo=1072&rlc=NEW&tkt=CDR )


    Unfortunately, it's a while since I've been that way and I know that the Paddington gateline have an unenviable reputation of being broadly useless (or worse) when it comes to handling restrictions correctly. Naturally, she's not keen on hassle.

    Does anyone have an opinion on

    1) How likely is she to get..

    (a) Paddington gateline challenge;

    (b) on-train challenge; or

    (c) challenge on arrival at Oxford?


    2) Can she get the ticket from a machine at Paddington or will she need to use the booking office?

    Any suggestions/opinions welcomed.
     
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  3. ForTheLoveOf

    ForTheLoveOf Established Member

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    (a) The Paddington automated gates are very unlikely to accept the ticket, but part of it is a question of chance as to whether the barrier attendant will check the ticket thoroughly or not. I have used 'interesting' tickets out of Paddington numerous times and I have yet to experience the problems many have reported. Then again, on no occasion has my ticket been inspected particularly carefully. I think that part is down to pot luck - in my experience they are more likely to wave you through, so to speak, if a large queue is building (as might be expected at that sort of time).

    If the member of barrier staff claims it's not valid, the good thing with new-style tickets is that they explicitly link you to NRE for the restrictions. It would be harder (though still by no means impossible) for a member of barrier staff to justify refusing access if you show them what NRE says on the link printed on the ticket.

    (b) I'd like to hope that the Train Manager would know ticket restrictions a little better than often poorly trained barrier staff, but it is equally possible they will object to the ticket, if there is room to come through for an inspection and they don't care for looking up the details of the validity.

    (c) I'd like to hope that there is a little less of a chance of problems here, since there will be numerous Off-Peak and Off-Peak Day tickets that are valid in the evening peak for exiting at Oxford, but it will be a question of how well programmed the barriers are. To be honest, I wouldn't be surprised if they didn't have anything programmed for Boundary Zone 6 at all as it strikes me as a somewhat less frequently seen ticket for them.

    In all three cases, if the worst case scenario comes to be and the ticket is rejected, the easiest option is likely to be to pay whatever excess it is claimed is required, and then to take the matter up with Customer Services after the journey (with a view to recovering the excess plus any applicable Delay Repay).

    As for your second question, I'm afraid I'll have to let someone else answer that as I can't remember the functionality of those particular GWR machines.

    Overall this is the obvious way to make the journey given the existing ticket held, and hopefully all will go smoothly if your friend does use a Boundary Zone ticket. One tip might be to use Real Time Trains to check the platform before it's announced on the displays. This way your friend can nab a reasonable seat hopefully, if they can't get a seat reservation.
     
  4. CyrusWuff

    CyrusWuff Established Member

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    Whilst she shouldn't get any hassle, given the restriction is quite clear (i.e. not valid between 0430 and 0929 Monday to Friday, excluding public holidays), gateline staff at Paddington are infamous for rejecting perfectly valid tickets.

    To guarantee a hassle-free journey, there's always the option of travelling from Marylebone. There's a departure from Marylebone at 17:18, due into Oxford at 18:20. Sadly the TVMs at Marylebone won't sell Boundary tickets, so it'd mean a trip to the Ticket Office.
     
  5. ForTheLoveOf

    ForTheLoveOf Established Member

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    The only issue here could be that Chiltern publicise that tickets to Oxford are, as an exception to the usual rule for their Off-Peak tickets, not valid in the evening peak, allegedly due to their being priced by GWR (that wouldn't stop Chiltern from not enforcing that!).

    However, you could simply use the Travelcard in the barriers to avoid any potential incorrect rejections - there's only one gateline at Marylebone for all platforms, so it has to accept Travelcards. Then it's likely only a question of the Oxford barriers and any trouble they might cause, seeing as I understand there aren't usually any Train Managers rostered on the Oxford services (unless it's one of the few loco-hauled ones).
     
  6. JB_B

    JB_B Member

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    Thanks, FTLO - that's very helpful.

    Yes - that's not a bad option either - thanks for that.
     
  7. Peter Mugridge

    Peter Mugridge Established Member

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    Wouldn't the Travelcard operate the barriers at Paddington as well anyway?
     
  8. JonathanH

    JonathanH Established Member

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    The ticket machines at Paddington near the booking office will sell boundary zone tickets - just touch 'tickets from another station at the point where you would otherwise choose the destination.
     
  9. Starmill

    Starmill Events Co-ordinator

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    Yes this is entirely possible.
     
  10. Hadders

    Hadders Established Member

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    Not necessarily, especially if the 1st stop is outside the Zones. I've had One Day Travelcards that I was using as part of a combination Paddington Gateline.

    The 17:22 is booked to leave from platform 10 which shares a gateline with trains that do stop within the Zones so a Travelcard season should work.
     

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