PlusBus at a station without a ticket office

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by MikeWM, 6 Feb 2019.

  1. MikeWM

    MikeWM Member

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    A hypothetical situation, but one that I'll probably be encountering soon:

    I have a annual season ticket from Ely to Cambridge. I get off at Cambridge North, which doesn't have a ticket office. I want to get a daily PlusBus (perhaps I've just decided I want one, because the weather is miserable and I don't feel like walking). Is there any way to get one there, or do I have to pay full fare on the bus that day?
     
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  3. Flying Snail

    Flying Snail Member

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    Get it at Ely before you travel or from the guard if there is one. AFAIK there is no way to purchase one online without an accompanying rail ticket.

    Is there a restriction on selling plusbus tickets for the zone that a station is in?

    That may just be an over zealous interpretation of the requirement for plusbus to be an add-on to a rail journey but I'd expect that you may encounter resistance to buying at the within zone station even if it isn't a specific rule.
     
  4. MikeWM

    MikeWM Member

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    Isn't this rather rubbish though? That there is a ticket I have every right to buy if there is a ticket office, but because GA didn't bother to put one in, I can't, and at that point have no other option than to pay more than I should? There really should be some mechanism in place for such cases.

    (To the second point, this is just an example. Feel free to substitute eg. Waterbeach->Cambridge North as the season ticket, where both ends of the journey don't have a ticket office).
     
  5. ForTheLoveOf

    ForTheLoveOf Established Member

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    Unfortunately there isn't a right to make an additional contract - it is, ultimately, down to the discretion of the TOC as to whether they will sell you the additional ticket. If they haven't provided the facilities then clearly they don't want it to be sold...
     
  6. MikeWM

    MikeWM Member

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    Well, yes - legally.

    I'm just surprised how rubbish this is though.
     
  7. ForTheLoveOf

    ForTheLoveOf Established Member

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    Oh, I absolutely agree. It's just there's not a huge amount that can be done to force the matter!
     
  8. Belperpete

    Belperpete Member

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    I may be missing something here, but if you buy a plus-bus add-on at a booking office, you have to show proof that you have a ticket for it to be added onto. The reason that they can't be bought as stand-alone add-ons either on-line or at a TVM is that there is no way for you to show to these systems that you already have a rail ticket valid for that day. Without such proof, anyone could just buy a stand-alone plus-bus ticket from a TVM and get discounted bus travel. You can't expect bus drivers to know when all the different types of train ticket are and aren't valid.

    This is surely the same as any other excess fare, you can only buy them from someone who can check that you already hold a valid ticket to excess onto.
     
  9. MikeWM

    MikeWM Member

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    Of course - the point would appear to be that replacing ticket offices with TVMs or online isn’t good enough while there are tickets you can obtain from a ticket office but no other way.

    If you’re lucky enough to be starting or ending your journey at a station with an open staffed ticket office, you can get discounted bus travel. If not, you have to pay full fare. Seems a very unsatisfactory state of affairs.
     
  10. Wallsendmag

    Wallsendmag Established Member

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    Who’s said you can’t buy plus bus from a TVM or online?
     
  11. mmh

    mmh Established Member

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    But you are lucky enough to be doing that - you start at Ely. I think I can't be properly understanding what the complaint is here.
     
  12. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    You can but only with an accompanying train ticket.
     
  13. MikeWM

    MikeWM Member

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    Because, for a number of reasons, it would be more convenient to purchase at CMB than at Ely. So yes, this isn’t as much a problem for me as it could be, but is still annoying and all due to the fact that CMB has no ticket office.

    I’m also think I should be able to point out things that I think are problematic, even if they don’t directly affect me...
     
  14. MikeWM

    MikeWM Member

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    Not when you’ve already forked out for a season ticket, and as I said in my original post that’s what I have.
     
  15. Wallsendmag

    Wallsendmag Established Member

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    Can you not buy it on the train either ?
     
  16. route101

    route101 Established Member

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    Scotrail TVMs at Queen St have plusbus on them , but couldnt get it to work , blank screen
     
  17. richw

    richw Established Member

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    Can only be bought in the same transaction as a rail ticket
     
  18. Jona26

    Jona26 Member

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    On Southern TVMs you can't get Railcard discount on a rail and PlusBus journey! Southern have been saying for 12 months they are aware of this and it will be amended "soon!"
     
  19. woody505

    woody505 Member

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    What if you buy your ticket and plus bus online for collection from machine. You get too machine and find machine broken only option is too get on train and talk too conductor. Conductor never comes round for what ever reason and get off at an unstaffed station. Who is liable for the cost for a new bus ticket or is it just tuff?
     
  20. ForTheLoveOf

    ForTheLoveOf Established Member

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    The retailer is liable for the cost of a new ticket, as they will have provided a warranty that you can pick up the ticket, which they have breached through the unavailability of the ticketing facilities. (This is the legal opinion of an expert I consulted)
     
  21. sheff1

    sheff1 Established Member

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    EMT TVMs were the same for years. I haven't tried recently, so not sure if they ever fixed them.
     
  22. MikeWM

    MikeWM Member

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    Not in DOO land, unfortunately not. (yes, the GA Norwich services sell tickets on the train, but not GN...)
     
  23. MikeWM

    MikeWM Member

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    What about if I try to buy at Ely but, as if often is the case there, the ticket office is temporarily closed? (less bad than a few years ago when this was fairly endemic - but it still happens fairly regularly).

    Also, when you say the cost of a new ticket, do you mean the cost of a PlusBus or the cost of a day ticket on the bus operator? (the latter being substantially more once railcard discount is added to the PlusBus?)
     
  24. ForTheLoveOf

    ForTheLoveOf Established Member

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    What do you mean? Do you mean where you have already bought the PlusBus ticket, or are you trying to buy a new one?

    As previously explained, there are two positions.

    If you haven't bought your PlusBus ticket yet, there is no obligation on the railway to sell such a ticket to you, and nor are they obligated to provide suitable facilities to buy such a ticket.

    If you have already bought it, then the retailer is liable for your reasonable and mitigated costs/damages if you are unable to pick the ticket up, in breach of a warranty they have made (e.g. that you would be able to pick up the ticket at station X).
     
  25. MikeWM

    MikeWM Member

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    So as a season ticket holder (and hence can’t preorder one - except at an open ticket office) I’m at a disadvantage?

    As I keep saying in this thread, this whole thing seems highly unsatisfactory.
     
  26. ForTheLoveOf

    ForTheLoveOf Established Member

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    Exactly. It's not very customer oriented, but then so are a lot of things in the rail industry, so I'm not surprised in the least!
     
  27. ChrisC

    ChrisC Member

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    I may be wrong as it was some months ago, but I am sure that I managed to buy an Off Peak Day Return with Shefffield Plusbus with railcard discount from the EMT TVM at Alfreton last April.
     
  28. Belperpete

    Belperpete Member

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    I think that it is worth remembering that Plusbus was introduced as an incentive to encourage people to use the bus. OK, it may not be perfect, but it is way better than nothing. You have no right to a Plusbus ticket.
    The problem is not with Plusbus, but with the closure of booking offices and their replacement with TVMs that offer much lesser service.
     
  29. Belperpete

    Belperpete Member

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    You are not being discriminated against, it's not just season ticket holders, but anyone who already holds a ticket and wants to buy a plusbus add-on, or any other type of excess. They can only be bought from a ticket office or from the guard.
     

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