Quickest Route not permitted

wellhouse

Member
Joined
4 Oct 2009
Messages
339
Location
West Yorkshire
It used to be the case that Wakefield-Stockport tickets were valid only via Leeds and Manchester, although it was normally quicker to travel via Sheffield.

This has now been corrected, but are there any other flows where no through ticket is valid for the quickest route?
 
Sponsor Post - registered members do not see these adverts; click here to register, or click here to log in
R

RailUK Forums

RJ

Established Member
Joined
25 Jun 2005
Messages
7,482
Location
Rail replacement bus cab
Loughborough to stations beyond Peterborough towards Norwich had its validity via Nottingham removed. This was the fastest route timewise and only required one change. Instead, people were forced to go via Leicester - a slower route involving two changes and use of the unreliable, crowded CrossCountry service. It's an example of the shortest route rule disadvantaging customers as said route sees around 3 services a day.

I fed this back and three years later, it was reinstated as a permitted route.
 

Starmill

Veteran Member
Associate Staff
Events Co-ordinator
Joined
18 May 2012
Messages
14,410
Location
Manchester
This has now been corrected, but are there any other flows where no through ticket is valid for the quickest route?
Far too many to list here!!!

Farnham to Guildford for the fastest journeys via Woking
Birmingham to Penkridge for the fastest journeys via Stafford
Middlesbrough to Appleby for the fastest journeys via Leeds

The list could go on and on and on
 

CheapAndNerdy

Member
Joined
17 Jan 2010
Messages
319
Selhurst to Wimbledon:

The quickest and most frequent route is via Clapham Junction, but that requires multiple tickets and costs £7 (anytime singles only).

The permitted route is via Streatham, but that reduces the frequency to half-hourly and adds 20 minutes to the journey. Costs £3.80

Interestingly, Selhurst to Raynes Park (stop after Wimbledon) is valid via Clapham Junction and costs £3.80, and of course BoJ would be perfectly valid at Wimbledon.

In practice most journeys would use travel card or oyster/contactless which is charged as a zones 2-4 journey.
 

Be3G

Established Member
Joined
14 Sep 2012
Messages
1,592
Location
Chingford
If the routeing guide really didn't permit a genuine quickest route on a non-routed ticket (I'm defining ‘genuine’ as meaning during normal service hours e.g. not fringe cases like journeys that begin late at night and involve a kip on a platform for several hours) then I'd be tempted to invoke the ‘disputed routeing procedure’ as detailed on the final page of the NRG instructions here. Or at least I would be if I knew of anyone who had ever tried this, moreso with success.
 

yorkie

Forum Staff
Staff Member
Administrator
Joined
6 Jun 2005
Messages
47,540
Location
Yorkshire
Cardiff to Loughborough (via Nottingham*)
Stroud to Grantham (via London**)
Leuchars to Glasgow (via Dundee)
Goole to Church Fenton (via Brough)
Worksop to Knaresborough (via Sheffield/York)

* It can be very slightly quicker to go via Leicester, but there are many fast non-overtaken journeys with one change at Nottingham
** It was valid until around 2007ish when the "LONDON" entry was removed from yellow pages without DfT permission; this would be a good one to invoke the Disputed Route procedure!
 
Last edited:

mikeg

Member
Joined
20 Apr 2010
Messages
1,051
Dinsdale to Penrith was very often quickest via Manchester and probably still is. This was a permitted route but is no longer.
 

30907

Established Member
Joined
30 Sep 2012
Messages
8,663
Location
Airedale
Goole to Church Fenton (via Brough)
I'm sure you're right, or were in the past, but with the present service pattern NRE only comes up (SX) with one slow late evening example routed via Hull and Micklefield. The oddity is that via Doncaster and Leeds/York is permitted but not Doncaster and Selby.
 

Silver Cobra

Member
Joined
4 Jun 2015
Messages
486
Location
Bedfordshire
An interesting example for me is travelling from Arlesey to Crewe. The only available tickets for this journey are 'Not Via London' tickets priced by Cross Country, so involve travelling via Peterborough and Nuneaton/Birmingham New Street and takes between 3 hours 40 minutes and 4 hours to complete. If travelling via London was permitted, this journey would only take just over 3 hours (checking Hitchin to Crewe gives routings via London with an average journey time of just under 3 hours), so would save between 30 minutes and an hour on the journey time.

(BRFares lists VTWC-priced advances for Arlesey to Crewe, but I can never get them to come up)
 

yorkie

Forum Staff
Staff Member
Administrator
Joined
6 Jun 2005
Messages
47,540
Location
Yorkshire
I'm sure you're right, or were in the past, but with the present service pattern NRE only comes up (SX) with one slow late evening example routed via Hull and Micklefield. The oddity is that via Doncaster and Leeds/York is permitted but not Doncaster and Selby.
In the current timetable there are 'fast' journey opportunities every hour departing xx19 from Goole, via Brough/Garforth: http://www.fastjp.com/#journeys?orig=GOO&dest=CHF&odate=20181127&otime=0900&maxres=20&maxch=5
 

ForTheLoveOf

Established Member
Joined
7 Oct 2017
Messages
5,766
An interesting example for me is travelling from Arlesey to Crewe. The only available tickets for this journey are 'Not Via London' tickets priced by Cross Country, so involve travelling via Peterborough and Nuneaton/Birmingham New Street and takes between 3 hours 40 minutes and 4 hours to complete. If travelling via London was permitted, this journey would only take just over 3 hours (checking Hitchin to Crewe gives routings via London with an average journey time of just under 3 hours), so would save between 30 minutes and an hour on the journey time.

(BRFares lists VTWC-priced advances for Arlesey to Crewe, but I can never get them to come up)
An excellent argument for splitting tickets - not to mention the fact that the CrossCountry-priced fares are comically overpriced and overrestricted...
 

Silver Cobra

Member
Joined
4 Jun 2015
Messages
486
Location
Bedfordshire
An excellent argument for splitting tickets - not to mention the fact that the CrossCountry-priced fares are comically overpriced and overrestricted...
Ironically, since VTWC hiked up the cost of the cheapest tiers of advance from non-WCML stations to stations they serve, they're not that much cheaper than XC anymore, and in some cases more expensive (for instance, advances from Arlesey to Birmingham New Street are now cheaper with XC via Peterborough than VTWC via Euston, where it always was the other way around). The time-saving still makes it worth avoiding XC, especially if splitting tickets with VTWC at Euston to help bring the cost down.
 

ForTheLoveOf

Established Member
Joined
7 Oct 2017
Messages
5,766
Ironically, since VTWC hiked up the cost of the cheapest tiers of advance from non-WCML stations to stations they serve, they're not that much cheaper than XC anymore, and in some cases more expensive (for instance, advances from Arlesey to Birmingham New Street are now cheaper with XC via Peterborough than VTWC via Euston, where it always was the other way around). The time-saving still makes it worth avoiding XC, especially if splitting tickets with VTWC at Euston to help bring the cost down.
Indeed; VTWC can be shockingly cheap if you book a few weeks in advance and travel on the 'graveyard shift' trains (i.e. 5/6am or 11pm, or occasionally a couple around the middle of the day). But only if you are travelling on VTWC only. Their VTWC + Connections tickets charge a much higher pence per mile than the regular VTWC only Advances.
 

infobleep

Established Member
Joined
27 Feb 2011
Messages
9,573
I don't know if this counts but if you look up Sutton to Haywards Heath in the evening on a week day, it suggests you get a tram between West Croydon and East Croydon.

However on a point to point ticket the tram isn't valid. You can at least walk between the two stations but you can't get National Rail Enquiries to give you a fare, as there doesn't seem to be away of telling it to ignore the tram.

You could tell it to route you via other stations but those routes can be slower, so you wouldn't see an itenary including the train you might be able to catch at East Croydon. You'd also have to know which station you could go via.
 

Haywain

Established Member
Joined
3 Feb 2013
Messages
4,388
I don't know if this counts but if you look up Sutton to Haywards Heath in the evening on a week day, it suggests you get a tram between West Croydon and East Croydon.

However on a point to point ticket the tram isn't valid. You can at least walk between the two stations but you can't get National Rail Enquiries to give you a fare, as there doesn't seem to be away of telling it to ignore the tram.
It does offer this routeing but also states that no fares are available so it can hardly be accused of being misleading about ticket validity. However, I think it could do better than this - there are many journeys where a bus transfer might make them quicker bu they are not offered and this should be the same.
 
Last edited:

yorkie

Forum Staff
Staff Member
Administrator
Joined
6 Jun 2005
Messages
47,540
Location
Yorkshire
I'm not particularly interested in tickets where NRE recommends a mode to transfer between stations which isn't covered by the ticket, but examples of the followong are very much of interest...
One I noticed recently: Blundellsands & Crosby to Burscough Bridge, the fastest way is via Southport, but the only available tickets according to BRFares are routed VIA WIGAN, so anyone doing this journey would have to split tickets or take a very round-about route.
...if anyone has any good examples where there is no 'Any Permitted' or other appropriate route and the only reason why passengers cannot take the fastest/most obvious route is due to a route restriction on the only available fares, that would be very useful.

A recent example was Thirsk to Whitby/Saltburn, which was only valid via York and not direct, but this was fixed within a couple of weeks or so.

A current example is York to Wellington (Shropshire) which is only valid via Birmingham. When I made this journey recently it was a whole hour quicker to go via Manchester.
 
Last edited:

Silverdale

Member
Joined
14 Apr 2018
Messages
523
One I noticed recently: Blundellsands & Crosby to Burscough Bridge, the fastest way is via Southport, but the only available tickets according to BRFares are routed VIA WIGAN, so anyone doing this journey would have to split tickets or take a very round-about route.
Burscough Junction station is only half a mile from Burscough Bridge station, arguably nearer to the centre of Burscough Bridge and certainly nearer to Burscough.

Blundelsands has a through fare to Burscough Junction, routed via Ormskirk, much cheaper than either the via Wigan through fare, or the split ticket options via Southport, to Burscough Bridge. The typical difference in weekday journey time via Ormskirk vs Southport is marginal, but via Southport does have higher frequency.

Surely, apart from there being an Any Permitted fare to Burscough, it should be valid to both Burscough stations, especially as some other Any Permitted fares (e.g. Southport to Rufford) are valid by transferring between them.
 

adrock1976

Established Member
Joined
10 Dec 2013
Messages
2,805
Location
What's it called? It's called Cumbernauld
Burscough Junction station is only half a mile from Burscough Bridge station, arguably nearer to the centre of Burscough Bridge and certainly nearer to Burscough.

Blundelsands has a through fare to Burscough Junction, routed via Ormskirk, much cheaper than either the via Wigan through fare, or the split ticket options via Southport, to Burscough Bridge. The typical difference in weekday journey time via Ormskirk vs Southport is marginal, but via Southport does have higher frequency.

Surely, apart from there being an Any Permitted fare to Burscough, it should be valid to both Burscough stations, especially as some other Any Permitted fares (e.g. Southport to Rufford) are valid by transferring between them.
Regarding the Blundellsands to Burscough Junction fare that is routed via Ormskirk, how would any passengers be expected to take that route on Sundays, bearing in mind that there is no Sunday service between Ormskirk and Preston, nor Kirkby - Wigan Wallgate (for the Wigan routed fares)?
 

DeeGee

Member
Joined
24 Jul 2012
Messages
984
Location
Great Grimsby
Its moot, but departing at 1634 from Grimsby Town, to go to Milton Keynes Central, NRE offers a 2054 arrival via London and a 2031 arrival via Stockport. The SPT journey requires 2 tickets (still cheaper than the Not London) as the not via London fare is via Crosscountry to Brum and then south (not sure if it's allowed via Bedford too?)
 

roversfan2001

Established Member
Joined
19 Feb 2016
Messages
1,180
Location
Lancashire
All Lostock Hall to Bolton tickets are routed 'via Blackburn' meaning the 43 minute journey via Preston has no fare available, yet via Blackburn can often take over an hour.
 

yorkie

Forum Staff
Staff Member
Administrator
Joined
6 Jun 2005
Messages
47,540
Location
Yorkshire
Does anyone have any more examples of journeys for which through fares DO exist, but the through fares are NOT valid on the fastest available route?


Many thanks :)
 

Bletchleyite

Veteran Member
Joined
20 Oct 2014
Messages
51,293
Location
Up and down the south WCML (mostly)
Does anyone have any more examples of journeys for which through fares DO exist, but the through fares are NOT valid on the fastest available route?

Many thanks :)
Ormskirk-Preston on a Sunday - the fastest (only) route then is via Liverpool and there is no fare valid that way. In BR days it used to be considered Reasonable to do that (despite being cheaper than Ormskirk-Wigan) but no more.

By contrast there are Bedford-Bletchley fares via London.
 

FenMan

Member
Joined
13 Oct 2011
Messages
922
Does anyone have any more examples of journeys for which through fares DO exist, but the through fares are NOT valid on the fastest available route?
Many thanks :)
Blackwater - Haddenham & Thame Parkway.

NRE reports the fastest route - via Reading, Oxford & Bicester Village - isn't valid despite also being the shortest route by far: 65m 21ch.
All through tickets are route VIA LONDON.

Also, consider the ticket prices to Bicester Village and Haddenham & Thame Parkway, which are adjacent stations.

Off peak day returns:
£14.20 Blackwater - Bicester Village (ANY PERMITTED)
£36.00 Blackwater - Haddenham & Thame Parkway (VIA LONDON)

The Bicester Village - Haddenham & Thame Parkway CHILTERN ONLY off peak day return is £6.50.
 

LNW-GW Joint

Veteran Member
Joined
22 Feb 2011
Messages
14,127
Location
Mold, Clwyd
Does anyone have any more examples of journeys for which through fares DO exist, but the through fares are NOT valid on the fastest available route?
Many thanks :)
Chester-Norwich (and probably many other similar cross-country journeys).
The walk-on tickets offered are only valid "Not via London" (set by EM), when the fastest and most frequent route is via Euston/Liverpool St.
Via London fares (set by VT, and actually +Any Permitted) are available as far out as Diss, but fail on the last lap into Norwich.
Where available, the Off Peak Returns via London are actually cheaper than those not via London, although they have more time restrictions.
Advance VT tickets to Norwich via London are available, but are rarely offered on searches.

The situation will only get worse when HS2 starts operation, as a whole raft of journeys will then be quicker via London (eg via Old Oak to GW destinations).
 

Top