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Rail Replacement Bus Penrith-Appleby

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Chris999999

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I am looking to travel from Penrith to Ribblehead. All the planners have me travel by train to Carlisle and then rail replacement bus to Appleby.

There is an alternative rail replacement bus from Penrith to Appleby which would be quicker, but would my ticket be valid on this bus? If not, from where would my ticket need to start to be valid on this bus?
 
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kieron

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The Northern site says not.

"The Appleby-Penrith buses are only available for travel for those passengers with connections south from Penrith or north beyond Carlisle."

A Gretna-Ribblehead ticket would probably be the cheapest way to satisfy this requirement. I don't know what journey planners make of it, as it wouldn't normally be a permitted route.

Alternatively, there's apparently a daily Keswick-Newcastle bus which stop in Penrith and Langwathby. This link gives times. I don't know if anything else goes that way.
 

Greybeard33

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Is the Penrith - Appleby RRB actually running? Journey planners do not seem to offer it even for journeys from Glasgow or Edinburgh, and Realtime Trains only shows the Carlisle buses.
 
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Bletchleyite

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Is the Penrith - Carlisle RRB actually running? Journey planners do not seem to offer it even for journeys from Glasgow or Edinburgh, and Realtime Trains only shows the Carlisle buses.

Penrith-Appleby. They show for a Penrith-Appleby journey but with a silly fare.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
A Gretna-Ribblehead ticket would probably be the cheapest way to satisfy this requirement.

That seems to work, yes, at only a quid more than the ticket that should be valid but isn't.

FWIW it's existing routeings (all via Carlisle) not new dis-easements that prohibit it. But that is no reason for such utter passenger-hostile stupidity. If the issue is bus capacity, get more buses. It's not like there hasn't been plenty of time to arrange some.
 
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deltic

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Is the issue is that the route has not been registered with the traffic commissioners and therefore the operator cannot advertise a bus service on the route where there is no rail service that is actually being replaced?
 

Bletchleyite

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Is the issue is that the route has not been registered with the traffic commissioners and therefore the operator cannot advertise a bus service on the route where there is no rail service that is actually being replaced?

Pretty sure there is a short-term exception for precisely this kind of thing. For instance, during disruption on the WCML, LM tend not to try to bustitute Euston-Northampton - instead they will shuttle people from Northampton to one of the Market Ketteringborough stations, from MKC to Bedford etc.
 

Bletchleyite

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How short term does it have to be. The blockage in question is lasting over a year!

Then register it as a local bus service, should this be necessary. If it's running for a year, that's an administrative trifle.

My point is that it is totally unacceptable to deliberately inconvenience passengers in this kind of manner.

I think if it were me I'd purchase the Gretna ticket (it's an Anytime so break of journey is permitted), online so I had an itinerary, and pursue a refund of the extra pound, escalating as far as necessary.
 

deltic

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Pretty sure there is a short-term exception for precisely this kind of thing. For instance, during disruption on the WCML, LM tend not to try to bustitute Euston-Northampton - instead they will shuttle people from Northampton to one of the Market Ketteringborough stations, from MKC to Bedford etc.

But I assume it is not advertised as providing a local service from Northampton-Kettering but is for rail passengers travelling on to London etc so again would probably not need to be registered with the Traffic Commissioners
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Then register it as a local bus service, should this be necessary. If it's running for a year, that's an administrative trifle.

My point is that it is totally unacceptable to deliberately inconvenience passengers in this kind of manner.

I think if it were me I'd purchase the Gretna ticket (it's an Anytime so break of journey is permitted), online so I had an itinerary, and pursue a refund of the extra pound, escalating as far as necessary.

The operator is possibly concerned about the flack it will get when it withdraws the service again in a few months time from those local people who have got used to a new bus service.
 

Chris999999

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I have had a conversation with Northern Rail which was somewhat confused as they didn't really understand the question, and I didn't really understand their answers. I did however gain some understanding into the reasons for the Penrith-Appleby bus and I think I have managed to work some of it out.

There are 3 trains a day from Scotland which miss the Carlisle - Appleby connection. For example:

1008 Edinburgh arrives Carlisle 1133, missing the 1126 bus which arrives Appleby 1226. The train subsequently arrives 1148 at Penrith. The 1156 bus Penrith to Appleby also arrives Appleby 1226, thus restoring the connection.

The 0709 and the 1640 from Glasgow have similar problems. There are also similar problems with some trains from South of Penrith. There may also be others in the return direction - I haven't investigated.

Despite all of this the planners do not give this as a route.

I don't think however that for instance the Gretna train at 1049 would be valid on this route because it arrives Carlisle 1104, so I would be expected to take the 1126 bus to Appleby, and not the 1133 to to Penrith followed by the Penrith - Appleby bus.

How closely this is monitored and controlled, I have no idea, and what happens to passengers who 'go the wrong way' I also don't know. I'm guessing that trying it is the only way to find out.
 

Mag_seven

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I really don't see the issue here - a single Penrith to Appleby should be valid either via Carlisle or direct on the Penrith Appleby "rail replacement" bus.
 

Greybeard33

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Penrith-Appleby. They show for a Penrith-Appleby journey but with a silly fare.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---

That seems to work, yes, at only a quid more than the ticket that should be valid but isn't.

FWIW it's existing routeings (all via Carlisle) not new dis-easements that prohibit it. But that is no reason for such utter passenger-hostile stupidity. If the issue is bus capacity, get more buses. It's not like there hasn't been plenty of time to arrange some.

Oops - I meant Penrith to Appleby - now corrected.

As far as I can see, journey planners still do not offer the Penrith to Appleby bus for any journey at any fare. They always offer routes using the Carlisle to Appleby bus, the Carlisle to Armathwaite bus or (from the south) rail changing at Long Preston. And RTT still only shows those two Carlisle buses. So the Northern website seems to be the only source of information about the Penrith bus.
 

Bletchleyite

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As far as I can see, journey planners still do not offer the Penrith to Appleby bus for any journey at any fare.

NRE does, it offers it with the £60ish Rover I noted above. Or at least it does in the other direction.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
The operator is possibly concerned about the flack it will get when it withdraws the service again in a few months time from those local people who have got used to a new bus service.

If the bus service turns out to be economic, then perhaps a commercial bus company might consider offering it.

If not, well, once trains are back the journey via Carlisle won't take an hour and a half.

Like with the WCML bridge issues, there seems these days to be a drive to be deliberately awkward to passengers. I could see the reasons with the bridge issue, as different TOCs are involved. This situation involves a bus laid on by Northern which does not accept tickets issued for travel on, err, Northern, which is utterly ludicrous.
 
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AlterEgo

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There's a possibility it's only being loaded into journey planners a day or two ahead, though I can't think of a compelling reason why this might be.
 

Greybeard33

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I really don't see the issue here - a single Penrith to Appleby should be valid either via Carlisle or direct on the Penrith Appleby "rail replacement" bus.
The issue is that there appear to be two types of single tickets available for Appleby to Penrith - an Anytime Single at £13.70, which is "Route via Carlisle", and an Anytime Day Single at £57.40, which is "Route Any Permitted" and is valid for journeys via Skipton and Lancaster. The cheaper one would not be valid on the direct bus. Possibly the direct bus is not a "Permitted Route" for the more expensive one either, which is why NRE offered Neil a Rover (more expensive still).
There's a possibility it's only being loaded into journey planners a day or two ahead, though I can't think of a compelling reason why this might be.

As far as I can see, the Appleby - Penrith RRB is not being loaded into journey planners at all. Just to take one example, Northern's timetable leaflet 7 shows a RRB departing Appleby at 1454 M-F, arriving Penrith at 1524 and connecting with the 1530 VTWC service to Glasgow Central, arr. 1701. But if I ask Northern's own journey planner for Appleby to Glasgow around this time, it only offers the 1445 train from Appleby to Armathwaite, changing to the 1531 bus from Armathwaite to Carlisle, then the 1647 VTWC service from Carlisle to Glasgow Central, arr. 1801 - an hour slower. This is the same for today, tomorrow or next month and the same on NRE.

A further issue is that, if you click on "Service Update" at the top of Northern's homepage, it gives a link for "Engineering Work Carlisle - Settle - Leeds" that actually takes you the main "Route Improvement - Improvement Works" page. That page only lists the near term engineering works on other routes, not the Settle - Carlisle works! To find information on the RRBs, you have to scroll right down to the bottom of the homepage, then click on a link "Latest Route Improvement - work affecting Leeds to Carlisle train services", then click another link to find the timetable.

I think all this matters because Northern's replacement buses are presumably ultimately subsidised by the taxpayer. Yet users of online journey planners are being directed on to slower, less convenient services even when making journeys the Appleby - Penrith RRB is intended to serve. And I wonder if the booking office and help point staff at Glasgow Central and Edinburgh Waverley have topical information about the Penrith to Appleby buses?
 

Chris999999

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As far as I can see, the Appleby - Penrith RRB is not being loaded into journey planners at all. Just to take one example, Northern's timetable leaflet 7 shows a RRB departing Appleby at 1454 M-F, arriving Penrith at 1524 and connecting with the 1530 VTWC service to Glasgow Central, arr. 1701. But if I ask Northern's own journey planner for Appleby to Glasgow around this time, it only offers the 1445 train from Appleby to Armathwaite, changing to the 1531 bus from Armathwaite to Carlisle, then the 1647 VTWC service from Carlisle to Glasgow Central, arr. 1801 - an hour slower. This is the same for today, tomorrow or next month and the same on NRE.

A further issue is that, if you click on "Service Update" at the top of Northern's homepage, it gives a link for "Engineering Work Carlisle - Settle - Leeds" that actually takes you the main "Route Improvement - Improvement Works" page. That page only lists the near term engineering works on other routes, not the Settle - Carlisle works! To find information on the RRBs, you have to scroll right down to the bottom of the homepage, then click on a link "Latest Route Improvement - work affecting Leeds to Carlisle train services", then click another link to find the timetable.

I think all this matters because Northern's replacement buses are presumably ultimately subsidised by the taxpayer. Yet users of online journey planners are being directed on to slower, less convenient services even when making journeys the Appleby - Penrith RRB is intended to serve. And I wonder if the booking office and help point staff at Glasgow Central and Edinburgh Waverley have topical information about the Penrith to Appleby buses?

Yes Greybeard33 you have got it right. The Penrith to Appleby bus is not in the planners and although it is supposed to be there to cut an hour from many journeys, most passengers who might benefit from it probably don't know it exists.
 

neilmc

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If you need to catch a bus between Penrith and Appleby, why not catch the service 563 which runs four times a day? It only takes around 40 minutes and you don't need to worry about this convoluted RRB argument.
 

Chris999999

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Unfortunately the 563 is not timed to connect the trains which the Rail Replacement Bus does, so are unlikely to speed up journeys.

The problem is not that the RRB doesn't run (at least it probably does run). It is that the service is not loaded into the planners, and there are apparently restrictions on its use. As such many passengers who could use it, don't know of its existence and are directed by the planners to take journeys which take an hour longer.
 

Chris999999

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I will be travelling to Ribblehead on 7th September and have just checked the Northern planner again and it now includes the Penrith to Appleby bus, both for journeys from Carlisle and for journeys from Penrith, so I am guessing that as I now have printouts showing the use of this rail replacement bus, I can use it (even though the statement "The Appleby-Penrith buses are only available for travel for those passengers with connections south from Penrith or north beyond Carlisle." still appears elsewhere on the Northern site). I am certainly prepared to argue if necessary that as the Northern planner gives the route using the Penrith-Appleby bus, then I can use that bus.

Any comments on this?

Secondly the planner now gives a fare with a Senior railcard of £12.20 for an Off-Peak day return from Carlisle to Ribblehead (valid on the route via Penrith-Appleby bus). Would I be able to start short on this ticket at Penrith? I know it is highly unlikely anyone would know if I timed my arrival on the bus to coincide with the arrival of the train from Carlisle, but I would rather use a valid ticket, and buying a return ticket from Carlisle suits me because I wish to return to Carlisle. I have looked on BR Fares and this Off-Peak Return is not shown.
 
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BlueFox

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Secondly the planner now gives a fare with a Senior railcard of £12.20 for an Off-Peak day return from Carlisle to Ribblehead (valid on the route via Penrith-Appleby bus). Would I be able to start short on this ticket at Penrith? I know it is highly unlikely anyone would know if I timed my arrival on the bus to coincide with the arrival of the train from Carlisle, but I would rather use a valid ticket, and buying a return ticket from Carlisle suits me because I wish to return to Carlisle. I have looked on BR Fares and this Off-Peak Return is not shown.

Buy the new Settle-Carlisle day ranger ticket instead. It's cheaper (£1 with a railcard), it's valid all the way from Carlisle to Leeds/Bradford and as it's a ranger you can stop and start your journey wherever you want.
 

Chris999999

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Buy the new Settle-Carlisle day ranger ticket instead. It's cheaper (£1 with a railcard), it's valid all the way from Carlisle to Leeds/Bradford and as it's a ranger you can stop and start your journey wherever you want.

Thanks for this.

Yes it is and I am aware of it. I cannot find details of his on the Northern Rail website, only non-definitive sources, all of which quote the same restriction: "The ticket will allow travel from any station between Leeds, or Bradford Forster Square, to Appleby (via Settle) and onwards to Carlisle using the connecting replacement bus service from Appleby."

So this precludes using the replacement bus services from Appleby to Penrith, and Armathwaite to Carlisle, which are the services I intend to use.

I know I am being difficult in wanting to take these specific journeys, when it would cause less aggravation if I took the routes that the TOCs want me to take. But why should I, the paying customer, be so restricted?
 

319321

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Chris99999 said:
Any comments on this?

National Rail Condition of Carriage 13a states:
National Rail Condition of Carriage 13a said:
(a) You may travel between the stations shown on the ticket you hold in:
(i) a train on which you are able to make your entire journey without changing
trains;
(ii) trains which take the shortest route which can be used by scheduled
passenger services; or
(iii) trains which take the routes shown in the National Routeing Guide.

The front page of the National Rail Routeing Guide states:
Rail Routeing Guide Front Page said:
If you are planning a journey we would strongly advise you to make use of
the Journey Planner at www.nationalrail.co.uk. Any ticket indicated for use in
conjunction with a particular journey when using the Journey Planner will
automatically be valid for the route and service indicated.
Your ticket is unambiguously valid on the route you want to take!
 

yorksrob

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Thanks for this.

Yes it is and I am aware of it. I cannot find details of his on the Northern Rail website, only non-definitive sources, all of which quote the same restriction: "The ticket will allow travel from any station between Leeds, or Bradford Forster Square, to Appleby (via Settle) and onwards to Carlisle using the connecting replacement bus service from Appleby."

So this precludes using the replacement bus services from Appleby to Penrith, and Armathwaite to Carlisle, which are the services I intend to use.

I know I am being difficult in wanting to take these specific journeys, when it would cause less aggravation if I took the routes that the TOCs want me to take. But why should I, the paying customer, be so restricted?

I'd be surprised if you can't use it on the bus between Armathwaite and Carlisle, given its a ranger valid at all stations of the Settle - Carlisle, including Armathwaite and Carlisle. Penrith isn't really on the route, so it's not surprising its not included. Perhaps they think that if they establish a passenger flow to Penrith via Appleby, they'll be expected to support it when the line reopens.

Anyhow, I realise it doesn't quite suit your needs, but the £15 day ranger is a really good product which will be sorely missed when it goes next year :(
 

yorksrob

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Has anyone managed to use the bus to Penrith on the Northern Day Ranger ?

Is it still running ?
 

robbeech

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I think it is still running i have been looking at some options for a North West Rover for next week and whilst i don't think i'm going to use it (so can't help with your first question) it did come up as potentials.
 

MidnightFlyer

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When I did it back in early September, I was told it was for VT passengers only, however anyone for Carlisle itself had to take the train to Armathwaite and the bus from there. When we boarded the bus we were informed that it was timed to connect into the VT service to Glasgow at Penrith. I got the impression on the day that they made it up as they went along: I asked the bloke in the booking office at Appleby what the official line was. He told me to ask the bus coordinator. When I asked the bus coordinator he told me to ask the booking clerk...
 
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