Railcard policy: July/August

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by errata, 11 Jul 2019 at 11:49.

  1. errata

    errata Member

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    I've had a browse of the forum and can find lots of questions and answers about the 10:00 restriction easement in July and August for railcard holders.

    Looking on Virgin West Coast's site, I see this:

    However, searching for an off-peak return ticket from Euston to Liverpool in July only shows only Anytime and Advance tickets available in the morning peak. If I buy an off-peak return ticket with a railcard discount for travel in July on this route, will the return portion be valid on, for example, the 0700 service from Liverpool to Euston?

    I'd be grateful if someone could point me towards the clause in the rules.
     
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  3. 47421

    47421 Member

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    The restriction on a 1625 railcard is a £12 minimum fare before 10 am Monday to Friday other than Bank Hols or any day in July and August (other than specified train only advance fares to which the minimum fare does not apply).

    Says nothing about time restrictions on off peak fares which apply all year round in the usual way. If you have London Terminals Liverpool Stations off peak return £59.15 the all year weekday restriction is "Not valid on trains timed to arrive London Euston after 07:19 until 11:30", so your first VT is the 0947 arr 1159.

    http://www.brfares.com/#faredetail?orig=EUS&dest=LIV&grpo=1072&grpd=0435&rlc=YNG&tkt=SVR
     
  4. _toommm_

    _toommm_ Established Member

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    If you're looking at the off peak return, routed Any Permitted, priced at £59.15 (with Railcard), the restriction for arriving into Euston is no arrivals pre. 11:30am Monday to Friday so it won't be valid on the 07:00am.

    Here is the fare and the restrictions pertaining to it:
    http://www.brfares.com/#!fares?orig=EUS&dest=LIV&rlc=YNG
     
  5. mmh

    mmh Established Member

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    I'd suspect the website is badly worded and "travel any time, restriction free" should be "use your railcard discount at any time", and there are no changes to the restrictions including validity times of the tickets themselves.
     
  6. errata

    errata Member

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    Thanks everyone, that makes sense.

    In the case, it's awful wording from Virgin on two counts:
    1. by directly contrasting the 0930 peak restriction in the first sentence with 'during July and August ... restriction free' in the second sentence, they give the impression that all the restrictions in the first sentence are lifted in July and August
    2. 'travel any time, restriction free' in its own right reads as though the railcard holder can take any train at any time without restriction in July and August
     
  7. _toommm_

    _toommm_ Established Member

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    I guess it's a sense of semantics really. It can be read that the restrictions of the railcard have been lifted, effectively making it restriction-free. At the same time though, the phrase 'travel anytime, restriction-free' , could be misconstrued to mean time restrictions for tickets have been lifted.
     
  8. 30907

    30907 Established Member

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    As the 0930 restriction applies to "Anytime, Offpeak and Advance" tickets, it clearly doesn't refer to specific restrictions on Offpeak tickets. However, I can see that a casual reader might misunderstand.
    (The VT site actually gives the correct info for 16-25 on another page.)
    In addition, the 0930 restriction doesnt apply universally - in fact, the only one it applies to outside the NSE area is the 2Tog! - nor does the July/August easement which is 16-25 only - so as a summary it is pretty inaccurate.
    "In most cases, the discount only applies after the morning peak period on Mondays to Fridays" would cover it.
    Edit: as MikeWH points out, the easement only applies to 16-25 (that is, unless VT have relaxed their conditions, as other have suggested).
     
    Last edited: 12 Jul 2019 at 21:39
  9. MikeWh

    MikeWh Established Member Senior Fares Advisor

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    There are two railcards - 16-25 and 26-30. There is only one difference to their restrictions - the 26-30 does not relax the minimum fare in July and August.
     
  10. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Whoever wrote that is absolutely clueless about railway ticketing.

    It's incredibly misleading.

    There is so much wrong with it, it's difficult bto know where to begin.
     
  11. PG

    PG Member

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    Chris Grayling :lol: <D
     
  12. RJ

    RJ Established Member

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    I agree with this.

    So have Virgin Trains now brought back their policy on railcard discounted Off Peak tickets being valid at any time on their services, during July and August only? Somebody should alert the press as this is a positive news story. The 2015 withdrawal of the policy attracted a fair amount of press attention.

    I thought in the world of railcards, the months of July and August were only of particular significance to the 16-25 variant on account of the minimum fare relaxation. But there's a reference to First Class fares there, so it can't be aimed at 16-25 holders.

    Puzzling that.
     
  13. furlong

    furlong Established Member

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    So buy your 26-30 railcard after reading that website, for example, and you avoid the July/August minimum fare nationwide - they can hardly use the small print terms and conditions to override such clear and prominent advertising. Be sure to carry a print out with you to show staff if they aren't aware that the railcards that Virgin advertise have different conditions from everyone else's!
     
  14. AM9

    AM9 Established Member

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    The supplied link in the original post under a heading "when can you use a railcard?" expressly says: "... If you are traveling during July or August travel any time, restriction free!". Assuming that the restrictions referred to are those of the railcard as the whole section is about them, (the ticket restrictions remain the same irrespective of whether a railcard is used), the statement includes all railcards - except Network Cards of course which are geographically limited. Thus 1st class tickets are at least available to Senior railcard holders (and maybe others).
     
  15. RJ

    RJ Established Member

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    "National railcards" can be used at any time of the day all year around on the greater majority of the Virgin Trains network.

    Virgin did have a policy where off peak time restrictions did not apply if using a railcard discount so maybe this is what the author was getting at.

    Still none the wiser.
     
  16. AM9

    AM9 Established Member

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    But much of VT's business in in the area where they can't be used in the Network South-east railcard area until some time deemed to be after the morning peak, - irrespective of the direction of travel.

    Yes, I know as I've benefitted from that easement. But that was then, - now they are re-introducing it so that leisure travellers with railcards can fill some of the space that VT wanted to sell at premium rates to business travellers. I suspect that business travel is much lower during the schools' summer break.

    None the wiser about what?
     
  17. RJ

    RJ Established Member

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    That only applies to journeys wholly within that area. The time restricted railcards (Senior and Family & Friends) can be used at any time for journeys that cross the boundary.

    There are only two flows on Virgin Trains where that rule applies - between London and Milton Keynes Central and from Northampton to London which consists of one daily AM peak train. I'm sure much of VT's business is between London and MKC but I don't see any evidence that the railcard page on their site is only intended for them, or users of Two Together railcards.
     
    Last edited: 12 Jul 2019 at 13:27
  18. RJ

    RJ Established Member

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    About what Virgin are trying to get across to customers with the information in question on railcards.

    Sometimes when it comes to publishing information in these organisations, a subject matter expert will supply their technical knowledge and marketing will alter it to a form they feel will be easy for anybody to understand. Sometimes the messages is totally lost in translation and something that doesn't make any sense ends up being sent out. Either this has happened, or someone in marketing who isn't an expert on railcards has read the official 16-25 railcard webpage, extrapolated its terms to all "National Railcards" and made a hash of paraphrasing what is on there.

    If I'm correct in guessing that they mean the railcard easement for Off Peak tickets is back for July and August, more fanfare should be made of it IMO. But who knows what was meant?
     
    Last edited: 12 Jul 2019 at 13:18

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