Realistically, is buying a ticket on-board with a TOC priv card ever a problem?

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by Samdrike, 30 May 2019.

  1. Samdrike

    Samdrike New Member

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    For ease of travel (and not fare dodging) is this ever an issue? I have no problem paying the 25% but it's frustrating that priv tickets can't be bought online and only "technically" from offices.

    An example of where this is a (small) annoyance:

    Free staff travel with TOC and then transferring onto the next available train that may or may not be the same TOC. If it happens to be a different TOC then technically I have to exit the barrier, buy a priv ticket and then return as opposed to just boarding whatever comes next and purchasing on-board.

    Is this somewhat acceptable? How would a revenue protection officer see this?
     
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  3. pitdiver

    pitdiver Member

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    I think the rule is that if you cannot purchase a ticket at your originating station you must purchase one at the first opportunity. As far as RPIs are concerned some are quite strict others are a bit more lenient. But don't forget the privilege can be withdrawn if being abused.
     
  4. Samdrike

    Samdrike New Member

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    I understand.

    So could the first opportunity in the above example be the conductor on the next train?
     
  5. ForTheLoveOf

    ForTheLoveOf Established Member

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    If there is no ticket office at your origin station and there is not sufficient time to make use of ticketing facilities at your interchange station (without missing your connection) then the next train you take might well be your first opportunity to purchase a ticket.
     
  6. plymothian

    plymothian Member

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    The first opportunity is your originating station, where facilities exist, regardless of whether you are travelling free from that station.
    The second is the authorised collector on your own TOC's train.
    The third is at an interchange station.
    The fourth is on your connecting train if you would miss your scheduled connection by seeking facilities, but only if your originating station had no appropriate facilities.
    The fifth is at your destination.
     
  7. RJ

    RJ Established Member

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    Yes, it has been a problem.

    I was told by a guard that if I wanted a Priv ticket, I should start my journey at a time when the ticket office is open. The office closed at 6pm and trains ran until after 1am from there. The TOC ended up comping the journey as she issued a UFN for a full price SOS which was later cancelled.

    On at least 3 other occasions where I started a journey from a station where there was no manned ticket office, I had guards telling me I should have bought a Priv ticket from the TVM - and this was after approaching them before boarding to let them know I needed a ticket.

    Things like this were happening to so many Priv holders it got to the point where the then ATOC issued a nationwide brief reminding on board staff to apply common sense with Priv holders boarding at stations where there was no opportunity to buy a Priv ticket.
     
    Last edited: 31 May 2019
  8. LowLevel

    LowLevel Established Member

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    I once had blue murder getting a Thameslink gate line assistant to let me through the barriers at a station when I needed to travel before their booking office opened to make a Eurostar.

    Their trains are totally DOO but that's entirely their own problem.

    Mission accomplished eventually with a stern admonishment that I must pay on arrival at St Pancras which on arrival had no one at the excess window, the gate line wide open and the booking offices shut *sigh*
     
  9. tiptoptaff

    tiptoptaff Established Member

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    You cannot buy PRIV from a TVM, so it has to be an open booking office. If it is closed, you the same right to buy on board as anyone else. I hardly ever buy at the station, especially if my first train is one of my own TOCs, as I like to contribute towards their commission, although technically I'm not supposed to.
     
  10. ag51ruk

    ag51ruk Member

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    It's also worth stating what the official position is (from the RST restrictions guide)

    "As required by the National Rail Conditions of Travel section 6 (with the exception that privilege tickets are not available from Ticket Vending machines), you must buy your privilege tickets in advance before boarding the train. If you don’t you will be charged the STD single fare for the journey or a penalty fare if appropriate. Where the facility to purchase a Priv ticket does not exist at the station where you start your journey, you should actively seek to obtain a ticket at the first available opportunity, either on the train or from gate-line staff, or the next available ticket office.

    When you intend to purchase a Priv discounted ticket and start your journey from a station within a Penalty Fare area, a permit to travel must be obtained before boarding the train."

    https://www.raildeliverygroup.com/rst/where-can-i-go.html#Restrictions
     
  11. RJ

    RJ Established Member

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    Yes in DOO land there are often barriers manned when the ticket offices is shut. If you have a Priv, there's no way to get a ticket so they should just let you through without hassle. Most of the time that's what happens so it's unlucky when things like this happen.

    One exception is at Waterloo East, which has no ticket office. Southeastern offer a range of options for Priv holders needing a ticket as follows:

    1. Go to a different station to buy a Priv ticket
    2. Buy a full price ticket to Charing Cross, travel to there, obtain a refund and buy a Priv ticket from there before continuing your journey which takes you back through Waterloo East
    3. Be let through the barriers and immediately be issued with a Penalty Fare
     
    Last edited: 1 Jun 2019
  12. Mag_seven

    Mag_seven Established Member

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    I wonder if one of those guards would care to show us where the "PRIV" facility is on a TVM?
     
  13. RJ

    RJ Established Member

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    Life experience teaches one not to continue a conversation with someone like that - just say ok and go and find a seat. What else can you do?

    Staff on express trains to London can be hit and miss with sales of Priv tickets on board, even if you've travelling from a station with no manned ticket facilites. The majority are actually very helpful. But without exception, staff on CrossCountry and former Regional Railways services have never been anything but friendly!
     
    Last edited: 4 Jun 2019
  14. S-Car-Go

    S-Car-Go Member

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    Rail Delivery Group (ex-ATOC) state:
    1. Where ticket issuing facilities are available and in working order, privilege rate tickets must be purchased prior to travel.
    2. If there are no ticket issuing facilities available prior to departure, then privilege rate tickets should be purchased at the first available opportunity on board (or at an interim or destination station.
    I suggest to prevent any problems on board.or at destination, go to: https://www.raildeliverygroup.com/rst/conditions-of-issue-and-use.html#s5
    Take a screenshot on a smartphone of Section 5 with the above paragraph quoted. If anyone says you had to purchase a ticket while the office was open (which I have been told before), be firm, show them the RST conditions, and offer to pay there and then. Problem solved.
     
  15. Mutant Lemming

    Mutant Lemming Established Member

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    More of an issue I've found is gaining access to the platform at barriered stations where the ticket office is closed and where the staff (sometimes agency) are purely there to watch over the gateline and their do or die instruction is not to let anyone in without a ticket (perversely the other way round they just let people out because they have no means of issuing tickets or detaining people without one !).
     
  16. island

    island Established Member

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    To be fair, it’s not hard to go downstairs to the SWR office.
     
  17. philthetube

    philthetube Established Member

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    If you arrive at Waterloo East from the jubilee line it is quite a walk
     
  18. RJ

    RJ Established Member

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    Only that isn't true if you are at either of the station entrances I was referring to.

    From the Sandell Street gateline, you'd have to go back down the 79 steps you just climbed, leave railway premises, cross Waterloo Road, enter Waterloo station, back up the escalator to the concourse and make your way to the far end to get to the ticket office. Once at street level it's a 200 metre walk to the ticket office at Waterloo.

    From the other entrance, the quickest way is to reenter Southwark station, exit at the other end, walk along The Cut then enter Waterloo Station from Waterloo Road - it's a 900 metre walk from the gateline at Waterloo East to the ticket office at Waterloo - somewhat longer than just going downstairs!

    Waterloo East officially has no ticket office and it's the only place I've ever known where staff tell you to leave railway property and go to a different station to buy a ticket for travel - and no, they won't let you walk through the station to get to Waterloo.
     
    Last edited: 6 Jun 2019
  19. philthetube

    philthetube Established Member

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    next time I am in that situation I think I will stick in a delay repay claim and see what happens, I know I am not entitled but it will be interesting to see the response.
     

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