Shortest Distance Rule & Walking Interchange

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by 319321, 11 Jun 2015.

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  1. 319321

    319321 Member

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    Under the new shortest distance rule where there are no common routing points, which reads
    Are you allowed to make a non-compulsory walking interchange in order to arrive at the shortest route(e.g. Warrington Central to Warrington Bank Quay)?
     
    Last edited: 11 Jun 2015
  2. hairyhandedfool

    hairyhandedfool Established Member

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  3. RJ

    RJ Established Member

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    As part of the shortest route, no. Shortest route by rail and same station interchanges only.
     
  4. Merseysider

    Merseysider Established Member Fares Advisor

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    Exactly.

    So theoretically, this leads to the bizarre situation where routes shorter than the shortest route entirely by rail are forbidden by an easement.
     
  5. furlong

    furlong Established Member

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    That's one, particularly strict, view. However it seems to lead to some absurdly-long "shortest routes" alongside discussion of sensible routes that are "shorter than the shortest route". I take that as a strong indication that the interpretation is just plain wrong.

    I prefer to argue that if the walk is mentioned in the official timetable (as published on Network Rail's website - eNRT) then it can form a required part of the shortest route and that train companies would be well-advised to keep that list of "useful transfers" up-to-date if they want to counter absurd claims that some of these long routes are the "shortest" when they manifestly are not.
     
    Last edited: 12 Jun 2015
  6. greatkingrat

    greatkingrat Established Member

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    Whether you agree with it or not, that is how the booking engines calculate the shortest route and that is the closest to an official ruling we have.
     
  7. furlong

    furlong Established Member

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    Not really - those websites regularly get things wrong and even disagree with each other on occasion! Apparently some are reputed not even to use the correct distances between stations and to rely upon an outdated version of the fares manual!
     
  8. RJ

    RJ Established Member

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    I'm just going by what ATOC have stated in the past and I'm minded not to challenge that status quo.
     
  9. FenMan

    FenMan Member

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    Going back to the original query: Are you allowed to make a non-compulsory walking interchange in order to arrive at the shortest route(e.g. Warrington Central to Warrington Bank Quay)?

    I agree with RJ that the shortest route cannot be be calculated using a walking interchange. This would lead to absurdities such as unaccompanied minors and people with mobility problems being compelled by NRE to undertake, sometimes significant, walks, perhaps at times of day when they'd rather not do this.

    As an example, the shortest route by rail between Blackwater and Fleet is via Ash, Aldershot and Brookwood. I doubt if anyone would want to do this as the journey time is in the region of 1h45m for a point to point distance of 6 miles.

    NRE reports that walking changes between either Farnborough and Farnborough Main or North Camp and Ash Vale are permitted. The rail element of each route is shorter than the shortest route and, given the abysmal bus connections between Blackwater and Fleet, these routes make sense for those who don't mind a walk.

    The only ticket routeing is VIA FARNBORO NTH, which covers all 3 options.
     
  10. 319321

    319321 Member

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    According to Transport Focus:
    RSP says:

    “First of all shortest route is irrelevant as there is no railway track between Southend Victoria and Southend Central."

    However, I believe that there is ambiguity with regard to changing trains, which is why I asked the question.

    It has no effect on the complaint I made with regards to the above ruling, but RSP also argue that Travelcard routes are only valid on routes shown as Outboundary Station -> London Terminals rather than Outboundary Station -> Boundary Zone 6.
     
  11. trevmonk

    trevmonk Member

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    Just to throw another spanner in the works: The NRE pages now include a statement in a section on permitted routes that boldy announces.

    "All tickets are valid via any reasonable route unless specifically stated on the ticket."

    This is just after a bit which tells you their journey planner will always offer valid routes / itineraries. There is no mention here of shortest routes / direct trains or the Routeing Guide. It would interesting to see how they would "specifically state on the ticket" all the seemingly reasonable routes, including walks, that were not allowed.
     
  12. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Reasonable routes? BR is back, then :)

    (or maybe not)
     
  13. kieron

    kieron Established Member

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    The last station to (re)open which has a non-rail transfer associated with it in the timetable files was Dalston Junction 5 years ago, and before that Stratford International and Heathrow Terminal 5. I suspect the list in the timetable is as up-to-date as it's going to be.
    I'm afraid it is really the closest we get to an official ruling we have. NRE doesn't indicate why it feels a route is valid or invalid using a specific ticket, of course, but its conclusions are specifically sanctioned by the Routeing Guide, which says:

    Please note that the maps in the National Routeing Guide are generated from the same date used in the Journey Planner at www.nationalrail.co.uk Therefore, in the case of uncertainty, a route may be checked inputting the relevant origin, destination, interchange and intended via points at that site.​

    That's why I feel the discussion about the general issue is purely academic. In most cases, NRE treats the shortest rail-only route as being valid. It does the same for the shortest route involving transfers listed in the PDF timetable, and for ones listed in the timetable feed.

    If 319321 has a particular concern regarding Southend travelcards or any other tickets, though, we may be able to provide some help with that.
     
  14. 319321

    319321 Member

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    Just to update this thread, I had an outcome to the Internal Review I requested of the Freedom of Information Request that I had made for the information that the Department for Transport held regarding their approval of the routing guide change that removed the 'no longer than three miles of the shortest route' rule for those journeys that do not have common routing points.

    The relevent part of their reply:
    https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/272945/response/708584/attach/html/2/F0012443%20Internal%20Review.pdf.html

    I'm thinking of Rochford, Southend Airport, Prittlewell to London Fenchurch Street on an Origin > London Terminals via ANY PERMITTED as being some of them.
     
  15. infobleep

    infobleep Established Member

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    What you replied saying that you have examples that in your eyes are adversely affected?
     
  16. 319321

    319321 Member

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    No, I was kind of posting those routes which wouldn't validate with the paper Routing Guide without the shortest route rule including those journeys no longer than three miles than the shortest route, in the hope that others might post their own examples.
     
  17. kieron

    kieron Established Member

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    I would suggest something like Wrexham General to Liverpool Central via Chester and Liverpool Lime Street, but NRE seems happy enough with that anyway.
     
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