Should passengers be able to opt out of cross London transfers?

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Argyle 1980

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Slightly off topic but related to cross London transfers. In January last year I bought a ticket from Horley to Plymouth split from Horley to Tiverton (orange card from TVM) and Tiverton to Plymouth (eticket) from Raileasy. The Horley to Tiverton ticket didn't have a cross or Maltese on it which I was perfectly happy with as it was £8 odd cheaper than the same journey if booked with GWR that did include the tube and obviously the oyster fare is only £1.60 so it made total sense but I found it pretty odd as I'd never come across this before except when tickets were marked "London Not Underground" for which this ticket wasn't.

Anyone know if theres a type of retail code used by the retailer to remove the + from the ticket to lower the fare or whether this was just an anomaly?

This gets back to the original post about paper roll tickets/E tickets now and the headache that cross london transfers cause when buying tickets when there is no delivery option available that can fulfil a ticket format accepted by TFL. Wouldn't it be a sensible idea for RDG to give passengers the option to opt out of the cross London transfer? The benefit would be far easier national rail ticketing delivery and also save people from paying for a journey that some don't actually need, For instance transferring between Euston and Kings X/St Pancras where it can be walked a lot quicker than taking the tube.
 
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alistairlees

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Slightly off topic but related to cross London transfers. In January last year I bought a ticket from Horley to Plymouth split from Horley to Tiverton (orange card from TVM) and Tiverton to Plymouth (eticket) from Raileasy. The Horley to Tiverton ticket didn't have a cross or Maltese on it which I was perfectly happy with as it was £8 odd cheaper than the same journey if booked with GWR that did include the tube and obviously the oyster fare is only £1.60 so it made total sense but I found it pretty odd as I'd never come across this before except when tickets were marked "London Not Underground" for which this ticket wasn't.

Anyone know if theres a type of retail code used by the retailer to remove the + from the ticket to lower the fare or whether this was just an anomaly?

This gets back to the original post about paper roll tickets/E tickets now and the headache that cross london transfers cause when buying tickets when there is no delivery option available that can fulfil a ticket format accepted by TFL. Wouldn't it be a sensible idea for RDG to give passengers the option to opt out of the cross London transfer? The benefit would be far easier national rail ticketing delivery and also save people from paying for a journey that some don't actually need, For instance transferring between Euston and Kings X/St Pancras where it can be walked a lot quicker than taking the tube.
Probably the ticket that you bought from the TVM was noit valid via London. Horley to Tiverton Parkway has four route codes:
+via London
+via Slough (Advance fares only)
AP Reading (Advance fares only)
via Salisbury
via Guildford / Reading

The last three are not valid via London (well, probably not - I haven't checked the routeing guide!), but would appear as the cheapest on a TVM. So you probably bought via Salisbury, or via Guildford / Reading, then used it via London?
 

Hadders

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This gets back to the original post about paper roll tickets/E tickets now and the headache that cross london transfers cause when buying tickets when there is no delivery option available that can fulfil a ticket format accepted by TFL. Wouldn't it be a sensible idea for RDG to give passengers the option to opt out of the cross London transfer? The benefit would be far easier national rail ticketing delivery and also save people from paying for a journey that some don't actually need, For instance transferring between Euston and Kings X/St Pancras where it can be walked a lot quicker than taking the tube
I don't agree with this as it introduces all sorts of unintended consequences. An un-discounted underground fare in Zone 1 is £2.40 so there's absolutely no way that a ticket price including a cross London journey return journey is going to be reduced by £4.80. There's them the issue of minimum interchange times, these would need to be amended to account for the fact that someone might decide to cross London on foot. Not a problem between Kings Cross and Euston but could be problematic for something like Paddington to Liverpool Street.
 

Argyle 1980

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Probably the ticket that you bought from the TVM was noit valid via London. Horley to Tiverton Parkway has four route codes:
+via London
+via Slough (Advance fares only)
AP Reading (Advance fares only)
via Salisbury
via Guildford / Reading

The last three are not valid via London (well, probably not - I haven't checked the routeing guide!), but would appear as the cheapest on a TVM. So you probably bought via Salisbury, or via Guildford / Reading, then used it via London?
Sorry it was split at Taunton, was quite a while ago so forget the fine details but the fundamentals remain the same.
1247 TL Horley to LB and 1503 Paddington to Taunton for which that leg had a seat reservation issued for it.

The booking email stated the London transfer was at own expense, which I obviously wasn't worried about because the £1.60 oyster fare from Bank to Lancaster Gate saved me over £8 than the price GWR quoted me that included it.
 

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Paul Kelly

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AP Reading (Advance fares only)
via Salisbury
via Guildford / Reading

The last three are not valid via London (well, probably not - I haven't checked the routeing guide!), but would appear as the cheapest on a TVM. So you probably bought via Salisbury, or via Guildford / Reading, then used it via London?
The AP READING fare would be valid via London if made at a time of day when the Underground wasn't running, or if it was otherwise possible to make the journey across to London using a fixed link that didn't involve Underground travel as, although there is no Maltese Cross, there is nothing else in the route restriction that disallows travel via London. I'm thinking it could be something along those lines.

The booking email stated the London transfer was at own expense
That seems to suggest there was an anomalous TRANSFER link in there somewhere in the data. Can you remember when you booked the ticket? I see it was early in January 2020, and I remember Paddington was closed around Christmas 2019 - perhaps there were some extra fixed links in there that weren't dated properly that the journey planner was able to pick up and use to your advantage. Annoyingly both the AP READING and AP SLOUGH routes print on the ticket as On specified trains & connections only, which is quite confusing!
 
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Argyle 1980

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The AP READING fare would be valid via London if made at a time of day when the Underground wasn't running, or if it was otherwise possible to make the journey across to London using a fixed link that didn't involve Underground travel as, although there is no Maltese Cross, there is nothing else in the route restriction that disallows travel via London. I'm thinking it could be something along those lines.


That seems to suggest there was an anomalous TRANSFER link in there somewhere in the data. Can you remember when you booked the ticket? I see it was early in January 2020, and I remember Paddington was closed around Christmas 2019 - perhaps there were some extra fixed links in there that weren't dated properly that the journey planner was able to pick up and use to your advantage. Annoyingly both the AP READING and AP SLOUGH routes print on the ticket as On specified trains & connections only, which is quite confusing!
It was booked pretty last minute, probably the Tuesday or Wednesday previously. Remember it because we was coming back from seeing Argyle away at Carlisle United and was booked to arrive back in Euston at 2210. Was originally booked on the 2300 national express from Victoria to Saltash but thought in the end it was just too tight a connection so opted to share a hotel at Gatwick with a friend who was flying back to Johannesburg the next morning. As I'd only paid £2.40 each way for the National Express from Saltash to Victoria, I didn't mind writing the return leg off so opted to get this ticket and go home the next day.

Interestingly, I see the comments about times when the tube isn't running between booked connections. I use the Night Riviera sleeper a lot between Cornwall and East Kent and on the Kent bound legs a warning appears that the tube may not be running close to the arrival time in Paddington (which is usually between 0430 and 0500) but it still places the + on the ticket. It's a little on the tight side but I normally make the booked Aylesham service from Victoria. The ticket NEVER works in the TFL barriers, probably because it's dated the previous day. Not a problem at Paddington obviously because they'll see a lot of these there, but at Victoria it often causes aggravation from gateline staff who insist it isn't valid, even after you show them reservation coupons.
Return portions of Super Off Peak returns work fine obviously because they have a 30 day validity but outward portions of return tickets and advance tickets cause problems.
 

Bletchleyite

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Interestingly, I see the comments about times when the tube isn't running between booked connections. I use the Night Riviera sleeper a lot between Cornwall and East Kent and on the Kent bound legs a warning appears that the tube may not be running close to the arrival time in Paddington (which is usually between 0430 and 0500) but it still places the + on the ticket. It's a little on the tight side but I normally make the booked Aylesham service from Victoria. The ticket NEVER works in the TFL barriers, probably because it's dated the previous day. Not a problem at Paddington obviously because they'll see a lot of these there, but at Victoria it often causes aggravation from gateline staff who insist it isn't valid, even after you show them reservation coupons.
Return portions of Super Off Peak returns work fine obviously because they have a 30 day validity but outward portions of return tickets and advance tickets cause problems.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure I'm not - the ability to continue into a second railway day of an outward Off Peak ticket (either due to overnight travel or a break due to running out of trains) explicitly does not extend to Tube validity, i.e. those tickets are not in fact valid on the Tube even if they logically should be.

An outward Anytime Return / Anytime Single is fully valid for 5 or 2 days and so that would be, by contrast.
 

Argyle 1980

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure I'm not - the ability to continue into a second railway day of an outward Off Peak ticket (either due to overnight travel or a break due to running out of trains) explicitly does not extend to Tube validity, i.e. those tickets are not in fact valid on the Tube even if they logically should be.

An outward Anytime Return / Anytime Single is fully valid for 5 or 2 days and so that would be, by contrast.
Must admit it's very seldom I'll make that journey on an open ticket, majority of time it's an advance ticket.
Rewind almost 20 years and the airline type tickets that were accompanied by gate passes that were issued on orange card stock. Remember the gate passes back then I'm pretty sure were dated correctly for the next day, but that was probably down to them being issued manually by the booking/telesales clerk in addition to the grey airline type tickets.
 

CyrusWuff

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Must admit it's very seldom I'll make that journey on an open ticket, majority of time it's an advance ticket.
Rewind almost 20 years and the airline type tickets that were accompanied by gate passes that were issued on orange card stock. Remember the gate passes back then I'm pretty sure were dated correctly for the next day, but that was probably down to them being issued manually by the booking/telesales clerk in addition to the grey airline type tickets.
Not quite. The gate passes issued by Tribute (an example of which can be found in the Ticket Gallery at https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/15283825567/in/album-72157648481726442/) were issued with the same overall period of validity as the accompanying ATB2 ticket, so the one for the Outward leg of a Saver would only be valid for the outward date, and the one for the Return leg would be valid for one calendar month.
 

Wallsendmag

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Must admit it's very seldom I'll make that journey on an open ticket, majority of time it's an advance ticket.
Rewind almost 20 years and the airline type tickets that were accompanied by gate passes that were issued on orange card stock. Remember the gate passes back then I'm pretty sure were dated correctly for the next day, but that was probably down to them being issued manually by the booking/telesales clerk in addition to the grey airline type tickets.
Ours weren't issued manually they came as part of the ticket. ATB from the massive (IER I think) printer and CCST from the Russet, Swecoin or Newbury Data printer.
 

CyrusWuff

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Ours weren't issued manually they came as part of the ticket. ATB from the massive (IER I think) printer and CCST from the Russet, Swecoin or Newbury Data printer.
As an aside, I missed the ATB printers when they got rid of them, as it meant we couldn't retail Eurostar tickets any more...though the commission wasn't great towards the end (£5 per leg, regardless of the fare, if memory serves).
 

paul1609

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Surely the answer to this problem is simple. The Dft abolish all London Terminals fares from outside the network card area. The Intercity operators issue tickets to London Zone 1 to 6 with the increased fare. Tfl and the London operators use the extra revenue to pay for the bogroll scanners. The long distance passenger who doesn't use the ticket further is just paying a London arrival tax.
Win, win.
 

hkstudent

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I don't agree with this as it introduces all sorts of unintended consequences. An un-discounted underground fare in Zone 1 is £2.40 so there's absolutely no way that a ticket price including a cross London journey return journey is going to be reduced by £4.80. There's them the issue of minimum interchange times, these would need to be amended to account for the fact that someone might decide to cross London on foot. Not a problem between Kings Cross and Euston but could be problematic for something like Paddington to Liverpool Street.
This poses another question:
Once Cross-Elizabeth Line is completed, would a non-maltese cross journey be valid on that XR service transferring from GWR area to GA or SE area?
 

Hadders

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Surely the answer to this problem is simple. The Dft abolish all London Terminals fares from outside the network card area. The Intercity operators issue tickets to London Zone 1 to 6 with the increased fare. Tfl and the London operators use the extra revenue to pay for the bogroll scanners. The long distance passenger who doesn't use the ticket further is just paying a London arrival tax.
Win, win.
An interesting proposal. Fares like Wellingborough to London, Swindon to London and Peterborough to London are expensive enough as it is without adding £19.60 (Anytime) or £13.90 (Off Peak) to the price. The same wold apply to any other stations outside the Network Railcard area.

This poses another question:
Once Cross-Elizabeth Line is completed, would a non-maltese cross journey be valid on that XR service transferring from GWR area to GA or SE area?
I'm not sure there are any non-maltese cross journeys from the Great Western area to GA or SE areas. If there are they're likely to be routed 'not via London' which would bar the use of Crossrail. I suppose a 'London not Underground' routeing would technically be valid on Crossrail, but again I'm not sure any such tickets from GW to GA/SE would be routed this way.

Looking at Thameslink there are some 'via City Thameslink' routeings which mean you can't use the Underground. I suppose it's possible that we might see a routeing like 'via Elizabeth Line' for something like a paper ticket between Reading and Shenfield, although TfL will want to rinse paper ticket holders to they won't want to do anything that works out cheaper for passengers.
 

Argyle 1980

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Expect the Elizabeth line might my be routed on ticket like London not underground.
I know slightly different but you can buy the cheap Not London ticket from East Kent to Sussex and Hampshire stations and change at Denmark Hill onto LO to Clapham Junction to get a Southern as I've bought it several times both online and from Aylesham Ticket office.
I know some of them (mostly East Sussex station) have route Polegate/Edenbridge attached, but for West Sussex it generally isn't attached and the only other requirement for beyond is obviously through Barnham.
 

tarq

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In Spain, if you buy an AVE (high speed mainline) ticket, you get a TOD code that you can use to retrieve a gate-friendly ticket for the Cercanias (local train) at your destination.

I don’t know why we don’t just do this in London? Enable TOD for the +London portion and collection on CCST stock from TfL vending machines in the tube ticket hall.
 

Argyle 1980

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Anyone know if a PRT could be sold on say a GWR service from the Portsmouth/Southampton/West Sussex area or from the Dorking Guildford area to SE stations avoiding London via East Coast Way or Edenbridge as they'll be now cross London transfer or do SE block them throughout?
I got told by a GWR train manager that his machine blocked the sale to SE destinations (but that was Saltash to Folkestone)
 

Wallsendmag

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Anyone know if a PRT could be sold on say a GWR service from the Portsmouth/Southampton/West Sussex area or from the Dorking Guildford area to SE stations avoiding London via East Coast Way or Edenbridge as they'll be now cross London transfer or do SE block them throughout?
I got told by a GWR train manager that his machine blocked the sale to SE destinations (but that was Saltash to Folkestone)
We have our two PRT TIS set to either print CCST ot sell to ToD for anything that includes a cross London transfer
 
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I very much suspect this was an anomaly! Looking at the geography it would appear that the ticket was intended to be used on itineraries that go Horley - Redhill - Reading and onwards via Guildford, and perhaps someone coded the conditions: 1. Must pass through Reading and 2. Must not use Underground. I guess that ordinarily this would bar the ticket from being used via London since most itineraries would force you on the Underground, but these edge cases exist (e.g. going into London Bridge, transferring on foot and then going out via Paddington would satisfy both conditions above).
 

paul1609

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Anyone know if a PRT could be sold on say a GWR service from the Portsmouth/Southampton/West Sussex area or from the Dorking Guildford area to SE stations avoiding London via East Coast Way or Edenbridge as they'll be now cross London transfer or do SE block them throughout?
I got told by a GWR train manager that his machine blocked the sale to SE destinations (but that was Saltash to Folkestone)
You can get e tickets (and presumably PRT) to from/the Marshlink stations (run by GTR) if the other station is enabled and the journey doesnt invove cross London . Ive had several e tickets from Appledore (kent) to Fratton for instance. You cant get tickets to SE stations Hastings, St Leonards, Ashford Int., but the Appledore to Fratton ticket is valid on Southeastern trains via Tonbridge and the guards have always accepted them without comment in my case. I believe that West Coastway stations are progressively being equipped with barcode scanners but havent used rail down there since the pandemic. Ive never actually had a barcode scanned anywhere on a train on GTR obs just look at the phone etc to see whereyou are going.
 

david1212

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Surely the answer to this problem is simple. The Dft abolish all London Terminals fares from outside the network card area. The Intercity operators issue tickets to London Zone 1 to 6 with the increased fare. Tfl and the London operators use the extra revenue to pay for the bogroll scanners. The long distance passenger who doesn't use the ticket further is just paying a London arrival tax.
Win, win.

Even easier is for all tickets from ticket offices as well as machines to be proper card tickets with a magnetic strip unless barcode / QR code is required e.g. a local area train/tram/bus ticket. PRT is logical for on train sales as the number of cross-London tickets sold must be relatively low. Here at the destination station the system is arranged such that to supplement the PRT a TfL compatible cross-London ticket can be obtained from a Ticket Machine or Office. Similarly for print at home or phone tickets a TfL compatible ticket can be obtained from any station or ticket machine.

Back to a thread running a while ago the number of single use tickets issued could be drastically reduced with a universal UK wide travel ticket smart card.
 

Argyle 1980

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You can get e tickets (and presumably PRT) to from/the Marshlink stations (run by GTR) if the other station is enabled and the journey doesnt invove cross London . Ive had several e tickets from Appledore (kent) to Fratton for instance. You cant get tickets to SE stations Hastings, St Leonards, Ashford Int., but the Appledore to Fratton ticket is valid on Southeastern trains via Tonbridge and the guards have always accepted them without comment in my case. I believe that West Coastway stations are progressively being equipped with barcode scanners but havent used rail down there since the pandemic. Ive never actually had a barcode scanned anywhere on a train on GTR obs just look at the phone etc to see whereyou are going.
Thanks. That's exactly what I was asking. It's just because a GWR train manager told me that SE block the sale of PRT's sold to their destinations. I didn't know if that meant just ones with cross London transfers or ones that are routed non London.
I know there's several instances where you can perfectly legally travel on an SE service with a mobile or print at home ticket such as Marshlink stations to Gatwick via Ashford and Tonbridge and also continuing from Waterloo onto CX or LB via Waterloo East or from LB after arriving from a Southern Station. Just I know someone who got penalty fared at CX in such circumstances because revenue didn't even know what an e ticket was. They were insistent she was travelling on a reference number. The penalty fare did get overturned almost immediately but it's a ridiculous situation really. Shortly after the first covid lockdown when reservations were made compulsory I had a super off peak return from Saltash to Paddington and chose to stay in Kent a day longer so I took my printed e ticket to Dover Priory in order to book a place the next day and the ticket office refused to reserve me the seat. First I got told to collect the ticket, and when I told the clerk that it IS my actual ticket, it still fell on deaf ears and was told they won't issue reservations without a valid ticket. In the end GWR did it over Twitter for me.
 

JonathanH

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Even easier is for all tickets from ticket offices as well as machines to be proper card tickets with a magnetic strip
Not when it is government and train operator policy to eliminate the sale of these tickets.

There is obviously a big disconnect between this policy and the reality on the ground. The news of the change to fares in the Bristol area in another thread shows that there are moves toward single leg pricing and PAYG.
 
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Argyle 1980

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Even easier is for all tickets from ticket offices as well as machines to be proper card tickets with a magnetic strip unless barcode / QR code is required e.g. a local area train/tram/bus ticket. PRT is logical for on train sales as the number of cross-London tickets sold must be relatively low. Here at the destination station the system is arranged such that to supplement the PRT a TfL compatible cross-London ticket can be obtained from a Ticket Machine or Office. Similarly for print at home or phone tickets a TfL compatible ticket can be obtained from any station or ticket machine.

Back to a thread running a while ago the number of single use tickets issued could be drastically reduced with a universal UK wide travel ticket smart card.
Didn't EastCoast once trial QR codes on orange card tickets?
Unfortunately there's a lot of stations without any machines so if the TOC involved only issue PRTs onboard, then the only purchasing option is tickets in post, which is fine if your booking a week or more in advance, but not fine at short notice. For me, purchasing a ticket from Cornwall to Kent is impossible at short notice because of the PRT issues. The last time it took me 20 minutes in the queue at the excess fare window on the platform at Paddington getting my ticket changed and as a knock on, I missed the hourly connection from Victoria to Aylesham.

As for the smartcards, I might be wrong here but I'm pretty certain all TOCs are ITSO cards so I don't know why a national system cannot be administered on them or a single card issued by RDG. The national bus passes are ITSO cards and are compatible with every type of ticket machine on every single operator throughout the country so it can't be too much of a headache to implement such a system on the railway.
The problem with current rail smartcards work well for season tickets but less so for odd journeys. GTRs are the exception and work well, especially with KeyGo but SEs are flawed. The times I tried using it, only the more expensive anytime and any permitted fares show on TVMs so I binned my SE one.
 

Haywain

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Didn't EastCoast once trial QR codes on orange card tickets?
Yes, but they were not designed to open ticket barriers and have now been abandoned. There purpose was to allow a bit more information to be collected about ticket usage. With the huge increase in usage of eTickets this is no longer a problem.

On a wider level, whether a ticket can be issued as an eTicket or on PRT stock is determined by the TOC who sets the fare for a journey. None should issue to a barcoded format when the journey crosses London to reflect TfL's refusal to accept tickets in such formats. There is no question of a TOC 'blocking' tickets being issued to PRT, more a case of having a policy not to but they must accept tickets issued in such formats if that is how another TOC has determined they should be issued (although, obviously, they can make representations to another TOC to not use such a format).

For longer distance journeys ITSO is not really suitable as a large number of journeys are undertaken using Advance tickets and other with seat reservations, and details of those need to be more readily available to both customer and staff than would be the case on smartcards.
 

david1212

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Even easier is for all tickets from ticket offices as well as machines to be proper card tickets with a magnetic strip ...

Not when it is government and train operator policy to eliminate the sale of these tickets.

There is obviously a big disconnect between this policy and the reality on the ground. The news of the change to fares in the Bristol area in another thread shows that there are moves toward single leg pricing and PAYG.

I support single use tickets becoming the last resort and where issued know both the PRT and machine are cheaper. However first an alternative has to be in place and proved working system wide. Back to the thread on ITSO while at the point of use where gatelines etc are equipped to read it the principle works it can not handle enough tickets e.g. a rail season or carnet ticket, a local area bus ticket then several advance tickets or a long distance return split into several legs to be affordable.

Single leg pricing is irrelevant as cross-London transfers will always be required, unless of course the journey becomes two legs. That would be a big price hike. e.g. off-peak London Victoria - Brighton is £31 return so £16.50 single leg and Banbury - Marylebone is £33.10 / £16.55 single leg then cross-London fare while Banbury - Brighton is £50.50 / £25.25 single leg.
 
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Wallsendmag

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There is no question of a TOC 'blocking' tickets being issued to PRT, more a case of having a policy not to but they must accept tickets issued in such formats if that is how another TOC has determined they should be issued (although, obviously, they can make representations to another TOC to not use such a format).
Tell me about it .:rolleyes:
 

paul1609

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Isnt the real issue that the TOCs concerned dont want to block the tickets at all but that they represent a very insignificant part of their business (London Underground and Southeastern) such that the cost of updating or replacing the barrier equipment exceeds the benefit to the TOC/ TFL by a considerable margin. When there is no requirement in their franchise agreement to do so and no third party willing to cover the costs?
 
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