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Discussion in 'Buses & Coaches' started by Martin2012, 6 Jul 2019.
There was a famous incident a few years ago where two pensioners boarded the Stagecoach 6 at Lincoln at 9am and paid to Horncastle. They then got their passes out to use for onwards travel to Skegness but were refused and made to wait an hour for the next bus. Stagecoach stated that you weren't allowed to basically pay so far then travel free. The incident was reported in the press at the time and is no doubt somewhere on line!
Probably just a jobsworth driver then!
The way ENTCS is handled here where I live in rural Bedfordshire is rather interesting. If travelling with a pass towards Bedford on Stagecoach routes 9A and 9B, a £1 charge is levied on journeys before 0930, but if travelling towards Hitchin, no charge is levied. The reason for this is that the charge is levied by Bedford Borough Council but not Central Bedfordshire or Hertfordshire councils. So any journeys that don't cross into Bedford Borough (the crossover for the 9A/B is just past Haynes) do not have a charge levied.
We used to have a bus that was due in a village at 9.26am and every day without fail they would argue and plead with us to be let off paying. They shot themselves in the foot though as the bus got retimed to leave at 9.12am. This also meant the next village along lost out as it had been due at 9.30am but is now 9.16am.
One of my friends was allowed to do something like that, they were staying in Hull overnight for a few days a week, then when they got on the 350 bus back to Scunthorpe, they paid as far as the first stop after crossing the Humber Bridge and then got their (North Lincolnshire issued) pass out once that stop had been reached. One driver even 'let them off with it without paying' from Hull to Barton then he got his pass out once in Barton.
I appreciate this is a bit off topic but does anybody know why long distance coach routes such as the X5 Oxford to Cambridge and the Green Line route from London to Luton accept Concessionary passes?
Is this down to the operator choosing to accept them or is it to do with the fact these services fall under the title of "Local Buses?
The concessionary pass scheme covers local buses only in most cases although some authorities allow use on other modes of transport (train, tram or some coaches). In the case of the X5, it's a local bus service registered in sections (Oxford-Buckingham, Buckingham-Milton Keynes, Milton Keynes-St Neots and St Neots-Cambridge) in order to operate under Domestic Driving rules so concession passes are accepted. The likes of National Express are registered as limited-stop coach services (using EU rules) and therefore passes are not accepted but there will likely be senior-citizen discounts.
This is something I mentioned on another topic on here regarding the way bus companies are losing out with the repayments from councils.
It was pointed out that yes, whilst they have been paying taxes and contributing to the system, they were never paying towards free bus travel when they retire. Cash strapped councils who are making cuts all over the place can hardly afford to pay the difference as it is.
Anyone can take the issue up with their MP if they feel strongly about it (not that they'll do anything about it !)
Some long distance services are part registered as local bus services and part as unregistered express services with concessionary passes only valid on the registered sections. On the South West Falcon passes are valid between Plymouth and Cullompton and between Taunton and Bristol. If I want to travel between Exeter and Bristol I can get a over 60's ticket for £10 return (which is good value). Similar arrangements apply to the oxford Tube and X90 services between London and Oxford. I have used my bus pass between Central London and Hillingdon tube station. Both services are registered as local buses between Thornhill Park & Ride and Oxford City Centre but I haven't tried using my pass at that end.
I wonder what would happen if you tried using the pass christmas day on the oxford tube within London, would it be valid.
The Oxford Tube is covered from Oxford all the way to Lewknor. I know my cousin and his wife use their passes to eat out at the pub in Lewknor village.
I think only disabled people should get 24/7 free bus travel. For pensioners it should be after 9:30 am when they get free bus travel.
Also, I think the reason (one of them at least) why a high proportion of bus travellers are those with concessionary passes is because of how high bus prices are. I could easily take a 30 second walk to the bus stop outside my house and take the bus into town, but since its £4 for a bus ticket there, I'd much rather do the 45 minute walk. Another example would be the bus fare to Meadowhall Shopping Centre being double that of the train fare to Meadowhall. The high prices put off people if bus travel is not a necessity.
That's the case in my area. Transdev are the dominant operator, there isn't any competition. The train is now cheaper and quicker for most journeys that could be done on the bus. Evening services are practically none existent, Sunday services aren't much better.
For the bus to be the preferred choice of transport it needs to be cost effective and convenient and for me (and many others) it's neither.
It doesn't how matter how many USB ports or bright colours they paint their buses or brag about how hashtag amazing they think they are, if they aren't convenient people won't use them.
The council won't subsidise evening/sunday services nor will they repay a fair price for ENCTS pass use, so in turn the bus company cuts routes and increases fares. Something is going to have to give at some point, and either way a lot of people won't be happy.
Transdev are also my local operator, with no competition, and whilst the heavily subsidised Northern Railway service is cheaper, it only runs once an hour. However Transdev run from early morning to late evening, 7 days a week, up to every 7 mins during the day. They also invested in a fleet of 30 brand new buses two years ago, so they are clearly willing to provide a good level of service where it can be justified.
Buses are generally more expensive on a per passenger basis than trains, they are less desirable though, hence lower fares due to lower speeds and being prone to disruption and delays
The cost to run a tube train is about 50% more than a double deck London bus, however the tube train has a capacity for 400 passengers, the bus 85.
Thanks for explaining why there are some differences between routes like the X5 and services such as NX.
Is it likely that after Brexit NX will be forced to start accepting concession passes for travel if the legislation to register services as limited stop is EU legislation?
Current EU regulations are supposed to be incorporated into UK law at BREXIT. In any event many are implemented by UK legislation, often "gold plating" the EU requirements.
50% more to run a tube train than a bus? Really? Where does that information come from?
ENCTS is not an EU initiative so the rules regarding non-acceptance on coach services won't change.
EU Driving Rules will be amongst many EU regulations to pass into UK law if or when Brexit occurs so routes over 50km in length will still be subject to these rules. In terms of defining ENCTS exemption though, the Travel Concessions (Eligible Services) (Amendment) Order 2009 defines a coach service as one with advance seating reservations although it doesn't say the entire vehicle has to be reserved seating. This is typically the arrangement with the likes of National Express and Megabus.
It was given out at a transport planning meeting at tfl about 12 months ago.
A lot of operators have gone over to ticket machines that require the passes swiped or such-like. I think this is mainly to avoid fraud (think Express motors). However, it also has the benefit that it is "the computer says no" not the driver. However, where I live, it seems to be common practice for the driver to wave the pass holders on for free until 9.30, when they all file back up to the front of the bus to swipe their cards!
Our ticket machines have a leeway of about 3 or 4 minutes before half 9 which is loading time when the bus is due to go at half past 9, however this often means we get ENTCS pass holders pleading to be let off paying when the bus is due somewhere at 0927 or 0928.
I remember one case in Bucks where the ticket machine was set for 9:30 (Bucks is 9:00) and the Arriva driver refused to let a string of old ladies onto the main shopping departure to Wycombe at around 9:20.
I've seen a case where in Barton Upon Humber, somebody got on the Humber Flyer and before 9:30 with a North Lincolnshire issued pass which is acceptable, as I've mentioned before, there's no time restrictions in North Lincolnshire. However, the ticket machine rejected theit pass and the driver let them take a seat and later explained that because of the close proximity with East Yorkshire and Hull, the ticket machines sometimes accidentally pick up the configuration data from over there, so the ticket machine thinks it's not in North Lincolnshire. I would have thought that the GPS tracking would tell it otherwise?
The ENCTS acceptance data is linked to the fare stages. The ticket machine was probably on the wrong fare stage.
So with the ticket machine configuration software, you could select any fare stage on that route and tweak the settings something like 'Allow ENCTS between __ time & __ time' and there also being a checkbox like 'Always allow ENCTS'? It would be interesting to see software like that in action.
Something like that. The same principle applies for all tickets so they can only be purchased in the fare stage where they're valid. A driver could issue a Hull Dayrider in Cleethorpes by simply changing the fare stage to Hull. Useful if a passenger has a pass for part of the route but wants to buy a ticket to take them out of the area of validity.
I've seen people with one week tickets ask the driver for a separate ticket from the last stop within the town boundary to a stop at the first village just outside the boundary, but always used to assume that couldn't be done until that part of the route had been reached.