Sold ticket to closed station. Who was liable?

Status
Not open for further replies.

maniacmartin

Established Member
Associate Staff
Senior Fares Advisor
Joined
15 May 2012
Messages
5,175
Location
Croydon
Hi. This is first post, so please be gentle :)

I'm interested in hearing all of your views on a journey I made about 3 years ago, that's bugged me ever since. I think I've remembered what happened correctly, but given the time since elapsed, may have remembered minor details incorrectly.

I purchased an Off Peak Single (Route: Not Via London) from FGW at Oxford station, for immediate travel to Market Rasen. My intended route was:
XC Oxford (OXF) -> Birmingham New St (BHM)
XC Birmingham (BHM) -> Sheffield (SHF)
NR Sheffield (SHF) -> Lincoln (LCN)
CT/EM Lincoln (LCN) -> Market Rasen (MKR)

Everything was progressing smoothly until we reached Gainsborough Lea Road (GBL) on the Northern Rail SHF-LCN leg of the journey, where we were suddenly told that the train was terminating there a rail replacement bus would be along shortly to take us to Lincoln. The guard cleared the train of passengers and it left promptly heading back towards Sheffield.

Now I was stuck in an unmanned station with no staff and no help points. Needless to say, no rail replacement buses (or other trains) arrived within the 40 minutes that I stayed there, and I got a friend to drive me the rest of the journey as it was then getting quite late in the evening.

I later learnt that Lincoln station had been closed (presumably by Network Rail?) the day before I bought my ticket for emergency unscheduled engineering work. It had been closed for over 24 hours before I bought even boguht my ticket.

When I tried to claim under Delay Repay as the TOCs did not manage to get me to my destination station, it was a case of passing the buck:

1. FGW claimed it had nothing do do with them and it wasn't reasonable for them to know about eneginieering work effectivng stations so far from their franchise

2. NR claimed the delay was caused by Network Rail and they didn't run Lincoln station anyway or sell me the ticket so not their fault. They also conveniently forgot to answer my question as to why the Rail replacement bus didnt show or why they didn't make any announcements before departing Sheffield. The electronic departure board on the platform. even started the trains final destination as Lincoln and had all calling points. Had they bothered to inform me that the train wouldn't be calling at all stops, I could have changed my route to travel via Doncaster and break the journey at Barnetby (BTB) instead meaning a shorter drive for my friend to pick me up. I refuse to beleive they didn't know of a line closure that had been ongoing all day.

(I'm not sure whether travelling via Doncaster and doubling back at Grimsby is/was actually valid, but at the time thetrainline.com thought it was and printed such a route on tickets if selected in their website)

This sort of issue seems to happen all to often to me, where if they is a problem with a journey involving multiple TOCs they all try to blame each other.

As it happened, in the end FGW refunded my ticket in full (I telephoned one TOC whilst standing at the customer information point of another, "while I'm talking to XXX right now and they say its your fault"). However, as I've read more about the TOC, I'm more and more convinced that the refund should have come from NR. What are your views?
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
In fact, now I think about it, the ticket must have been OXF-> LCN in this case. Forget about the MKR leg :)
 
Sponsor Post - registered members do not see these adverts; click here to register, or click here to log in
R

RailUK Forums

yorkie

Forum Staff
Staff Member
Administrator
Joined
6 Jun 2005
Messages
50,401
Location
Yorkshire
Welcome to the forum :)

If you find out between buying the ticket and travelling, that the destination station was closed and therefore your journey was subject to delay, and chose not to travel, the retailer (FGW) would have to refund the (unused) ticket (with no admin fee applicable).

If you find out en-route that there is a delay / cancellation, as happened in this case (either a severe delay with the bus leg, or the bus was cancelled), then it is the operator (Northern) providing that replacement bus that did not turn up who should compensate you.

I believe Northern Rail should have compensated you, though the scheme they use is not actually Delay Repay.

However they could say the bus was, say, 45 minutes late, and as you did not wait for it and made your own arrangements, they are not liable for any additional costs (e.g. taxi fare) caused by you choosing to use other methods however I cannot possibly see how they could avoid paying out compensation at the appropriate rate for the delay (which varies by TOC. Sadly Northern's policy is"You can claim compensation in rail travel vouchers if your journey is delayed by more than an hour")

In this case, armed with this knowledge, and I know it's easy for me to say now, I'd wait for just over an hour before abandoning the journey, as at least then I'd know I was guaranteed compensation.

That said, you may still have been entitled to compensation if you had a 40 minute wait for a bus, as the delay would be comparing the time you were originally scheduled to arrive at Lincoln with the time that the bus actually arrived in Lincoln. However without knowing the timings involved, it is impossible to give a definitive answer.
 

maniacmartin

Established Member
Associate Staff
Senior Fares Advisor
Joined
15 May 2012
Messages
5,175
Location
Croydon
I suppose if the bus had arrived immediately after I had left, it could theoretically have just managed to made it within an hour's delay (although I'd have been the only passenger as everyone else had long gone!)
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Top