South Eastern High speed through tickets to Bristol, Journey Planner different to ticket validity?

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by kentrailman, 5 Nov 2019.

  1. kentrailman

    kentrailman New Member

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    5 Nov 2019
    Location:
    Kent
    Hi.

    I have been baffled by several apparent paradoxes and i wonder if any of you know the truth !!!??

    I am a very regular traveller between Ashford International and Bristol

    I usually end up with either an off peak return or a super off peak return.

    These have restriction codes such as YC and XC which in turn on their pages lead to restrictions such as C1 , CJ , 7E and 9J referring to tiem restrictions on trains from or to st Pancras

    so.. here are my questions !!!

    1. The restrictions from St Pancras seem to be completely ignored by the Journey planner when buying a ticket. The restrictions say you cannot use any train from St Pancras between x and y times but the Journey planner uses them regardless when you go on line to buy a ticket.

    Which is correct? ..or do those restictions only apply to trains going North from St Pancras not South Eastern High speed ( but this isn`t stated on the codes )

    2. The National routing guide when you look this route up doesn`t seem to mention the high speed St Pancras route at all, only the via Tonbridge or Via Brighton type routes .. Is this why the tickets NEVER open the barrier at St Pancras ? they always fail to open it. The tickets always open the barrier at Charing Cross, London Bridge etc. ( As well of course as Paddington)

    3. Is such a ticket in fact not valid via High Speed St Pancras route ? BUT when you buy a ticket on the journey planer, eg South Eastern, FGW etc, St Pancras is shown as the advised route, ALSO the ticket has " + Any permitted" on it and South Eastern`s website says that any ticket with this written on it IS valid via St Pancras

    SO, IS such a ticket valid on High speed or not, and do the time restrictions from St Pancras apply or not ? Is the Journey planner the be all and end all or is it the validity codes that are?

    Usually I just go through the manual gates and I`ve not yet been stopped and questioned, but plan to reference the Journey planner if I am ! Which is the "final " thing, the codes or the journey planner?!!
     
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  3. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Yorkshire
    Welcome to the forum!:)
    I can assure you that several members here do :D
    It doesn't apply to your journey; the principle known as the "Network Area Rule" is that, as your origin is within the (former) Network(SouthEast) area and your destination is outside it, and travel is via London, then a ticket that was formerly a Saver/SuperSaver (ie. Off Peak/Super Off Peak) is only restricted on the London to Bristol segment, and is unrestricted between Ashford and London.

    The electronic restrictions into St Pancras apply to EMR only; I do not think this is correct for this particular restriction code but let's not worry about that as it does not affect you.
    It doesn't apply to the Ashford to London segment of your journey :)
    The routeing guide isn't intended for public consumption really; it's for journey planners and people who support them and/or who are interested in the technical details. That said, if you are interested, you are welcome to join us at a free fares workshop (soft drinks & nibbles will be provided) where we will be happy to talk you through it, and/or you could check out the relevant section in our Fares Guide :)

    In this case, the route code "LONDON" means you can use any of the permitted routes from Ashford to London plus London to Bristol. This is in addition to the shortest route, and any mapped routes that avoid London.

    HS1 is very much a permitted route for this journey.
    No. The barriers at St Pancras (HS1) are very fussy; this may be by design I do not know. It is actually difficult to program barriers to accept the full range of valid fares, however (but let's not go into that here!)
    Yep totally valid.
    If you book a journey online, then any itinerary issued in conjunction with that itinerary is a valid one under contract and consumer laws, and this is also ratified on the National Rail website:

    https://www.nationalrail.co.uk/times_fares/ticket_types.aspx#Routeing information
    Yes you could refer them to NRE, or if you have booked online with an itinerary and are travelling in accordance with that itinerary, you could refer them to your booking confirmation email.

    I wouldn't mention anything technical; the staff on the gateline are not given technical information and wouldn't know where to start with it;)
     
  4. kentrailman

    kentrailman New Member

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    Wow ! Thank you for such a comprehensive excellent reply !
    I think all my questions answered ! Thank you !
    .. And left to ponder as I am sure many have and you can easily tell me, where is the cheapest place to buy a return ticket to beyond london that allows one to use a peak service from ashford to London without paying ridiculous fares !
    I always get so angry when people complain how ' expensive' season tickets are on the high speed line when they only cost about as much as two peak time return trips. Ridiculously cheap subsidy of peak time travel.
     
  5. kentrailman

    kentrailman New Member

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    Forgot to say, I travelled on the high speed line in peak time from ashford to London in the week it first opened. The trains were almost empty. Assume because the bargain subsidised season tickets had not yet been purchased by people using the old slower route. Season tickets need to be much more expensive !!
     
  6. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    I fear it would be unwise to disclose this on a public forum as it would risk the possibility of the rules being changed. Train companies do monitor this forum.

    In general I only discuss/disclose loophole fares in person these days; the savings are such that it can actually work out better than having a Railcard ;)

    As for Season ticket prices, I feel this is best posted in a different thread. There have been previous threads where this has cropped up and views are wide ranging on the subject.
     
    Last edited: 5 Nov 2019
  7. Hadders

    Hadders Established Member

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    The alternative view is that the 'peak' fares are too expensive and should be reduced in price, rather than increasing the price of the season ticket.

    There is, of course, absolutely no chance of that happening.
     
  8. i4n

    i4n Member

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    One of those wide ranging opinions that @yorkie mentions coming up... sorry in advance for going off topic.

    My annual season ticket was £7,400 (including a zone 1 - 6 travel card) this year using HS1, trust me, they don't need to be more expensive! And if you travel on a peak train now you may well be standing from Ashford.
     
  9. A Challenge

    A Challenge Established Member

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    Surely that's an argument for season tickets to be more expensive, to reduce peak time demand? Not that a season ticket that expensive needs to be more expensive!
     

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