Southern Only tickets and validity on Gatwick Express

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by Tomonthetrain, 22 Dec 2011.

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  1. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

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    Funny that!
     
  2. Lampshade

    Lampshade Established Member

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    Hmm, Gatwick Express is the most expensive and not the quickest way between Gatwick and London (that honour goes to FCC)... what is the point of it again?
     
  3. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

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    It gives you the chance to enjoy a train all to yourself, bar the driver. Suddenly it seems like a bargain!
     
  4. DaveNewcastle

    DaveNewcastle Established Member Fares Advisor

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    To keep the system in perspective, we must remember that 'split ticketing' is a colloquial name for obtaining a lower price for a point-to-point journey.
    It would be quite wrong to assume that 'splitting' tickets on an intended journey will always reduce the cost to the passenger - in many cases (in most cases, I suspect) it will increase the cost.

    'Split tickets' are a valid combination for travel, they are used by pasengers who wish to change their journey plans after having bought one ticket. The combination of tickets may cost more, the same, or less than a straight-through ticket. This has been specifically permitted under the RRA and its Byelaws.

    'Split ticketing' is a relatively recent term referring to passengers who want to find combinations of tickets with the sole purpose of reducing the cost of their intended journey.
     
  5. barrykas

    barrykas Established Member

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    South of Gatwick, it's a "normal" Southern service. The GatEx/Southern changeover happens by magic at Gatwick. (And featured a change of crew at one point, I believe).

    Cheers,

    Barry
     
  6. 34D

    34D Established Member

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    To play devils advocate, a train operating company does not (in my opinion) need to be a UK Limited Company (or indeed, Unlimited Company). Other forms could be LLP, partnership, sole trader, overseas entity, or unincorporated entity.

    The word 'company' has uses outside Companies House.
     
  7. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    But the DfT has said it's not a Train Company, and now even Southern staff admit it.

    "One company, two brands" is what they now say. Which is quite correct.

    However the NRCoC restricts by company, so we win! ;)
     
  8. wintonian

    wintonian Established Member

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    For the moment... ;)
     
  9. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

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    How desperate must Southern be to protect some revenue which is pretty much assured from tourists and those who don't want any fuss?

    How many people go to/from Stansted with a ticket starting/ending one station further up - then break their journey? I'd gladly do it, but my wife wouldn't - and I doubt my parents would (or indeed most people I'd tell).
     
  10. Tomonthetrain

    Tomonthetrain Established Member

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  11. Urban Gateline

    Urban Gateline Established Member

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    It says nothing about it being included either!
    Gatwick Express is NOT a Southern service. It may well be in the same group of companies but they are two separate brand names. (see how I didn't say TOC's there!)
     
  12. embers25

    embers25 Established Member

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    Look at NRE list of Special offers by Train Companies and you'll find GEx which is why it doesn't need to be listed as banned as their website still claims wrongly that they are separate companies!! We should demand NRE remove that page title as it is incorrect unless they remove GEx
     
  13. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    It is.

    " Gatwick Express is operated by Southern." Source: gatwickexpress.com

    If it is not a Southern service, what is it? (This is a multiple choice question, the options are on the TOCs page of the ATOC site)

    Same group of companies? So can you tell me the company number for Gatwick Express?
    Does NRCoC Condition 10 apply to TOCs or brand names?
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    I agree. NRE are displaying incorrect information. I suggest emailing Chris Scoggins as head of NRE and/or Jason Durk, Head of Passenger Information. If they do not provide a satisfactory answer, refer them to the DfT for disagreeing with DfT policy (remember, ATOC would love to regulate ticketing, and act as if they do, but it is in fact the DfT who are the true regulators by law) and also refer the matter to Norman Baker MP. If he does not respond ask your own MP for further assistance.

    They are all aware of the issue but so far no satisfactory responses have been given.

    Keep chasing them and let us know how you get on.
     
  14. MidnightFlyer

    MidnightFlyer Veteran Member

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    Southern seem to think it is!

     
  15. johnnycache

    johnnycache Member

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    Condition 10 of the National Rail Conditions of Carriage (NRCoC) says that Train Companies can create dedicated tickets
    The exact rules that permit this are in the Ticketing and Settlement Agreement (the NRCoC is itself a Schedule to that Agreement)
    "Train Companies" is specially defined in the NRCoC and essentially means those entities listed in Appendix C. Since Southern Railway Ltd (trading as Southern) and Southern Railway Ltd (trading as Gatwick Express) are listed separately it seems that both are to be treated as Train Companies for the NRCoC. This doesn't mean that they are legally separate companies just that for the purposes of the NRCoC they are to be treated as separate Train Companies. The meaning of the NRCoC relies on the definitions not the normal everyday use of the words.

    If the above is accepted then Southern may create fares that are "Southern Only" which cannot be used on Gatwick Express services (which are separately identified in the timetable). Equally they can create fares that are "Not Gatwick Express" which are valid (say) on FCC and Southern but not Gatwick Express.

    If the above is not accepted then Southern can turn to Condition 12 which says that a Train Company can create fares which restrict which trains they can be used on as long as these restrictions are made known in the "notices and publications" of the company. Therefore under this rule if Southern and Gatwick Express are treated as one company they are entitled to create fares with restrictions such as "Southern Only" and "Not Gatwick Express" as long as what is meant by those terms is spelt out.

    My understanding is that whichever way you decide the separate train company point Southern/Gatwick Express is allowed to do what it is doing now.

    Interest declared-I work for Southern
     
  16. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Yes, in this case the Company is Southern.

    I've said it before, and I'll say it again. We asked the DfT if that was the case and they told us that it is not the case. Gatwick Express is not a Train Company.

    The reason for listing the Company twice is because it uses two brand names, the same happens on NXEA. I do not believe the brand name needs to be listed at all as it is confusing for customers.

    NXEA do not instruct their staff to pretend that Stansted Express is a separate company. So why do Southern?
    I understand you are merely repeating your bosses (terrible) excuse, but it's a load of rubbish. For the purposes of this conversation, can I be the Prime Minister?
    Are you hinting that the NRCoC can refer to a Company that does not exist? If so then please cite an authoritative source where this is quoted, and one of us will then investigate further (using FOI to DfT if necessary)
    Again, we asked the DfT and they said Gatwick Express is not a Company. Companies House agreed.
    You fundamentally misunderstand the NRCoC.

    Condition 10 refers to the 'Route' printed on the ticket.
    Condition 12 refers to the 'Validity' printed on the ticket.
    No they aren't. Only a Southern employee would say that...
    Ah, that explains it.

    I've already gone through this with an ex-Southern staff member. I will say it again...

    This has gone on long enough and Southern have had their chances. Anyone here know any good media contacts?
     
  17. thedbdiboy

    thedbdiboy Member

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    It could well be a pyhrric victory. Basically, if at the end of all this, you unequivocally prove the right to use a Southern only ticket on Gatwick Express, then Southern only tickets will be withdrawn, and the benefit that thousands of travellers have had since 1993 of a cheaper option than the premium Gatwick Express will be lost. Southern only tickets are not regulated so do not have to be sold cheaper than Gatwick Express.

    Otherwise, one of the other entirely legitimate methods of restricting a ticket (i.e. by means of a restriction code) will be used instead, and things can carry on as before.

    Either way, a point may have been proved but I'm no longer entirely sure to what benefit this debate is being conducted.
     
  18. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

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    Southern wouldn't remove its tickets, unless it suddenly wanted to lose out to FCC (cutting off their nose to spite their face). It's not as if everyone wants to go from London to Gatwick with no stops in between!

    The fact is, they're trying to hang on to the extra revenue for as long as they can.

    When FCC and Southern effectively merge in the new franchise, you'll lose FCC only and Southern only tickets anyway - and prices will likely rise without the competition. That's the downside of gradually creating super franchises.
     
  19. infobleep

    infobleep Established Member

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    I saw a poster the other day apologising for travel disruption. On it was the wording Southern's metro; Gatwick express and sussex coast routes. Surely it should have read Southern Railway Ltd.'s? if Gatwick Express is a different company to Southern?

    Surely they can't have it both ways. Calling it Southern when it suits them and saying it's not Southern when it doesn't? Which of course is what people have already been questioning on here.
     
    Last edited: 22 Jan 2012
  20. island

    island Established Member

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    Again, they want GX to be separate when it suits and not when it doesn't.
     
  21. tgsh2011

    tgsh2011 Member

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    How can they even seek a premium for this not so premium service? I took the Gatwick Express last Tuesday morning at 07:20 from Gatwick to Victoria. Normally I would not dream of taking it; however, I had heavy bags and did not fancy fighting for a seat on the normal commuter service! How wrong was I! With this service picking up a whole load of commuters in Brighton I was very lucky to get a seat by the time the Gatwick Express actually reached Gatwick! Total disgrace! Paying significantly higher fares for what is not a dedicated service and practically no chance of a seat for most people as it they were taken miles back at Brighton!
     
  22. Matt Taylor

    Matt Taylor Established Member

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    That is precisely why GX was absorbed into SN, the idea was that the GX service would disappear and as a result there would be greater platform capacity at Gatwick and more track capacity in peak hours.

    It hasn't worked out like that though.
     
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