Southern's "the key" extended to London

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by cjohnson, 21 Oct 2013.

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  1. bb21

    bb21 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    If that is the case, then it needs to be robustly challenged.

    The Key seems to be a retrograde step and appears to be something that is designed to erode passenger rights the way things are going.
     
  2. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

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    If the ticket on the Smart card is the same cost as an any permitted, surely it has to be valid as an any permitted?
    I bet FCC has put pressure on Southern because it can't read the cards.
     
  3. tsr

    tsr Established Member

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    I suspect so.

    I also suspect that Southern may then have been too compliant with any request they might have made for the purpose of attempting to remove holders of the key from their trains, without backup from the NRCoC and other mandatory guidance.

    It makes little sense to restrict the systems in the area, in any case, given the planned TSGN combined franchise - and presumably merge of ticketing media & systems - in a relatively short while.
     
  4. radamfi

    radamfi Established Member

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    The Key has been valid for single, return and season tickets between Brighton and Gatwick for some time so surely we would have heard about any problems with people using FCC by now?

    I have been using the Key on FCC a lot between Three Bridges, Gatwick and East Croydon but I haven't been checked.

    I see Southern have tweeted this morning to say it is only valid on Southern.
     
  5. maniacmartin

    maniacmartin Established Member Senior Fares Advisor

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  6. radamfi

    radamfi Established Member

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    They now say it is valid on FCC between Brighton and East Croydon.
     
  7. maniacmartin

    maniacmartin Established Member Senior Fares Advisor

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    Their latest reply on twitter prompted me to delve a bit deeper.

    If you look carefully at the fares data in BRFares for a flow like East Croydon to London Terminals, there is only a paper season available.

    There is a slightly cheaper paper and smart season available from East Croydon to London Victoria specifically - (36.60 vs 39.30). Thus, although the ticket is ANY PERMITTED, in practice there is little use travelling on another TOC north of East Croydon. Even taking into account this modest saving, I think the loss of validity to other London Terminals makes this a much less flexible and value-for-money ticket

    As for London Bridge, there is no East Croydon to LBG smart tickets in BRFares, despite such a ticket showing on the key's routemap, so I am unsure what ticket they issue for that.

    The more I read, the more it seems that smartcards will be used to get rid of interavailabilty and flexibility.
     
    Last edited: 14 Jan 2014
  8. mattdickinson

    mattdickinson Member

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    The map for London Bridge doesn't show any stations between London Bridge and Gatwick Airport.

    The smart fares available for London Bridge to Gatwick Airport are routed 00777 SOUTHERN ONLY
     
  9. maniacmartin

    maniacmartin Established Member Senior Fares Advisor

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    Which means nothing as you can always start/stop short at intermediate stations on a season.


    Thanks. I missed that. It's strange you can't get a smartcard ticket for East Croydon to London Bridge yet you can from Gatwick!
     
  10. bb21

    bb21 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I have just realised that our friend johnnycache had stated categorically on a previous occasion that agreements are indeed in place between Southern and FCC/FGW with regard to acceptance of tickets held on The Key.
     
  11. Chrisgr31

    Chrisgr31 Established Member

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    Having already had to replace my 2 week old paper season ticket because it no longer worked the barriers I can't wait for the Key to come to my route.

    However the problem appears to be that its not valiod at all London Terminals so at present I change at London Bridge and go on South Eastern into Charing Cross. Grrrr!
     
  12. LexyBoy

    LexyBoy Established Member Fares Advisor

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    This has been my concern for some time. It is very easy to see how it will be done, and once "trial" smartcard systems are in place it will be presented as a fait accompli with no option to return.

    The medium does matter. Smartcards can have additional T&Cs, and the tickets they hold are not identical to the paper ones, though they may have the same price and validity.

    No - TOC restrictions are different to route restrictions and cannot be excessed (or accepted) for other TOCs. For example, MK-London has both Virgin Only and LM Only tickets, which are the same price.

    You may be right about FCC, or that Southern say this to prevent customers having problems with FCC as they don't want to take FCC on themselves.

    I don't find that especially reassuring. If the ticket is valid, there's no need to make agreements on accepting tickets. Having internal agreements between TOCs is not clear to passengers, and can be reneged upon without any consultation or publicity.

    What happens when your Key stops working I wonder? At least with a paper ticket you still hold a valid ticket, even if it no longer works the barriers. With a smartcard you just hold a piece of plastic, until you can re-load your ticket onto it.
     
  13. andrewkeith5

    andrewkeith5 Member

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    Keys all have a unique number and the tickets on each key can be located by CS - and presumably station staff if they were given access to the information.

    In my experience it's much more frequently the TVMs that stop working - not a single one of the TVMs at Gatwick Airport can succesfully load a ticket onto my Key at present, but both Crawley and Three Bridges have no problem. Very frustrating!

    How are broken Oyster cards dealt with?
     
  14. radamfi

    radamfi Established Member

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    I got an email from Southern today, saying that their Key smartcard is now valid to other central London stations:

    There is a map showing clearly which stations it can be used at. Notably, you can't break your journey at some stations on routes where the Key can be used for through journeys:

    SWT between Epsom and Clapham Junction
    FCC between Tulse Hill and Blackfriars


    https://www.southernrailway.com/smart-card/graphics/routemap.pdf
     
  15. Chrisgr31

    Chrisgr31 Established Member

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    It appears you can't break your journey at many stations outside London, but I want a Key! So a question.

    I currently have a Season Ticket from Uckfield, but normally board at Crowborough. Is this allowed?

    Equally is one allowed out of the station at Oxted? Particularly important as if there changing trains and havine 15 minutes spare I'll pop to the shop to invest in refreshment!
     
  16. talldave

    talldave Established Member

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    Since all those stations you name are shown in green on the map, it's not a problem. The legend describes those stations as "Stations where journeys on a key smartcard may start and finish, and a break of journey is permitted".
     
  17. Chrisgr31

    Chrisgr31 Established Member

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    Thanks

    Note to self - learn to read properly!
     
  18. bicbasher

    bicbasher Established Member

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    From what I can also gather, you can use a London Terminals ticket for BoJ within the majority of the Southern Metro area, except on the Caterham, Tattenham Corner, Beckenham Junction and Epsom Downs branches using The Key.

    However, it appears you can't buy a ticket to the majority of Metro destinations yet on The Key.
     
    Last edited: 12 May 2014
  19. talldave

    talldave Established Member

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    It's not just you! There's something about that map that seems to lead to confusion.

    Also, I don't quite understand how breaks of journey are possible at stations which don't support the key for starting/ending a journey. Do they do a two-stage upgrade to ticket barriers?

    And of course, being Southern, they haven't updated the FAQ to align with the larger list of London stations now supporting the key. (They haven't even fixed an error in their email address I told them about last year! So depressing!).
     
  20. button_boxer

    button_boxer Established Member

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    From that map it looks like it may be more of a technical issue rather than a policy decision - the "orange" stations on the map (BoJ but not start/end) are all the stations that accept Oyster with the exception of London Terminals. I wouldn't be surprised if those stations simply don't have fixed readers that can validate both Oyster and Key cards, so maybe Southern just intend to issue staff with hand held read-only scanners as a stopgap measure until the full ITSO-on-Prestige scheme is finished later in the year?
     
  21. talldave

    talldave Established Member

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    Sounds feasible; hence no ability to load a ticket.

    Will the full ITSO-on-Prestige scheme support Travelcards on the key too?
     
  22. Chrisgr31

    Chrisgr31 Established Member

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    I sought to register yesterday for The Key so I can have my season ticket loaded on it. It tells me I need an email address, my date of birth and a digital photo, so all ready I go and register.

    Think it is the second page that asks for details of your address and provides the place to upload your picture. So go down the form, enter postcode and then use the look up feature to find address which appears over the place to upload picture.

    Find address select it and it immediately submits the form and says thank you for registering for The Key.

    So I am now waiting for an email asking for a photo as it never gave me the opportunity to upload a photo!
     
  23. talldave

    talldave Established Member

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    LOL I'm in the opposite situation - have had my card since the start of the year as Travelcard support was originally quoted as "Feb 2014" - but I'm still waiting to be able to use it. It now seems as if "later in 2014" is the timescale....
     
  24. Chrisgr31

    Chrisgr31 Established Member

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    Well received my Key. Took it to the local station to have my season ticket loaded 2 weeks ago, and still waiting for it to be loaded!

    I wonder if it is because my season ticket is actually issued by Abellio.
     
  25. Aictos

    Aictos Established Member

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    As Govia will manage the TSGN franchise from September 14th, I wonder if The Key will be extended to these stations?
     
  26. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

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    Even without reading the franchise document, I am certain smartcards will be implemented throughout the TSGN area.

    It might or might not be called The Key though - although I don't suppose it matters as it's just a name.
     
  27. mattdickinson

    mattdickinson Member

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    Under the SEFT (South East Flexible Ticketing) project, smartcards should, in theory, be introduced as far as St Neots and Cambridge this year.

    ITSO News
     
  28. Stats

    Stats Member

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    Yes, the Key will be extended

    http://www.go-ahead.com/ourcompanies/rail/tsgnfranchise.aspx
     
  29. neilm

    neilm Member

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    Hi

    I have read through the thread and not sure if you can answer this question, I have a paper hassocks to st panc ticket which I know cannot be loaded on at the moment. However if I want for example to go to victoria I buy a paper ticket from streatham hill to victoria before I board the train, could I buy this as smart ticket on the key and collect it hassocks?
     
  30. johnnycache

    johnnycache Member

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    i think that you can only pick up tickets for travel from that station with the key
    This might have altered since i was involved but the original reason was to keep the file sizes down ie each station would only receive details of purchases relating to journeys starting there
     
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