Starting short on a CDR - AM Peak

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by 0B00, 8 Jun 2015.

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  1. 0B00

    0B00 Member

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    I would appreciate advice on the legitimacy of the following:

    I wish to travel from Wellington (WLN) to Coleshill Parkway (CEH) on the 0847 train on Thursday this week. I will return from Coleshill to Gobowen (GOB) later the same day after 1800.

    I note that a CDR from Gobowen to Coleshill @ £13:40 has restriction code B4 (after 0844).

    Am I OK to 'start short' at 0847 on such a ticket ?
     
  2. Indigo2

    Indigo2 Established Member

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    I think so; I feel it is the obvious conclusion to come to. But I don't think there has ever been universal agreement on here about this.
     
  3. Romilly

    Romilly Established Member

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    First, the OP may want to note that it appears to be an 0845, not 0847, departure from Wellington just in case the OP was tempted to arrive at Wellington station at the last minute.

    Second, I am sure that indigo2 is right to say that there is unlikely to be universal agreement on the answer to the OP's question. The suspicion must be that whoever drafted restriction B4 simply had in mind passengers boarding at Gobowen with the Gobowen-Coleshill ticket (or, more generally, starting at the origin station shown on their ticket). So no validity on the 0807 departure (which is the 0845 at Wellington), but validity on the 0853 from Gobowen which connects into the 0946 departure from Wellington (which is the first train of the day on which Wellington-Coleshill offpeak day returns are valid). So it all boils down to a question of interpretation of the wording of B4 in the particular context. Personally, I wouldn't attempt to use the ticket in the way proposed.
     
    Last edited: 8 Jun 2015
  4. 455driver

    455driver Veteran Member

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    The sensible way to understand the restriction code is for it to relate to the departure time of the train from the station named on the ticket, why would it need to relate to any other stations I have no idea.

    Doesnt the restriction code state "not valid on trains scheduled to depart before 0844" or something like that, does it really need "from the stated start station" adding to it?

    I cannot see why that ticket would be valid on that train.

    Cue all those offering strange reasons why it would be valid without any proof to back up their statement.
     
    Last edited: 8 Jun 2015
  5. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    I'd have said no, because the restriction is a combination of the journey and ticket in my view. As another example, MKC has no northbound evening peak restrictions, but Euston does. I don't think it would be accepted if you travelled from Euston to MKC on the last off-peak train, broke your journey there, then proceeded north on a train that was a peak train from Euston, even if it so happens that if you bought a ticket with the origin as MKC it wouldn't be restricted.

    I've always had the view that validity before/after a break of journey (or starting/stopping short) can only reasonably be worked out as being the same as if the break had not occurred. And while I can't find it now, I believe that is actually written somewhere.
     
  6. 455driver

    455driver Veteran Member

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    Barry Doe did a feature (in Rail) a few years ago and made the same point!
     
  7. gray1404

    gray1404 Established Member

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    It would be good if we could see where it is written down somewhere.

    When traveling on a Liverpool-London Super Off Peak, I used to break my journey at Birmingham on the return leg when my friend lived there. I was always a bit nervous because I could never work out what times I could and could not travel out of Birmingham if I was starting there after a break. On the couple of occasions I asked I was told "I've no idea mate but don't worry I'm not going to stop you getting on my train" with a smile and also "those restriction times apply out of Euston so it doesn't matter as your getting on at Birmingham." Still do this day no idea what is correct.
     
  8. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Going towards London on most routes including that one it's quite easy to work out - arrival time of the train you choose at London is what matters.
     
  9. jkdd77

    jkdd77 Member

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    I have* a letter from the DfT unequivocally stating the exact opposite; under fares regulation, a passenger may validly start or resume "short" with regulated (ex) SVRs at stations which are not London stations (such as MKC or York) notwithstanding that the ticket is from, or involves travel via, a London terminal, and that the train physically departed from a London terminal between 1500 and 1900 on a weekday.

    The broader topic has been discussed before, often in relation to XC's '2V' SVRs. My own view is that it is plainly valid; the ticket simply prohibits travel before 0845 and that prohibition is being complied with. The alternative view would also create ambiguity, and hence problems, with:
    a) starting short at an intermediate station not served by trains from the origin station listed on the ticket, or;
    b) starting short at an intermediate station along a valid route from which, due to service patterns, it would not have been possible to reach from the origin station listed on the ticket that morning (e.g. with a ticket from Pilning).

    Furthermore, ignoring fares regulation, it would lead to the absurdity of a evening journey within Cornwall on a Aberdeen- Penzance SVR being barred based on a 'morning peak' restriction.

    If the TOC wanted to base the prohibition on travel from the origin station, they could write it into the restriction code; indeed some restriction codes, such as G6, state that the restriction is based on the departure time from the station on the ticket. The absence of such wording in restriction code B4 leads me to believe that it is is intended to be a blanket prohibition on travel before 0845 and hence allowing travel at or after this time.

    Personally, I would have no hesitation whatsoever in attempting to use a ticket in such a manner, and would refuse to pay any excess demanded on the grounds that the ticket presented is valid in all relevant aspects.

    *may have misplaced over the past three- four years since receipt.
     
    Last edited: 8 Jun 2015
  10. OwlMan

    OwlMan Established Member

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    But the OP has a CDR not a regulated Off Peak Return
     
  11. Quakkerillo

    Quakkerillo Member

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    When checking the NR fares, you can see that only from the 9:46 train from Wellington, the prices are lower. So with the same type of ticket, but from Wellington onwards, it would still not be valid on the earlier train. So I'm afraid you'll have to wait for the 9:46 from Wellington, which would be the same train as the first one you'd be able to get from Gobowen.
     
  12. Romilly

    Romilly Established Member

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    To respond to that last point, I think that you have to interpret the contract between the passenger and the railway companies, i.e. the Gobowen-Coleshill ticket with its B4 restriction.

    (Indeed, although a Wellington-Coleshill offpeak day return is valid on the 0946 from Wellington, and a Gobowen-Coleshill offpeak day return is valid to start from Gobowen on the 0853 from Gobowen, which connects into the train that forms the 0946 from Wellington, consider a Ruabon-Coleshill offpeak day return. The train that forms the 0853 from Gobowen leaves Ruabon at 0841, with the result that a Ruabon-Coleshill offpeak day return is not valid to start from Ruabon on the train that then calls at Gobowen at 0853 and connects into the train forming the 0946 from Wellington.)
     
  13. Deerfold

    Deerfold Established Member

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    Although I'm on the fence on this one, you can't use NR like that unless it's comparing the OP's ticket. I suspect you're checking NR for the equivalent Wellington-Coleshill ticket so this tells us nothing either way about the OP's ticket.
     
  14. 34D

    34D Established Member

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    I see three options here:

    -The times are those itineries that include leaving Gobowen at a valid time

    -the restriction of 'after 0844' applies wherever you commence your journey

    -we instead took up the restriction code and text for a wellington to Coleshill ticket.

    I think we're agreed that the latter is wrong. I can see either of the other two being attractive.
     
  15. jkdd77

    jkdd77 Member

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    The broad question of interpretation remains the same whether the ticket is a regulated SVR, an unregulated SVR, or an (unregulated) CDR- the literal wording of the restriction code plainly and unequivocally permits such travel, and the principle of contra proferentem means that, even if ambiguity existed, which I dispute, the benefit of the doubt would go to the passenger.
    Comparing:
    with:
    it is plain that the terms of the contract for travel are different, that the additional words as bolded in restriction code G6 must have meaning, and hence that their absence from restriction code B2, and also from restriction code B4, must indicate that the travel is subject to different, more generous rules.
    Furthermore, the NRE website correctly states:
    http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/times_fares/ticket_types/TicketAndValidityFinder.aspx
    If a ticket permits BoJ, then it is natural that restriction codes will make provision for the restrictions applying when travel is made or resumed from an intermediate station; this will depend on the precise wording of the restriction code. For example, restriction code O7: http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/O7 makes clear that journeys are permitted from intermediate stations, but that such travel does not benefit from the concession permitting travel on certain services due to arrive at Paddington before 10:00.

    On the other hand, restriction code BX, http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/BX,
    as used for XC CDRs, means that a passenger can start short at an intermediate station at or after 09:30, or at or after 18:16, even if the train departed the origin station listed on the ticket before 09:30, or, as the case may be, between 15:30 and 18:16, but cannot start or resume short at an intermediate station between 15:30 and 18:16, even if the train departed the origin station listed on the ticket before 15:30, so it works both ways, so to speak.
     
    Last edited: 9 Jun 2015
  16. Quakkerillo

    Quakkerillo Member

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    I know it doesn't tell you anything about the ticket itself, you can see that the restriction is not solely time-based, but also train-based, so the 'idea' would be that it shouldn't be valid on this train.
    Because I think it's a bit trying to find a sort of loophole. If you want to travel from station B to C at 8:00, yet can only use trains after 9:00 with the restriction, it would be strange if you could buy a ticket from A to C, with a 8:00 restriction in this way, which is cheaper than the peak-journey from B, but more expensive than the off-peak as a sort of in-between.
    I just think that if this ticket was used, you might end up in a lengthy discussion with the train guard, at the gateline, and later on possibly with the company.
    So I only meant to show that I think it's not the idea, and probably best avoided, even if it's a bit ambiguous.
     
  17. 0B00

    0B00 Member

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    Many thanks for the replies and opinion.
     
  18. Deerfold

    Deerfold Established Member

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    I'm sorry, I have no idea what you're trying to say. Restrictions are based on the ticket you use - there's no such thing as a "peak train".
     
  19. jkdd77

    jkdd77 Member

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    If I remember correctly, restriction codes of this nature used to be expressed in the form "Valid at or after [time]", but were changed to "Valid on trains timed to depart at or after [time] and later to the current format of "Not valid on trains timed to depart after 04:29 and before [time]".

    I believe that the first change was made solely to clarify beyond doubt that passengers were not entitled to catch late running trains delayed beyond the 'Off Peak' starting time, and was not intended to tighten time restrictions in relation to journeys commenced or resumed at intermediate stations. Looking at the old wording further implies that the intent of the drafters was to allow such travel from intermediate stations, although it would not be considered conclusive in isolation.

    I believe that the second change was made to reflect and reinforce the principle that tickets are presumed to be valid unless expressly stated otherwise, and also to reflect the change to the railway day ending at 04:29.

    Edit- The restriction is worded similarly to the restriction on Network Railcards before 10:00, and no-one seriously disputes that a passenger may 'start short' on a Network Railcard discounted CDR after 10:00, even if the train departed the origin station shown on the ticket before 10:00.
     
    Last edited: 10 Jun 2015
  20. trevmonk

    trevmonk Member

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    Looking at the text of several restriction code on brfares.com at the end of the public version there is further text;

    UNPUBLISHED RESTRICTIONS
    Intended for use by computerised journey planners and online booking systems.
    To determine whether a journey is permitted, the time restrictions shown below are applied to:

    •The origin and destination of the journey
    •All locations where a passenger changes trains during a journey
    •The final destination of all trains travelled on during a journey
    (whether or not the passenger is travelling to that final destination)
    Note that these data can not be used to determine time restrictions when breaking and resuming a journey at an intermediate station.
     
  21. RJ

    RJ Established Member

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    Restrictions on times after a break of journey are a grey area in many cases and it's probably best left that way.
     
  22. Indigo2

    Indigo2 Established Member

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    The bold text only relates to the unpublished restrictions, though, which are used by journey planners and booking engines - they have been programmed in such a way that it isn't possible to determine how they apply at intermediate stations; it simply hasn't been taken into account in the data schema. You need to manually interpret the human-readable restrictions to work out how they apply at intermediate stations, and different restriction codes apply in different ways depending on how they have been written.
     
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