Stopping repeated use of Anytime Returns

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Oscar

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Is there any way that ATOC might be able to ensure that Anytime Returns are cancelled for the sections which have been used. As mentioned previously, these tickets give a huge amount of flexibility and when used are often simply marked with pen or (regularly in Northern England) not even marked at all. Since I personally do not tend to throw away tickets immediately after use, I have several Anytime Returns which have not been marked and of which the returns are valid for a month and if I so wished I could probably use some of these several times over without a Northern guard even marking anything. As most people will know, commuters have been known to buy one of these tickets in each direction and use the return for the whole month. So it would seem sensible for guards to mark on the back of the tickets in biro or permanent marker which sections had been used e. g. in the format Origin - Destination dd/mm Time/Headcode. Any future redesign of tickets also should perhaps take this into account. Do you also think that ATOC/TOCs need to take some action and if so in why way?
 
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bluenoxid

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I might sound a bit nasty here but I think the next redesign of paper tickets is going to be to scrap them apart from Print at Home/till roll style ticket. I don't think there is really anything stopping a PAYG card being introduced for the rail network. A simple message with boarding and suggested destination point could be achieved and gates/touch in areas could be set up to ensure that we maximise the actual usage of the card. Oyster has achieved a significant step change and with the move to contactless/mobile payment, I don't see much reason to re model a dead technology if rail overcomes the hurdles.

I have made suggestions that T&C's of the ticket should be put on the back of the tickets.
 

moonrakerz

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I have made suggestions that T&C's of the ticket should be put on the back of the tickets.

A4 sized tickets eh ! :lol:

Your suggestion of a PAYG-type card is certainly worth a bit more discussion.
As Oscar has pointed out there are considerable "savings" to be made if your ticket isn't marked properly or retained by a barrier. If it costs you more if you don't "swipe out", as per Oyster, this may be a way to reduce fare dodging.
 

Mojo

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Even if the ticket is marked, it does not necessarily prove that the ticket has been used for the relevant section of journey. With many journeys it is the case that buying for longer distances (at either end or both ends) is the same price.
 

calc7

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Wouldn't be at all surprised if Mojo's suggestion is very widespread in ticket fraud.

Huddersfield to Manchester SOR or Deighton to Salford SOR, anyone? ;)

(My season ticket is Z12 Oyster so I am not committing such acts ;))
 

Oscar

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Wouldn't be at all surprised if Mojo's suggestion is very widespread in ticket fraud.
Yes, my impression was that this kind of thing was widespread. I wonder however if guards should ask passengers how far they are going and then (possibly after a ticket redesign) mark this on the ticket or whether this would also be open to abuse.
 

AlterEgo

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The best solution available right now is a Zifa (is it Zifa?) clipper, showing the date and headcode of the train travelled on. Alas, I think only Virgin, East Coast and XC use them at the moment.
 

theblackwatch

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The best solution available right now is a Zifa (is it Zifa?) clipper, showing the date and headcode of the train travelled on. Alas, I think only Virgin, East Coast and XC use them at the moment.

Could this gripper also be modified to stamp the station code for the next station the train stopped at? For example, a non-stop train from King's Cross to York would be gripped with the code for York, thus indicating that the ticket had been used to that point.

It would also look more professional than the pen scribble which has become much more commonplace in recent years.
 

island

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Could this gripper also be modified to stamp the station code for the next station the train stopped at? For example, a non-stop train from King's Cross to York would be gripped with the code for York, thus indicating that the ticket had been used to that point.

It would also look more professional than the pen scribble which has become much more commonplace in recent years.

Not without substantial change I think. It's not very easy to change the data in the stamper.
 

MarkyMarkD

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PAYG smartcards (e.g. Oyster) only work in a system where the maximum fare is relatively small. For National Rail, the maximum fare is c.£1,000 (first class) IIRC, and it is unreasonable to require every customer to have a £1,000 balance on their PAYG card in case they travel on the most expensive possible journey in first class.

If we had a national identity card system, and if you could use your identity card as the PAYG travel smartcard, and if you couldn't get a replacement (or at least, a replacement valid for rail travel) without clearing any debt on the card, and if the cards could be remotely blocked if lost or stolen ... then I can just about see a smartcard system working.

If we were to replicate the current system in any way at all, it would need Advance tickets to be loaded (remotely or at a station) to the card, so that they do not get charged as PAYG. At least, either than or run the smartcards in parallel with paper tickets, but that seems rather pointless.

I can't see people buying the fact that they'll get charged £1,000 if they fail to "touch out" at a remote station where the only "touching out" facilities are broken, and then have to spend time and effort getting the money refunded before they can travel on a train again!
 

Bedpan

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Well, if you went say once a week and used your ticket 4 times you'd be paying considerably less than you should have been, and so defrauding the train company.

Could gateline staff not have a simple date stamp with the station name, a or d for arrive or depart, and stamp the ticket if the passenger wanted to break a journey. If say I was going to travel to Portsmouth and Southsea but had a return half to Portsmouth Harbour, I wouldn't be able to use it on a future date other than from Portsmouth and Southsea to Portsmouth Harbour because it had been stamped to the effect that I have previously exited at Portsmouth and Southsea.
 

swt_passenger

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In the biggest area where this type of fraud was considered a significant risk, ie about 40- 50 miles around London, they binned period returns to prevent this happening...
 

34D

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Is there any way that ATOC might be able to ensure that Anytime Returns are cancelled for the sections which have been used. As mentioned previously, these tickets give a huge amount of flexibility and when used are often simply marked with pen or (regularly in Northern England) not even marked at all. Since I personally do not tend to throw away tickets immediately after use, I have several Anytime Returns which have not been marked and of which the returns are valid for a month and if I so wished I could probably use some of these several times over without a Northern guard even marking anything. As most people will know, commuters have been known to buy one of these tickets in each direction and use the return for the whole month. So it would seem sensible for guards to mark on the back of the tickets in biro or permanent marker which sections had been used e. g. in the format Origin - Destination dd/mm Time/Headcode. Any future redesign of tickets also should perhaps take this into account. Do you also think that ATOC/TOCs need to take some action and if so in why way?

The corollary of your message above is that if the rail industry cannot get its act together to properly mark/invalidate tickets (during a journey and at the end) that they are asking for the behaviour described.

Issues of morality aside (and my own opinions aside), I see very little to blame people who 'reuse' tickets for. Its like the cinema leaving the door open, or moto services putting a sign up saying 'short staffed, so free breakfast with our compliments".
 

87015

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The corollary of your message above is that if the rail industry cannot get its act together to properly mark/invalidate tickets (during a journey and at the end) that they are asking for the behaviour described.

Issues of morality aside (and my own opinions aside), I see very little to blame people who 'reuse' tickets for. Its like the cinema leaving the door open, or moto services putting a sign up saying 'short staffed, so free breakfast )
Exactly, although some ppl seem to think we are only allowed to post industry licking comments...
As the other thread, ticketless travel levels are a commercial decision for TOCs and in most cases it's accepted because you won't recoup the costs of 'clamping down'
 

martinsh

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So it would seem sensible for guards to mark on the back of the tickets in biro or permanent marker which sections had been used e. g. in the format Origin - Destination dd/mm Time/Headcode.

Of course, this depends on the guards actually bothering to check tickets !

At the risk of repeating myself, I travel approx 3 days per week and can use either LM or Virgin. Personal observation of % of journeys with ticket checks

LM 50%
Virgin 0.1% !!
 

Clip

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The only practical way is either install barriers or has been alluded to with the london area stop priodical returns for such journeys and the price accordingly. Otherwise I would assume that this has already been taken into account by the TOCs and they are just happy with the status quo.
 

Lrd

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The best solution available right now is a Zifa (is it Zifa?) clipper, showing the date and headcode of the train travelled on. Alas, I think only Virgin, East Coast and XC use them at the moment.
Whenever my ticket gets stamped with one of these, the ink is usually on my hands by the time the ticket is back in my wallet, or all over the back of my railcard as I slide it in behind.
 

reb0118

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No radical design of tickets needed - just keep the guff of the back of the ticket and have 4x boxes for the date stamp. Stamp on the back so the ink does not rub off. A small pencil hole punch could be added to the front or back of the stamper so it can be seen on the front that the ticket has been stamped on the back.

Info on the stamp should include TOC, pay number of employee, headcode of train, route code, & day/month - no need for year thus:-

(FSR) (0118) IL59 (710) 20/04 .

For a manual barrier the headcode would be replaced by zeros and the route code with the CRF code for the station concerned thus:-

(FSR) (1234) 0000 (KDY) 20/04 .

In both cases the items in parentheses would be at right angles to the rest and in smaller type to take up less space - there would be no brackets on the actual stamp however. If you think including the pay number of the staff member is too personal then the NLC for the depot could be used thus:-

(FSR) (3724) 2K33 (711) 20/04 .

If the passenger held a Glenrothes [GLT] to Cupar [CUP] ticket with all the above stamps then we would know that he travelled on the 16:20 GLT to Newcraighall [NEW] train, alighted at Kirkcaldy [KDY] for a fast platform change - passing through the manual barrier in the process, before boarding the 15:58 Edinburgh [EDB] - Dundee [DEE] service.
 
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aleph_0

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Isn't a much simpler solution be to price singles half the price of a return? multi-day validity of an anytime single could also be reduced (and if tickets are priced sensibly, this shouldn't make too much difference to those who previously broke journeys on an anytime ticket).

I know, it's not going to happen, but it doesn't seem much less likely as the ToCs ensuring proper stamping to record partial ticket use.
 

yorkie

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Isn't a much simpler solution be to price singles half the price of a return?
The OP discusses commuters using Anytime Returns, these are generally priced at twice the Anytime Single fare.

Yes, there are some exceptions (notably those flows priced by Northern) but in general, what you propose is already the case for Anytime Return (SOR) tickets!

If you extend the discussion to Off Peak Return (SVR) tickets, then Grand Central, Hull Trains, First Great Western and East Coast (online only) already generally do price their Off Peak Single (SVS) at (a little bit more than) half the return fare.
 

aleph_0

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My mistake. Although that makes things easier, the Anytime Return could still be abolished in favour of two singles. Would that really cause too may downsides? A passenger who doesn't know their return date now has to make too purchases I guess, but more carnet tickets aimed at the business market could more than mitigate this. I suppose one still has to deal with the multi-day validity of Anytime Singles, but this suddenly becomes a much less attractive proposition.

I was indeed thinking of the Off-Peak Returns, which could also be simplified - unfortunately since most of my journeys are multi-ToC, the online single tickets aren't much use yet to me.
 

Oscar

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The disadvantage to passengers of getting rid of Anytime Returns as far as I can see would be that two Anytime Singles would not offer the option of taking a month to complete the return journey. I doubt that many people break their journey so many times that they need this month's validity and I agree that the purpose of it is mainly to allow passengers to spend up to a month at their destination, but I wonder if ATOC would have difficulty getting this past the DfT, Passenger Focus or any other body which may stand in their way.
 

HowMuch?

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My twopennorth.

Abandon returns and price singles more sensibly.

Or

Restrict the validity of the return coupon to one (two?) days after it's first stamped.

... or to a fixed number of BOJs (ie invalid after x stamps in the boxes provided)

Or

The guard asks you if you are breaking your journey. If no, he stamps your ticket, invalidating it for future use. If yes, he retains your old ticket, issuing you with one TO the boj, (so you can exit the station, but not valid for future use, and issues a second one, FROM the boj, for you to use in future.

OR (I like this)

BOTH coupons have 2/3/4 boxes for the passenger to fill in the date and next BOJ (or destination, if this is the last or only leg) before each leg. Any coupon not valid for BOJ is printed with VOID in these boxes. In fact, the TOC could make money by having no BOJ as a default and charging a fee for each BOJ box not VOIDED. A ticket not showing today's date and a BOJ further down the line is invalid.
 

MarkyMarkD

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I think the main problem with any suggested solution is that ATOC presumably do not like BOJ and the vast majority of the public don't use BOJ - mainly because they don't know about it.

BOJ is inconvenient for lots of reasons, particularly because it is rarely well evidenced where you have broken your journey (although if the BOJ is at a barriered station, there should be a write to the ticket to indicate exit from the station there), and BOJ shouldn't be that important if there were not the number of fare anomalies which there are!

I have personally only used BOJ a few times. I know that some people on here use it very frequently indeed, but the number of passenger journeys broken in this way will be trivial and therefore I guess the resiliance which would be put up to any ATOC effort to get rid of it would be pretty weak.

I have personally only used BOJ a few times. I know that some people on here use it very frequently indeed, but the number of passenger journeys broken in this way will be trivial and therefore I guess the resiliance which would be put up to any ATOC effort to get rid of it would be pretty weak.
 
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158801

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Why not have ticket validating machines at stations like they do in France ?

Before boarding you insert your ticket into a machine at the entrance to the platform. It prints the date and time on. Any ticket presented on a train that has not been validated should be Penalty Fared
 
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