Stopping short at Stockport

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neilmc

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I live in South Manchester and find that, if I have to make my way home by bus in the late evening after a rail journey from the South, Manchester Piccadilly/Oxford Road have good connections - on the other hand, if I am able to get a lift Stockport is much better because of the parking and proximity to the M60 but the evening bus service is thin. I consider Stockport to be a Manchester station as it serves a large part of the city's population but that might not be how the rail network sees it.

So, if I have an advance ticket to Manchester, would I be liable for a huge standard fare payment from my station of origin if I alighted short at Stockport? The common sense answer would be "Of course not!" but, given the disgraceful way I have seen TOCs and their representatives treat their customers during my time on this forum I cannot be sure. Would I be better always booking an advance to Stockport and asking for an excess to Manchester if it turns out I cannot be picked up?
 
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clagmonster

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This is covered by the National Rail Conditions of Carriage:
"16. Starting, breaking or ending a journey at intermediate stations
You may start, or break and resume, a journey (in either direction in the case of a return ticket) at any intermediate station, as long as the ticket you hold is valid for the trains you want to use. You may also end your journey (in either direction in the case of a return ticket) before the destination shown on the ticket. However, these rights may not apply to some types of tickets for which a break of journey is prohibited, in which case the Ticket Seller must make this clear when you buy your ticket.
If you start, break and resume, or end your journey at an intermediate station when you are not entitled to do so, you will be liable to pay an excess fare. This excess fare will be the difference between the price paid for the ticket you hold and the price of the lowest priced ticket(s) available at a ticket office for immediate travel that would have entitled you to start, break and resume, or end your journey at that station on the service(s) you
have used."
http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/times_fares/nrcc/NRCOC.pdf

The advace ticket terms and conditions state:
"You may not start, break and resume, or end your journey at any intermediate station except to change to/from connecting trains as shown on the ticket(s) or other valid travel itinerary."
http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/times_fares/advance_conditions.html

Therefore, if you end short you will be liable to be excessed to the relevent walk up fare from your origin to Stockport or I suppose you could even be prosecuted under byelaw 18 for failing to show a valid ticket for a journey to Stockport.

If you are unsure whether you will travel to Stockport or Manchester, I would book an advance to Stockport and buy a Stockport-Manchester single before boarding the train.
 

Chapeltom

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The OP can chance it if they so wish but its against the rules. I may add though, that whilst I don't condone stopping short, that your chances of getting caught at Stockport at a late hour are probably low but its probably not worth the risk at all.
 

323235

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As sonic2009 says ending your journey short is not permitted in this instance and I would discourage it.
I would suggest that you buy an Advance Single to Stockport and then if the need arised for you to continue your journey to buy an Evening Ranger to Manchester (after 1830) which is a mere £2.30 and would prevent any problems arising.

Edit : Forgot about Evening Return as they are not on the East Coast booking site at £1.55.

If you have a railcard then it is cheaper to buy a

Virgin Trains Only Anytime Day Single for £1.30
 
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neilmc

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Thanks, I thought that would be the case - it doesn't normally arise as I usually buy an off-peak return to Manchester but if I'd done a triangular journey using advance singles it might - never heard locally of anyone being stung in this way but it seems a prime candidate as Stockport is effectively a South Manchester commuter station.
 

34D

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If you are unsure whether you will travel to Stockport or Manchester, I would book an advance to Stockport and buy a Stockport-Manchester single before boarding the train.
This is a little OTT in my view. I would suggest that if the guard is approached well before the Stockport call (and told that a lift has changed/etc) he would be happy to sell the appropriate ticket from there to Manchester/wherever your home station is.

There's no point (in my personal view) in buying an extra ticket which you may not need.
 

RJ

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This is a little OTT in my view. I would suggest that if the guard is approached well before the Stockport call (and told that a lift has changed/etc) he would be happy to sell the appropriate ticket from there to Manchester/wherever your home station is.

There's no point (in my personal view) in buying an extra ticket which you may not need.
The TM wouldn't be obligated to sell the ticket so it's a risky move.
 

sonic2009

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The OP can chance it if they so wish but its against the rules. I may add though, that whilst I don't condone stopping short, that your chances of getting caught at Stockport at a late hour are probably low but its probably not worth the risk at all.
Although chances may be low, stopping short on an advance is forbidden, and TOCs do read the forum, may spot this and randomly decide to have a revenue block late at night.

Sent from my GT-I9000 using Tapatalk
 

aformeruser

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Buy your Advance ticket to Stockport then buy a separate ticket for Stockport-Manchester.

If it's after 6.30pm when you're travelling then buy a Manchester-Stockport Evening Return for £1.55 and just use the return part. £1.55 is much cheaper than the cost of a whole new ticket for your journey.

While late evening ticket inspections at Stockport aren't common they might happen if there's a special event on.
 

LexyBoy

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The TM wouldn't be obligated to sell the ticket so it's a risky move.
Dunno about Virgin, but I'd be surprised to find a FGW guard not selling any ticket if asked whilst still within another ticket's validity.

The worst case is that the passenger is forced to alight at Stockport, which unless it really is the last train will only be an inconvenience; if an Anytime ticket is the only ticket offered then that's not much more than the cheapest ticket.
 

323235

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If arriving into Stockport after 2030 in the evening (1930 weekdays) and G4S are not present then there would be no way of buying the required ticket anyway by cash as the ticket machines only accept card. The two machines accepting cash were removed after an attempted robbery which left them unusable with one replaced by a new Parkeon Northern card only machines.
 

lewisf

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So, if I have an advance ticket to Manchester...
Your advance ticket wouldn't be to 'Manchester', it would be to 'Manchester Piccadilly' or another specified station, not group. So whether you consider Stockport a Manchester station or not us irrelevant in this case.

Is Stockport even part of the Manchester Stations group anyway?
 
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calc7

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Stockport is not a member of Manchester Stns.

It might be worth the OP contacting Virgin and seeing if they will produce a letter saying they are happy for a London-Manchester Pic Advance to be used as far as Stockport.

From what I've gathered, from an Advance ticket perspective, they are treated exactly the same in terms of pricing and quotaing so any detriment to Virgin is negligible here.
 

aformeruser

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From what I've gathered, from an Advance ticket perspective, they are treated exactly the same in terms of pricing and quotaing so any detriment to Virgin is negligible here.
But from the operator's point of view isn't a big advantage of the Advance ticket the fact that if someone's travel plans change they have to buy a new full priced ticket?
 

calc7

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But from the operator's point of view isn't a big advantage of the Advance ticket the fact that if someone's travel plans change they have to buy a new full priced ticket?
Yes, but Virgin is typically a customer-friendly TOC and this would be an easy instance to invoke that.
 

LexyBoy

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Are you sure?
You must buy a ticket or tickets to cover your whole journey before you board (where possible). If your journey is to Manchester, not Stockport, then you would not have done this if you boarded at Euston with a ticket only as far as Stockport. I think this is what RJ is getting at.

I don't believe any guard would refuse to sell a ticket in this case though.
 

bb21

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You must buy a ticket or tickets to cover your whole journey before you board (where possible). If your journey is to Manchester, not Stockport, then you would not have done this if you boarded at Euston with a ticket only as far as Stockport. I think this is what RJ is getting at.

I don't believe any guard would refuse to sell a ticket in this case though.
The passenger's journey requirements could have changed during the initial journey though. ;)

Of course this is all academic. I am yet to encounter a guard, however reluctant they might appear, who refuses to sell an additional ticket on request.
 

thedbdiboy

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Given the stern warnings about this being against the rules etc, can I point out that the industry policy nowadays is only to enforce this rule by exception, i.e. if there is clear evidence that it is being used to avoid paying a higher fare etc. Certainly in the type of cases the OP refers to no action would normally be taken.

Before anyone piles in and quotes past high profile cases where large excess fares have been levied, it is precisely because of these that some common sense guidance was sought.

If you are wondering why the rules aren't simply amended, it is because there are cases where a shorter Advance may be charged at a higher fares than a longer distance ones, and in such cases operators do not want people deliberately purchasing a ticket that varies from the journey they intend to take for the purpose of paying a lower fare.
 

IanD

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If you are wondering why the rules aren't simply amended, it is because there are cases where a shorter Advance may be charged at a higher fares than a longer distance ones, and in such cases operators do not want people deliberately purchasing a ticket that varies from the journey they intend to take for the purpose of paying a lower fare.
Was looking for a Stockport or Manchetser to Stoke advance last night for travel on 30/07. £8 from Stockport but only £5 from Manchester on the same train, 1827 ex Piccadilly. Obviously if I got the cheaper ticket, I would board at Piccadilly. But why they charge a £3/60% premium for the shorter journey is a mystery.
 
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Failed Unit

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It is back to that old debate.

You buy the Manchester - Stockport single so you have tickets that are valid to cover your journey. But you are forced to go to Manchester and come back again. In this situation you are not actually defrauding the railway but it could still place you in court for fare evasion just because you didn't travel on the said tickets.
 
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