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SWR Super Off-Peak Day Return - can somebody clarify please

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grum

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Hi, I'm hoping somebody here can answer this with more clarity than SWR's website and FAQ :)

The conditions of travel for the SWR Super Off-Peak Day Return state that it is not valid on trains departing London Waterloo between 16:00 and 19:00.

Does this mean when boarding the train at Waterloo or boarding anywhere along the route?
 
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Mcr Warrior

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Which stations is/are your tickets to/from?

And welcome to the forum! :)
 

yorkie

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Welcome to the forum :)

Take this fare for example:

https://www.brfares.com/!faredetail?orig=BMH&dest=KGX&grpd=1072&tkt=SOD

I don't think SWR will want you boarding those trains at any station en-route.

However from a data point of view, any itinerary that does not include boarding from, or alighting from, a station at a barred time as per the electronic data, would be deemed a valid itinerary.

This is because the restrictions apply to alighting or boarding at the stations shown as 'Not valid to arrive' and 'not valid to depart', respectively, but without an itinerary it might be difficult to argue that the electronic data has any bearing on the contract.

So, in theory, taking the above example, you could board Waterloo at an allowed time, break your journey en-route and resume from a station that is not on the barred list at any time, but I am not sure I'd want to try that (at least not without consulting a solicitor for a legal opinion ;)).
 
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grum

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Thanks for the quick replies!

I’m planning a day return from Martins Heron to Richmond (dep. MAO 12:35, ret. RMD 17:35).
SWR’s online booking allows me to buy a super-off peak for these times but the conditions imply that it won’t be valid.
Basically I don’t want to buy the ticket and then have to wait at Richmond for two hours before I can board a train!
 

yorkie

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Thanks for the quick replies!

I’m planning a day return from Martins Heron to Richmond (dep. MAO 12:35, ret. RMD 17:35).
SWR’s online booking allows me to buy a super-off peak for these times but the conditions imply that it won’t be valid.
It's valid; SWR's website is correct to issue the ticket.

Obtaining an itinerary is evidence of your contractual right to travel.

Basically I don’t want to buy the ticket and then have to wait at Richmond for two hours before I can board a train!
If SWR deny travel on that ticket, this would be a breach of contract.

If a ticket was not valid then the correct action would be to give the customer the choice of:
  • paying the excess (the difference between the fare paid and the lowest priced fare that would be valid for the journey) or,
  • if the customer chose not to travel (and had not already travelled), to wait until the ticket was valid.
If a customer has an itinerary for (a) particular service(s), the customer must be allowed to travel, as per contract and consumer laws, regardless of what the restrictions applicable to the ticket held.

If the customer was denied travel then I would expect a refund to be issued in addition to any compensation which may be relevant, depending on any losses that occurred (e.g. delays, time spent dealing with correspondence etc).
 

grum

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Thank you so much yorkie, that’s really useful to know! I’ll carry a printout of the itinerary just in case :)

Great forum by the way, wish I’d found it a few years ago when I was travelling by train every day.

Cheers, G.
 

davews

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I suspect your only problem will be the gates at Richmond on return which seem incredibly fussy. Personally I would think super saver return would not be valid on that return journey but stand corrected. The chances of ticket checks on those trains is pretty low and you don't of course there are no barriers at MAO.
 

akm

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It's valid; SWR's website is correct to issue the ticket.

Obtaining an itinerary is evidence of your contractual right to travel.

I understand the second line here - that since the system issues the ticket, the customer has a right to use it.

But why, given the restriction information, is the system correct to issue it? the 1735 ex Richmond surely is a train that departs Waterloo between the 'forbidden' times, so how is it valid?
 

Watershed

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I understand the second line here - that since the system issues the ticket, the customer has a right to use it.

But why, given the restriction information, is the system correct to issue it? the 1735 ex Richmond surely is a train that departs Waterloo between the 'forbidden' times, so how is it valid?
Because the way that the electronic system of time restrictions is implemented, purely allows restrictions based on the time and station you board a service, the arrival time of that service at its destination station, and the time and station you alight a service.

There is no mechanism to restrict departure times based on the time that a service departs its origin station.
 

Bletchleyite

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There is no mechanism to restrict departure times based on the time that a service departs its origin station.

Well, there is - you can either restrict a particular train throughout on a given restriction code, or you apply the same restriction (shifted on by the journey time) to other stations along the way (which is how I recall it's done for Watford Jn on the WCML). There are examples of both out there.

You get these inconsistencies when a TOC is lazy and uses a single code for too many situations.
 

akm

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Because the way that the electronic system of time restrictions is implemented, purely allows restrictions based on the time and station you board a service, the arrival time of that service at its destination station, and the time and station you alight a service.

There is no mechanism to restrict departure times based on the time that a service departs its origin station.

Thanks, on closer inspection of (eg) https://www.brfares.com/!faredetail?orig=MAO&dest=RMD&tkt=SOD I do see that it says in the Unpublished bit

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)

It seems a bit cheeky, to say the least, for the Published restrictions to say

Not valid on trains timed to depart:
  • London Terminals (except London Paddington, below) after 04:29 and before 11:00, and after 15:59 and before 19:01.

a more onerous condition than is actually in force!
 

Paul Kelly

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I don't think it's valid (by reading the conditions, ignoring consumer protection principles around inconsistent information!). Back when SWR was SWT, they used to be quite meticulous about keeping the electronic restrictions in sync with the human-readable restrictions - for something like this, they would make sure all the trains that departed Waterloo in the barred period were specifically listed in the electronic data as banned trains. It looks like SWR may have not kept this up and as a result introduced this ambiguity.
 

Bletchleyite

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I don't think it's valid (by reading the conditions, ignoring consumer protection principles around inconsistent information!). Back when SWR was SWT, they used to be quite meticulous about keeping the electronic restrictions in sync with the human-readable restrictions - for something like this, they would make sure all the trains that departed Waterloo in the barred period were specifically listed in the electronic data as banned trains. It looks like SWR may have not kept this up and as a result introduced this ambiguity.

If it's sold with an itinerary and the user follows that itinerary it is valid - this is absolute (as it is required by contract law).
 

swt_passenger

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When we discussed this all the way back in 2011, the restriction code used was BE and it explicitly referred to “boarding at” rather than “departing from” the listed stations:
The relevant thread is here, which started out asking if the restrictions trumped the travelcard validity.
 
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