Ticket validity Liverpool-Ormskirk-Blackpool

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rownd

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Hi folks. Slightly complex one this, but here goes:

I'll be travelling from Blackpool North to Southport tomorrow on a Standard Open Return. My plans have changed last minute in that I'll now be coming back on Tuesday from Liverpool city centre. I'm considering travelling on Merseyrail from Moorfields to Ormskirk, then Northern from Ormskirk to Preston onwards.

I've checked the ATOC routeing guide and both Southport and Ormskirk are associated with the Preston Lancs group. However, the obvious direct route using the Ormskirk-Preston line would be via Burscough, changing between Bridge and Junction stations on foot.

I'll have a Merseyside PTE Saveaway on the day for the Merseyrail leg, but will the SOR be valid for travel from Ormskirk or will I need an additional ticket for say Ormskirk-Burscough?

Thanks in advance!
 
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yorkie

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Welcome to the forum.

You want to know the permitted routes for a Southport - Blackpool ticket, which you intend to use in combination with a Saveaway, correct?

You are right in that the shortest route is always valid (plus any routes no greater than 3 miles longer). You are also correct in that the walk at Burscough is an officially recognised walk. However I do not believe that the shortest route compels you to make such a walk.

The shortest route is almost certainly via Wigan, but I agree that the Burscough route would also be valid.

I do not believe the ticket is valid via Ormskirk though, but it might be accepted if you explain your plans and show both tickets to the guard.

What time are you likely to depart Ormskirk? If it's between 1830 and 2100 an Evening ticket may be appropriate.
 

rownd

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Thanks for your replies.

I'd be leaving Liverpool around 1900. The point I've come stuck on where I could reasonably start travelling on the Southport ticket north of Ormskirk.

Southport is associated with the Preston, Wigan and Liverpool routeing groups, whilst Blackpool North is only associated with Preston. As I understand it, the route therefore is valid via Preston, but not necessarily Wigan. As an aside, all stations Kirkdale-Croston are also in the Preston group.

Or have I run a bit wild and got the wrong idea? :o Seeing as Northern have gone on the warpath of late against fare evasion, I don't mind parting with a few quid to be on the safe side.

Cheers.
 

rownd

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Thanks again. As via Wigan seems to be the safer option I'll look at heading that way out of Liverpool. As I recall, the Saveaway should get me most of the way before hitting TfGM-land (Thatto Heath, maybe?) so the ticket to bridge the gap shouldn't be too expensive.
 

tony_mac

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A ticket from Southport to Blackpool would be always valid via Wigan as this is the shortest route with a regular train service.
I'm not so sure, changing stations at Burscough is obviously much shorter.

Changing at Wigan also involves a walk between stations (albeit an extremely short one), so it's not even the shortest route without a walk. It is, however, allowed by National Rail enquiries, but not Eastcoast.

It shouldn't be a problem anyway, particularly on a Sunday when there is no service from Ormskirk to Preston.

A ticket from Southport to Blackpool North would be permitted via Sandhills, Omskirk & Preston to Blackpool North under MAP CP.
As they share a routeing point (Preston), then the shortest route is permitted, but not any mapped routes.
 

yorkie

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I'm not so sure, changing stations at Burscough is obviously much shorter.
True, but it isn't the shortest route by rail.

For an example of this, look at Watford Jn to Bedford. The shortest route is via Bletchley, but going via St Albans would be permitted.

Also the shortest route from Accrington to Gargrave is not via Clitheroe, though it would be valid via Clitheroe tomorrow.
 

tony_mac

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trainscanbecheaper.info seems to agree with me that a Southport to Blackpool ticket is valid via Sandhills and Ormskirk.

Actually, that's probably correct - as there is no service from Southport to Preston, then Preston should not be considered a routeing point for Southport.

Sometimes a station has no scheduled passenger service to one of the routeing
points to which it is related. These routeing points should be ignored.
True, but it isn't the shortest route by rail.
But neither is the route via Wigan.
I don't think there are any instructions for this situation.
 
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DavidL

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Thanks again. As via Wigan seems to be the safer option I'll look at heading that way out of Liverpool. As I recall, the Saveaway should get me most of the way before hitting TfGM-land (Thatto Heath, maybe?) so the ticket to bridge the gap shouldn't be too expensive.
No idea on the routing query, but:
Just for reference, Garswood is the last stop your all zones saveaway is valid. A single from Garswood to Wigan is £2.40 IIRC.

David
 

yorkie

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But neither is the route via Wigan.
Hmm, you're right, I think it would technically be via Wigan and Ince (which is effectively the same thing, but adds a few extra miles to avoid the walk, in reality people would just walk).

The walk is so short at Wigan I effectively think of them as the same station! It's bizarre that they aren't, and that there isn't a way to change between the two without crossing a road.
I don't think there are any instructions for this situation.
For a route that is shorter than the shortest route? I think that's fine, it is after all no more than 3 miles longer. There is no rule that says that a shorter route cannot be permitted!
 

rownd

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Actually, that's probably correct - as there is no service from Southport to Preston, then Preston should not be considered a routeing point for Southport.
There was a direct route until recently. Rail tickets were accepted for travel between Southport and Preston on Ribble's X59 bus service - it would appear as Southport Lord Street (Bus) on the journey planner. However, this facility ended about 2008/9 when the X59 service was curtailed at Preston and replaced with an extended local service.


No idea on the routing query, but:
Just for reference, Garswood is the last stop your all zones saveaway is valid. A single from Garswood to Wigan is £2.40 IIRC.

David
Cheers, it was a 50/50 guess as to what was either side of Central! :D
 

John @ home

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This is a similar calculation to the one described recently in the Faygate to Brookwood not via London thread.
We do not know of any rule which requires a walk between stations where this is not required by a route shown on the ticket.
In this case, all fares Southport - Blackpool North are route Any Permitted. This does not require a walk between stations. So my calculation of Permitted Southport - Blackpool North routes is:
Routeing Points (RPs) for Southport are Liverpool Group, Preston (Lancs) and Wigan Group.
The only RP for Blackpool North is Preston (Lancs).
Therefore Southport and Blackpool North have a RP in common, Preston (Lancs).
If the origin and destination have a common routeing point, the permitted route is direct via the shortest distance from the origin to the destination over which a regular scheduled passenger train service operates.

http://www.atoc.org/clientfiles/File/RSPDocuments/instructions.pdf
It seems to me that the shortest distance from the origin to the destination over which a regular scheduled passenger train service operates is:
NRT Table 103: Southport - Sandhills 17 miles
NRT Table 103: Sandhills - Ormskirk 10.75 miles
NRT Table 99 Ormskirk - Preston 15 miles
NRT Table 82 Preston - Blackpool North 17.5 miles
Total 60.25 miles

Permitted routes are therefore any routes not more than 3 miles longer than this route. I can see just two, both involving walks between stations:
  • Southport - Wigan Wallgate - (walk) - Wigan North Western - Preston - Blackpool North, and
  • Southport - Burscough Bridge - (walk) - Burscough Jn - Preston - Blackpool North.
I think it would technically be via Wigan and Ince
I don't think a single Wigan NW - Ince train at 0722 on weekdays is "a regular scheduled passenger train service".
 
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scrapy

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If a passenger cannot be expected to walk between stations in the same town, does that mean a Halifax to Shipley ticket (route not Leeds) is technically valid via Lancaster? As this is the shortest route entirely by rail avoiding Leeds.
 

John @ home

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If a passenger cannot be expected to walk between stations in the same town
No-one has claimed that.
We do not know of any rule which requires a walk between stations where this is not required by a route shown on the ticket.
does that mean a Halifax to Shipley ticket (route not Leeds) is technically valid via Lancaster? As this is the shortest route entirely by rail avoiding Leeds.
No. In this instance the route (Not Via Leeds) shown on the ticket requires a walk between the Bradford stations. The calculation is:
Halifax is a member of Halifax Group Routing Point (RP).
RPs for Shipley are Bradford Group, Hellifield Group and Leeds Group.

Bradford Group passes the fares check and is an appropriate RP for both route Any Permitted and route Not Leeds fares. Hence Halifax - Bradford Interch - (walk) - Bradford F Sq - Shipley is a Permitted route with both route Any Permitted and route Not Leeds tickets.

Leeds Group passes the fares check and is an appropriate RP for route Any Permitted fares. It fails the fares check and is not an appropriate RP for route Not Leeds fares. Hence Halifax - Leeds - Shipley is a Permitted route with route Any Permitted tickets only.

Hellifield Group fails the fares check and is not an appropriate RP for both route Any Permitted and route Not Leeds fares. Hence Halifax - Lancaster - Hellifield - Shipley is not a Permitted route with either route Any Permitted or route Not Leeds tickets.
See Faygate to Brookwood not via London and Q&A 9 of The amazing routeing question for the background to my statement that "We do not know of any rule which requires a walk between stations where this is not required by a route shown on the ticket".
 
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hairyhandedfool

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....I don't think a single Wigan NW - Ince train at 0722 on weekdays is "a regular scheduled passenger train service".
Define 'regular'....

Dictionary.com said:
reg·u·lar   [reg-yuh-ler]
adjective
1. usual; normal; customary: to put something in its regular place.
2. evenly or uniformly arranged; symmetrical: regular teeth.
3. characterized by fixed principle, uniform procedure, etc.: regular income.
4. recurring at fixed times; periodic: regular bus departures; regular meals.
5. rhythmical: regular breathing.
thefreedictionary.com said:
reg·u·lar
adj.
1. Customary, usual, or normal: the train's regular schedule.
2. Orderly, even, or symmetrical: regular teeth.
3. In conformity with a fixed procedure, principle, or discipline.
4. Well-ordered; methodical: regular habits.
5. Occurring at fixed intervals; periodic: regular payments.
6.
a. Occurring with normal or healthy frequency.
b. Having bowel movements or menstrual periods with normal or healthy frequency.
7. Not varying; constant.
8. Formally correct; proper.
9. Having the required qualifications for an occupation: not a regular lawyer.
10. Informal Complete; thorough: a regular scoundrel.
11. Informal Good; nice: a regular guy.
12. Botany Having symmetrically arranged parts of similar size and shape: regular flowers.
13. Grammar Conforming to the usual pattern of inflection, derivation, or word formation.
14. Ecclesiastical Belonging to a religious order and bound by its rules: the regular clergy.
15. Mathematics
a. Having equal sides and equal angles. Used of polygons.
b. Having faces that are congruent regular polygons and congruent polyhedral angles. Used of polyhedrons.
16. Belonging to or constituting the permanent army of a nation.
 

John @ home

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NRE also show trains via Bolton
NRT Table 82 shows Southport - Wigan Wallgate - Westhoughton - Bolton - Preston - Blackpool North as 64.5 miles, compared with 60.25 miles via Sandhills, so I would not have expected this to qualify as "the shortest route" or "a distance not more than 3 miles longer".

The National Routeing Guide Instructions tell us that "The shortest route is calculated by reference to the National Rail Timetable". The information in that source therefore forms part of the contract between the passenger and the train companies. But we know from page 17 (of 37) of the National Routeing Guide Data Feed Specification that it uses a different set of data to measure distances between stations, with these distances measured to two decimal places rather than in units of quarter of a mile. The Southport - Blackpool North distances using this data are 64.78 miles via Bolton and 60.53 miles via Sandhills.

The Data Feed Specification goes on to say that "the [Rail Journey Information Service] RJIS system allows a “margin of error” which is used by the routing guide software as necessary. It is assumed that external systems will apply their own margin of error." Perhaps it is the application of this "margin of error" which causes some of the booking engines to allow the 64.5 (or 64.78) miles via Bolton in addition to the shortest route by rail, 60.25 (or 60.53) miles via Sandhills.
 

yorkie

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Define 'regular'....
It's not defined anywhere in the public domain (though I know ATOC believe once a week is adequate) and is subjective.

What is considered "regular" for one purpose may not be considered "regular" for another.

Each individual will have their own ideas over whether a service that runs once a week, or once a day, is regular or not.

I used the once per day example as I know that ATOC will agree this is regular, though I much prefer John @ Home's interpretation, and I expect most guards accept it too. Whether or not a Court would agree, I couldn't comment.

But certainly if, for example, blindtraveler was in our group I would absolutely expect the routeing via Sandhills to be honoured (especially as this is cross-platform).
 

34D

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No-one has claimed that.
No. In this instance the route (Not Via Leeds) shown on the ticket requires a walk between the Bradford stations. The calculation is
John, I don't think the query was into permitted/mapped routes (under which process we would indeed consider whether hellifield was an appropriate routeing point.

The question was what is the shortest route from Halifax to Shipley (route not Leeds) that doesn't involve a walk.
 

hairyhandedfool

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It's not defined anywhere in the public domain (though I know ATOC believe once a week is adequate) and is subjective.

What is considered "regular" for one purpose may not be considered "regular" for another.

Each individual will have their own ideas over whether a service that runs once a week, or once a day, is regular or not....
It is not defined by ATOC in the public domain, but the word 'regular' has definitions in the public domain and as far as I can see the relevant ones are all absolutes.

Could you tell me which appropriate definition would be subjective?
 

yorkie

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This is getting silly.

Whether something counts as "regular" or not will vary depending on what you're talking about.

e.g. "Regularly check your fire alarm works" could be every month, but even ATOC don't claim that a train every month is "regular". But advice to "regularly brush your teeth" would adequately apply twice a day. If a bus company ran an advert claiming "Regular services into town" I think people would complain to the ASA if it wasn't at least hourly.

I think you have to accept that we will have to agree to disagree over how often a train has to operate for it to be considered "regular". I know ATOC think it's once a week, and I suspect you're in agreement with that. Surely you can accept that it's subjective?
 

John @ home

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If a passenger cannot be expected to walk between stations in the same town, does that mean a Halifax to Shipley ticket (route not Leeds) is technically valid via Lancaster? As this is the shortest route entirely by rail avoiding Leeds.
John, I don't think the query was into permitted/mapped routes (under which process we would indeed consider whether hellifield was an appropriate routeing point.

The question was what is the shortest route from Halifax to Shipley (route not Leeds) that doesn't involve a walk.
scrapy asks whether a Halifax - Shipley route Not Via Leeds ticket is valid via Lancaster. It is not.

We know from the 1998 correspondence with ATOC that
ATOC said:
Some journeys must involve a walk between stations; for example, the fare from Watford Junction to Harpenden is routed "St Albans Abbey" - this must involve a walk between St Albans Abbey and St Albans.

http://www.rossrail.co.uk/central/routeqn2.html
All permitted routes Halifax - Shipley go via
  • Bradford Interch and Bradford Forster Sq, or
  • Leeds.
A passenger with a route Not Via Leeds ticket is limited to travelling via Bradford Interch and Bradford Forster Sq, with a walk (or other means of travel) between those two stations.
 

yorkie

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The question was what is the shortest route from Halifax to Shipley (route not Leeds) that doesn't involve a walk.
I agree with John that there are none. The Not via Leeds routed ticket is a cheaper option for people who don't mind doing the walk. It is a route that is shorter than the shortest route by rail.

This option is not always available, for example Watford Jn to Bedford route Any Permitted is £19.30, but there is no "Route Not via Bletchley" or "Route: via St Albans Abbey" option, so passengers who do not mind doing that walk can reduce the fare to £14.50 but only by using a combination of tickets due to lack of a cheaper through fare.

The option is available for Broxbourne to Stevenage, for passengers who do not mind the walk via Hertford, there is a route via Hertford ticket priced at less than half the +Any Permitted fare.
 

hairyhandedfool

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This is getting silly.

Whether something counts as "regular" or not will vary depending on what you're talking about.

e.g. "Regularly check your fire alarm works" could be every month, but even ATOC don't claim that a train every month is "regular". But advice to "regularly brush your teeth" would adequately apply twice a day. If a bus company ran an advert claiming "Regular services into town" I think people would complain to the ASA if it wasn't at least hourly.

I think you have to accept that we will have to agree to disagree over how often a train has to operate for it to be considered "regular". I know ATOC think it's once a week, and I suspect you're in agreement with that. Surely you can accept that it's subjective?
I think you are confusing 'regular' with 'frequent'. 'Frequent' is very subjective.

I can no more argue the meaning of 'regular' than anyone else, but by the dictionary definition, regardless of my agreeing with it or not, one train at a particular time every week is regular.

A regular bus service could be every three hours, but I doubt anyone would describe it as frequent.
 
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