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Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by Howardh, 12 Jun 2019.
You're missing people using ICs for prestige reasons...
Prestige, hardly? Compared to Northern’s services, clean, fast and air conditioned maybe. Basic stuff.
There is an unbelievable amount of complete nonsense being posted in this thread.
If people would actually read the original post, they would realise that this is a question of calling at Bolton on some but not all services. This has been clearly explained several times. The TransPennine Express franchise agreement calls for some services to Glasgow and Edinburgh to call at Bolton, but that this commitment may be satisfied by calls being pick up only northbound and set down only southbound.
Going northbound, some but not all services will call at Bolton to pick up only, depending on what time of day it is. Bolton won't be shown on screens or announced. The NRE app does not show calls to pick up only at later stations. The only way people will know if the train calls at Bolton or not is to consult the paper timetable, where they will see the 'u' restriction. People who just turn up and get on the train without doing so will quickly be burnt when they get on a train that does not stop at Bolton. If you have a ticket to Bolton you may legitimately be asked to buy a new ticket from where you got on to Preston, especially if you end up actually having to go there (in which case you will also need to pay to get back). This is crucial, because if trains carried Manchester to Bolton passengers, they would risk leaving passengers going beyond Bolton behind.
Going southbound, the train may or may not be advertised on screens at Bolton, but probably the latter. Some people will get off the train at Bolton going southbound. If the train goes unadvertised, most people won't get on because they won't know where it is going. Among those who do, which will be few, there is really no reason not to just allow people on in this case, as there will be at least some space to be re-occupied. There may be quite a bit of standing space that people waiting at Bolton might be able to occupy. There is no risk, in this direction, of long-distance passengers who don't have an alternative train being left behind. There is a potential benefit to allowing standing space to be occupied by Bolton to Manchester passengers in this direction, as it will relieve pressure on the busy trains on other routes. There is also no genuine ticket related implication in this direction - a Bolton to Manchester ticket being used on a Bolton to Manchester train is not going to qualify for a Byelaw offence, or a prosecution for attempting to avoid payment. Staff at Bolton station might try to usher people away from the trains to prevent them from boarding, although this is relatively unlikely. The train is also very likely to depart as soon as it is ready, and won't need to wait for booked time.
Suggestions like inspecting tickets on the doors to the trains are ludicrous. This only really works at stations where trains originate, and is done infrequently.
A quick look on NRE shows 15 trains from Bolton to Manchester in the 2 hours from 0640.
Based on my observations in the other direction in the evening, the problem is not so much the number of trains but their length.
I think that southbound "set down only" stops at Bolton are probably unworkable. Virtually everyone knows that all southbound trains call at either Manchester Piccadilly or Manchester Victoria, and they will pile on to the first train that stops in the platform. Even if they had the will, there are not enough platform staff to man every door - and if the train is heavily loaded, the conductor will probably not even try to force his/her way through the train to check tickets.
The station layout at Bolton makes it practically impossible to stop "any-train" passengers reaching the platforms until after a TP service has departed. Whilst I have sometimes let go an overloaded southbound TP service at Bolton, hoping that there would be some seats on the next train, service reliability in the last year or two means that plenty of people no longer trust that the "next train" will actually appear - and that increases the probability that they will board the first southbound train; many will not even read the departure displays or pay much attention to announcements. I suggest that some of those suggesting set down only stops need to spend more time living in the real world - or spend a lot more time as ordinary passengers trying to use the railways........
I suspect that this is probably not that far from the truth, for the reasons you suggest.
At least a few people will be put off, however, because they will only trust the information displayed on the screens, or because they will follow the results of an online journey planner, which will not show the TransPennine Express service if it is marked set down only in the timetable data.
I work around the country, often travelling via train - one week in London, the next in Falkirk, the next in Grimsby.
I always know my outward journey, so will get an advance ticket, save my employer a few £££.
My return journey will depend on when my work has finished, which is usually out of my hands. I want to get home as quickly as possible, not wait for a specific train, so my homeward ticket is always an anytime ticket.
I suspect that's true of a lot of business passengers.
(to Chorley on whatever train turns up first, be it TPE or Northern)
Why do you say there is a difference between these situations?
Just because, using a Bolton to Manchester ticket on a Bolton to Manchester train, I just don't see how there could be an offence committed. Perhaps others would think there's evidence of that, and of course my view could be completely wrong, but this is my instinct.
Going the other way, it is clearer what might be being done wrong - there may be an intention to travel beyond the destination on the ticket, and to have underpaid for the journey logically being made, which is Manchester to Preston (or somewhere beyond). Certainly I can see why the train company might think themselves within their rights to charge for a new ticket in that situation. I can't see how they could justifiably charge for new tickets if somebody got on the train at Bolton with a valid ticket from Bolton, even if the train had actually been set down only.
I think the reality is the likelihood of anything happening other than possibly being asked not to do it again is quite low.
Offering cheaper "northern only" tickets or only offering season tickets for Northern services is probably the best way of enforcing this.
Other than that, I don't think making things significantly worse for passengers, especially commuters, in a time where passenger trust and useage of rail in the north is on a downward trend is a perticularly good idea. If rail wants to compete with the ever present, affordable, planet and city ruining car then flexibility and speed is the key.
What about changing the routing on Bolton-Manchester tickets to ‘NOT TPE’, which means that (assuming TPE care) anyone on the train is easily going against the rules.
Because there is no good reason to do this outside the peaks nor in the opposite direction to the peak flow?
Not suggesting there is, but if TPE don't want people travelling Bolton-Manchester on their trains, and as they will get no revenue from those passengers, then it is an effective way of banning people from the TPE service and making it really easy to make them pay to Preston.
That would be OK for Anytime tickets including seasons as presumably, there isn't an issue off-peak. The lack of any advances offered would fix that flow.
The trains don't call at Bolton now, so how would the proposals in the OP make things "significantly worse" ?
I don't understand your second paragraph at all.
Using a Manchester to Bolton ticket on a Manchester to Bolton train, what offence do you propose is committed? How is this different to using a Bolton to Manchester ticket on a Bolton to Manchester train!?
I believe that what I said was:
If you refused to pay for the new ticket, the train company might take the view that an offence is then being committed (especially if you actually go to Preston).
Why is this different to getting on at Bolton and being asked to buy a new ticket from Preston to Manchester? (let's ignore someone actually going to Preston, that's very clearly a different matter)
What is wrong with making southbound morning peak TPE services (arriving in Manchester between 08.00 and 09.00 hours) non stop from Preston and northbound evening peak trains (leaving Manchester between 17.00 and 18.00 hours) non stop to Preston from Manchester Oxford Road. If non stop paths are not available via Euxton Junction - are paths available via either Atherton and/or the L&M via Eccles. Is a blanket stop policy desirable/necessary. Bearing in mind the glaring holes in the previous TSR - is the Bolton stop in the peaks a bridge too far?
I would love to see the new Class 397 attempting to run via Atherton even though there are no overhead wires.
The only alternative route would be via the ex Liverpool & Manchester to Parkside and Golborne Junctions. By routing this way in the morning and afternoon peak period, this would also have the added benefit of maintaining route knowledge whenever there are future engineering works on the route via Bolton.
Off the top of my head, are there sufficient alternative services for people wanting to travel between Bolton and Preston?
Have you actually been reading the thread?
There are all of the current services, for a kick off.
How is it similar? In one case, you cannot have possibly come from Preston, and legitimately may not even be aware of the restriction. In the other case, you are almost by definition aware, and it could easily be argued you intend to go to Preston.
Well, there wouldn't be if some of the current services stopped calling at Bolton, would there? Hence the reference to alternative services.
Which current services are proposed to stop calling at Bolton?
In your own words, have you actually been reading the thread? Nobody said any current services are proposed to stop calling at Bolton - mwmbwls asked if it there was any reason why some Manchester to Preston services could not be altered to stop calling at Bolton, I suggested that maybe there weren't enough alternative services to meet the Bolton to Preston demand. Then you said "There are all of the current services" which there clearly wouldn't be if some of the current services stopped calling at Bolton, which was the potential scenario being discussed.
These services already are, and will remain, non stop at Bolton. See TPE Scotland/Bolton/Manchester. How to stop commuters boarding? (Post #175 of this thread).
Where did mwmbwls say that???
Reality check. Economics is today number one factor.
I'm sorry if anybody is offended but no business is going to spend bucket loads of cash in order to seat some commuters on a very short trip. It is accepted practice on commuter railways for passengers to stand for 20 minutes. I know it's unpleasant but it is reality. It happens down south on a daily basis.
Economics lesson 2 . A basic commuter train will cost £4m upwards plus operating costs. If revenue earnt annually only equates to less than £0.5m then there is no economic case other than to raise fares and to start charging for car parking (which is still free at many Northern stations) to raise more income. The only economic solution is to do nothing and get short distance commuters to ram in for the final 15 minutes or to price people off the rails during high peak periods which will come with smart card ticketing. Sadly the Government and media are not that interested in Northern as the guards strike made very little national media coverage whereas SWR strike this week is making news. Also revenue yield is substantial down south which swings the balance as the distance people commute is greater = higher fare yield per seat.
Politics is at play here and I do believe you will only get improvements via substantial fare increases over and above inflation which hit many routes in the south. For example large number of Kent passengers had their trains re routed when HS1 opened and have to pay a £6 daily premium to travel over the usual annual fare increase. The alternative direct trains via the classic route was downgraded to all stations or many were withdrawn.
It's not always rosier down south.
Although your Mayor Andy Burnham is calling for more resources which is justified people must remember when he was Minister of State he refused any further funding for Northern and he let the former franchise on a no growth basis which is causing problems today.
East Midlands Trains were instructed by the DfT to remove calls at Luton and Bedford In the peak hours much to the annoyance of commuters. No doubt TPE will look at how much revenue they will receive.
So in short a handful of commuters disobeying pick up set down rules will not cause any problems unless it becomes a flood.