UK vs continental ticket format

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by newmilton, 15 Nov 2011.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. newmilton

    newmilton Member

    Messages:
    102
    Joined:
    24 Feb 2010
    I'm sure this has been discussed before, but here goes:

    I recently booked a relatively straightforward journey from Burton-on-Trent to Staines, Staines to Beckenham, then Beckenham back to Burton. The result: three different booking codes and, when I went to the machine to collect them, new fewer than 11 pieces of cardboard - tickets, reservations, receipts etc.

    I'm fairly sure if I'd made a similar booking in France or Italy I would have needed only the card used to make the booking and my surname to see all my bookings, and everything would have been printed on a maximum of three tickets ... very possibly all on the same ticket.

    What is the argument in favour of the UK system, and why can't it be simplified?
     
  2. Registered users do not see these banners - join or log in today!

    Rail Forums

     
  3. cuccir

    cuccir Established Member

    Messages:
    2,843
    Joined:
    18 Nov 2009
    Horses for courses really.

    Ours fit nicely into pockets, wallets and the like. But sometimes you end up with a load of tickets. Theirs tend to be 'airline style' tickets, but you only need one. I guess ours are better for short journeys, whereas others are better for long distance.

    I suppose what would be ideal would be a redesign which got more info onto our smaller tickets, but that is very difficult!

    Any change would result in the cost of replacing all ticket issuing machines. The cost of this would outweigh benefits to passengers.
     
  4. LexyBoy

    LexyBoy Established Member Fares Advisor

    Messages:
    4,460
    Joined:
    23 Jan 2009
    Location:
    North of the rivers
    The argument is basically that that's what we've got, and it would be a massive hassle to change.

    You should only have had one booking code for your tickets though if you booked them together - most sites allow you to add tickets to a basket and pay for all together.

    Personally I'd agree that Advance tickets should be on continental-style tickets - that way there's no way of losing the reservation(s) and it's all much simpler. Ticket barriers shouldn't accept Advance tickets anyway IMO so no problem there; the only trouble would be printing the ticket.

    For most tickets, I think people would be rather annoyed if their conveniently wallet-sized tickets were replaced by whacking great things.
     
  5. Eagle

    Eagle Established Member

    Messages:
    7,108
    Joined:
    20 Feb 2011
    Location:
    Leamingrad / Blanfrancisco
    Not always true; I know that if you're buying split tickets with VT, even if you put them all in the basket and make a single payment, you get more than one booking code.
     
  6. Deerfold

    Deerfold Established Member

    Messages:
    9,368
    Joined:
    26 Nov 2009
    Location:
    Yorkshire
    For routes with a lot of passengers using Advance tickets that'd cause chaos. Kings X would be even worse than it is now when EC comes in - there's no way people would be able to check all the advance tickets thorouhgly without causing huge delays.
     
  7. SS4

    SS4 Established Member

    Messages:
    8,375
    Joined:
    30 Jan 2011
    Location:
    Birmingham
    Our tickets are easy to buy on behalf of others. Say my brother buys a ticket for me: naturally he is not going to give me his card but he can collect them and give me the ticket.

    Our journeys are more modular. If you lose one part then you needn't replace the whole Ticket. Additionally, at what point do passengers responsibilities begin?
     
  8. LexyBoy

    LexyBoy Established Member Fares Advisor

    Messages:
    4,460
    Joined:
    23 Jan 2009
    Location:
    North of the rivers
    Much better for the passenger though than letting them through only for them to face a huge penalty fare when the guard points out they're on the wrong train though.

    (The whole ticket barrier debate has been done to death. My view is that barriers are inappropriate at IC stations - KGX especially - for these and other reasons).
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    Fair enough, didn't know that. Either way, it's a feature of the booking system, not the final ticket.
     
  9. island

    island Established Member

    Messages:
    9,719
    Joined:
    30 Dec 2010
    Location:
    0036
    Eurostar/French/Belgian/American shaped tickets don't fit in your pocket, which is horrid.
     
  10. yorksrob

    yorksrob Veteran Member

    Messages:
    16,909
    Joined:
    6 Aug 2009
    Location:
    Yorks
    Personally, I'd rather keep the wallet sized tickets for all journeys.
     
  11. SS4

    SS4 Established Member

    Messages:
    8,375
    Joined:
    30 Jan 2011
    Location:
    Birmingham
    Along with gateline staff training I suspect since BHM's manual barriers are not very thorough. Additionally, we were essentially waved though at MYB with the WCML problems earlier this month.

    I shan't comment on barriers since it's been done to death <D

    Give me wallet sized tickets (especially NR's 3 pouch railcard one) and I don't think it's that difficult to keep them together. It seems to me that a lot of people want to keep their rights (cheap advance tickets) but wish to absolve their responsibilities (not keeping the mandatory reservation with the ticket/losing the ticket)

    edit: How many people are going to have more than four tickets for a journey? Do we inconvenience the small amount or include everyone at great cost?
     
  12. WestCoast

    WestCoast Established Member

    Messages:
    5,248
    Joined:
    19 Jun 2010
    Location:
    Chorlton, Manchester
    I recently kept hold of the tickets for an organised excursion of five people, all with Advance Singles. There was literally about 25 tickets. More if you count receipts.
     
  13. 142094

    142094 Established Member

    Messages:
    8,770
    Joined:
    7 Nov 2009
    Location:
    Newcastle
    In an ideal word you'd only get one ticket. But of course we do not live in an ideal world. I'm sure some people like having lots of different tickets and some don't but there has to be a compromise and not everyone wins. I bet there are people in France wishing they had credit card sized tickets as the airline ones are too big to fit into pockets.
     
  14. bb21

    bb21 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    22,566
    Joined:
    4 Feb 2010
    Me too. In addition, we had the system in place, but we got rid of it.
     
  15. Bungle73

    Bungle73 On Moderation

    Messages:
    2,551
    Joined:
    19 Aug 2011
    Location:
    Kent
    How could we have two different sizes of ticket? It would be unworkable, and a waste of money.
     
  16. WestCoast

    WestCoast Established Member

    Messages:
    5,248
    Joined:
    19 Jun 2010
    Location:
    Chorlton, Manchester
    Advance tickets used to be printed on larger ticket ELGAR stock (Eurostar still uses it), however, it was phased out most probably due to automatic ticket barriers, accepting only credit card sized tickets.

    If we're talking about continental rail tickets, I'd love to see DB's print@home system being used in the UK, although on a voluntary basis in addition to post and TOD. Almost all tickets can be printed at home (one single A4 sheet with all the info on it) with a barcode which is scanned onboard and verified with ID (railcard, credit or debit card, passport, over 60s bus pass or whatever).
     
  17. Bungle73

    Bungle73 On Moderation

    Messages:
    2,551
    Joined:
    19 Aug 2011
    Location:
    Kent
    Yeah, but that was years ago, before you could get them printed out at a TVM; and as you say before automatic ticket barriers.

    Some TOCs do Print@Home tickets.
     
  18. WestCoast

    WestCoast Established Member

    Messages:
    5,248
    Joined:
    19 Jun 2010
    Location:
    Chorlton, Manchester
    They do, but it's limited to just a few routes. SNCB in Belgium also offer almost all single/return tickets for self-printing, it's very convenient if you have access to a printer.
     
  19. 142094

    142094 Established Member

    Messages:
    8,770
    Joined:
    7 Nov 2009
    Location:
    Newcastle
    Creates a bit of a lost generation of travellers who don't have access to the internet or a printer.
     
  20. SS4

    SS4 Established Member

    Messages:
    8,375
    Joined:
    30 Jan 2011
    Location:
    Birmingham
    This would be a good idea although I think a QR code would be better than a barcode and there should be a facility to leave it on your smart phone which can be read by the guards machine (presumably the same one as reads barcodes)

    I've seen chiltern trial m-tickets on barriers too (the far left barriers at MYB iirc)
     
  21. AlterEgo

    AlterEgo Established Member

    Messages:
    10,934
    Joined:
    30 Dec 2008
    Location:
    Milton Keynes
    Just a few routes? It's available throughout the XC, EC and VT networks. That's the majority of intercity journeys.
     
  22. WestCoast

    WestCoast Established Member

    Messages:
    5,248
    Joined:
    19 Jun 2010
    Location:
    Chorlton, Manchester
    Yes, but purely on their routes, you can't buy tickets with connections on other TOCs, which rules it out on many, many journeys.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    You don't have to use it! Other options such as the ticket office, travel agents and TVMs would still be available. Just because some people can't use it, doesn't mean it shouldn't happen at all.

    In fact, you actually have to use a printer to fly on Ryanair. The railways would never even approach that level of requirement.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    The DB system does indeed use QR codes.

    I think we've got to more innovative with ticketing aside from smart cards, which I can't see being that handy for occasional travellers. Just look at the airlines, you can often check-in online, select your seat and print a boarding pass or have it sent to your phone. Chiltern and others are hitting this level of innovation, but it should be network wide.
     
    Last edited: 15 Nov 2011
  23. craigwilson

    craigwilson Member

    Messages:
    423
    Joined:
    3 Jan 2010
    Location:
    Buxton, Derbyshire
    I find it depends on the station. Barriers at London Victoria accept my advance tickets, but St Pancras never has.
     
  24. ajdunlop

    ajdunlop Member

    Messages:
    178
    Joined:
    25 Jan 2009
    I've said it before and I'll say it again... SmartCards. Once they are more widespread you will only need one card which fits in your pocket and holds all your tickets. I suppose the downside in terms of usability is that you can't just look at it and see what tickets you've got but presumably you will be able to see what's on your smart card at a TVM.
     
  25. button_boxer

    button_boxer Established Member

    Messages:
    1,225
    Joined:
    12 Nov 2009
    The DB system does in fact use 2D barcodes (the Aztec type rather than QR but it's the same kind of principle). As does Eurostar on their print at home tickets, which are readable by the checkin gates.
     
  26. SS4

    SS4 Established Member

    Messages:
    8,375
    Joined:
    30 Jan 2011
    Location:
    Birmingham
    Plus the complete annihilation of Break of Journey (including stopping/starting short)

    The idea of some code of QR code (or similar) would be that you needn't print your ticket but just use your phone as said ticket
     
  27. Oswyntail

    Oswyntail Established Member

    Messages:
    4,183
    Joined:
    23 May 2009
    Location:
    Yorkshire
    A tad apocalyptic! I don't see why this should be. So long as the design of the product is done properly (what sort of ticketing, routeing, Conditions, do our customers require in the 21st century?) rather than the traditional way (how can we reproduce the current system with all its faults?) it is perfectly achievable. Of course, it needs the will to move the industry out of the 19th century.....:-?:rolleyes::rolleyes:
     
  28. SS4

    SS4 Established Member

    Messages:
    8,375
    Joined:
    30 Jan 2011
    Location:
    Birmingham
    The technology is there but the will is not. Oyster could have supported BoJ but chose not to which, as long as the cap is not reached, costs more than it should
     
  29. camperdown9

    camperdown9 Member

    Messages:
    73
    Joined:
    2 Nov 2011
    Location:
    Chestfield, Kent & Chatillon Sur-Seine, Burgundy
    Hi

    If I buy a return ticket from my home station to London with a one day travel card for the underground included. Its all issued on one ticket.

    But..If I buy a return ticket from my home station to any place else its issued as 2 tickets. Why can't return or even maybe up to 4 sectors be issued on one piece of card?

    Alex
     
  30. thedbdiboy

    thedbdiboy Member

    Messages:
    392
    Joined:
    10 Sep 2011
    There is a lot of work taking place within the industry to address all the issues discussed above. Key objectives are to reduce number of pieces of cardboard being issued; provide better information within the existing credit card sized ticket format; and ensure that the design principles translate well for print@home or mobile device. This is all in parallel with the smartcard work as it is recognised that printed tickets will need to sit alongside them for some considerable time to come! It is work in progress but should start rolling out in 2012 sometime.
     
  31. Bungle73

    Bungle73 On Moderation

    Messages:
    2,551
    Joined:
    19 Aug 2011
    Location:
    Kent
    And how are you supposed to know which seat you're supposed to be sitting in? Having to go to a TVM is no good.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page