Unable to buy ticket

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by Belperpete, 4 Sep 2019.

  1. Belperpete

    Belperpete Member

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    I am travelling tomorrow from Porthmadog to Gatwick Airport. The ticket to cover my journey will be an Off-Peak return, costing £61.40 with a railcard. I have a single Rail Travel Voucher valid for slightly more than this, which I wish to use as this is the only journey I am likely to be making that will cost anywhere near this. How do I buy my ticket?

    There is neither booking office nor ticket machine at Porthmadog. I am unable to buy on-line, as I am using an RTV for payment. Even if I were not, I would be unable to buy an e or m-ticket, as these can't be used for cross-London journeys. The guard on the train will be unable to sell me a ticket, as their new ticket machines issue paper-roll tickets which likewise cannot be issued for cross-London journeys.

    As I am joining the train at a station that has no ticketing facilities, I understand that I am entitled to board the train without a ticket. However, what happens if the guard is then unable to sell me the ticket for the journey I am making? Later on in my journey, the train will be passing through a Penalty Fare Zone.
     
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  3. Romilly

    Romilly Established Member

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    I'd buy from the guard and then either go to the ticket office on arrival in London to exchange the paper ticket for a cardboard one, or present my paper ticket at the underground gateline and ask staff there to open the gates for me.
     
  4. E759

    E759 Member

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    The only assistance I can offer is to note the journey can be done via Kensington Olympia - thus avoiding London Underground - for the same price. However this may be the same ticket so thus may be equally unavailable from the TfW Guard). [I travelled Porthmadog Harbour to Gatwick Airport via Kensington Olympia yesterday afternoon/evening.]
     
  5. Haywain

    Haywain Established Member

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    Tickets for journeys crossing London should not be sold to PRT (paper roll ticket), so these options should not be available. The OP should be permitted to travel and purchase the ticket at the first suitable opportunity (worth noting for the OP that a guard or ticket office can take vouchers as payment, but change won't be given).
     
  6. hkstudent

    hkstudent Member

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    I am thinking whether OP may be able to cash the Rail Travel Voucher from a TfW or West Midlands or Thameslink Ticket Office, so that OP can just buy the ticket online.

    The ticket is also valid for using Crosscountry service via Reading, as long as he is via Birmingham.

    Of course, OP has the right to purchase the ticket at arriving at London Terminal if tickets are not available by guard on board, or at Birmingham stations if there's sufficient time while not delaying the journey. Technically train staff cannot issue penalty fare or sell you full price ticket if you are from a station without a ticket facility.
     
    Last edited: 4 Sep 2019
  7. Hadders

    Hadders Established Member

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    If the ticket cannot be purchased before travel or onboard then it must be purchased at the first available opportunity which could be an interchange station such as Stafford, Wolverhampton, Birmingham New Street or Euston, depending on the route taken.

    The OP is not required to delay their journey or take a different route due to the lack of ticket issuing facilities.
     
  8. Belperpete

    Belperpete Member

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    The RTV is a Northern one, so not cashable. And as previously stated, I am unable to buy the ticket on-line, as it involves cross-London for which e and m tickets are not available, and I cannot collect the ticket from my starting station.

    On a previous journey (not involving x-London), I purchased my ticket on-line, for collection at New Street, and the ATW guard used the reference number to issue it from his machine. Would this be possible with a X-London ticket? Or would the machine refuse to issue it?

    Technically, I will have the opportunity to buy A ticket from the guard, just not the particular ticket I need. This I feel leaves me exposed if I should get caught travelling without a ticket in the Penalty Fare zone between Shrewsbury and Birmingham.
     
  9. Hadders

    Hadders Established Member

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    If the guard (or a tickets office or TVM for that matter) cannot sell you the ticket you require then it's not an opportunity to purchase.
     
  10. Haywain

    Haywain Established Member

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    I think it's correct to say that you cannot be issued a penalty fare if your journey did not start at a penalty fare station.
     
  11. Belperpete

    Belperpete Member

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    If that is the case, surely anyone caught without a ticket in a Penalty Fare Zone could just claim they boarded before the start of the zone?
     
  12. reb0118

    reb0118 Established Member Fares Advisor

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    If sold on board by the guard then surely the ticket will still have the cross London marker (also known as the Maltese Cross). Whilst it may not physically open the barriers it must surely retain its validity, no?
     
  13. Haywain

    Haywain Established Member

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    The theory is good but if the machine is only issuing tickets to PRT then relevant flows should be disabled from being issued in that form. In addition, having validity and being accepted by London Underground are not necessarily compatible.
     
  14. Llanigraham

    Llanigraham On Moderation

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    I'm going to be in a similar situation on Monday when I have to travel down the Crawley for a meeting, and like the OP I also have a couple of RTV's to use, so shall be purchasing on the train. (Can't get up to Gareth at Newtown Travel!)
    Looking at the TfW booking site it seems to imply that cross London travel by tube is included, so I suppose it will just have to be a case of showing my ticket to the gate line staff at Euston and Victoria.
     
  15. Llanigraham

    Llanigraham On Moderation

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    And have my Oyster card handy if needs be!!
     
  16. philthetube

    philthetube Established Member

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    Delay repay if the underground are difficult
     
  17. Hadders

    Hadders Established Member

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    TfL don't participate in delay repay.
     
  18. causton

    causton Established Member

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    As stated above, you should not at the moment be able to buy a cross-London ticket on paper roll stock.

    That doesn't mean it doesn't happen, but in the software I've seen the tickets are greyed out and it states clearly they cannot be issued on that medium.
     
  19. philthetube

    philthetube Established Member

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    But who is causing the delay?

    The people who can't sell a valid ticket or the people who have never accepted a ticket type others have attempted to impose on them?
     
  20. Belperpete

    Belperpete Member

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    So if I purchase a ticket on-line before I board, am I OK to then collect it at the first opportunity (Birmingham or Euston)?
     
  21. Belperpete

    Belperpete Member

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    And that is what happened to me: the guard was unable to issue the ticket.

    She first tried to suggest I should split-ticket: she would sell me a ticket to London, and I should buy separate tickets for the rest of the journey. I refused this suggestion as it would be significantly more expensive. She then tried to persuade me to buy a Club 50 ticket to Birmingham, and then pay the excess at the booking office there. However, I was a bit dubious about that, as I have had difficulty getting New Street to issue an excess ticket in the past (and I don't believe you can get Club 50 tickets to London, so would they be able to excess a Club 50 ticket to London?), and what would happen if there wasn't time? However, the guard also wasn't happy with me keeping the RTV so that I could also use it to pay the excess, so she phoned for advice.

    In the end, I was required to buy the ticket in the near 15 minute station stop at Machynlleth. I must admit I was a bit dubious about leaving my luggage unattended on the train while I crossed over the footbridge to the booking office to buy the ticket. I have often found the booking office at Mach unattended when a train is in the station, as the booking clerk cum station supervisor helps with the train splitting/joining. This proved to be the case on this occasion, but fortunately she reappeared just as I was about to give up and return to the train.

    I know that you are required to obtain a ticket if changing trains (provided that there is adequate time), but can you really be required to leave the train you are on to go and buy a ticket? I would be really dubious about having to do this at Shrewsbury, where the train also has a long stop, but where there is a significant walk to the booking office. At least at Mach, you can see the train from the booking office.
     
  22. Hadders

    Hadders Established Member

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    You must be in possession of a ticket purchased online before you commence your journey. If there are no facilities at your starting station to collect a ticket purchased online then you must make alternative arrangements to either collect the ticket from another station with a TVM or have it delivered by post. During the online booking process there is a stage where you select which station you want to collect your tickets from. While in practice you can use any TVM at any station this stage exists so that passengers are aware of which stations don't have collection facilities.

    If there is a TVM and it is out of order then you may collect your tickets at the earliest opportunity.

    I do think you're over complicating all of this, the position is quite clear. If you are unable to purchase your chosen ticket using an accepted payment method then you may board the train and purchase your ticket at the earliest opportunity. This might be onboard, at a station where you change trains if there is sufficient time, or at your destination. I don't know your exact itinerary but I suspect you'll be passing through Birmingham New Street and London Euston, both of which have ticket offices that open all day. The issue of trying to blag your way through Underground gates etc should not arise.
     
  23. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Please ask TfW that question; I'd be interested to hear their answer.

    As for whether it was "fortunate", I would say it was fortunate for TfW. It got them off the hook.
     
  24. maniacmartin

    maniacmartin Established Member Senior Fares Advisor

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    I’d just like to add to the excellent advice from Hadders of buying the credit card sized paper ticket at the first opportunity which doesn’t delay your journey, wherever that may be. Obviously if you get to London and still haven’t got a ticket, you will have to delay your journey to buy the ticket as you won’t be allowed into the Underground without one.

    Although you will not get change from the RTV, you can buy multiple tickets at once with an RTV, so if you are planning to make any other journeys in the future, buy them at the same time to avoid losing on the excess value on the voucher.

    Note that stations that do Oyster top ups with a separate TIS (staff operated ticket machine) to the main one will not let you split a transaction across both devices, so you might not be able to put the excess value onto an Oyster card.
     
  25. Llanigraham

    Llanigraham On Moderation

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    Ended up buying my tickets from Gareth and he still sells tickets with the magnetic strip so I can use it for the Tube.
     
  26. Llanigraham

    Llanigraham On Moderation

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    As they do at Machynlleth.
     
  27. Belperpete

    Belperpete Member

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    Where is this stipulated? I can't see this requirement anywhere in the NRCoT. If you board at a station without ticket-issuing facilities, then you are required to purchase a ticket at the first opportunity, but it doesn't appear to stipulate anything about having to physically obtain it.
     
  28. Belperpete

    Belperpete Member

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    I am not convinced that the position is that clear. The guard was clearly not happy to let me travel all the way to New Street without a ticket (and I was also concerned what position I might be in if I refused to buy a ticket and was then caught travelling without a ticket in the Penalty Fare Zone), and TfW are clearly regarding the 10-15 minute station stop at Mach as reasonable opportunity to get off, buy a ticket, and get back on again. It will be interesting to see how Llanigraham gets on: will they insist that he gets off at Shrewsbury to buy his ticket?
     
  29. Belperpete

    Belperpete Member

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    I had considered this, but unfortunately couldn't be sure of the exact dates of future trips. Although I have several further trips to London planned, the exact date I travel won't be decided until a day or two before.

    In the end, as the voucher value was not much more than the ticket cost, I decided to forgo the difference. In retrospect, what I should have done was perhaps book to Three Bridges rather than Gatwick, or wherever beyond Gatwick cost closest to the voucher value. That way, if I had been delayed, I might have got compensated on a slightly higher value ticket.
     
  30. Llanigraham

    Llanigraham On Moderation

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    Won't apply now as I had to go into Newtown this afternoon, so ended up buying my ticket from Gareth at Newtown Station Travel, and since he still sells cards with the magnetic strip I can use my ticket on the tube as well.
    I normally buy my tickets to London at Machy and they still sell magnetic strip tickets.
     
  31. CyrusWuff

    CyrusWuff Established Member

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    Not directly applicable to the OP, as it's a different TOC, but when we switched from Avantix the instruction we had was that passengers purchasing tickets on-board and making a cross-London journey should be sold a ticket to London Terminals and advised to go to the Ticket Office at the first opportunity to exchange that for the ticket they actually wanted. This isn't a problem for us as it's all the same TOC, but I can see a potential issue with Virgin staff at New Street or Euston declining to do so for a ticket sold by TfW.

    Another issue we experienced recently was Trainline retailing tickets involving cross-London transfers as e-tickets. Needless to say, London Underground refused to accept them as being valid for travel. As far as I'm aware, all of the instances at my TOC were resolved without cost to the passengers.
     

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