What in the name of Dr Beeching is this all about??

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dstrat

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Was just looking at journeys from Grimsby to London - apparently now eastcoast (and anywhere else for that matter) will only supply advance tickets via Newark Northgate, i.e. the hourly route from Grimsby to Doncaster has no advance tickets (which is an hourly early till late train in both ways), so you reduced to a service that runs 7 trains per day there and back on the Newark line.

I assume this it is all above board for east coast to do this? (or whoever else has for that matter).

Filthy profiteering scoundrels - they prolly know that this will force more people to buy open returns!

Any thoughts on this + is this common practice for the train companies to do this?
 
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mikeg

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The idea of advance tickets is to manage yield, by getting people off busier trains and on to less busy ones (e.g. early afternoons). Also they can encourage people to take different routes. For example, for origins just North of York on the East Coast mainline, it is often cheaper to travel across to Leeds and catch the EC service from there to London, as these trains tend to be less full than the Edinburgh to Kings Cross service. They are unregulated fares so unless there is some franchise commitment to offer X number of advances on such-and-such a route it is perfectly above board. They are sold on a purely commercial basis to get 'bums on seats'. If the trains are busy, they shouldn't sell advances on them in my opinion. They often do though, but with a much reduced quota. This is also why CrossCountry's advances (especially the reasonably priced ones) tend to sell out quite quickly and you tend to be very lucky indeed to get the cheapest ones.

One imagines that trains fill up with passengers more at Doncaster than they do at Newark North Gate. Of course this is all speculation, after all, since when was ticket pricing rational?!

By the way, it is indeed East Coast who set the prices for all the advances between Grimsby and London.

Of course there is a solution, by advances on TPE from Grimsby to Donny and then another advance from DON to KGX.

Edit: curiously there WebTIS won't allow you to go via Donny at all, yet map ER appears to allow it, I'll just check for negative easements.
 
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dstrat

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I see, thanks for the concise reply.

But that it is one of my points - the route planners on any site don't even recognise the route from Grimsby to Doncaster. In fact, if you select to travel 'not via Lincoln or via Doncaster', it says 'no tickets available'.

But the standard open is still Any Permitted and does not note any specific routes. Makes you wonder sometimes who makes up these ideas....
 

mikeg

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Yes, I just noticed that,, hence the edit. :)
But I really don't know why as the only routeing point for Grimsby Town is Barnetby, and between Barnetby and London Group stations the yellow pages seem to suggest map ER as a possible option. It is completely possible to trace this map up to Doncaster and continue the journey to London. I wouldn't call this an anomaly either, it seems quite reasonable to me. So why the journey planners aren't allowing it is a mystery. That said, I'm still not an expert on the routeing guide.

Anybody feel free to correct me!
 

ainsworth74

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Well this is a tad weird. I can find no reason that you can't go via Doncaster (which is logical as it is probably the route that most people would consider first) the routeing guide seems to permit it through the maps and there are no negative easements that I can find. However, I've not done a fares check (though thinking about it I'm not sure it's needed anyway!). I think perhaps an email to East Coast (who set the fares and also who's booking engine won't sell the fare) might be worthwhile. I'd suggest asking them if they're aware of the problem or if it's deliberate why they've done this.
 
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wellhouse

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The Routeings on +Connections Advance Tickets do not always correspond to 'Any Permitted' Routeings as the Revenue Share between Operators will be outside the normal ORCATS regime.

EC Advances tend to favour connections other than TPE (presumably because TPE demand a higher share of the fare than Northern)

There are many situations where the best value is to book an EC Advance on the EC route (eg Doncaster - London) and a separate connecting ticket (eg Grimsby - Doncaster) even though EC offer a through +Connections Advance Fare (as MikeG suggests).
 
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Paul Kelly

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The interesting point here is that it isn't an issue with advances, as the booking engines are showing no fares at all available via Doncaster, i.e. it they don't seem to be recognising it as a permitted route - even though as mikeg said, it is allowed on map ER and there don't appear to be any negative easements against it.

I wonder if there is an error in the electronic version of the Routeing Guide.
 

ainsworth74

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Yes, that's what intriguing me. Would someone perhaps be willing to write an email to East Coast about the issue?
 

dstrat

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In response to you wellhouse, it may well be cheaper to do a ticket from the cross to Doncaster and then a separate ticket from Doncaster to Grimsby, but most of my travels involve me going deep into Southeastern territory and as such it is always cheapest to get an advance ticket for the whole journey.

Funny thing is (well it isn't funny at all but still) that before this new change you were lucky to see the Newark trains on there - I would have to state I want to go 'via Lincoln' to actually get them to show up; I guess it often can be faster to go via Doncaster and perhaps thats why they never showed them much before.

Like the removal of the £1.50 return from Grimsby via Grimsby Docks to London, this has got to have been calculated! I might drop EC an email about this though ainsworth.
 

Simon11

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Yes, that's what intriguing me. Would someone perhaps be willing to write an email to East Coast about the issue?
The issue may rely on the other toc not giving out enough tickets on the ec + connections ticket basket. As they may get more money from a return ticket than from an ec + connection ticket.



 

ainsworth74

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The issue may rely on the other toc not giving out enough tickets on the ec + connections ticket basket. As they may get more money from a return ticket than from an ec + connection ticket.

I wouldn't be asking them about the lack of advances via Doncaster I'd be asking why they won't sell any tickets via Doncaster which includes the Route: Any Permitted tickets!
 

Harlesden

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I have bought Advance tickets for London King's Cross-Doncaster-Grimsby Town for £13 at King's Cross Station or £11.55 on the East Coast website without any compications.
 

mikeg

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I wouldn't be asking them about the lack of advances via Doncaster I'd be asking why they won't sell any tickets via Doncaster which includes the Route: Any Permitted tickets!

Agreed. Though I wonder if East Coast are the ones to write to. Thetrainline-powered sites also don't seem to like it. I just tried it on tpexpress.co.uk and it also came up with no available fares. Without knowing too much, my guess is it is one of these 'manual easements' that the Routeing Guide speaks of has been entered incorrectly, which would be an ATOC/RSP thing. Only thing is, with ATOC's desire for reducing passenger rights, are they the best people to write to? What if they decide map ER shouldn't be there? I know it's highly unlikely though, especially since Passenger Focus and DafT are meant to be consulted, although that hasn't helped with the removal of certain other historically valid routes. Also only 7 daily services from somewhere like Grimsby to London would be pretty poor!

On the other hand, I suppose East Coast would be the place the 'average customer' would complain to, and they would be able to use their influence to get the issue resolved further up the line.
 

ainsworth74

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I have bought Advance tickets for London King's Cross-Doncaster-Grimsby Town for £13 at King's Cross Station or £11.55 on the East Coast website without any compications.

Out of curiosity when did you buy from the East Coast website?
 

clagmonster

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If it helps, I last bought an advance ticket from Grimsby to London via Doncaster on the 26th of January. I looked a couple of weeks ago at such a journey and itineraries via Doncaster were offered.
 

wellhouse

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There is something weird going on here.

No fares available on the EC website from Grimsby via Doncaster to Dover Priory, Herne Hill or Brighton (and quite a few more random destinations beyond London) but Advance and other fares are available via Doncaster to Southampton (and these are via Kings Cross, not XC).
 

clagmonster

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I can confirm that the East Coast website today offered me journies from Grimsby to London via Doncaster. Clearly just a glitch which has been fixed.
 
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