Why can't an e-ticket be issued for London Terminals to Dover Priory return?

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miklcct

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I bought my London Terminals to Dover Priory return ticket at last minute notice on my trip, however, there was not an option to use an e-ticket for the journey. And I accidentally used a card which I didn't have the physical one to buy the ticket, and only got the message I needed the card after I made the booking using TrainSplit app.

Luckily I still had time to approach the staff for assistance and there was no difficulty finding a manned station in central London. Why can't an e-ticket be issued for this journey?
 
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Watershed

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I bought my London Terminals to Dover Priory return ticket at last minute notice on my trip, however, there was not an option to use an e-ticket for the journey. And I accidentally used a card which I didn't have the physical one to buy the ticket, and only got the message I needed the card after I made the booking using TrainSplit app.

Luckily I still had time to approach the staff for assistance and there was no difficulty finding a manned station in central London. Why can't an e-ticket be issued for this journey?
Southeastern have not equipped their barriers with barcode scanners and it would now fall to the DfT to authorise spending money on installing them. Which they're unlikely to do in the short term.

In the absence of such scanners, it's deemed (probably correctly) that manually inspecting each ticket would cause unacceptably large queues to arise (particularly at the busy London stations). Therefore Southeastern, who are the 'fare setter' for this flow, have disabled the option to get e-tickets for most journeys within their network.
 

Wallsendmag

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Southeastern have not equipped their barriers with barcode scanners and it would now fall to the DfT to authorise spending money on installing them. Which they're unlikely to do in the short term.

In the absence of such scanners, it's deemed (probably correctly) that manually inspecting each ticket would cause unacceptably large queues to arise (particularly at the busy London stations). Therefore Southeastern, who are the 'fare setter' for this flow, have disabled the option to get e-tickets for most journeys within their network.
Don't be so sure about that.
 

Paul Jones 88

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I found this annoying at the beginning of the pandemic, we were all trying to ovoid touching things in public areas so I bought a ticket on Trainline using my credit card but still had to muck about getting a paper ticket from the machine, touching the screen that many other people had touched.
 

yorksrob

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It would be nice if the DfT concentrated on things that mattered, like over-priced fares and having enough capacity. However it seems they will be concentrating on their hobby-horse of getting rid of CCST's instead.
 

alistairlees

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Southeastern have not equipped their barriers with barcode scanners and it would now fall to the DfT to authorise spending money on installing them. Which they're unlikely to do in the short term.

In the absence of such scanners, it's deemed (probably correctly) that manually inspecting each ticket would cause unacceptably large queues to arise (particularly at the busy London stations). Therefore Southeastern, who are the 'fare setter' for this flow, have disabled the option to get e-tickets for most journeys within their network.
A couple of points. Approval for expenditure on barcode scanners needs to come from RDG (acting on behalf of the TOCs generally) and the independent retailers. This is because both TOCs and independent retailers are paying for them in roughly equal amounts, through a fee per transaction (a sort of 'barcode tax', if you like), although the actual assets (the handheld and gateline scanners) will be 100% owned by the TOCs. Of course, "RDG / TOCs" means "DfT" these days, but the process is unchanged.

eTickets are not 'disabled' by Southeastern for their flows; they are simply not enabled (in RCS, the industry system where these things are controlled).
 

LA50041

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They're all fairly obvious.
They may be obvious to you, but if they were obvious to me I wouldn’t have answered the question.
The only thing I can see is splitting at each London terminal and forcing passengers to use oyster/contactless, further eroding passengers protection against delays if there are known delays on LU
 

Ianno87

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Ok, I thought that had been previously ruled as a non-starter as TfL were unwilling to change their gates

Presumably, if enough money was waved in their face, they would reconsider... (remembering that TfL are hardly Scrooge McDuck rolling in dosh at present)
 

island

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In the long-past days of domestic ATB tickets (the ones that resemble a traditional airline boarding card in size, still issued on the continent), cross-London eligible tickets would also be issued with a gate pass on CCST stock for this purpose.

Perhaps cross-London eligible e-tickets could have a disposable single use smartcard for the same purpose, though I am sure someone will be along shortly to point out how impractical that would be.
 

Wallsendmag

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In the long-past days of domestic ATB tickets (the ones that resemble a traditional airline boarding card in size, still issued on the continent), cross-London eligible tickets would also be issued with a gate pass on CCST stock for this purpose.

Perhaps cross-London eligible e-tickets could have a disposable single use smartcard for the same purpose, though I am sure someone will be along shortly to point out how impractical that would be.
We looked into ultralight Smartcards for single use but they are pricey and unable to be recycled.
 

Watershed

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unable to be recycled
No different to paper tickets then?

The only way I can realistically see this going is for cross-London tickets to be limited to smartcards, with anyone who doesn't have a smartcard having to split either side of London, or pay for a smartcard (they're unlikely to stay free forever).
 

paul1609

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Southeastern have not equipped their barriers with barcode scanners and it would now fall to the DfT to authorise spending money on installing them. Which they're unlikely to do in the short term.

In the absence of such scanners, it's deemed (probably correctly) that manually inspecting each ticket would cause unacceptably large queues to arise (particularly at the busy London stations). Therefore Southeastern, who are the 'fare setter' for this flow, have disabled the option to get e-tickets for most journeys within their network.
In truth its never been Southeasterns responsibility the franchise has been on extension after extension of management contract for many years now. Its by far the poorest of the ex NSE franchises a situation made far worse being saddled with the costs of HS1.
If there was money available for ticketing systems it would be far better spent providing barriers at as many as possible Metro stations rather than providing niche on line ticketing.
 

Snow1964

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We looked into ultralight Smartcards for single use but they are pricey and unable to be recycled.

Why do they need to be recycled, why can they not be recoded and reused like a hotel door card.
Gates at end of single journey that collect used tickets already exist, so presumably not impossible to design them to collect the used ones.

But I get the point of not inventing a ticket that costs more to make than what is already used.
 

XAM2175

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Why do they need to be recycled, why can they not be recoded and reused like a hotel door card.
Gates at end of single journey that collect used tickets already exist, so presumably not impossible to design them to collect the used ones.
The ultralight cards mentioned by @Wallsendmag are explicitly designed to be used only once. They're cheaper than re-usable smartcards, but still considerably more expensive than magnetic-stripe blanks. Their advantage is in the fact they that they can use the exact same gates as used by standard smartcards. Most transport systems that use them charge a higher fare to cover the higher cost - on the Glasgow Subway, for example, it's 20p on an adult single and 30p on an adult daily, while in the Netherlands it's explicitly billed as a €1 supplement.

Capture and re-use of long-life smartcards is not unheard of - it's done on the Hong Kong MTR, for one - but it would require the installation of new gates and at that point you may as well just put barcode scanners on them.
 

clagmonster

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Presumably, if enough money was waved in their face, they would reconsider... (remembering that TfL are hardly Scrooge McDuck rolling in dosh at present)
Was the issue not just one of expense but of the extra time taken for a barrier to scan an Aztec code than to pass a magnetic strip?
 
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