Off peak return - Slade Green to Blackpool North

blakey1152

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Afternoon everyone,
I bought an off peak return from Slade Green to Blackpool North for tomorrow. (£103.80)

Now I need to get to Blackpool before 2pm and discovered that if I catch the 1010 train from Euston that's not a problem.

However to get there at a sensible time I wanted to leave Slade Green at about 8.30am but this is of course in the morning peak.
I was sure that there was an easement that permitted travel on any reasonable train into London providing the final destination is outside the old network southeast area.

With the changing of all sorts of rules and easements I tweeted Southeastern to ask if my ticket was valid as suggested above and they replied back that it's not . I can pay extra to travel at peak time or use the ticket after 0929.

Can someone tell me if Southeastern are correct or if there still is an easement permitting me to travel up to Euston just after 8.30am tomorrow.

Thankyou
 
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MotCO

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It may be advisable to print out the Journey Planner in case of any issues at the tiscket gate.
 

jfollows

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There's no such thing as a "morning peak" from Slade Green during which all "off peak" tickets are invalid. The advice you were given is incorrect. The restrictions that exist come from the ticket itself, which are
Not valid on trains timed to depart:

  • London Euston after 04:29 and before 09:26 or after 15:00 and before 18:45 (Afternoon restrictions do not apply on Fridays)
  • London Kings Cross after 02:59 and before 09:06 or after 14:59 and before 18:59 (and before 18:15 on Fridays);
  • London Liverpool Street after 04:29 and before 09:31 or after 16:28 and before 18:35;
  • London Marylebone after 06:29 and before 09:00 or after 16:00 and before 19:00;
  • London Paddington after 04:29 and before 08:10 or after 16:40 and before 18:31;
  • London St Pancras International after 04:29 and before 10:26 or after 15:15 and before 18:59;
  • London Waterloo after 04:29 and before 08:15;
  • Kensington Olympia after 04:29 and before 09:15 or after 15:14 and before 18:12;
  • Clapham Junction after 04:29 and before 09:30;
  • Bedford after 04:29 and before 09:01;
  • Luton or Luton Airport Parkway after 04:29 and before 09:01 or after 16:29 and before 18:59;
  • Milton Keynes Central after 04:29 and before 09:51;
  • Reading after 04:29 and before 08:35 or after 17:10 and before 19:01;
  • Stevenage after 02:59 and before 09:19 or after 15:06 and before 19:01 (and before 18:35 on Fridays);
  • Stratford (London) after 04:29 and before 09:30 or after 16:29 and before 18:34;
  • Watford Junction after 04:29 and before 09:38 or after 15:00 and before 18:38.
and which say nothing about departure times from Slade Green, do they? Your ticket is valid on any train from Slade Green on the day of outbound travel and, as you have already noted, is valid on the 10:10 departure from Euston.

The fact that there are tickets, such as the Off-Peak Day Travelcard from Slade Green to London, which have restrictions such as "Not valid on trains timed to depart after 04:29 and before 09:30." is irrelevant because this isn't the ticket you have.
 
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jfollows

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There is, but not for the ticket the OP holds.
Thank you, yes, I clarified my original post to add the word "all".

The question asked by blakey1152 is just about the most common question asked on this section of the forum, and usually comes up from understandable concern following incorrect advice from someone in the railway industry who should know better. I'm glad that, between us, we're (hopefully) able to reassure blakey1152 and provide better and truthful advice.
 

Hadders

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There are no restrictions on your ticket between Slade Green and London, you may take any train on this part of the journey The restriction apply from London to Blackpool.

I wouldn't expect anyone in Southeastern's social media team to understand this....
 

jfollows

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I wouldn't expect anyone in Southeastern's social media team to understand this....
So what's their purpose, if they don't understand the fundamental basics of railway ticketing rules, and obviously make up answers to questions they are asked? Do they exist in order to give out inconsistent and incorrect advice?

Well, I suppose I already knew this and I wouldn't think of using "social media" in order to get this sort of advice myself. But many people do .....
 

Haywain

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Well, I suppose I already knew this and I wouldn't think of using "social media" in order to get this sort of advice myself. But many people do .....
You are clearly unaware that you are posting on social media and, initially, gave incorrect advice.
 

blakey1152

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So what's their purpose, if they don't understand the fundamental basics of railway ticketing rules, and obviously make up answers to questions they are asked? Do they exist in order to give out inconsistent and incorrect advice?

Well, I suppose I already knew this and I wouldn't think of using "social media" in order to get this sort of advice myself. But many people do .....
They also exist to inform intending passengers of all the trespassers, signal failures and line side fires that the Southeastern area seems to suffer with lol

Thought I'd give you an update. So got to London Bridge with my ticket just after 9am and the barrier flashed up seek assistance and wouldn't open.

Over comes the guy on the gates who asked me to try again and it was again rejected. He then looked at the ticket and said - this is an off peak ticket and not valid til 9.30am!
I tried to explain to him that the ticket is indeed valid and I showed him a copy of an itinerary and he went and spoke to someone else and come back and said his colleague said the ticket is off peak and therefore not valid.

He then let me purchase a single for £7.60 as it clear that in this instance I had made a genuine mistake on the validity of the ticket.

I wanted to stay and argue more but I didn't want to miss my 1010 train from Euston so I paid it and will claim it back from Southeastern.
 
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jfollows

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I hope someone else on this forum can help you direct a stinking letter of complaint to the appropriate person responsible for training the staff at London Bridge, who appear to be told to do their jobs without being given the amount of training necessary to enable them to do so.

I'm sorry for what happened to you, but I'm not surprised. It seems common across the railway industry that staff don't understand ticketing rules and make up their own versions when they don't.

In many other industries I would expect you to get a full refund of your £103.80 as well as your additional £7.60 because of how you were treated and told that you were wrong, but I don't think that's at all likely here. Even an apology in writing might be too much to hope for!
 

Hadders

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Desperately poor behaviour from the staff at London Bridge.

Please do make an official complaint. I am sure there are forum members who would be happy to proof read.
 

jfollows

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I would, personally, ask for
1. An apology
2. An assurance that in future this will not happen again, to you and your fellow travellers from Slade Green
3. A refund of the £7.60 you were required to pay at London Bridge
4. Compensation of at least £103.80

I would also state that the letter is being copied to your MP, Sir David Evennett (I believe) Abena Oppong-Asare (corrected below, thank you) who will be interested in knowing how "your staff are treating her constituents" and that although it's common knowledge that the rail ticketing system is complicated it's not acceptable for staff responsible for its enforcement to know less than passengers.

I would then write a separate covering letter to the MP explaining what you want from her, which may be nothing as long as she views the response from Southeastern as acceptable in due course.

But this is what I would do, you may have a totally different approach. Please feel free to ignore this post completely!
 
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hkstudent

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I would, personally, ask for
1. An apology
2. An assurance that in future this will not happen again, to you and your fellow travellers from Slade Green
3. A refund of the £7.60 you were required to pay at London Bridge
4. Compensation of at least £103.80

I would also state that the letter is being copied to your MP, Sir David Evennett (I believe) who will be interested in knowing how "your staff are treating his constituents" and that although it's common knowledge that the rail ticketing system is complicated it's not acceptable for staff responsible for its enforcement to know less than passengers.

I would then write a separate covering letter to the MP explaining what you want from him, which may be nothing as long as he views the response from Southeastern as acceptable in due course.

But this is what I would do, you may have a totally different approach. Please feel free to ignore this post completely!
The MP for Slade Green is Hon Abena Oppong-Asare MP.

I would also suggest to get in touch with London Travelwatch for the poor training of railway staff on ticketing. Most likely the staff are from Southeastern.


Glad that you were not penalty fared, and if not, I would suggest a further escalation to the media.
 

yorkie

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However to get there at a sensible time I wanted to leave Slade Green at about 8.30am but this is of course in the morning peak.
There is no morning peak restriction into London on this ticket (incidentally I'd imagine most trains at that time will probably be fairly empty)
I was sure that there was an easement that permitted travel on any reasonable train into London providing the final destination is outside the old network southeast area.
It's not an easement as such, it's the rules.
With the changing of all sorts of rules and easements I tweeted Southeastern to ask if my ticket was valid as suggested above and they replied back that it's not . I can pay extra to travel at peak time or use the ticket after 0929.
I wouldn't trust Southeastern to open a tin of sardines that was already open.

If you are overcharged, you are entitled to a full refund and the evidence would be useful as this demonstrates a breach of various laws.

Can someone tell me if Southeastern are correct or if there still is an easement permitting me to travel up to Euston just after 8.30am tomorrow.

Thankyou
There is no need for an "easement" as such; Southeastern are incorrect, which is entirely in line with my expectations of this company.

I'd be much more surprised if they got it right, to be honest.
 

jfollows

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I wouldn't trust Southeastern to open a tin of sardines that was already open.
That's a good way of putting it, I agree.
Why is it that the rail industry employs people who make up rules if they don't know them? From the posts on this forum, this seems extremely common. Yet if I encounter staff in other places who don't know, they usually say "I don't know, I will go and find out for you" and end up with the right answer.
Presumably in part it's because railway front-line staff aren't given the encouragement or the option of getting good advice, the best they can do is ask their colleagues who seem to be as misinformed and misguided as they are. Their employers would rather they came up quickly with the wrong answer than took time to get the right answer.
And just moaning like I'm doing isn't going to change anything, so what will?
 

jfollows

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If you are overcharged, you are entitled to a full refund and the evidence would be useful as this demonstrates a breach of various laws.
How about requiring a full refund plus £100 for every occasion on which a passenger with a valid ticket is wrongly overcharged?
 

jfollows

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There should be an incentive.

If passengers can be prosecuted, fined and even ultimately imprisoned for not having a valid ticket to travel, then railway staff and their employers should be subject to appropriate sanctions when they subject passengers with valid tickets to punishment. The incentive should be on the regulators to ensure that the companies which operate do so reasonably and fairly. The fact that they don't seem to care, or won't act, is telling in itself.
 
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ForTheLoveOf

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I'm wondering why the barriers rejected the ticket. I know their logic can be pretty crude.
Some barrier control software doesn't allow varying Off-Peak "cut-off" times by origin/destination, and for those that do, only the most commonly encountered tickets are likely to be programmed in with specific times. Everything else is likely to default to something common like "not before 10am" (for former Southern Region London Termini).

Because the logic and available information on the magnetic stripe is pretty crude.
All the required information is on the magnetic stripe. But it would take a very long time to manually encode every single possible ticket, and there appears to be no intention or way of doing so automatically.
 
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"I wouldn't trust Southeastern to open a tin of sardines that was already open."

Best line I've heard in a long time. Even my wife laughed at it. Cheered me up!
 

Wallsendmag

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All the required information is on the magnetic stripe. But it would take a very long time to manually encode every single possible ticket, and there appears to be no intention or way of doing so automatically.
We more or less have but the problem is that the result is so complex it's extremely hard to keep up to date. We're talking to our suppliers about the latter.
 

yorkie

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"I wouldn't trust Southeastern to open a tin of sardines that was already open."

Best line I've heard in a long time. Even my wife laughed at it. Cheered me up!
Let's get tough. The time for talking is over.

Call it extreme if you like, but I propose we hit them hard and hit them fast with a major - and I mean major - leaflet campaign, and while they're reeling from that, we'd follow up with a whist drive, a car boot sale, some street theatre and possibly even some benefit concerts. OK? Now, if that's not enough, I'm sorry, it's time for the T-shirts: "Southeastern Out" ... "Southeastern overcharging, No Thanks" ... and if that's not enough, well, I don't know what will be.

;)

There should be an incentive.

If passengers can be prosecuted, fined and even ultimately imprisoned for not having a valid ticket to travel, then railway staff and their employers should be subject to appropriate sanctions when they subject passengers with valid tickets to punishment....
Pinch me!

The problem is, TOCs like Southeastern know they can mistreat people because most passengers have no other viable alternative! When 'choosing' to travel with Southeastern, people generally only do so because they have less choice than a Welsh fish & chip shop.

@blakey1152 have you written to Southeastern yet?
 
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