A reduction in U.K. rail fares?

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This topic contains 14 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  capetonianm 12 Jul 2018
at 21:26
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Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 15 total)

  • openfly
    Participant

    After all the recent problems with the U.K. rail companies, they have, today, announced that the original services will not be reinstated for many months, if ever.

    This will, naturally, reduce the operational costs markedly. So, the travelling public, will suffer reduced services and even more crowded trains. On this basis, it is only fair that the government ensures that the rail companies pass these savings onto the passengers. Otherwise, the rail companies will be rubbing their hands in glee at the prospect of even higher profits because of our discomfort!

    Reduced fares?! More pigs flying past…..


    capetonianm
    Participant

    I heard that the French government is to offer compensation of €100/hour to anyone who has been delayed or inconvenienced by any kind of French strike action in the last 5 years. There are no strings attached and the claim process is simple and streamlined, with the forms being available in clear English. Retroactive interest of 10% per annum will be added to claims.

    As I was about to start filling in the form, I heard a gentle grunting and the sound of flapping wings as a pig flew past, and my tea was cold.


    LuganoPirate
    Participant

    I heard that the French government is to offer compensation of €100/hour to anyone who has been delayed or inconvenienced by any kind of French strike action in the last 5 years. There are no strings attached and the claim process is simple and streamlined, with the forms being available in clear English. Retroactive interest of 10% per annum will be added to claims.

    As I was about to start filling in the form, I heard a gentle grunting and the sound of flapping wings as a pig flew past, and my tea was cold.

    Joking aside, I recently took the TGV from Paris to Cannes via Marseilles. We were about 3 hours late and the inspector announced that we could go to the ticket office, present our tickets and receive compensation for the delay. I’m not sure how much as the queue was so long I couldn’t be bothered to lose another hour of the beach and the bar that was waiting for me!


    capetonianm
    Participant

    LP makes a valid point. I was on a TGV to Paris Gare de Lyon from Perpignan once and we arrived an hour or so late, and there were staff on the platform on arrival handing out pre-filled forms and envelopes in which to post them, to claim compensation.

    Another time, I’d taken an ‘option’ a ticket on the SNCF website (now called OUIGO, just to confuse you. It’s probably short for OUIGO ON STRIKE) for a TGV and the Eurostar connection to London, and when I went to a station to collect the ticket, the lady went to a lot of trouble to change the booking so I got a cheaper fare. Nice gesture.

    On a related matter (off topic – sorry) I have always wondered why it is impossible to get anything resembling a meal on long distance trains in France. You would think that might be the one country that does this better than others, but they don’t.


    Tom Otley
    Keymaster

    Unfortunately I use Thameslink to get to work.

    Nearly every service has been either disrupted, delayed or just cancelled, and for regular commuters filling in the Delay Repay Compensation is something we do daily, even though it does not come close to refunding the cost of an annual seasons ticket (Gold Card) which in my case is just less than £5,000.

    I see Eurostar has its own policies


    capetonianm
    Participant

    This may be a bit of drift but anyway :

    When I’m in the UK I travel quite a lot by train, mostly on South West Rail (or whatever they call themselves this week), but sometimes on Southern, Thameslink, GWR, and less often now on VT, Northern, X-Country, and Scotrail.

    I am often shocked at the abusive and threatening behaviour that train and station staff, particularly in the London area, have to put up with from members of the public. I accept that people may have been severely inconvenienced over a long period of time, but it isn’t the fault of the train operating staff. Most of them seem to take the abuse with equanimity, I imagine they’ve been told to walk away rather than get involved in arguments which can go nowhere.

    I have had the odd run-in with ‘jobsworth’ train staff who were downright officious or obnoxious, but they constitute an extreme minority.

    It’s the management of the ToCs who need to be held accountable, they are the ones people should contact when things go wrong. And the government … but don’t get me started on that tack!


    Tom Otley
    Keymaster

    I agree completely, there’s no excuse for bad behaviour towards staff, no matter how inconvenienced we are…

    However, there needs to be understanding on both sides.

    The average commute for people on my journey is 90 minutes allowing for getting to the station, waiting for it, the journey, and then travel to work at the other end (by underground). Do it again to come home, and that’s 3 hours each day. Our choice I know (not really, who can afford to live in London? But anyway, there’s no gun to our heads.)

    Since the new timetable came into effect, on most days my delay has been 30-59 minutes on at least one of the sectors, and sometimes 15-30 one way, and then 60+ minutes on the return. It turns a 3-hour return journey into a 4/5 hour one.

    In such circumstances, day in and day out, it’s not surprising tempers are fraying.

    Trains are cancelled without notice, the information coming through on Twitter and on the mobile timetables is incorrect, as are the electronic signs. When trains do arrive, they don’t go to where they say they are going or don’t stop where they are meant to, and the over-crowding is so bad that you often can’t get onto the train when it does come.

    Staff are helpless rather than hopeless. I was talking with one at St Pancras last week who showed me the three sources he was using for information to help us, all of which were showing different things. Commuters have set up WhatsApp groups to try and share real time information on trains because it’s the only way of finding out what it is really happening, but of course most of the time it’s just news of more disruption.

    We’ve all experienced this, of course, over the years, but when it happens day after day after day for weeks on end, and with no respite in sight, well…

    For those using the service occasionally, it’s an occasional inconvenience.

    For those relying on it every day, it’s completely unreliable. No one can plan anything for either work or in their personal lives.

    The screen grab below is from Monday. The later trains have no delay next to them, but all were subsequently delayed or cancelled.

    Attachments:

    openfly
    Participant

    The point I was trying to make is that the government should insist on reducing fares as the rail companies are saving a fortune with all the planned and unplanned cancellations. Why should they benefit due to our suffering?!


    capetonianm
    Participant

    It won’t work. They’ll make losses due to inefficiency, and either cut services further to counter the losses, or they will expect local or central government subsidies. Alternatively, they will accumulate massive debt, and eventually fares will have to go up drastically. There is no clean solution.


    capetonianm
    Participant

    Here’s an article about someone who does deserve to be confronted by passengers :

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5941487/Rail-boss-took-two-seats-ordering-commuters-class-packed-train.html

    A train company boss has been slammed by passengers for spreading himself over two seats after stopping economy class passengers from entering first class.

    Mark Boon – operations manager of Southern Rail’s parent company Govia Thameslink – told passengers to stay out of the carriage on a packed service, as he plonked his bag down in the next seat.

    I wasn’t aware that it was called ‘economy’ class, I thought it was ‘second’ but apparently the PC description is ‘standard’.


    canucklad
    Participant

    I have to admit, apart from the inevitable Sky Rocketing fares Scotrail are actually ok ….And considering what you guys “dann saff” are enduring Scotrail must be a joy in comparison.

    However I do travel to Manchester a lot and use the ECML frequently as well…..
    Trans Pennine aren’t bad, their not good and I’ve had some horrendous journeys especially between stations in the North West, but since Northern’s troubles , TPE’s service has deteriorated ….yet prices have stayed the same…. in fact more expensive than hopping on a Flybe flight, you’re guaranteed a seat on the Q plane and it’s quicker!!


    ASK1945
    Participant

    It won’t work. They’ll make losses due to inefficiency, and either cut services further to counter the losses, or they will expect local or central government subsidies. Alternatively, they will accumulate massive debt, and eventually fares will have to go up drastically. There is no clean solution.

    Apparently a programme on TV tonight will disclose that the compensation that the TOCs get from the Department of Transport is greater than the compensation they pay to passengers, so they make a profit on every claim.

    (For those of you in the UK, Channel 4, 8 pm).


    FDOS_UK
    Participant

    As a reasonably frequent user of VT, I am generally satisfied with their service and the Delay Repay scheme is administered well – if you book through your own account for a delayed train, no action is necessary and the refund is automatic.

    I’m not the biggest Pendolino fan (a little cramped in standard), but first class is comfortable – if expensive (unless one can obtain a advance fare).


    AMcWhirter
    Participant

    It’s Network Rail who compensates the TOCs for delays and they in turn offer passengers Delay Repay.

    But quite a number of people are unaware of Delay Repay, don’t understand it or cannot be bothered to make a claim.

    Two years ago Transport Focus more than half of passengers never claimed.

    Matters have improved since as some TOCs have become more proactive in advising passengers. And if you book direct with Virgin Trains (as noted above by FDOS_UK) and East Midlands Trains the Delay Repay process is easy.

    https://www.transportfocus.org.uk/news-events-media/news/passengers-claiming-rail-operators-still-need-better-compensation/


    capetonianm
    Participant

    Just made it home from dinner in time to watch the part of the C4 programme about the Delay Repay. What came across was that station staff don’t know much about it, but then in fairness, why should they? It’s not their job, and their duty in that respect should be to hand out the leaflets and forms when requested.

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