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Journey by Journey => London to the Cotswolds => Topic started by: charles_uk on March 13, 2018, 03:02:49 pm



Title: March void days
Post by: charles_uk on March 13, 2018, 03:02:49 pm
After the weather disruption at the beginning of March, void days have been declared for all service groups for 1 March, and all service groups except LTV on 2 March 2018.

Or to put it more bluntly, Friday 2 March was not a void day for the Cotswold Line.

How very GWR.


Title: Re: March void days
Post by: ellendune on March 13, 2018, 03:31:35 pm
What view of the geography of the UK puts Worcester in the Thames Valley?


Title: Re: March void days
Post by: ChrisB on March 13, 2018, 03:34:22 pm
THe old Network South East area....


Title: Re: March void days
Post by: grahame on March 13, 2018, 04:16:13 pm
What view of the geography of the UK puts Worcester in the Thames Valley?

THe old Network South East area....

(http://www.wellho.net/pix/nsearea.jpg)


Title: Re: March void days
Post by: grahame on March 13, 2018, 04:27:42 pm
After the weather disruption at the beginning of March, void days have been declared for all service groups for 1 March, and all service groups except LTV on 2 March 2018.

Or to put it more bluntly, Friday 2 March was not a void day for the Cotswold Line.

How very GWR.

Just bear in mind that being part of the LTV group and Network South East also has its advantages.  Anytime return Swindon to London - £133.60.   Moreton in Marsh to London - £74.80    Worcester Shrub Hill to London via Evesham - £83.80 . That is probably the most extreme comparison ... I suspect you get the better overall deal with lower fares and fewer void days.


Title: Re: March void days
Post by: jdw.wor on March 13, 2018, 04:52:29 pm
I think the fare reflects the "planned" service (forget the recent events!). No 2 hour service from Worcester to London but plenty in around an hour from Swindon. I think that is what causes the differential in price. However the walk up price to London at the moment is Swindon £27.?? and Worcester £33.??. So the poor Worcester passenger gets a much inferior and irregular service and pays more!


Title: Re: March void days
Post by: ChrisB on March 13, 2018, 04:56:11 pm
That is definitely a consideration too - so expect GWR to be considering slowly raising your prices once the IET hourly (plus peak extras) comes in at the end of the year. Unfortunately.


Title: Re: March void days
Post by: ellendune on March 13, 2018, 04:58:52 pm
I think the fare reflects the "planned" service (forget the recent events!). No 2 hour service from Worcester to London but plenty in around an hour from Swindon. I think that is what causes the differential in price. However the walk up price to London at the moment is Swindon £27.?? and Worcester £33.??. So the poor Worcester passenger gets a much inferior and irregular service and pays more!

Nice theory, but it doesn't really stand up as the fares from Chippenham and Bath are just as outlandish (per mile) and they only have 2 trains per hour!


Title: Re: March void days
Post by: grahame on March 13, 2018, 05:54:17 pm
I think the fare reflects the "planned" service (forget the recent events!). No 2 hour service from Worcester to London but plenty in around an hour from Swindon. I think that is what causes the differential in price.

Surely it should work the other way?   Swindon - London - Swindon peak is charges at £1.11 per minute of travel, but Worcester - London - Worcester is charged at just £0.33 per minute of travel.   Same train type, same hire charges, same number of staff and presumably similar pay rates all of which are time rather than distance based.

OK - writ a bit in Devil's Advocate mode. But it does start to indicate just how lucrative some services are over others.


Title: Re: March void days
Post by: charles_uk on March 13, 2018, 06:13:26 pm
It's been an interesting diversion from the point I was trying to make - and an education into the workings of rail policy in the UK. One thing I would add here is that until late 2016 the Cotswold Line fell under High Speed Services for performance purposes (at least that is what GWR's social media team told me when I was renewing my season ticket last year and checking up on void days).

However, GWR say "a void day is when thereís a serious disruption at peak time, and we havenít offered you another way to get to where you are going." The service along the Cotswold Line on 2 March met that criteria - the last down train of the day departing Oxford at 10:20. I'm not sure many passengers wanting to get home to Charbury, Moreton-in-Marsh or Worcester would consider the fact that there were some trains running between Paddington and Reading of any relevance to their particular journeys.


Title: Re: March void days
Post by: ChrisB on March 13, 2018, 06:24:54 pm
That's another very valid point....the Cotswold Line at the time of designation was run mostly on turbos/non HSTs....but from 2019 it should be all (but the stopper each way) IETs. So reclassification ought to be sought to transfer it to the HST/IET group.


Title: Re: March void days
Post by: Birdie100 on March 13, 2018, 08:25:00 pm
Interesting - the bean counters in GWR towers have obviously decided it was better not to void 2nd March for LTV for a strategic reason - be interesting to see the performance stats as a result.


Title: Re: March void days
Post by: Richard Fairhurst on March 13, 2018, 08:53:04 pm
Just bear in mind that being part of the LTV group and Network South East also has its advantages.  Anytime return Swindon to London - £133.60.   Moreton in Marsh to London - £74.80    Worcester Shrub Hill to London via Evesham - £83.80 . That is probably the most extreme comparison ... I suspect you get the better overall deal with lower fares and fewer void days.

Swings and roundabouts, I suspect!

First evening arrival at Worcester on an off-peak ticket: 21:47 (£68.50)

First evening arrival at Bath Spa on an off-peak ticket: 20:29 (£70.50)

(I might be slightly off on the fares and times there - they're from notes I took last year.)


Title: Re: March void days
Post by: ChrisB on March 13, 2018, 09:19:28 pm
Interesting - the bean counters in GWR towers have obviously decided it was better not to void 2nd March for LTV for a strategic reason - be interesting to see the performance stats as a result.

Had they released an emergency timetable on 2nd? If so, stats will refer to that timetabke, not the 'proper' one. And the perforance against that ight have been within tolerences


Title: Re: March void days
Post by: Worcester_Passenger on March 19, 2018, 07:05:16 pm
On March 2,

05:14 Oxford - Foregate Street cancelled at Evesham.
05:12 Padd'n - Moreton cancelled at Charlbury.
05:47 Paddington - Foregate St cancelled.
06:52 Padd'n - Malvern cancelled.
07:50 Padd'n - Malvern operated (but 42  late)
08:21 Padd'n - Hereford cancelled
09:21 Padd'n - Foregate St operated (but 14 late). This was the last train west of Oxford - everything afterwards was cancelled

And this doesn't count as a void day?


Title: Re: March void days
Post by: charles_uk on March 19, 2018, 07:18:12 pm
On March 2,

05:14 Oxford - Foregate Street cancelled at Evesham.
05:12 Padd'n - Moreton cancelled at Charlbury.
05:47 Paddington - Foregate St cancelled.
06:52 Padd'n - Malvern cancelled.
07:50 Padd'n - Malvern operated (but 42  late)
08:21 Padd'n - Hereford cancelled
09:21 Padd'n - Foregate St operated (but 14 late). This was the last train west of Oxford - everything afterwards was cancelled

And this doesn't count as a void day?

It depends whether the north Cotswold Line falls under High Speed Services or London Thames Valley, and there seems to be a bit of confusion over this. When I first asked, GWR's social media team (and they tend to be more savvy than customer services, imo) were adamant it was LTV - hence not a void day. Further questioning suggests it's not as clear cut as that: "your route can fall under both HSS and LTV". But probably worth being aware of the potential confusion when it comes to renewing season tickets.

And I wonder if today will count as a void day. Of the first seven trains towards Oxford/London, only the two coach halts train ran and I'm not aware that any alternative arrangements were laid on.


Title: Re: March void days
Post by: ChrisB on March 20, 2018, 11:45:26 am
The TOC has the decision. If reliability for this period is already going to provide charter discount of 5%, there is no point in declaring void days, as the discount will apply regardless. Void days are generally declared to keep the stats out of the rolling averages. so once the charter discount kicks in, don't expect any more void days until the stats start to get closer to removing the discount again.


Title: Re: March void days
Post by: charles_uk on April 18, 2018, 05:01:30 pm
In this morning's post there was a letter "from" Mark Hopwood confirming Thursday 1 March as a void day. No mention of the Friday when the Cotswold Line service was virtually non-existent.

I will be following this up.


Title: Re: March void days
Post by: charles_uk on June 02, 2018, 12:29:48 pm
In this morning's post there was a letter "from" Mark Hopwood confirming Thursday 1 March as a void day. No mention of the Friday when the Cotswold Line service was virtually non-existent.

I will be following this up.

I received a cheque in the post in respect of 2 March so GWR are clearly giving fair consideration to Cotswold Line season ticket holders who ask for a "goodwill gesture". However, that isn't really the point: the level of service on 2 March on the Cotswold Line met GWR's Passenger's Charter's definition of a void day - the onus shouldn't have been put on customers to make a claim.


Title: Re: March void days
Post by: ChrisB on June 02, 2018, 06:39:10 pm
But its partof larger charter group to which that definition applies, not just to the Cotswold Line per se


Title: Re: March void days
Post by: charles_uk on June 02, 2018, 07:11:57 pm
But its partof larger charter group to which that definition applies, not just to the Cotswold Line per se

I understand that but I don't think it's of much  relevance  to Cotswold Line season ticket holders that there was a "generally good" service between London and Reading.


Title: Re: March void days
Post by: ChrisB on June 02, 2018, 07:30:22 pm
Them rules refer to service groups, not routes or part of unfortunately.



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