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Concessionary Bus Passes
Concessionary Bus Passes
This morning (August 9) I arrived in St Helens intending to catch the 352 to Wigan. I arrived early before 0900 so I hung around the bus station. The 0910 352 came and I thought of catching it using my Merseytravel disabled ENCTS pass, but thought better of it as I thought I'd be fare dodging for five minutes or so.
The 0925 352 came and I boarded the bus, placed my card on the reader and the driver asked me where I was going. I was surprised to be told I'd have to pay to travel into Wigan regardless of where the bus was at 0930 even though my pass had been accepted. I explained it was a Merseytravel disabled concessionary and said the border is close to Billinge Hospital 20-25 minutes away (didn't want to offend driver's intelligence), but the driver wouldn't have any of it. So I left him to it to begin his route.

I then decided to enquire whether this rang true at the Merseytravel shop. I explained the problem to the advisor, but trying to get an answer for the journey I was intending to catch I couldn't get out of the advisor. It was like getting blood out of a stone. I had also said I've been on buses within the Merseyside where I've caught them before 0930 and crossed the boundary after 0930. But still like getting blood out of a stone.

I've never had this question put to me to and be refused travel and nor have any drivers questioned me during or at the end of the journey. I wonder if there is anybody who really understands this lecture if they can tell me who's right and who's wrong?
As I've crossed the boundaries many times, I've been left confused.
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RE: Concessionary Bus Passes
(09/08/2017 21:03)RedPanda Wrote:  This morning (August 9) I arrived in St Helens intending to catch the 352 to Wigan. I arrived early before 0900 so I hung around the bus station. The 0910 352 came and I thought of catching it using my Merseytravel disabled ENCTS pass, but thought better of it as I thought I'd be fare dodging for five minutes or so.
The 0925 352 came and I boarded the bus, placed my card on the reader and the driver asked me where I was going. I was surprised to be told I'd have to pay to travel into Wigan regardless of where the bus was at 0930 even though my pass had been accepted. I explained it was a Merseytravel disabled concessionary and said the border is close to Billinge Hospital 20-25 minutes away (didn't want to offend driver's intelligence), but the driver wouldn't have any of it. So I left him to it to begin his route.

I then decided to enquire whether this rang true at the Merseytravel shop. I explained the problem to the advisor, but trying to get an answer for the journey I was intending to catch I couldn't get out of the advisor. It was like getting blood out of a stone. I had also said I've been on buses within the Merseyside where I've caught them before 0930 and crossed the boundary after 0930. But still like getting blood out of a stone.

I've never had this question put to me to and be refused travel and nor have any drivers questioned me during or at the end of the journey. I wonder if there is anybody who really understands this lecture if they can tell me who's right and who's wrong?
As I've crossed the boundaries many times, I've been left confused.

As the 352 is every 15 mins at this time of day, I wasn't too bothered. But had it been on an half hourly, hourly or less frequent then you'd be very peeved off.
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RE: Concessionary Bus Passes
In the past its never really bothered me to be quite honest by letting people in your situation to stay on if they board before 09:30 , so long as its passed 09:30 when crossing the border.
I think officially if you board the bus before 09:30 and intend on crossing the border then the fare between the border and the place your going is supposed to be paid on boarding, so unless it affects the concessions payment the company receive from the local authority thats the only reason i can think of.
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RE: Concessionary Bus Passes
I have a pass and when I worked in Leigh between 2010 & 2014 on the morning journey in, I was charged differing levels of fares including at one point a child fare (luckily there wasn't a spot ticket check on that journey). In four years, the cross boundary fare went from £2.00 in 2010 to £3.00 in 2014. By contrast, when the office moved to Wigan in2014, the rail fare with a Disabled Person's Railcard was only£2.30 return. I know the cost would be higher if paying full fare but this example just shows the difference.
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RE: Concessionary Bus Passes
(16/08/2017 07:58)St Helens Rider Wrote:  I have a pass and when I worked in Leigh between 2010 & 2014 on the morning journey in, I was charged differing levels of fares including at one point a child fare (luckily there wasn't a spot ticket check on that journey). In four years, the cross boundary fare went from £2.00 in 2010 to £3.00 in 2014. By contrast, when the office moved to Wigan in2014, the rail fare with a Disabled Person's Railcard was only£2.30 return. I know the cost would be higher if paying full fare but this example just shows the difference.

I would of thought for the avoidance of doubt, that a fare should be paid from the boarding point to the first 0930 (0900 in some areas) scheduled point on the journey in question, than scan the pass at that location, to complete the journey.
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RE: Concessionary Bus Passes
(16/08/2017 14:00)dca529x Wrote:  I would of thought for the avoidance of doubt, that a fare should be paid from the boarding point to the first 0930 (0900 in some areas) scheduled point on the journey in question, than scan the pass at that location, to complete the journey.

This was the case and the price wasn't an issue with regular drivers but caused a few problems with those unfamiliar. There were some weeks when it felt like I was being charged a different fare every day. Also for the first few years, Arriva didn't have the machines were passes are scanned - the driver just pressed a button. I don't know if it is still the case but on the 34 before 9.30, if a GM Concessionary Plus Pass Holder was coming into Merseyside, it was a lower fare than if someone with Merseyside pass was going in the other direction even though the service is in Merseyside for a longer distance.
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RE: Concessionary Bus Passes
(16/08/2017 14:20)St Helens Rider Wrote:  This was the case and the price wasn't an issue with regular drivers but caused a few problems with those unfamiliar. There were some weeks when it felt like I was being charged a different fare every day. Also for the first few years, Arriva didn't have the machines were passes are scanned - the driver just pressed a button. I don't know if it is still the case but on the 34 before 9.30, if a GM Concessionary Plus Pass Holder was coming into Merseyside, it was a lower fare than if someone with Merseyside pass was going in the other direction even though the service is in Merseyside for a longer distance.

That, on the face of it does seem inconsistent, but pass availability is driven by time restriction and that will combine with a departure time and running time to the validity point. Lots of variables in that, but it isn't that difficult regardless of what ticketing equipment is used. Drivers on cross border services (such as Arriva's Chester - Wrexham 1) seem to manage OK with that and the added combination of Welsh/English passes. But it seems that some drivers can struggle with what should be reasonably straightforward. All down to staff training.
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