To Peterborough station, operated by Virgin Trains on the East Coast earlier to get tickets for a visit to Birmingham’s NEC. The nearest station being Birmingham International. Now we go for the split ticketing option as it saves almost £40 against the through ticket fare - it’s about time fares simplification took place.
So far so good, but when I check the tickets issued I see that they are to ‘Birmingham Stations’ A quick check with Rail Fares Supremo Barry Doe confirms that they will not be valid to Birmingham International as Birmingham Stations only covers the city’s New Street, Snow Hill and Moor Street stations and specifically excludes Birmingham International.
So back to the station where the clerk is adamant that the ticket is valid to Birmingham International, which it isn’t and takes some persuading to re-issue to Birmingham International, which is only 20p more expensive and is legally valid through to Birmingham International.
Had I not realised the error on the original ticket I could easily have been caught out for travelling without a valid ticket on the West Coast part of Virgin Trains.
If staff cannot get it right what chance for passengers…..
Steven Knight is a Transport Specialist who has over 40 years experience in the bus and rail industries as well as in specialist transport journalism. He is a member of the Chartered Institute of Journalists.