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1996-09-26 ORR-001
Office of the Rail Regulator

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Routeing Guide defines 'reasonable' rail routes for the first time


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Office of the Rail Regulator

Routeing Guide defines 'reasonable' rail routes for the first time
_______________________________________________________________


date
26 September 1996
source Office of the Rail Regulator
type Press release

note ORR/96/21


The national Routeing Guide, which for the first time provides passengers with certainty about what travel their ticket buys them, comes into effect on Sunday 29 September 1996 following its approval for an introductory period by the Rail Regulator and the Franchising Director.

The Regulator, John Swift QC, said, "'Reasonable routes' have never before been precisely defined on the railway. With passenger services now being provided by many different train operators there was a concern that without a clear definition, passengers' rights to use the network flexibly could be eroded, either by accident or design.

"I have said that I would not approve any guide which restricted reasonable routes any further than those currently in use. That has been the overriding principle under which the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) has produced the Guide. I remain firmly committed to that principle.

"That is why I have approved the use of the Routeing Guide for an introductory period, until 31 May 1997, only. With more than six million possible different journey opportunities, producing the Guide has been a massive task for the train operators. The Franchising Director and I have had the Guide checked independently, with the help of the Rail Users' Consultative Committees (RUCCs) across the country. Any final refinements can only be identified by testing it in service. The introductory period will be used to ensure that all currently reasonable routes are included. I am therefore satisfied both that the Guide is necessary, and that, with the completion of the introductory period, it will guarantee for the passenger the reasonable routes currently used."

Ticket retailing and on-board staff have been trained in the use of the Routeing Guide. They have been reminded of the need to exercise discretion where appropriate, especially to those from vulnerable groups, including disabled passengers, and that routeing restrictions should not apply at times of disruption to services. All passengers disputing excess fares because they are 'off-route' will also be told where to complain and if, on consideration, it is felt that the Guide is in error, the excess will be refunded and the error will be corrected as quickly as possible.

During the introductory period, a steering group consisting of representatives from the Office of the Rail Regulator and the Central Rail Users' Consultative Committee (CRUCC), ATOC and the Office of Passenger Rail Franchising (OPRAF) will meet monthly to consider reports on complaints from passengers charged excess or penalty fares for being off-route, and any other complaints or comments received, and will consider appropriate action.

Comments and suggestions on the Routeing Guide are welcome. Passengers should, in the first instance, comment to their train operator or local RUCC - particularly if they have experienced any difficulties as a result of the Guide.



Notes to Editors

1. The Routeing Guide is produced by ATOC and is intended for use by ticket retailing and revenue protection staff. Passengers requiring advice on permitted routes for a journey should consult station or Telephone Enquiry Bureaux staff. Copies of the Guide are available for inspection at every staffed station.

2. A copy of the Guide has also been placed on the Public Register of the Rail Regulator and can be inspected at ORR's Library. This is open to the public between 10am and 4pm on working days; members of the public are requested to make an appointment, by calling the Librarian on 0171 282 2001, where possible.


Railhub Archive ::: 1996-09-26 ORR-001





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