Boxing Day 2021 Services

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(29 Dec 2021, 4:20 pm)Dan Wrote: Go North East ran services 308 and X10 to Blyth on Boxing Day, and I have heard a number of comments about how passengers tried to buy the £4 North Tyne day ticket (valid on GNE's 309) and were taken aback when they were told it costs £8.50 on Arriva's service.

If any passenger on an 'ANE' service was getting charged £8.50 on Boxing Day then there's something seriously wrong. 

For the Blyth and Tyne and Wear services which you mention the £6.40 two zone ticket would cover them - on the 308 the £3.90 Coastliner Routesaver would cover them from Blyth to Newcastle. 

North of the Tyne, the £8.50 ticket is only really of use when heading north of Morpeth/Ashington, or south of the Tyne.
(29 Dec 2021, 4:44 pm)mb134 Wrote: If any passenger on an 'ANE' service was getting charged £8.50 on Boxing Day then there's something seriously wrong. 

For the Blyth and Tyne and Wear services which you mention the £6.40 two zone ticket would cover them - on the 308 the £3.90 Coastliner Routesaver would cover them from Blyth to Newcastle. 

North of the Tyne, the £8.50 ticket is only really of use when heading north of Morpeth/Ashington, or south of the Tyne.

I'm surprised that the £8.50 ticket was on sale on Boxing Day. GNE should reimburse those who made contactless payments to align with the correct and cheapest fare for their journey. I assume this error was made on the X18, X21, 43 and 306 too?

No wonder why they were "taken aback" when Dan was selling them those tickets!!!
(29 Dec 2021, 9:37 pm)omnicity4659 Wrote: I'm surprised that the £8.50 ticket was on sale on Boxing Day. GNE should reimburse those who made contactless payments to align with the correct and cheapest fare for their journey.


Why should they? The tickets Arriva asked GNE to sell were made available to customers.

Go North East were running the service under contract to the local authority. Ticketing arrangements had nothing to do with Go North East.


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(29 Dec 2021, 9:47 pm)Dan Wrote: Why should they? The tickets Arriva asked GNE to sell were made available to customers.

Go North East were running the service under contract to the local authority. Ticketing arrangements had nothing to do with Go North East.


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What day tickets were available then?

If Arriva, Northumberland County Council and Nexus really insisted on £8.50 day tickets with no other options then something has gone seriously wrong.
(29 Dec 2021, 9:59 pm)omnicity4659 Wrote: What day tickets were available then?

The tickets that they were asked to sell - including single and return tickets which still cost more than GNE’s £4 ticket.

The point here was that GNE’s ticket options are cheaper, and those who aren’t wedded to one operator may be more inclined to move towards the cheaper operator, if they know about those fares. Even the child fares are more expensive, as they’re on a sliding scale instead of a flat fare.

Pity that point is being overlooked! To get this back on-topic, this could explain, in streetdeckfan’s case, the growing popularity of the X21 versus the 6. Clearly as enthusiasts we don’t have access to the figures, but it would be interesting to see what the more successful model is: selling fewer more expensive tickets, or selling more tickets which are cheaper in price.


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(29 Dec 2021, 10:00 pm)Dan Wrote: The tickets that they were asked to sell?


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Which were? We're only talking about charging customers more than twice the advertised fare on Arriva's website in some cases, so clarity on what tickets were actually available would be appreciated.

(29 Dec 2021, 10:00 pm)Dan Wrote: The tickets that they were asked to sell - including single and return tickets which still cost more than GNE’s £4 ticket.

The point here was that GNE’s ticket options are cheaper,

10p more expensive than Arriva's equivalent on the 308.
(29 Dec 2021, 10:07 pm)omnicity4659 Wrote: Which were? We're only talking about charging customers more than twice the advertised fare on Arriva's website in some cases, so clarity on what tickets were actually available would be appreciated.


See above post, edited as you replied.

You may appreciate the answer, but it doesn’t mean to say that you’ll get one, as that wasn’t what we were talking about. We were talking about GNE’s network development (the topic of this thread) and how cheaper fares may have an impact on increased patronage.

Regardless of which fares were being sold on Boxing Day, GNE’s fare on the 309 is cheaper than all advertised options on the X10 (adult single, return, day, child single). That is a fact.


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(29 Dec 2021, 10:11 pm)Dan Wrote: See above post, edited as you replied.

You may appreciate the answer, but it doesn’t mean to say that you’ll get one, as that wasn’t what we were talking about. We were talking about GNE’s network development (the topic of this thread) and how cheaper fares may have an impact on increased patronage.

Regardless of which fares were being sold on Boxing Day, GNE’s fare on the 309 is cheaper than all advertised options on the X10 (adult single, return, day, child single). That is a fact.


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I'll be raising this within Northumberland County Council and Arriva. The lack of clarity on what day tickets were being sold is a huge red flag and I think the relevant organisations need to investigate what went wrong.

GNE doesn't run any services on the line of route of the X10, and Arriva's adult fares undercut GNE's where routes are shared. That's also a fact.
(29 Dec 2021, 10:20 pm)omnicity4659 Wrote: I'll be raising this within Northumberland County Council and Arriva. The lack of clarity on what day tickets were being sold is a huge red flag and I think the relevant organisations need to investigate what went wrong.

GNE doesn't run any services on the line of route of the X10, and Arriva's adult fares undercut GNE's where routes are shared. That's also a fact.


That’s your prerogative, but I’m not sure what impact it has on you or why you, as an enthusiast, feel the need to get involved.

For all you know, the full ticketing range might have been available, if that was what they were asked to provide..? Customers may have asked for the wrong tickets..? You don’t have all the facts (and indeed nor do I, as I refer to anecdotal stories I have been told), and unfortunately you risk making yourself look foolish. But please, carry on…


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(29 Dec 2021, 10:29 pm)Dan Wrote: That’s your prerogative, but I’m not sure what impact it has on you or why you, as an enthusiast, feel the need to get involved.

For all you know, the full ticketing range might have been available, if that was what they were asked to provide..? Customers may have asked for the wrong tickets..? You don’t have all the facts and unfortunately you risk making yourself look foolish. But please, carry on…


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You claim that they asked for £4 GNE day tickets and then said that the correct fare was the £8.50 Arriva Regionwide, as you were driving the routes that day I think the onus is on you to provide the correct information and the cheapest available fare for that journey.

But as we're clearly going in roundabouts and as I have better things to do "as an enthusiast", I'll leave you alone now pet.
(29 Dec 2021, 10:37 pm)omnicity4659 Wrote: You claim that they asked for £4 GNE day tickets and then said that the correct fare was the £8.50 Arriva Regionwide, as you were driving the routes that day I think the onus is on you to provide the correct information and the cheapest available fare for that journey.

But as we're clearly going in roundabouts and as I have better things to do "as an enthusiast", I'll leave you alone now pet.


I’m not sure why you’re so intent on making this about me? Feels like there may be a personal issue here? FYI - I didn’t sell any £8.50 tickets on Boxing Day (nor did I ever claim to!)

On a personal level (and I will split this from the GNE thread as it’s off-topic), I was surprised to see such startling price differences between the 308 and (presumably) the rest of the services which run between Newcastle and Blyth. It’s crazy that all these services take a broadly similar time to go end to end, and yet an end to end single on the X10 for example costs more than a day ticket on the 308.


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(29 Dec 2021, 10:40 pm)Dan Wrote: I’m not sure why you’re so intent on making this about me? Feels like there may be a personal issue here? FYI - I didn’t sell any £8.50 tickets on Boxing Day.


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You were under the assumption that the £8.50 ticket was the correct alternative regardless, which still highlights that something is wrong with what GNE have been told or if drivers have been left to ticket train themselves on a different fare structure.

There's still clearly problems, not only with information provision to the public on what services were running that day, but also with the availability of fare information, which I think is right to raise with the organisations involved.

As for making it personal, I'm just saying that as you were a driver of the mentioned routes that you were misinformed. So it's likely that other drivers covering Arriva routes may have been too.

But that's all I have to say, also I don't appreciate being called a Karen or told "I'll look foolish" when raising some very valid questions and points?  Big Grin
(29 Dec 2021, 10:51 pm)omnicity4659 Wrote: There's still clearly problems, not only with information provision to the public on what services were running that day, but also with the availability of fare information, which I think is right to raise with the organisations involved.

With regards to the information provision to the public on what services were running on Boxing Day, are you proposing to complain to Arriva that they put on their website that no services were running on Boxing Day?

Surely they already know they put this information out?


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(29 Dec 2021, 10:58 pm)Dan Wrote: With regards to the information provision to the public on what services were running on Boxing Day, are you proposing to complain to Arriva that they put on their website that no services were running on Boxing Day?

Surely they already know they put this information out?


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Yup, although I'll also raise it with Northumberland and Nexus as there was a poor amount of information provided by the latter and none as far as I can tell by NCC. 

Arriva only issued timetables and no information about any other arrangements such as fares in a leaflet that I found at...the MetroCentre?!

I assume that these problems would be something raised by those in the NEbus group too, usually good for information regarding joint initiatives but seem to have flopped here.
(29 Dec 2021, 11:07 pm)omnicity4659 Wrote: Yup, although I'll also raise it with Northumberland and Nexus as there was a poor amount of information provided by the latter and none as far as I can tell by NCC. 

Arriva only issued timetables and no information about any other arrangements such as fares in a leaflet that I found at...the MetroCentre?!

I assume that these problems would be something raised by those in the NEbus group too, usually good for information regarding joint initiatives but seem to have flopped here.


Nexus probably did a lot more than what they ordinarily would by issuing new timetables for Boxing Day on their website (especially given that they only procured the 306 and 308). I’m not sure if they could have done a lot more - other than perhaps printing out those timetables and somehow making them available in Haymarket Bus Station.

I would argue that the biggest failing here lies on Arriva. Printing full printed timetables for Boxing Day - which some operators have done - could be argued as excessive, but above all else it is Arriva’s responsibility to inform their customers of which services are running and which ones aren’t.

They knew and had timetables for the services running on Boxing Day, as the local authorities would have invited them to tender to operate them as they did all the other operators in the region. I’ve seen a few comments now about this but it is disappointing that they felt it appropriate to just say no services were running on Boxing Day.

Are you suggesting that they printed something and distributed it at the Metrocentre which suggested something different to their own website?


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(29 Dec 2021, 11:16 pm)Dan Wrote: Nexus probably did a lot more than what they ordinarily would by issuing new timetables for Boxing Day on their website (especially given that they only procured the 306 and 308). I’m not sure if they could have done a lot more - other than perhaps printing out those timetables and somehow making them available in Haymarket Bus Station.

I would argue that the biggest failing here lies on Arriva. Printing full printed timetables for Boxing Day - which some operators have done - could be argued as excessive, but above all else it is Arriva’s responsibility to inform their customers of which services are running and which ones aren’t.

They knew and had timetables for the services running on Boxing Day, as the local authorities would have invited them to tender to operate them as they did all the other operators in the region. I’ve seen a few comments now about this but it is disappointing that they felt it appropriate to just say no services were running on Boxing Day.

Are you suggesting that they printed something and distributed it at the Metrocentre which suggested something different to their own website?


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I'll scan the booklet I found when I can, but I believe someone else found a few of the Christmas booklets at Haymarket and again at Park Lane. It has full timetables and states operated by GNE, and something along the lines of "more details can be obtained from Nexus and NCC".

This was the first public release of information and I posted about it at the time, Nexus followed soon after.

No idea if these leaflets were posted out to depots to put on buses, or if they were put in prominent places in Northumberland (especially with the closures of Ashington, Blyth and Haymarket help points).
(29 Dec 2021, 11:16 pm)Dan Wrote: Nexus probably did a lot more than what they ordinarily would by issuing new timetables for Boxing Day on their website (especially given that they only procured the 306 and 308). I’m not sure if they could have done a lot more - other than perhaps printing out those timetables and somehow making them available in Haymarket Bus Station.

I would argue that the biggest failing here lies on Arriva. Printing full printed timetables for Boxing Day - which some operators have done - could be argued as excessive, but above all else it is Arriva’s responsibility to inform their customers of which services are running and which ones aren’t.

They knew and had timetables for the services running on Boxing Day, as the local authorities would have invited them to tender to operate them as they did all the other operators in the region. I’ve seen a few comments now about this but it is disappointing that they felt it appropriate to just say no services were running on Boxing Day.

Are you suggesting that they printed something and distributed it at the Metrocentre which suggested something different to their own website?


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I picked up the Arriva Christmas/New Year leaflet from Eldon Square timetable "rack" - there were plenty of them alongside the GNE one. It included full Boxing Day timetables.        
(29 Dec 2021, 10:40 pm)Dan Wrote: I’m not sure why you’re so intent on making this about me? Feels like there may be a personal issue here? FYI - I didn’t sell any £8.50 tickets on Boxing Day (nor did I ever claim to!)

On a personal level (and I will split this from the GNE thread as it’s off-topic), I was surprised to see such startling price differences between the 308 and (presumably) the rest of the services which run between Newcastle and Blyth. It’s crazy that all these services take a broadly similar time to go end to end, and yet an end to end single on the X10 for example costs more than a day ticket on the 308.


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I'm not sure why your surprised it's no different to the fact that every other service in the Birtley / Chester Le Street area, pretty much, costs more than the 21 for a similar distance and I'm not sure I need to say why but it involves the X12.

The 308 is too cheap imo for the distance travelled similar to most the North Tyne fares which are only like that because in an ideal world half of them wouldn't exist or would be joined together as similar routes. 306/310, 308/309, 1/22, 1/306, 19/57/57A in particular.

£6.40 for a day ticket from Blyth isn't exactly much difference to £6 from Consett for example.

Interestingly there now appears to be 12 day bundles available to be used at £4.83 a day which must be used within 30 days - https://www.arrivabus.co.uk/buy-tickets/...one/ane016. First I'm aware of it as I haven't seen it advertised anywhere.
(30 Dec 2021, 12:06 am)Storx Wrote: Interestingly there now appears to be 12 day bundles available to be used at £4.83 a day which must be used within 30 days - https://www.arrivabus.co.uk/buy-tickets/...one/ane016. First I'm aware of it as I haven't seen it advertised anywhere.

Posters advertising that were certainly applied to most of the Ashington buses I travelled on a month or two ago. 

Regarding the Boxing Day fares - there's clearly been some serious miscommunication somewhere. While the £8.50 day ticket shouldn't have even been available (I imagine ANE/Nexus/NCC are to blame there), surely the drivers need to apply common sense at some point - if you know you usually charge £4, then the competitor isn't charging more than double for the same product...
Given these services were procured by Nexus and NCC - it has nothing to do with Arriva on what tickets should have been made available.

I've asked one of the team I know who work for Arriva and they told me that they provided fare tables only - at request from NCC. Absolutely no advice on what day tickets to offer was provided, as It was not their remit to do so, on the basis these were local authority supported services rather than an operator drafted in 'on hire'.

He said that Arriva had advised NCC and Nexus if their intention not to operate Boxing Day, so the procurement of services is wholly an arrangement between the authority and the operating operators. Nothing at all to do with Arriva as they didn't operate under their service registration or operating licence.

If GNE have been told to only sell specific tickets, questions need to be asked of NCC and Nexus, but then again, that doesn't fit the agenda of this forum to always prod Arriva?