Wikipedia calls contracts like the National Rail Conditions of Carriage / Travel a Standard form contract:
A standard form contract (sometimes referred to as a contract of adhesion, a leonine contract, a take-it-or-leave-it contract, or a boilerplate contract) is a contract between two parties, where the terms and conditions of the contract are set by one of the parties, and the other party has little or no ability to negotiate more favourable terms and is thus placed in a “take it or leave it” position.
While these types of contracts are not illegal per se, there exists a very real possibility for unconscionability. In addition, in the event of an ambiguity, such ambiguity will be resolved contra proferentem against the party drafting the contract language.
If you work for a TOC, any one listed in Appendix One of NRCoC or a Licenced Retailer, please see my disclaimer section on Contact Page
Looking through NRCoC I can only find passing references to the indervidual TOC’s “Passengers Charters”, and they are mostly in §32 “Compensation for delays” however none of the references give the TOC permission to give less compensation than the minimum as stated in NRCoC5.
In fact §32.4 states
Claims will be considered without undue delay and any compensation due will be paid within 14 days of your claim being agreed by the Train Company. Our target is to process all claims within one month of receipt.
Now reading the back of the System One Travel card, it looks to only be issued subject to the Terms and conditions of the National Rail Conditions of Travel6, §3 states “The ticket78 is issued subject to the National Rail Conditions of Carriage and to the published conditions of bus operators on whose services it is valid”, no where on the card front, nor back does it make any reference to any further terms or conditions, and at the time of purchase I am not made aware of any extra specific terms.
However Chris Bywater who is the Customer Solutions Team Manager for Arriva Rail North Ltd (trading as Northern) (ARN) calls on an additional set of The Terms and Conditions that he claims state:
The Countycard product is owned and administered by Greater Manchester Travelcards Ltd9 (operating as System One Travelcards), and is retailed by Northern10 and other Train Operating Companies11 operating within Greater Manchester under license. As such we are legally obliged to abide by the Terms and Conditions set by GMTL, including arrangements relating to refunds
Nowhere on the back or front of a System One card (COUNTY BUS & TRAIN SAVER CONDITIONS OF USE) does it make any mention to the additional terms and conditions; So what could this GMTL terms and conditions be? Well System One policy states §14.1:
We will not be liable or responsible for any failure to perform, or delay in performance of, any of our obligations under a contract that is caused by events outside our reasonable control.
If I read that right… then the incidents mentioned in NRCoC for refunds are not excused just because this is a “flex-ticket12“.
so without further a due, let me Introduce you to:
Skippy’s Rail Conditions of Carriage
- These conditions are between any one who wants to make use of them, and the TOC
- These conditions are based of the conditions_of_travel_2016 of the National Rail Conditions of Carriage13, any amendment to the base document or reissue requires that Skippy is made aware of it in writing, with the attachment of the full text of the document by recorded delivery 28 calendar days before its issue date, else the 2016-10-01 base document will continue to be the version issued against. However changes to Apendix A “A list of the Train Companies to which these Conditions apply” will be updated without re-issue.
Amendments to the 2016-10-01 issue of the National Rail Conditions of Carriage
- §A.1 “The National Rail Conditions of Travel define the ‘Agreement’ that comes into effect between you and the Train Companies that provide scheduled rail services on the National Rail Network, when you purchase a rail Ticket.” Replace with “Skippy’s Rail Conditions of Carriage define the ‘Agreement’ that comes into effect between you and the Train Companies that provide scheduled rail services on the National Rail Network, when you purchase a rail Ticket.”
- §A1.1 “By selling a ticket the Train Companies that provide scheduled rail services on the National Rail Network agree to the amendments made by me to this ‘Agreement'”.
- §A.2.2.3 “You must use your Ticket in accordance with the specific terms and conditions associated with it.” is read to mean specific train or routing restrictions.
- §B.Note “Please note that neither a Train Company’s staff nor a Licensed Retailer’s staff have the authority to waive or change these Conditions unless they are specifically allowed to within these Conditions.” is read to mean that Customer Service staff can not pull random other documents out of the woodwork to amend clear cases as per NRCoT (Multi Modal / Flexi Tickets used on Trains are issued against NRCoT) Please see §4.4.
- §27.5 Addition of “‘Bustitution’ shall result in a 50% refund of the journey undertaken based on the cost of a full un-discounted anytime single fare between the two stations”.
- §32.1 “Where your journey is delayed or cancelled, you may be entitled to compensation. The amount that you are due will vary by Train Company and is set out in each Train Company’s Passenger’s Charter.” replace with the following table:
Delay of between Compensation 15 and 29 minutes 50% of the cost of a full un-discounted anytime single fare between the two stations. 30 and 59 minutes 100% of the cost of a full un-discounted anytime single fare between the two stations. 60 and 119 minutes 150% of the cost of a full un-discounted anytime single fare between the two stations, or one return ticket to anywhere on the TOC network. 120 minutes or more 200% of the cost of a full un-discounted anytime single fare between the two stations, or two return tickets to anywhere on the TOC network.
§34 “Except as shown above, Train Companies will not accept liability for any loss (including consequential loss), caused by the delay and/or cancellation of a train service.” – Edit to Exclude Consequential loss. this brings the maximum liability for consequential loss to a value of up to £1500 per passenger as per §26.
- All references to “Administration fees” shall relate to a £0 maximum.
With that in mind…
Appendix One list:
|TOC name||Trading As||Contact Details|
|Email Address||Phone Number||Website||Postal Address|
|Abellio Greater Anglia Limited||Greater Anglia||[email protected]||0345 600 7245||@greateranglia||greateranglia.co.uk||/GreaterAnglia||FREEPOST RSCZ-UXZJ-EHHE
Greater Anglia Contact Centre
Norwich Railway Station
|Abellio Scotrail Ltd||ScotRail|
|Arriva Rail North Ltd||Northern||[email protected]||0800 200 6060||@northernassist||northernrailway.co.uk||northernassist|
|Arriva Trains Wales/Trenau Arriva Cymru Limited||[email protected]||0333 3211 202||arrivatrainswales.co.uk||arrivatrainswales|
|c2c Rail Limited|
|East Coast Main Line Company Limited||Virgin Trains East Coast||@Virgin_TrainsEC|
|East Midlands Trains Limited||[email protected]||0345 7125 678||@EMTrains||eastmidlandstrains.co.uk||Facebook.com/EastMidlandsTrains|
|First Greater Western Limited||Great Western Railway|
|First Greater Western Limited/Heathrow Airport Holdings Limited||Heathrow Connect|
|First TransPennine Express Limited||TransPennine Express|
|Govia Thameslink Railway Ltd||Great Northern
|Grand Central Railway Company Limited|
|Hull Trains Company Limited|
|London & Birmingham Railway Limited||London Midland||[email protected]||0121 6342 040||@LondonMidland||londonmidland.com||/London-Midland|
|London Overground Rail Operations Limited||London Overground|
|London & South Eastern Railway Limited||Southeastern|
|Merseyrail Electrics 2002 Limited||Merseyrail|
|MTR Corporation (Crossrail) Limited||TfL Rail|
|Serco Caledonian Sleepers Ltd||Caledonian Sleepers|
|Stagecoach South Western Trains Limited||South West Trains; Island Line|
|The Chiltern Railway Company Limited||Chiltern Railways|
|West Coast Trains Limited||Virgin Trains||[email protected]||0333 1031 031||@VirginTrains||virgintrains.co.uk||Facebook.com/virgintrains|
|XC Trains Limited||CrossCountry||[email protected]||0344 7369 123||@CrossCountryUK||crosscountrytrains.co.uk||Facebook.com/Crosscountrytrains|
|Office of Rail and Road||020 7282 2000||@railandroad||orr.gov.uk|
|Rail Delivery Group14||[email protected]||020 7841 8000||@RailDeliveryGrp||raildeliverygroup.com|
|Transport Focus||[email protected]||0300 123 2140||@TransportFocus
|Which?||[email protected]||01992 822 800||@whichuk||which.co.uk|
- it’s “available” on-line here
- Multi-mode” Tickets like the County Card
- Appendix B of NRCoT states:
“Zonal Tickets” are those Tickets which permit travel only within a defined geographic area.
- Appendix B of NRCoT states:
“Permit to Travel” means a document obtainable from self-service machines at some stations that allows you to travel by train until you have a reasonable opportunity to buy the Ticket you need for your journey, for a period of not more than 2 hours from the time of issue. The price you will have to pay for your Ticket will be reduced by the amount you have paid for the Permit to Travel.
- yes I know about §32.6:
“A Train Company may not be obliged to pay compensation under this Condition if the cause of the delay was entirely outside the rail industry’s control. Each Train Company’s Passenger’s Charter will set out any exclusions that applies to such claims in respect of their services”
- Previously called the National Rail Conditions of Carriage
- Appendix B of NRCoT states:
“Ticket” means any physical or electronic document or record which entitles a passenger to make a journey on the National Rail Network between the stations or within the zones indicated by one or more of the operators listed in Appendix A. An electronic document or record may consist of (but not be limited to):
(i) a smartcard (including an Oyster or ITSO card);
(ii) a payment card or identity card;
(iii) a mobile telephone or tablet device;
(iv) other mobile electronic device; or
(v) a database, in conjunction with an authorised Contactless Bank Card bearing the symbol [contactless] described in the notices and publications of the Train Company as being valid for travel on their services. Electronic documents or records may not display the same information as printed Tickets but the conditions for use of these will
explain where this information can be found.
- Appendix B of NRCoT states: “Season Ticket” means a Ticket sold as such which allows you to travel for a period of 7 consecutive days or longer
- Who I assume have to be a “Licenced Retailer” which according to Appendix B means: “an organisation authorised and licenced to sell Tickets by a Train Company or the Association of Train Operating Companies (‘ATOC’)”.
- who are a “Licenced Retailer”, and are listed in Appendex A as “Arriva Rail North Ltd (trading as Northern)”.
- Appendix B: “Train Company” means a company operating passenger railway services which is required to apply these Conditions to its Tickets under a condition of the passenger licence granted to it by the Office of Rail and Road. References in these Conditions to Train Company also extends to the authorised agents of that company. A list of these companies can be found in Appendix A. “Train Companies” means all or more than one of these Companies
- Again, not a definition found in Appendix B
- Conditions_of_travel_2016 – Copyright Rail Settlement Plan Ltd 2015 Version 2 Issued 1 October 2016
- From Monday 24 October 2016, the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) and the Rail Delivery Group adopted the single name of Rail Delivery Group