Daft UK Rail Ticket Rule

A relative came down from Glasgow yesterday to attend an event in the middle of Manchester, so had purchased a return ticket to Manchester Piccadilly. Heading home today, she had originally planned to get a train from Blackrod or Horwich in to Manchester to catch her return train. Unfortunately with the current engineering work on the line it meant replacement buses, which even if they actually turn up means a 30 min train journey becomes an hour and a quarter. We therefore decided that a better option was to drive her in to Manchester (a return journey for me that was still quicker than the one-way bus journey).

What is ridiculous though, is that the better solution would have been to take her to Wigan North Western station, as the train she had a ticket for, called at Wigan on the way to Glasgow. National Rail, however, has a condition which reads as follows:

Break of journey
You may not start, break and resume, or end your journey at any intermediate station except to change to/from connecting trains as shown on the ticket(s) or other valid travel itinerary.

Now I can understand that it would be wrong to purchase a ticket and then want to stop off somewhere to carry out some business for a few hours and then carry on, but when you have purchased a ticket for a seat from Manchester to Glasgow, getting on at Wigan (especially when the reason is due to an inconvenience cause by the rail companies in the first place) is not using any extra service, it’s actually less. It would only make sense if the ticket for a shorter journey actually cost more (although nothing would surprise me with the illogical ticket pricing we have in the UK)

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