Reason for withdrawl of Easement number 25 from the National Routeing Guide published by RSP ltd

Peter Richards made this Freedom of Information request to Department for Transport

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Peter Richards

Dear Department for Transport,

The following easement was withdrawn from the National Routeing Guide in the list of easemnts dated 3 April 2012.

25 Ticketholders travelling from Carlisle or Newcastle or stations south of Carlisle or Newcastle to stations between Motherwell and Glasgow may double back via Glasgow Central. This easement applies in both directions.

As changes can only be made to the National Routeing Guide with the consent of the Authority according to the Ticketing & Settlement Agreement (see below)
(1) Agreement to make a change
The Routeing Guide may, with the consent of the Authority, be altered from time to time by a resolution of the Ticketing and Settlement Scheme Council, passed by a 75 per cent. majority. Before giving his consent, the Authority will consult with any relevant RPC(s).
(2) Requirement to notify the RSP
(a) If such a resolution is passed the Operators must ensure that its terms are notified to the RSP as soon as reasonably practicable after the consent of the Authority has been obtained, in the format and in accordance with the procedure specified by the RSP from time to time.
(b) The alteration will take effect immediately after the first Fares Setting Round to start after the RSP receives this notification has been completed.
“Authority” means the Strategic Rail Authority established by Section 201 of the Transport Act.

As the DfT has taken over the responsiblities of the SRA in this matter can you please advise why this amendment was allowed?

Yours faithfully,
Peter Richards

Hazel Smith, Department for Transport

Dear Mr Richards

I am writing to acknowledge receipt of your request for information which has been allocated the reference number 8887. A response will be issued to you in due course.


Department for Transport
Information Rights & Records Unit
D/01, Ashdown House
Sedlescombe Road North
St Leonards on Sea
East Sussex
TN37 7GA

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David1 Williams, Department for Transport

1 Attachment

Please find the response to your request attached.


Yours sincerely


David Williams


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Dear David1 Williams,
re F00088887

Thank you for your reply.
I am concerned that an easement has to be removed from the public copy of the National Routeing Guide to enable alterations to be made to the computer files. What is published on the ATOC website is a static pdf file and can be modified to show what easements are actually in force without affecting the computer version
Could you please confirm whether this a one off occurance?
If it is not can you please supply of all easements that have been treated in this manner in the last 12 months

Yours sincerely,

Peter Richards

David1 Williams, Department for Transport

Hello Mr Richards

DfT do not get to see routine maintenance matters at all so I simply don't have the sort of information you are after in this instance, but if you do spot any accidental errors ATOC are always prepared to set them straight. I hope it will be helpful if I explain some background information relating to the National Routeing Guide. Changes to the NRG may be needed from time to time, if errors are discovered, new rail routes opened or reopened, additional routes are to be allowed, or train operators propose to disallow a route. The NRG is a wholly ATOC owned and published document, and another ATOC publication, the Ticketing & Settlement Agreement (TSA) describes the formal process that is required to allow changes to permitted routes to be made. The TSA itself does require ATOC to obtain approval from the Secretary of State for any changes to ensure that passengers' routeing flexibility is preserved and that the SoS consults with Passenger Focus to ensure that passengers' routeing flexibility is preserved. Approximately 20,000 flows were amended in and around 2001/2 under this full process.

However the ATOC National Routeing guide on the internet and the associated industry journey planners that adhere to it function on extremely complex software and are dynamic, being subject to routine maintenance by ATOC at the request of train operators and passengers. Many of these maintenance functions are driven by the need to make additional permissions for passengers, a typical example will be changes made to allow additional routes temporarily during engineering blockades. Others involve the development of additional mapping to illustrate more clearly the actual routes which are permitted from one station to another. At the moment the development of mapping proper is a large and time consuming task for ATOC.

It is also the case that there were errors in the original printed NRG and some made since that were allowed in the guide in error despite their route permissions being outside the rules shown in the guide on the ATOC website. It is always likely that this will happen occasionally given the complexities that arise from keeping permissions for millions of combinations of point to point journeys. Any such routine maintenance functions however do not require the use of the formal change process because they are either corrections of errors, or relaxations of restricted routes, or clarifications of existing routes.

As I mentioned earlier ATOC are always very keen to ensure the continuing accuracy and integrity of the guide and are prepared to examine any written submission to them where specific station to station items are drawn to their attention where passengers feel permissions which were once allowed have been incorrectly withdrawn, and in fact the Routeing Guide itself contains this assurance, please see the final page of the extract of the text this link leads to regarding routeing guide disputes.

I do hope this response is helpful and addresses your concerns.

Yours sincerely
David Williams

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