Advice on gate line procedures anyone?

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ItchyRsole

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Sorry if I’m wrong category. Mods feel free to move if need be.

I saw something last night and wondered if someone who works the gate lines or has experience could maybe clarify something.

So I was going home after a shift around 01.15 at major main line station.

When getting to the gates which were all shut and not one staff member manning them another gentleman tried using his ticket to get through the barrier which beeped and wouldn’t let him through.

The train was in 3 mins and the next one was an hour. The gentleman leaned over and pressed the green button to release the gate.

With that, a young and quite aggressive rail staff employee came running out of a back office straight up in the guys face, no social distancing, no mask saying ‘oi don’t press that button’ to which the gentleman stated ‘I have a valid ticket (which he presented) and there was no one there and all the gates were shut. What was I meant to do?’

The rail staff employee was continually repeating ‘I don’t care I don’t care I was in the toilet’ and then ‘I’m gonna make sure you don’t get that train’ and proceeded to walk down to the platform presumably to say this guy was a trouble maker or something similar.

I said to him you’re in the wrong there mateand he turned and walked away.

What I’d like to know is what’s the procedure and what was the passenger meant to do?

Surely common sense would say if you need the toilet or whatever else open a gate up for people to access and when you return close it no?

I thought the employee handled the whole thing terribly and it stunk of a power trip from where I was standing.
 
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Mag_seven

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If the gateline attendant was having a personal needs break then the gates should have been left open in my opinion.
 

LowLevel

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Sorry if I’m wrong category. Mods feel free to move if need be.

I saw something last night and wondered if someone who works the gate lines or has experience could maybe clarify something.

So I was going home after a shift around 01.15 at major main line station.

When getting to the gates which were all shut and not one staff member manning them another gentleman tried using his ticket to get through the barrier which beeped and wouldn’t let him through.

The train was in 3 mins and the next one was an hour. The gentleman leaned over and pressed the green button to release the gate.

With that, a young and quite aggressive rail staff employee came running out of a back office straight up in the guys face, no social distancing, no mask saying ‘oi don’t press that button’ to which the gentleman stated ‘I have a valid ticket (which he presented) and there was no one there and all the gates were shut. What was I meant to do?’

The rail staff employee was continually repeating ‘I don’t care I don’t care I was in the toilet’ and then ‘I’m gonna make sure you don’t get that train’ and proceeded to walk down to the platform presumably to say this guy was a trouble maker or something similar.

I said to him you’re in the wrong there mateand he turned and walked away.

What I’d like to know is what’s the procedure and what was the passenger meant to do?

Surely common sense would say if you need the toilet or whatever else open a gate up for people to access and when you return close it no?

I thought the employee handled the whole thing terribly and it stunk of a power trip from where I was standing.

The gates are either meant to be open when unattended or have a help point fitted with or without a camera for a control room so they can be opened remotely if required.

Totally unattended gates with no help point is a no-no.

Been on the wrong side of this sort of situation before, luckily in my uniform travelling to work. The gates were shut as the station was single manned and the side gate was open but a contractor closed the gate behind them in error leaving several unhappy people stuck outside.

I ended up climbing over the fence to get the station supervisor to come and unlock the gate, luckily with a few minutes before the train (they were dealing with the contractor so they didn't answer the phone when I tried to ring them).

Not the official way of sorting it but I agree people shouldn't be put in danger of missing a train as a result of this kind of omission.
 

ItchyRsole

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Suggest you copy this to whoever runs the Station , adding exact Station and time etc
I see the employee quote often.

Think I’m going to have a word with him myself when I see him.

Probably not the right way to think and maybe I’m a bit old fashioned but I don’t wanna grass him up.

The gates are either meant to be open when unattended or have a help point fitted with or without a camera for a control room so they can be opened remotely if required.

Totally unattended gates with no help point is a no-no.

Been on the wrong side of this sort of situation before, luckily in my uniform travelling to work. The gates were shut as the station was single manned and the side gate was open but a contractor closed the gate behind them in error leaving several unhappy people stuck outside.

I ended up climbing over the fence to get the station supervisor to come and unlock the gate, luckily with a few minutes before the train (they were dealing with the contractor so they didn't answer the phone when I tried to ring them).

Not the official way of sorting it but I agree people shouldn't be put in danger of missing a train as a result of this kind of omission.
Thanks mate. Totally agree with your first paragraph. It wound me up as I really didn’t see what options the guy had.
 

yorkie

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With that, a young and quite aggressive rail staff employee came running out of a back office straight up in the guys face, no social distancing, no mask saying ‘oi don’t press that button’ to which the gentleman stated ‘I have a valid ticket (which he presented) and there was no one there and all the gates were shut. What was I meant to do?’

The rail staff employee was continually repeating ‘I don’t care I don’t care I was in the toilet’ and then ‘I’m gonna make sure you don’t get that train’ and proceeded to walk down to the platform presumably to say this guy was a trouble maker or something similar.
I am disappointed, but I have to admit, at all surprised to hear of this behaviour;.

The staff member concerned should have left the gates open while he was having his PNB, and additionally should not have reacted in this manner.

A complaint should be made.
 

Watershed

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Sorry if I’m wrong category. Mods feel free to move if need be.

I saw something last night and wondered if someone who works the gate lines or has experience could maybe clarify something.

So I was going home after a shift around 01.15 at major main line station.

When getting to the gates which were all shut and not one staff member manning them another gentleman tried using his ticket to get through the barrier which beeped and wouldn’t let him through.

The train was in 3 mins and the next one was an hour. The gentleman leaned over and pressed the green button to release the gate.

With that, a young and quite aggressive rail staff employee came running out of a back office straight up in the guys face, no social distancing, no mask saying ‘oi don’t press that button’ to which the gentleman stated ‘I have a valid ticket (which he presented) and there was no one there and all the gates were shut. What was I meant to do?’

The rail staff employee was continually repeating ‘I don’t care I don’t care I was in the toilet’ and then ‘I’m gonna make sure you don’t get that train’ and proceeded to walk down to the platform presumably to say this guy was a trouble maker or something similar.

I said to him you’re in the wrong there mateand he turned and walked away.

What I’d like to know is what’s the procedure and what was the passenger meant to do?

Surely common sense would say if you need the toilet or whatever else open a gate up for people to access and when you return close it no?

I thought the employee handled the whole thing terribly and it stunk of a power trip from where I was standing.
Legally speaking, the passenger arguably committed an offence under Railway Byelaw 9(2). I assume there was no remote camera facility the passenger could have used?

From a customer service perspective the employee was in the wrong, and it would be quite justifiable for you to raise your concerns with the TOC concerned.
 

adrock1976

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Legally speaking, the passenger arguably committed an offence under Railway Byelaw 9(2). I assume there was no remote camera facility the passenger could have used?

From a customer service perspective the employee was in the wrong, and it would be quite justifiable for you to raise your concerns with the TOC concerned.

Splitting hairs, it could also be argued that the staff member had contravened fire safety regulations as there were no open gates, it would not be possible to evacuate the station in the event of a fire. I am of the view that fire safety should override everything else - perhaps somebody who has dealt with fatalities in a fire could comment?

Also on a brief sidenote, the landlord (housing association) of my previous flat stopped allowing tenants in high rise flats from having Virgin Media (mainly) and other communication companies from installing fibre optic cables as the installers made their own minds up as to how to route the cables by drilling through various walls, compromising the fire safety integrity of the flat. This was not long after the Grenfell Tower fire.
 

FGW_DID

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Splitting hairs, it could also be argued that the staff member had contravened fire safety regulations as there were no open gates, it would not be possible to evacuate the station in the event of a fire. I am of the view that fire safety should override everything else - perhaps somebody who has dealt with fatalities in a fire could comment?

Gatelines should open automatically in the event of a fire alarm activation, power cut etc.
 

Trackman

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I am disappointed, but I have to admit, at all surprised to hear of this behaviour;.

The staff member concerned should have left the gates open while he was having his PNB, and additionally should not have reacted in this manner.

A complaint should be made.
Same here.
Makes me wonder how these people get jobs in customer service in the first place.
Another thing the staff member should think about is that they do not who that person is before shouting the odds. I've seen people come a cropper this way.
 

SargeNpton

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Gatelines should open automatically in the event of a fire alarm activation, power cut etc.
But passengers need to be able to exit the platforms during all emergencies, not just those that set off the alarms or interrupt the power.
 

Fawkes Cat

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But passengers need to be able to exit the platforms during all emergencies, not just those that set off the alarms or interrupt the power.
In practice, can't you barge the gates open? No doubt this will (or at least should) set off an alarm somewhere, but in the event of an emergency that shouldn't deter anyone from going through the gate to somewhere safer.
 

SargeNpton

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In practice, can't you barge the gates open? No doubt this will (or at least should) set off an alarm somewhere, but in the event of an emergency that shouldn't deter anyone from going through the gate to somewhere safer.
If you're strong enough yes. No good though if you're aged, infirm or have small children in tow.
 

Horizon22

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Sorry if I’m wrong category. Mods feel free to move if need be.

I saw something last night and wondered if someone who works the gate lines or has experience could maybe clarify something.

So I was going home after a shift around 01.15 at major main line station.

When getting to the gates which were all shut and not one staff member manning them another gentleman tried using his ticket to get through the barrier which beeped and wouldn’t let him through.

The train was in 3 mins and the next one was an hour. The gentleman leaned over and pressed the green button to release the gate.

With that, a young and quite aggressive rail staff employee came running out of a back office straight up in the guys face, no social distancing, no mask saying ‘oi don’t press that button’ to which the gentleman stated ‘I have a valid ticket (which he presented) and there was no one there and all the gates were shut. What was I meant to do?’

The rail staff employee was continually repeating ‘I don’t care I don’t care I was in the toilet’ and then ‘I’m gonna make sure you don’t get that train’ and proceeded to walk down to the platform presumably to say this guy was a trouble maker or something similar.

I said to him you’re in the wrong there mateand he turned and walked away.

What I’d like to know is what’s the procedure and what was the passenger meant to do?

Surely common sense would say if you need the toilet or whatever else open a gate up for people to access and when you return close it no?

I thought the employee handled the whole thing terribly and it stunk of a power trip from where I was standing.

If the gateline was unattended, even for a small period, the gates should have been left completely open. Some staff will do the sneaky "leave the WAG (wide-aisle-gate) open" only, but that too is strictly against the rules. It is against fire regulations and health and safety - what if someone was trapped?

Personally I'd wait for a little bit but if it was time critical (which it normally is at 01:15, you'd suspect), ultimately I'd have to force myself through. The colleagues behavior contravenes their code of conduct - not to mention their customer service - so I'd complain to the TOC. Presumably CCTV would back up the gentleman's point of view.

Ultimately if you didn't want to force through, then a 60-minute delay repay form might focus some minds.

In practice, can't you barge the gates open? No doubt this will (or at least should) set off an alarm somewhere, but in the event of an emergency that shouldn't deter anyone from going through the gate to somewhere safer.

It will set off a local alarm - usually a constant high-pitched beep - but it is something setup for emergency situations and the alarm wouldn't go wider than the gateline control panel
 

Alex27

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The gates should absolutely be left open if they are unattended, it's not safe otherwise. Another thing that really irritates me is when the WAG is just left open with the rest of the gates still in operation (and unattended), most definitely not protocol.
 

peteb

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I wonder what the legal position would be if the railway employee prevented someone with a legitimate travel document from boarding a train as was threatened here? As most people have phones I would guess the chances of any confrontation being filmed are high and instances of bad customer service deserve to be published.

As this was the middle of the night health and safety concerns would be heightened, eg: a stranded passenger is more at risk than one that is allowed to continue their journey.
 

Horizon22

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The gates should absolutely be left open if they are unattended, it's not safe otherwise. Another thing that really irritates me is when the WAG is just left open with the rest of the gates still in operation (and unattended), most definitely not protocol.

Yes its disappointing and surprisingly common - I've seen it on TfL many times too. I can understand some colleagues fear about being too close to passengers in Covid times, but that's no excuse for breaking rules. And its a separate issue that many are being allowed to do so suggesting inadequate supervision.
 

Master Cutler

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Based on these circumstances, if I were part of the TOC management and it was reported to me, I would issue a general memo confirming that gates are to be left open in the event that staff are distracted or otherwise engaged.
This would avoid any potential confrontation issues with the member of staff concerned.
 

37424

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In practice, can't you barge the gates open? No doubt this will (or at least should) set off an alarm somewhere, but in the event of an emergency that shouldn't deter anyone from going through the gate to somewhere safer.
Depends on the type of gate, if they are glass you can break them if you try and barge them open as I have experienced myself
 

mresh91

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I've worked in stations before but not gateline, and it is as everyone said: the gates must be left open if not clearly staffed by anyone present. That's the protocol for when someone is on their break/toilet and no one else is available to cover.

Purely conjecture on my part, but if I was a betting man: he wasn't in the toilet at all, but rather had a CCTV monitor in his office and thus stepped out. Totally out of order and has to be reported.
 

ItchyRsole

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I've worked in stations before but not gateline, and it is as everyone said: the gates must be left open if not clearly staffed by anyone present. That's the protocol for when someone is on their break/toilet and no one else is available to cover.

Purely conjecture on my part, but if I was a betting man: he wasn't in the toilet at all, but rather had a CCTV monitor in his office and thus stepped out. Totally out of order and has to be reported.
Funny you say that. As soon as the guy pressed the green button he shot straight of an office door and seemed very put out that someone would dare want to get on their train.
 

Tio Terry

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I wonder what the station management plan says about unmanned barriers? I would be very surprised if it said they should be closed.
 
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I have seen London Underground stations all the time in past, just leave the wide isle gate open when no staff manning gates and all the other gates closed this is clearly a breach of fire and health and safety regulations!!!
 

Mojo

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I have seen London Underground stations all the time in past, just leave the wide isle gate open when no staff manning gates and all the other gates closed this is clearly a breach of fire and health and safety regulations!!!
It isn’t. At the outlying and quieter stations it is very common for the gates to be monitored by staff in the office. Each station has its own assessment of how the gates should be monitored.
 

rg177

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I remember having an issue at Wembley Central circa 4am one morning where the gates were all closed and the staff member was seemingly sat in an office. In my case I just shouted towards the office door and a bloke emerged to let me through.

Leaving a gateline unmanned is a massive no-no, as frustrating as passengers pressing the emergency release (EMO in my place). When wide aisle gates are open, it's less of an issue, but trapping passengers one side of a gateline is very poor.
 
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sharpley

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Cubic made gates have a breakthrough setting to control the force required to push (force) the paddles open. Its a software setting that cannot be accessed by station staff though. Its set when the gate is installed. It still needs a fair bit of force to get through them though. All Cubic gatelines are connected to the fire panel (if present) and emergency open plungers. The paddles open under battery power in the event of a power cut.
 
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