Changes to TfL Staff Oyster Card validity through Thameslink Core?

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by benk1342, 16 Jul 2018.

  1. benk1342

    benk1342 Member

    Messages:
    344
    Joined:
    13 Jul 2011
    Location:
    Welwyn Garden City
    This evening I attempted to use my Staff Oyster Card to enter London Bridge National Rail Station in order to access Platform 5 to get a Thameslink service northbound through the core.

    My card didn’t work so I approached a member of Southeastern staff who was manning the gateline.

    She told me that the rules have recently changed and my pass is no longer valid through the core. She said it is now only valid between Kentish Town and St Pancras.

    I was surprised as I hadn’t heard this, but rather than argue I headed back downstairs and got the Northern line.

    Having just checked the staff travel intranet site I can see that it still says that passes are valid between Kentish Town and Elephant & Castle / London Bridge — as has always been the case.

    Can anyone shed any light on this? Also why didn’t my Staff Oyster Card work the gateline — I’m sure it used to.
     
  2. Registered users do not see these banners - join or log in today!

    Rail Forums

     
  3. matt_world2004

    matt_world2004 Established Member

    Messages:
    2,140
    Joined:
    5 Nov 2014
    I would contact staff travel to find out my understanding is it is still valid through the core but they stopped the barriers accepting them when the engineering works stopped the trains running from london bridge through the core.
     
  4. benk1342

    benk1342 Member

    Messages:
    344
    Joined:
    13 Jul 2011
    Location:
    Welwyn Garden City
    Thanks - yes I’ve contacted Staff Travel to clarify.

    Interesting point about the barriers and I wonder if there are plans to fix this.
     
  5. matt_world2004

    matt_world2004 Established Member

    Messages:
    2,140
    Joined:
    5 Nov 2014
    I was with someone last Wednesday who used their pass to cross blackfriars thameslink so it was valid at that point,
     
  6. LU_timetabler

    LU_timetabler Member

    Messages:
    109
    Joined:
    5 Feb 2017
    In theory London Bridge is not on the route between Kentish Town and Elephant & Castle for Thameslink, as Thameslinks going to Elephant & Castle do not go through London Bridge, even if the Underground does, so I can understand Blackfriars being valid and London Bridge not.
     
  7. iphone76

    iphone76 Member

    Messages:
    544
    Joined:
    6 Nov 2010
    Location:
    South Essex
    I used my staff Oyster to exit London Bridge about a week ago coming from City Thameslink - which also worked. I was surprised it worked as I'm sure in the past it has rejected at London Bridge.
     
  8. Deerfold

    Deerfold Established Member

    Messages:
    9,955
    Joined:
    26 Nov 2009
    Location:
    Yorkshire
    Good luck on getting a reply from them. I had a similar problem at London Bridge several years ago. Some gatelines did accept the pass and some didn't. A member of Southeastern staff held me for dodging my fare. He showed me a photo of a very fuzzy letter from FCC which apparently would have been sent to me to explain why my pass wasn't valid. He wasn't interested in me explaining that I had nothing to do with FCC as I worked for TfL. He refused to contact FCC or TfL staff to confirm the validity of my pass. Eventually he passed me to someone else to deal with who did try to contact FCC, but upon failing to get through to them let me through the barrier - I'd been held over 20 minutes inside the barrier and was late for work.

    As I'd provided my details I tried to get confirmation from Staff Travel of its validity but I was unable to get them to respond at all other then to confirm they'd had my email.

    No more ever came of it.
     
  9. Deerfold

    Deerfold Established Member

    Messages:
    9,955
    Joined:
    26 Nov 2009
    Location:
    Yorkshire
    Unless it's changed in the last couple of years, the leaflet explaining Staff Pass validity explicitly mentions London Bridge as being valid.
     
  10. RJ

    RJ Established Member

    Messages:
    7,216
    Joined:
    25 Jun 2005
    Location:
    Rail replacement bus cab
    I use a TfL staff pass at London Bridge several times a week on the Southeastern side and never had a problem.
     
  11. Surreytraveller

    Surreytraveller Established Member

    Messages:
    1,215
    Joined:
    21 Oct 2009
    London Bridge always used to be valid for LU tickets from the core, so presumably still is. Gateline staff knowledge of validity of staff travel from other organisations is very patchy.
     
  12. tsr

    tsr Established Member

    Messages:
    7,246
    Joined:
    15 Nov 2011
    Location:
    Between the parallel lines
    Ultimately this sort of thing destroys goodwill between transport companies, and that is a sad and unnecessary evil (not that TfL gatelines are always any better). It's hardly unreasonable to go to London Bridge instead of Blackfriars even if the pass wasn't/isn't explicitly valid there. You never know when a colleague might be able to assist you even if they're slightly off-piste in where they're allowed to go, and no doubt the gateline staff would also be very pleased if they were allowed the odd bit of leniency by another company too.

    (PS. Sadly I must add the caveat that by no means should this post be taken as some sort of official view of the facts...)
     
  13. RJ

    RJ Established Member

    Messages:
    7,216
    Joined:
    25 Jun 2005
    Location:
    Rail replacement bus cab
    The pass has been valid at London Bridge for years - since at least 2013 when I first had one.

    It happens elsewhere. At York once a TPE RPI refused to let me onto the platform. My staff pass granted me free travel on the train I was taking, but he claimed this wasn't true and tried to force me to either date a box which wasn't valid for the train I was taking, or go and pay for a ticket. When I refused to do that, other RPIs got involved and took his side and they threatened to call the BTP, who were milling around as there was an event on and it was busy. Eventually someone from the ticket office corroborated what I had said and they grudgingly let me through, by which time I missed my train! This episode had gone on for a good 15 minutes!

    I think traditionally, there has been no incentive to check validities instead of denying travel as the railways normally take a "customer is always wrong" approach, even in the case of staff pass validity. There's no point in complaining to the TOC - probably better to get TfL to contact Southeastern about it. But as I say, it has been ok in recent years, is it still an issue?
     
    Last edited: 14 Apr 2019
  14. Ralph Ayres

    Ralph Ayres Member

    Messages:
    58
    Joined:
    2 May 2012
    During the Thameslink blockade Staff Oyster cards didn't work any gates at London Bridge National Rail as there were virtually no trains on which they could be used. Since last September they have been set to work what are often referred to as the Southeastern gates, but they still don't work the gates leading directly to the Southern terminating platforms which are arguably less convenient for getting to northbound Thameslink trains. Gateline staff should still let you through after checking that you know the rules (assuming they do of course!). The passes remain valid on trains between London Bridge and Kentish Town.
     
  15. infobleep

    infobleep Established Member

    Messages:
    8,773
    Joined:
    27 Feb 2011
    How long did you have to wait for the next train and in such circumstances can you do much about it? I mean delay repay wouldn't apply.
     
  16. RJ

    RJ Established Member

    Messages:
    7,216
    Joined:
    25 Jun 2005
    Location:
    Rail replacement bus cab
    It was an hourly service. There was nothing that could be done.
     
  17. infobleep

    infobleep Established Member

    Messages:
    8,773
    Joined:
    27 Feb 2011
    Would they be the sort of person who only cares about themselves or is that a bid harsh? Did you stand around to have a chat with them. After all they are meaning the barriers, you had time to kill and you both work in the same industry? I'm not being entirely serious with my last question. The situation was unacceptable.
     
  18. RJ

    RJ Established Member

    Messages:
    7,216
    Joined:
    25 Jun 2005
    Location:
    Rail replacement bus cab
    I knew who he was - I had a previous episode with the same bloke in Liverpool. He was having a laugh with his chums at Grand Central and CrossCountry about it whilst I distanced myself from them waiting to be let through. Together they were forming a revenue block at the station entrance. He was on a wind up mission and I wasn't giving him any ammo.

    Although small talk is a nice idea, I don't do so with railway staff who have previously lied to the BTP with racial stereotypes to force a response from them, in numbers.

    One thing is for sure. With the people on the railway's payroll who don't care anything about customer service, you have to be assertive with them. Being too nice or polite is a waste of time with some personality types. If they are happy to block you from accessing platforms with a valid pass, they will only consider that you may be right if you show an appropriate level of unhappiness at not being let through. Just don't overdo it.
     
    Last edited: 19 Apr 2019
  19. infobleep

    infobleep Established Member

    Messages:
    8,773
    Joined:
    27 Feb 2011
    You almost need a degree on psychology. Do they offer psychology courses at work to use when meeting other staff?
     
  20. RJ

    RJ Established Member

    Messages:
    7,216
    Joined:
    25 Jun 2005
    Location:
    Rail replacement bus cab
    No. It's just life experience.

    The railways will never change their approach to the way they teach product knowledge and will probably never accept that testing ticket inspection staff for an ability to carry out basic research to determine if a ticket or pass is valid would solve a lot of problems. At present it's desirable but by no means considered necessary.

    It's easier for customers to learn how to deal with the difficult people who don't care about disrupting their journey. This isn't a good thing for staff as there are a lot of people out there with a very short fuse who have little patience for people who do their job wrong to their detriment - but that's the way the railways choose to do things.
     
    Last edited: 19 Apr 2019

Share This Page