Easy to make a mistake when barriers left open

Discussion in 'Disputes & Prosecutions' started by packermac, 9 Nov 2019 at 18:16.

  1. packermac

    packermac Member

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    Moderator note: Split from https://www.railforums.co.uk/threads/why-is-advice-offered-to-those-who-cheat-the-system.194810/

    I would echo this But even where the system is clear (or so you would think) there is still confusion.
    What is the point in having barriers that are then left open. Exited East Croydon yesterday evening and I know I still need to touch out to get charged the fare as I used to live in London. But if you are from "out of town" would you know you get charged the daily cap, or worse if a revenue guy is on the train if you did not touch in, even though you think you have a ticket i.e. Oyster. East Croydon says as you enter it is open 24 hours a day 7 days a week, so why are the barriers ever open?
    TFL and TOC money making scam?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 9 Nov 2019 at 18:46
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  3. Hadders

    Hadders Established Member

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    Staff have to be present when barriers are in operation. It’s probably not cost effective to man the barriers 24/7, even at a station like East Croydon.

    Alternatively the staff might simply have gone on a break or be called away to deal with something else meaning that they needed to leave the barriers open.
     
  4. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    If in that situation, presenting a contactless card will at least ensure that you only get charged a Penalty Fare (if inspected) or maximum fare (if not inspected), rather than a threat of prosecution.
    TfL have no control over GTR's barriers at East Croydon, and I suspect GTR make more money by having them in operation.
     
  5. 30907

    30907 Established Member

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    It is not difficult to touch in/out when barriers are open, and even if you are from "out of town" there is a reasonable chance that you will have seen other smartcards in use, and/or thought to check how Oyster works.
     
  6. PeterC

    PeterC Established Member

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    The need to touch in/out is pretty obvious when you have to pass through a gateline. Now if your example was an unbarriered station with the reader tucked away outside a passenger's normal sight line that would be another matter.
     
  7. packermac

    packermac Member

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    That is surely the point, why have them open? They were working at 0425 Friday morning, but open at 2340 Friday evening, a time where especially at East Croydon you would expect quite a few passengers.
    But it would be TFL that makes the money from the daily cap if you exit at one of their stations.
     
  8. packermac

    packermac Member

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    I am not so sure it is really that obvious. Now they may all be chancers but Paddington used to regularly leave the barriers open after about 2200, I would see people approaching, get their Oyster out and then put it away when the barriers were open. Yet often I would see some of those very same people touch out at Hayes and Harlington where there was only a reader not a gate. I must then assume they were going to end up paying a lot more unless I suppose they had already reached the daily cap, and I am not sure the system is smart enough to handle that if it has an mismatch between entry visits and exit visits.
    I believe it is confusing for many I had an instance at whichever the DLR station is for London City. Off on a business trip and standing next to the reader was a revenue guy with a hand held machine, also one next to the other reader. I assumed (mistake) when he checked my Oyster and said thanks he was there as the readers were not working. No when I returned my Oyster had no money left as the daily cap was applied for not tapping out.
     
  9. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Staff shortages?

    I don't understand the reference to TfL or daily caps.
     
  10. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

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    You have to accept T&Cs when you get an Oyster card*, so everyone must know how they work. Contactless, or using a phone/watch, is a bit of a grey area as someone can hear you can use them - but NOT check how to use them, or indeed WHERE you can use them.

    * Of course people don't bother to read them, but that's their problem.
     
  11. packermac

    packermac Member

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    Unless I totally misunderstand how Oyster works yorkie (and I guess that is highly likely) say I fail to tap in at East Croydon but tap out at Harrow on the Hill having changed at Farringdon to the Met I understood you get charged the daily cap for that journey. I assume that TFL would get most if not all that money as they would not know where you started. Maybe it is different since I stopped living in London in 2014, but that was how it was always "advertised" as working.
     
  12. Hadders

    Hadders Established Member

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    You get charged a maximum fare if this happens, not a daily cap.

    In most cases the Oyster system will try to automatically correct missing taps by looking at your normal travel pattern.
     
  13. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    You mean a maximum fare, not the daily cap.

    The system will try to auto complete such journeys based on previous journeys and probability of where you may have gone. Why would TfL do this if they wanted more people to have unresolved journeys?

    I don't see how there can possibly be a "scam" with TfL encouraging GTR to act in a way that somehow increases TfL revenue by leaving GTR gatelines unstaffed. I don't know where you got that idea from, but it seems totally implausible to me, and I see no evidence of this.
     
  14. AnkleBoots

    AnkleBoots Member

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    I think your point is that everyone has to put their card through the barriers, so why not help them to remember to do that by keeping the barriers closed.

    But it's a railway (rather than tube) station where many passengers have paper tickets of some type which don't need to be put through the barriers. Even commuters using Travelcard on Oyster don't actually need to touch in/out.
     
  15. MikeWh

    MikeWh Established Member Senior Fares Advisor

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    I don't know where you got that idea from. A journey with only one touch (in OR out) will be charged a maximum fare. The only relevance to caps is that that maxiumum fare will not count towards any cap that the user may be entitled to for that day.

    As for Paddington vs Hayes & Harlington, I'd say many of the people at Paddington may well have had travelcards on their Oyster cards so there was no necessity to touch out. At Hayes there may well have been more people using PAYG where the touch definitley was necessary.

    How long ago was the City Airport incident? If inspectors are checking cards just before people touch out then they are supposed to indicate that the touch out still needs to happen. If it was recent then I'd complain to TfL/DLR as that is poor practice.
     
  16. Stewart2887

    Stewart2887 Member

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    I live in the south east, and I have no idea how Oyster works-I avoid London as much as possible. I'd be very dissapointed if I infringed Oyster regulations. I carry sufficient change for the bus if it comes to it ;)
     
  17. MikeWh

    MikeWh Established Member Senior Fares Advisor

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    TfL operated buses don't take any cash at all. Only Oyster cards, contactless payment cards/devices or paper travelcards.
     
  18. Stewart2887

    Stewart2887 Member

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    Thanks-then i shan't darken the capitals doors again. Meanwhile, an hour or so away in Oxfordshire, I can park my car most places anyway. The bus here takes cash too, and gives change, according to my daughter. For information though, does paper travelcard include National rail train tickets (never tested it)?
     
  19. MikeWh

    MikeWh Established Member Senior Fares Advisor

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    If the National Rail ticket includes a travelcard element then yes. If it is just a ticket from one side of London to another with a + symbol to allow an Underground interchange then no, it won't work on buses.
     
  20. Stewart2887

    Stewart2887 Member

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    Thanks-I did not know that. We live and learn
     
  21. ianBR

    ianBR Member

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    The lesson is to never use Oyster

    Anyone with a contactless card will only ever get charged a maximum fare and will never face penalty fares or prosecution unless they have a card that is blacklisted

    It is completely unfair to have such a harsh regime for oyster users (where one mistake can be penalised) when this does not apply to contactless users.
     
  22. Sprinter107

    Sprinter107 Member

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    I'm very cautious with Oyster. Not a frequent user, I caught a tram to Wimbledon, and then a train to Waterloo. I touched my pay as you go Oyster onto the reader at the tram stop, and tried to touch out at Waterloo, but it wouldnt accept it. The person on the barriers questioned me as to where I came from, and after I explained, he said I shouldve touched a pink (I think) coloured reader at Wimbledon. I didn't even remember seeing one. He was a decent bloke, and believed what I was telling him. On tbe few occasions I now use an oyster, I'm terrified of making a similar mistake.
     
  23. MikeWh

    MikeWh Established Member Senior Fares Advisor

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    If you are paying full adult fares then I agree, but not possibly for the same reasons. If you are a child/student/railcard holder etc then you'll lose out in many cases where the paper equivalent costs more (eg kids off-peak 1-6 travelcard £6.55 vs £1.50 off-peak cap on a zip card).
    I can see where you're coming from. However, contactless users DO get penalised.

    The real lesson is to always touch in and out on yellow readers at each end of a train journey and you won't get penalised whichever method you use. Just like we say always buy the correct ticket for a journey and you'll never fall foul of an RPI.

    Please don't be terrified. The reason he was so understanding, particularly in the earlier days, is that that is a common mistake to make. There are posters at tramstops on that line explaining that you have to touch out at Wimbledon. Maybe it's not quite so clear if you're getting another train, but all you need to do is touch a validator on platform 9 (other face of the island that the trams stop at). They're yellow and they will start your train journey. The pink readers are for interchanging between trains and tubes and are in the District line concourse which explains why you didn't see them.
     
  24. AnkleBoots

    AnkleBoots Member

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    Does this mean that you don't touch out of the tram if you are continuing by train?

    So was the man at Waterloo incorrect to say use the pink reader - ie would using the pink reader have achieved the same result as the yellow reader in this case?
     
  25. boxy321

    boxy321 Member

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    During the chaos of the last few weeks barriers were left open at New St and Coventry as the stampede of passengers trying to get home would have properly ripped them out of the ground. The TOCs wisely abandoned ticket checks too though as neither nobody appeared to have a clue and a free-for-all ensued.
     
  26. ashkeba

    ashkeba Member

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    Now this I don't understand. How does opening the barriers help deal with overcrowding if people still need to tap out and see the green light? The system can't assume all untapped cards will have exited at that station so are the authorities hoping that some people willbe pushed through untapped so they can charge them maximum or penalty fares?
     
  27. AnkleBoots

    AnkleBoots Member

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    boxy is talking about stations where you can't use Oyster or contactless so the only point of those barriers is to check the validity of paper tickets
     
  28. ashkeba

    ashkeba Member

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    I don't know those stations well or whether they allow contactless travel yet, but my question is general because I have been at London terminals when the barriers appear to have panicked open due to crowds, causing problems for people attempting to tap out while being pushed.
     
  29. MikeWh

    MikeWh Established Member Senior Fares Advisor

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    The key here is that a tram is not a train. You have to touch out at the gates if you end your tram journey at Wimbledon, but you won't get charged a rail maximum fare as long as the last touch was a tram reader within 70 minutes.

    When making a rail journey using PAYG you always have to touch in, even if your previous travel has left you inside the station, as is the case at Wimbledon by tram. Fortunately it's quite easy because there are clearly marked validators on platforms 9 and 10a/b; the 9 ones say use for National Rail while the 10 ones say use for tram.

    The OP can't remember whether he heard pink or the assistant said pink. A convenient side effect by TfL means that a pink is treated as a touch in if no rail journey is in progress, so technically the assistant would have been right, but it's quite a trek to the pink readers at Wimbledon. P9 is much easier to use.
     
  30. MPotter

    MPotter On Moderation

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    They usually tell people to not tap, and just go through instead.
     
  31. AnkleBoots

    AnkleBoots Member

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    Thanks, I can't really get my head around why touching out of a tram is required only some of the time.

    Presumably if the Wimbledon gates are open, there is no point in touching out as the system doesn't care where you exited.
     

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