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Discussion in 'London Underground' started by ralphchadkirk, 21 Nov 2013.
moved to other thread
Short sighted, if ticket offices need to be closed at least keep the ones at major tube stations open. major stations for me like Barking, Stratford, Heathrow plus the main line National rail terminus stations.
Understandably, there will be a big reaction to this.
That said, I can't remember the last time I used a LU ticket office window. It was certainly pre-Oyster (2006 in my case) and I suspect several years before that, given the prevalence of machines by that time.
The ticket office windows are a great back-up when the machines fail - which is too often - but equally, when I lived in the east London suburbs, it was quite common to see windows closed when they were supposed to be open.
You can't 'stop the world' and pretend that technology and the way people pay for travel hasn't changed, but I think some kind of assisted service will still be necessary at the key tourist hotspots and National Rail termini.
A visitor or tourist will surely have to buy tickets from an office?
tourists don't have a problem with lack of ticket offices in Munich or Berlin (although Berlin does have quite a few shops which sell tickets in the u/s-bahn stations)
Whenever I use Kings Cross St Pancras, there's always a large queue for the ticket office windows. I think that tourists who are unfamiliar with the area would probably prefer to speak to a human about which ticket to buy, rather than use a TVM.
From reading the article, it seems that a lot of stations will be losing ticket offices but not staff. I can't see this making much difference to stations in the suburbs where the bulk of the passengers will already be using Oyster.
Exactly the ticket machines can be confusing for Visitors & Tourists who have never used them, why i suggest the ticket offices at major tube stations should be kept open.
Disappointing. Only visit London a few times a year but we had excellent service at the ticket office at Caledonian Road a few weeks ago when we realized that my partner would need a Zones 1-3 rather than 1-2 Travelcard for our journey. The clerk refunded and replaced the previous Travelcard quickly, meaning that she only had pay the 70p extra. Was impressed and would be a shame to lose this sort of service.
I think that TfL are taking a lesson from self-service checkouts: route everyone to the ticket machines and then if people get stuck or request something that needs staff validation (annual travelcard, railcard discount, oyster deposit refund) it'll generate a call for help alert. If that's the case then I think it's a good idea.
Why? They can just use Oyster, a paper Travelcard, or if the worst comes to the worst, buy a ticket from the machine, just like most people do now. Paying the cash fare is an extremely expensive way to do things now anyway.
I hope the existing TfL London Travel Information Centres will have the existing tube TIS once the ticket offices are scrapped. I can see the ones at Heathrow, Piccadilly Circus and Victoria becoming very busy with tourist traffic and those who need railcards/discounted photocards being added to Oyster or refunds.
Agreed, given more ticket sales are done automatically we should move the German model & sell tickets at cafes & newsagents in stations. The extra revenue for shops could enable them to open longer hours than at present. Or opening hours could be specified as part of rental agreement as a tradeoff for the extra earnings from ticket sales. Longer opening hours for retail outlets wold benefit all travelling public not just the handful who want to buy tickets not at a machine.
We could do the same at mainline stations where there is barely enough trade to keep a cafe and a ticket office open. Sadly the unions probably wouldn't allow it. Anything to do with working practises must be kept in stasis whether or not that is the best thing for the railways overall.
A comment on the Guardian website speculates that TfL will quietly drop Railcard discounts for Oyster once the ticket offices have closed - is this likely?
TfL have posted a video on YouTube with LU boss Mike Brown which explains how ticket office clerks will work in the station concourse from 2015 using tablets.
If there are going to be no compulsory redundancies how do we know the figure of job losses will be 750? If nobody takes redundancy then doesn't that leave the figure at 0? Am I missing something here?
Yet another manifesto promise from the blond buffoon that is Boris broken then!
The compo vouchers issued for tube delays are currently only redeemable at ticket offices, and only ticket offices can add railcards to Oyster - thats at least two things that will have to change at the very least.....
Would TfL consider transferring management of the Bakerloo line stations north of Queens Park, plus Gunnersbury and Kew Gardens to LOROL which would enable a continuation of the existing ticket office service at those stations, especially as the ticket offices at those stations sell NR tickets?
Perhaps someone at the BBC is confusing "role" with "job".
I'm sure I've heard of newsagents adding Railcards - along with a handful or NR stations.
Indeed, however not all newsagents will add the railcard or those TfL discount photocards they're supposed to add.
LUL managed Crossrail stations are another issue, they'll need NR compliant TVM's and not the current situation where they offer a limited selection of stations at Whitechapel and Canada Water for example.
Surely in the long term ticket offices have to be rationalised. Only the RMT would continue to insist they remain open while the majority of customers happily walk past to swipe their oyster cards.
I lived in London for 5 years and can't remember ever using a station ticket office. If I needed a ticket half a dozen local newsagents within half a mile could sell me one or offer a top up for my Oyster.
I appreciate the RMT is there to protect the jobs of members (its certainly not there to help the travelling public) But Bob Crow's response, strike action, is sadly predictable. You get the impression that if the RMT had its way we'd still have a fireman sitting in the cab of a Pendolino.
As for tourists. Just offer the facility to buy an Oyster at the arrival airport. That's want many cities I have visited in the past, including Seattle, Vancouver and Chicago do. Saves the tourist money as well.
The so-called "gateway" stations (Euston, Heathrow Terminals 123, King's Cross St. Pancras, Liverpool Street, Paddington and Victoria) will still allow visitors and tourists to purchase Oyster and have Visitor Information Centres.
That's fine for tourists arriving by Air.
There's a large minoritt who are not just visiting London and visit somewhere else in the UK and then get a train or coach in.
By the time you've got all the train and coach operators selling Oystercards it might just be easier having a ticket office open at all the main Terminals.
If like the supermarkets, which have admin options for age verification amongst other things using the self-service tills, it may be possible if you take a railcard or discounted photocard to be added to Oyster, the machines may have a software upgrade to allow staff to add the number to the card.
presumably RMT would prefer a situation such as Merseyrail where, I believe, all stations have ticket offices and these are open from before service starts until after service has finished? Mind, merseyrail ticket machines are rubbish
Appropriately trained staff can already do many Oyster functions on the Poms (LU TVMs), including adding of Railcard discounts, and have been able to do so since 2011.
Unlikely; a briefing paper released this morning suggests that TfL will seek derogation from the DfT to run the ex-Silverlink stations in line with the rest of the proposed LU station operation model.
I'd seriously hope that by 2015, we'd have nearly everyone taking payment on a contactless payment card (and foreign visitors not getting stung with hefty charges from their bank for making payments abroad*).
Oyster will then simply be another option (for people wishing to add a season ticket, or benefit from price capping), along with the chance of making payments from your mobile phone directly. If only Apple wasn't dragging its heels on NFC, we might have already seen it happen (but as Apple becomes less relevant and loses marketshare, it may well not really matter what Apple decides to do).
* Perhaps some enterprising travel companies would not just seek to offer to sell an Oyster to people about to visit Britain, but a prepaid contact less card that can be used for travel, making small purchases in shops, vending machines etc - while offering the tourist some extra security. Such a card could then easily be topped up, perhaps at an ATM or in shops that can top up other accounts.
Certainly any solution in the future to help visitors wouldn't involve the need to keep ticket offices open, which would be a real step backwards.
As long as there are no compulsory redundancies, I think it's fine and most staff will actually prefer being 'let out'.
Do you really think he comes up with this sort of proposal himself?
That may have been his personal view once, but it doesn't present LU Ltd making a case afterwards.
The idea that the mayor (or his predecessor) sits around doing detailed plans for the underground, (in his spare time when not designing cycle routes etc), is possibly a bit wide of the mark...
The TfL press release doesn't mention arrangements for out of town rail passengers with one-day travelcards or those making a cross-London transfer as part of a longer journey.
Will these passengers continue to use the standard paper tickets in 2015?