Extra ticket checks at Preston

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Hellfire

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I was making my way up the ramp to Platform 4 for the Euston service from the subway at Preston yesterday morning to find five VT staff with a table who were checking tickets of passengers boarding trains.

They told me the exercise had started last week. Ive been using Preston for the last five years and, to the best of my knowledge, this has never happened before.

These were definitely VT staff, not the Northern Rail RPIs who sometimes blockade the exits. I have never travelled on a Euston service where a full ticket check wasn't carried out by the Train Manager. I don't know if they were doing this on other platforms. This would just have affected 3 and 4.

I asked whether they might be putting barriers in an the team leader just said 'you never know'
 
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AlterEgo

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As far as I know there's a condition in Virgin's franchise extension that they must barrier every one of the stations they manage.
 
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As far as I know there's a condition in Virgin's franchise extension that they must barrier every one of the stations they manage.

I am sure it wasn't every station? But I could be wrong. As I cant see them putting barriers in at Oxenholme or Penrith for example.
 
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I am all for having barriers and don't have a issue with blockades by staff I always have a ticket so nothing to hide. In all honesty it does make me happy to see such a blockade. Granted they can't catch every single person with out the correct or no ticket but even catching that one person makes it all worth the while in my opinion
 

OneOffDave

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Barriers would be ok it someone came up with one that you could use easily while using a wheelchair. They are currently tricky as it's almost impossible to wheel and put the ticket in the machine at the same time. Then you have to put the ticket somewhere while you wheel through as there's not time to put it back anywhere until you've gone through. Not having the wide gates all at one end like they've done on platforms 2 & 3 at Euston would help so you aren't pushing against a tide of people
 

greaterwest

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Barriers would be ok it someone came up with one that you could use easily while using a wheelchair. They are currently tricky as it's almost impossible to wheel and put the ticket in the machine at the same time. Then you have to put the ticket somewhere while you wheel through as there's not time to put it back anywhere until you've gone through. Not having the wide gates all at one end like they've done on platforms 2 & 3 at Euston would help so you aren't pushing against a tide of people

A setup like this would be ideal (Southampton Central platform 4)



As for point 31.9 in that PDF,


This doesn't seem like a very good idea; ticket barriers that close when you put the wrong ticket in?

That'll be fun during the rush hour.
 

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Lincoln

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A setup like this would be ideal (Southampton Central platform 4)



As for point 31.9 in that PDF,



This doesn't seem like a very good idea; ticket barriers that close when you put the wrong ticket in?

That'll be fun during the rush hour.

It wouldn't take long for the casual fare evaders to realise that you don't need a ticket to walk through the "open by default" gate!
 

whizzylizzy

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The revenue block at Preston is primarly aimed at the 08.58 Virgin trains departure to London Euston.
Staff were targeting and taking exception to users boarding this service at Preston with an off-peak ticket from Lancaster to Euston.
An off peak ticket from Lancaster is valid on trains arriving into London after 10:05 and a break of journey is allowed. If you get on at Preston with this ticket, is it a valid ticket?
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Its £91.50 for an off peak return LAN-EUS whilst a whopping £344 PRE-EUS for a shorter journey on the same train.
 

Oxfordblues

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I have a friend living in Lancaster who travels frequently to the Midlands and back. He always has a valid ticket but because of Virgin West Coast's lamentable revenue protection he is able to use it for several return journeys within its validity.
 

maniacmartin

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whizzylizzy, both the Off Peak Single and Off Peak return from Lancaster to London Terminals have restriction codes which contain the phrase "No break of journey allowed on outward travel, except to change trains", so no, it would not be valid to start short at Preston.*

* except if changing trains... perhaps as part of a split ticket ;)


I have a friend living in Lancaster who travels frequently to the Midlands and back. He always has a valid ticket but because of Virgin West Coast's lamentable revenue protection he is able to use it for several return journeys within its validity.

It's not valid if it is being reused
 
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FordFocus

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Seen Virgin RPIs there before doing a complete blockade. They occasionally do the joint operations with other TOCs at Piccadilly with blocks at Warrington and Wigan North Western at times.

Have Warrington BQ and Wigan NW been gated yet?
 

AlterEgo

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The revenue block at Preston is primarly aimed at the 08.58 Virgin trains departure to London Euston.
Staff were targeting and taking exception to users boarding this service at Preston with an off-peak ticket from Lancaster to Euston.
An off peak ticket from Lancaster is valid on trains arriving into London after 10:05 and a break of journey is allowed. If you get on at Preston with this ticket, is it a valid ticket?
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Its £91.50 for an off peak return LAN-EUS whilst a whopping £344 PRE-EUS for a shorter journey on the same train.

Break of journey on the outward leg is not permitted with the LAN-EUS Off-Peak Return.

http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/3a
 

Bletchleyite

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Barriers would be ok it someone came up with one that you could use easily while using a wheelchair. They are currently tricky as it's almost impossible to wheel and put the ticket in the machine at the same time. Then you have to put the ticket somewhere while you wheel through as there's not time to put it back anywhere until you've gone through.

Yes there is. Barriers stay open a very long time[1] if not entered, they then close when a beam on the far side is broken. It is entirely feasible to do the following if the station is not busy:

1. Put coffee on barrier
2. Retrieve ticket from wallet
3. Insert ticket into barrier and retrieve, barrier opens
4. Return ticket to wallet and wallet to pocket
5. Pick up coffee
6. Proceed through barrier

[1] It might actually be useful for disabled people if there was a sign saying how long they stay open, so they can determine if they should just request assistance without trying.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
I have a friend living in Lancaster who travels frequently to the Midlands and back. He always has a valid ticket but because of Virgin West Coast's lamentable revenue protection he is able to use it for several return journeys within its validity.

He doesn't have a valid ticket, as once it has been used it ceases to be valid, whether marked or not. Hopefully one day he will get his comeuppance, being one of those people who cause there to need to be the inconvenience of barriers, with a nice RoRA prosecution heading his way.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
This doesn't seem like a very good idea; ticket barriers that close when you put the wrong ticket in?

That'll be fun during the rush hour.

That's the Japanese model. However, they close with some force (they have to to stop someone who is already moving quickly towards the gate) - I guess in Japan injuring a passenger without a valid ticket is seen as acceptable. I can't see that being accepted here - the first legal case would soon be along.
 

Hellfire

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What time was this? No-one there when I used it at about 0930 yesterday.

I was catching the 0757 from Preston.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
I am all for having barriers and don't have a issue with blockades by staff I always have a ticket so nothing to hide. In all honesty it does make me happy to see such a blockade. Granted they can't catch every single person with out the correct or no ticket but even catching that one person makes it all worth the while in my opinion

I always have a valid ticket too and don't have an issue with blockades. My query came about because in five years of travelling from Preston, always on either the 0657 or 7.57 service to Euston, I have never seen any sort of blockade for passengers boarding a train. I have occasionally seen what I take to be Northern RPIs blockading the exit and checking tickets of those leaving the station.
 

All Line Rover

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The revenue block at Preston is primarly aimed at the 08.58 Virgin trains departure to London Euston.
Staff were targeting and taking exception to users boarding this service at Preston with an off-peak ticket from Lancaster to Euston.

I hope they wouldn't take exception with passengers using the return portion of a London to Lancaster ticket.

Likewise, I hope they wouldn't take exception with passengers entering the station holding an off-peak ticket from Preston to London, as such passengers are entitled to travel on the 08:17 Preston to London via Birmingham service (which is off-peak) and the 08:20 or 08:47 departures to Manchester to connect with the 09:35 Manchester to London service (which is also off-peak). There is no obligation to explain one's intended route until travelling on a specific train.
 

Bletchleyite

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I hope they wouldn't take exception with passengers using the return portion of a London to Lancaster ticket.

VT rarely if ever seem to perform checks on arrival, only on boarding.

There is no obligation to explain one's intended route until travelling on a specific train.

There is no obligation to allow you onto the platform until the arrival of your planned train.
 

Shaw S Hunter

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I hope they wouldn't take exception with passengers using the return portion of a London to Lancaster ticket.

Likewise, I hope they wouldn't take exception with passengers entering the station holding an off-peak ticket from Preston to London, as such passengers are entitled to travel on the 08:17 Preston to London via Birmingham service (which is off-peak) and the 08:20 or 08:47 departures to Manchester to connect with the 09:35 Manchester to London service (which is also off-peak). There is no obligation to explain one's intended route until travelling on a specific train.

But if you are asked the question and either refuse to answer it or subsequently "behave in a suspicious manner" (ie give the appearance you may try to sneak onto a train for which your ticket is not valid) then you run the risk of simply being denied access to the platform or even removed from the station completely. You are technically correct but I'm not sure it's a path worth going down.

The situation is not so different to booking offices refusing to sell an off-peak ticket until after the last peak service available for that journey has departed. A little goodwill goes a long way, but it also works both ways.
 

All Line Rover

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VT rarely if ever seem to perform checks on arrival, only on boarding.

I was speaking in the context of boarding at Preston using the return ticket (two Off-Peak Return tickets are still considerably cheaper than an Anytime Return).

There is no obligation to allow you onto the platform until the arrival of your planned train.

Which may depart before the peak 08:58 departure to London to which whizzylizzy referred.
 

WatcherZero

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Seen Virgin RPIs there before doing a complete blockade. They occasionally do the joint operations with other TOCs at Piccadilly with blocks at Warrington and Wigan North Western at times.

Have Warrington BQ and Wigan NW been gated yet?

There isn't the room to install barriers at North Western. Best they can manage is semi-regularly a couple of staff usually accompanied by one or two BTP officers checking tickets in the underpass during peaks.
 
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All Line Rover

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But if you are asked the question and either refuse to answer it or subsequently "behave in a suspicious manner" (ie give the appearance you may try to sneak onto a train for which your ticket is not valid) then you run the risk of simply being denied access to the platform or even removed from the station completely. You are technically correct but I'm not sure it's a path worth going down.

The situation is not so different to booking offices refusing to sell an off-peak ticket until after the last peak service available for that journey has departed. A little goodwill goes a long way, but it also works both ways.

It depends on the context, yes, but passengers should not have to justify their intended route simply to enter the station when they hold a valid ticket.

If ticket barriers, or manual ticket inspections which block the entrance to a station, are incapable of identifying this issue (e.g. VT only passengers using LM services, or multiple off-peak departures before one odd peak departure), there should continue to be on-board ticket inspections on the problem services. It's not as if there is insufficient time to carry out a full ticket inspection on a non-stop train between Warrington and London.
 

Bletchleyite

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It depends on the context, yes, but passengers should not have to justify their intended route simply to enter the station when they hold a valid ticket.

Why not? What's wrong with being asked which train you intend to use?
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Which may depart before the peak 08:58 departure to London to which whizzylizzy referred.

They depart from different platforms, so passengers could easily be allowed access to one but not the other.
 

AlterEgo

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If ticket barriers, or manual ticket inspections which block the entrance to a station, are incapable of identifying this issue (e.g. VT only passengers using LM services, or multiple off-peak departures before one odd peak departure), there should continue to be on-board ticket inspections on the problem services. It's not as if there is insufficient time to carry out a full ticket inspection on a non-stop train between Warrington and London.

You know as well as I do that revenue checks on Virgin are very poor. The train manager is often totally invisible for almost the whole journey.

Virgin have made quite a few improvements since I left them in 2013 but this isn't one of them.
 

Kendalian

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The revenue block at Preston is primarly aimed at the 08.58 Virgin trains departure to London Euston.
Staff were targeting and taking exception to users boarding this service at Preston with an off-peak ticket from Lancaster to Euston.
An off peak ticket from Lancaster is valid on trains arriving into London after 10:05 and a break of journey is allowed. If you get on at Preston with this ticket, is it a valid ticket?
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Its £91.50 for an off peak return LAN-EUS whilst a whopping £344 PRE-EUS for a shorter journey on the same train.

Someone has to pay for Dodgy Dick's Carribbean island :roll:

Seriously though, how do you explain to Mr BMW or Merc why it costs vastly more to travel a shorter distance on the same train.

Virgin ticket staff were there last Thursday morning at 8.30 on the ramp down from the ticket office. No one by the subway though from the car park ;)
 

Hellfire

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Someone has to pay for Dodgy Dick's Carribbean island :roll:

Seriously though, how do you explain to Mr BMW or Merc why it costs vastly more to travel a shorter distance on the same train.

Virgin ticket staff were there last Thursday morning at 8.30 on the ramp down from the ticket office. No one by the subway though from the car park ;)

There is no justification for it. Why is a train off-peak from Lancaster yet miraculously becomes peak from Preston?
 

bengley

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A setup like this would be ideal (Southampton Central platform 4)


As for point 31.9 in that PDF,



This doesn't seem like a very good idea; ticket barriers that close when you put the wrong ticket in?

That'll be fun during the rush hour.

They close if you try to walk through without inserting a ticket too!
 
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