How long to wait at a ticket machine

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bluenoxid

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Most Passenger Charters state you should not have to wait more than 3-5 minutes at a booking office window.

The booking office is closed

How long should I have to wait at the ticket machine?

5 minutes, 10, 15, 20 ...

If my train arrives, have the facilities been unavailable and can I exercise that exclusion if a penalty fare is issued?

Edit

Read this to flesh it out. Note that all previous responses to post 23 have not had this information.

http://railforums.co.uk/showpost.php?p=1049621&postcount=23
 
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GadgetMan

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How long do I have to queue up at a petrol station before I can drive off with the fuel without paying?

If ticket issuing facilities are available then you are expected to queue like everyone else. In a penalty fare zone you will get penalty fared if the machine is in working order.
 

SS4

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If it's in the passenger charter that figure should really be an open and shut case - the difficulty would be in proving you'd arrived in good time.
 

bluenoxid

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How long do I have to queue up at a petrol station before I can drive off with the fuel without paying?

If ticket issuing facilities are available then you are expected to queue like everyone else. In a penalty fare zone you will get penalty fared if the machine is in working order.
But you have the fuel. :roll: A passenger has not undertaken the journey yet.

This "checkout" example does not work and if you look deeper into it, a booking office has service expectations, a ticket machine does not.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
If it's in the passenger charter that figure should really be an open and shut case - the difficulty would be in proving you'd arrived in good time.
That is the fun. I am wondering if anyone has managed to get an operator to overturn a penalty fare because of queues at ticket machines.

It is interesting and could be something that the operators may have to consider if they want to continue rolling ticket machines out in substitution to booking offices.
 

jscho84233

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How long do I have to queue up at a petrol station before I can drive off with the fuel without paying?
About 3-5 minutes, if that's what it says in the petrol station's customer charter!

But seriously, even though the TOC's charter does say that, would a passenger really be let off a penalty fare if they arrived at a station 3-5 mins before departure expecting to get a ticket from the booking office?
 

12CSVT

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If it's in the passenger charter that figure should really be an open and shut case - the difficulty would be in proving you'd arrived in good time.
CCTV should be able to prove when you arrived at a station
 

GadgetMan

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What's the wording in the charter?

There's a massive difference between;

Shouldn't not HAVE to wait more than.....

And

Should not wait more than........
 

Liam

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What's the wording in the charter?

There's a massive difference between;

Shouldn't not HAVE to wait more than.....

And

Should not wait more than........
So what you are saying is that really the TOC couldn't care less if you were served straight away, or had to wait 15 minutes. So another pointless, empty claim.
 

yorkie

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I am concerned at some of the replies by GadgetMan however there is not enough information in the original post to accurately identify a particular scenario.


  • What station?
  • What operator?
  • What ticket(s) would need to be purchased?
  • Was the machine not selling these tickets, or not accepting all payment methods?
  • Were any ticket(s) already held?
  • Were there any discount cards applicable?

Was the ticket office simply "CLOSED" or was there a notice stating it would re-open after a certain time?

I do not think that GadgetMan's comparisons are valid at all (indeed with a petrol station you fill up first; the OP would need to get to his destination for that comparison to be at all valid) and may not be applicable at all, depending on the answers to the questions above.

This thread will be massively confused and have unnecessary arguments/disagreements as various assumptions on both sides will unfortunately have been made...
 

GadgetMan

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So what you are saying is that really the TOC couldn't care less if you were served straight away, or had to wait 15 minutes. So another pointless, empty claim.
No, what I am saying is TOCs will do their best to try and keep queueing times under 5 mins at peak times and 3 mins at off-peak times in general. It isn't a guarantee that you will not have to queue for longer.

If you read the paragraphs below none of them are promising to do anything more than try and do their best to keep queues as short as they can. If the charters were promising you would not have to wait more than 5 minutes then why are ticket barriers (at stations with barriers) not opened up to all passengers as soon as there are queues at the ticket office?

Going back to the opening post, I am aware the below doesn't really address the question originally asked about TVMs.


Just pulled some TOCs charters out at random:

Southern;
2.6 Queuing at ticket offices
We always advise you to allow sufficient time to buy your ticket, particularly if your
requirements are complex. We will monitor our queuing times and aim to make sure
that you do not have to wait for more than three minutes before being served and
no more than five minutes at peak (busier) times. Purchasing tickets online is quick
and simple and they can be collected at most station ticket machines to avoid
queuing at the ticket office.

Southwest Trains;
We will use reasonable endeavours to make sure that you should not need to queue at a point of of sale (excuding internet or telephone bookings) for more than five minutes during times of peak demand or for more than three minutes at any other time. We monitor queues so that we can take action to reduce them where possible.
Virgin;
2.2 Ticket Office Queueing Times
At ticket offices and Travel Centres which we manage, we
will, in normal circumstances, ensure that you are served
within five minutes, or within three minutes at less busy
times. We will display details of when ticket office queues
are likely to be longest at all the stations we operate.
East Coast;
Our target is that you need not wait to buy a ticket for
longer than five minutes during peak times or three
minutes at other times. Peak times are shown on
station information posters. Please ensure that you
arrive at the station in plenty of time to buy a ticket
if you have not bought it in advance.

Greater Anglia;

We will do our best to serve
you within five minutes in peak times and three minutes in
the off peak. We display details of these peak times at ticket
offices. We will monitor our achievement of these queuing
times as part of our service quality regime and publish the
overall results at the stations and on our website.

Transpenine Express;
If you want to buy a rail ticket you should not have to wait more than
five minutes at peak times to get a ticket and three minutes during other
times. Peak times can vary at different stations.
 
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LexyBoy

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Worst case is where you have a booked Advance ticket and can't collect due to queues. Get the train and you'll likely be chinged for a new ticket, wait to pick up your booked ticket and, er, be charged a new ticket.

There really needs to be an official maximum waiting time. Of course, the problem of proof remains which is why I would suggest putting a person inside the ticket office, if a guard had their doubts they could call for confirmation. This person could even help selling tickets and giving travel advice... Nah, never work!
 

hairyhandedfool

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There are only two times when you can board a train without a ticket.

  • Where there are no facilities to buy a ticket or permit to travel.
  • Where a train company notice or publication states that tickets may be bought onboard the train.

Having to wait for a ticket at a station is not a reason to board a train without one. Turning up five seconds before the train leaves is not a reason to buy onboard.
 

Failed Unit

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I can't say I have ever needed to wait more than 5 minutes for a TVM even when the ticket office is closed (maybe I don't use the correct stations).

But I suspect from the penalty fare point of view it depends on the circumstances. I can't see you getting much sympathy on a very frequently served station where the next train to your destination is under 30 minutes away. However I also suspect that if you had a long wait to you next train and went looking for someone to buy a ticket from you may get a better response (a problem on DOO lines)

If the ticket office was closed, the TVM would not accept credit cards and I got the penalty fare I would be taking legal action against the TOC for not providing the ability to buy the fare. (Before anyone says use cash - I don't use cash in TVMs you have no evidence that you have paid should the machine not print the ticket - yes it has happened to me!)
 

cuccir

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There are only two times when you can board a train without a ticket.

  • Where there are no facilities to buy a ticket or permit to travel.

    Having to wait for a ticket at a station is not a reason to board a train without one. Turning up five seconds before the train leaves is not a reason to buy onboard.


  • Let's not get confused here - no-one is suggesting that turning up 'five seconds' in advance is OK. We're talking about delays which are longer than you might reasonably expect.

    Looking at most passenger charters, you should be able to allocate 5 minutes to buying tickets. Realistically, if you're travelling long distance or for services with irregular running, I think its reasonable to allow longer, in case of queues.

    But there are clearly issues where there are exceptional delays at ticket offices. Imagine if the TVMs at, say, Euston all suddenly failed. Someone arriving 20 minutes before their train may well struggle to get a ticket. Surely at some point queues of such length qualify as there being no facilities to buy a ticket?
 

hluraven

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There are only two times when you can board a train without a ticket.

  • Where there are no facilities to buy a ticket or permit to travel.
  • Where a train company notice or publication states that tickets may be bought onboard the train.
Would having the cash to buy a ticket, but the TVM being one that doesn't accept cash count? There is a facility to buy a ticket, but the passenger cannot use it?
 

radamfi

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It seems there is no discretion at all. The TOCs expect you to wait indefinitely for a ticket window or ticket machine. In theory that could mean you wait several hours, which effectively means no service from that station if you don't already hold a ticket.

In the Netherlands, if you hold a OV-Chipkaart with auto-topup, ticket queues are a thing of the past as you can pay for all train fares by touching in and out.
 

martinsh

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Just pulled some TOCs charters out at random:

Virgin;

2.2 Ticket Office Queueing Times
At ticket offices and Travel Centres which we manage, we
will, in normal circumstances, ensure that you are served
within five minutes, or within three minutes at less busy
times. We will display details of when ticket office queues
are likely to be longest at all the stations we operate.
Really ? I've never seen that information anywhere, and I use 2 Virgin stations at least three times a week (and others less frequently)

PS sorry about going off topic
 

michael769

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Really ? I've never seen that information anywhere, and I use 2 Virgin stations at least three times a week (and others less frequently)

PS sorry about going off topic
Have you contacted VT to ask why they are not complying with the obligations they have set for themselves in their customer charter?
 

bluenoxid

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Some very interesting responses and I agree, it needs fleshing out because I think some of you are making some very rash assumptions. No PF issued.

Station Dawlish
Operator FGW
One ticket machine, queued 15 minutes
RPI/Penalty Fare Area
Booking Office closed

http://www.fixmytransport.com/campaigns/stop-conductors-from-bullying-passen

I am looking to see what has happened before with regards to cases like these and whether it should go higher than FGW to ensure that passengers are not left stranded by poor performing ticket machines or the lack of them.
 

4SRKT

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The petrol station analogy given by 'Friend of the TOCs' GadgetMan is of course nonsense because if you get held up at a booking office/TVM your train will leave, but if you don't get served quickly at a petrol station the fuel doesn't magically disappear leaving you to wait for the next available pump.
 

yorkie

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Would having the cash to buy a ticket, but the TVM being one that doesn't accept cash count? There is a facility to buy a ticket, but the passenger cannot use it?
If there is no open ticket office, only TVMs that do not accept cash, and you are paying with cash, you may buy on board or at your destination.
 

hairyhandedfool

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Some very interesting responses and I agree, it needs fleshing out because I think some of you are making some very rash assumptions. No PF issued.

Station Dawlish
Operator FGW
One ticket machine, queued 15 minutes
RPI/Penalty Fare Area
Booking Office closed

http://www.fixmytransport.com/campaigns/stop-conductors-from-bullying-passen

I am looking to see what has happened before with regards to cases like these and whether it should go higher than FGW to ensure that passengers are not left stranded by poor performing ticket machines or the lack of them.
No Penalty Fare was issued in the situation you linked to because there was no authorised collector present to issue it.
 
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Failed Unit

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The petrol station analogy given by 'Friend of the TOCs' GadgetMan is of course nonsense because if you get held up at a booking office/TVM your train will leave, but if you don't get served quickly at a petrol station the fuel doesn't magically disappear leaving you to wait for the next available pump.
If you have a long queue getting to the pump, you will of course go somewhere else, something you don't have the option of with a TOC! (unless you are running on vapour anyway)
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
If there is no open ticket office, only TVMs that do not accept cash, and you are paying with cash, you may buy on board or at your destination.
If the TVM only accepts cash - no cards, would you be penalty fared in this instance if you have a credit card? As I said in an earlier post, I would not trust a TVM with a £10 or £20 note!
 

cuccir

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http://www.fixmytransport.com/campaigns/stop-conductors-from-bullying-passen

I am looking to see what has happened before with regards to cases like these and whether it should go higher than FGW to ensure that passengers are not left stranded by poor performing ticket machines or the lack of them.
In truth this is a grey area - as HHF says, there is nothing in the National Rail Conditions of Carriage which covers this specific issue.

Reading your story, if this happens again, I'd travel but I'd gather evidence. Take a photo of the queue when you arrive, and note the exact time that you arrive at the station. Photo the queue length again as your train arrives. The problem in your situation is that the guard, or any RPI, doesn't know if you arrive 1 minute or 21 minutes before your departure time. As you might expect 'I didn't have time' is a fairly common excuse and there's no way of them knowing if you are honest or a chancer.

Also, don't bother approaching the guard on the train. They do have other duties than revenue collection. If a guard comes, they can then sell you a ticket: it's not your responsibility to seek them out and indeed, if they're doing other things, you'd be getting in the way by doing so (I'm not defending the behaviour that you talk about in the linked post).

In addition, if this were to happen in the future, you should also seek to buy your ticket from the ticket office at the end of the journey.
 

WelshBluebird

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How long do I have to queue up at a petrol station before I can drive off with the fuel without paying?

If ticket issuing facilities are available then you are expected to queue like everyone else. In a penalty fare zone you will get penalty fared if the machine is in working order.
So you think it is fine that someone could arrive for their train in plenty of time, but end up missing the train through no fault of their own?
 

Mike395

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If the TVM only accepts cash - no cards, would you be penalty fared in this instance if you have a credit card? As I said in an earlier post, I would not trust a TVM with a £10 or £20 note!
I have been allowed to purchase my ticket onboard in a PF zone on several occasions when the TVM is not accepting card payments :) (due to TVM malfunction)
 
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