Leeds - shortage of people selling tickets to arriving passengers?

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Flying Snail

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Leeds has plenty of ticket machines for departing passengers. This is a different issue with incoming passengers who have not or could not buy tickets at their originating station or on the train. These passengers are now having to buy at the barriers on exit at Leeds hence the wait.
 

sheff1

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The bit that caught my eye:

"Currently 195 of the 463 stations served by Northern have ticket purchasing facilities".
 
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142094

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It is not actually a shortage of ticket machines at Leeds, rather there is a lack of staff who have portable Advantix machines at the excess fares stands. This is a common problem at Leeds and isn't helped by the fact that there are many stations on routes into Leeds where it will be physically impossible to get down a carriage and collect the fares on board during the peaks. Normally at Leeds there is a couple of excess fares stands located on the footbridge, and another couple near platform 1.

To be fair to Northern, not every station is worthy of having a TVM fitted, and even then you would have the same problem where people walk past the machine (or the machine only takes cards), cannot/do not buy on board then try to buy at Leeds itself. It is unfair to say that it is just a problem with Northern, seeing as there will be a fair few who get on XC/EC/TPE services to Leeds who do not buy a ticket at their origin station.
 

sheff1

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It is unfair to say that it is just a problem with Northern, seeing as there will be a fair few who get on XC/EC/TPE services to Leeds who do not buy a ticket at their origin station.

True, but as all XC/EC and the vast majority of TPE served stations do have ticket purchasing facilities, then any delay due to purchasing at Leeds is their own fault.
 

142094

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True, but as all XC/EC and the vast majority of TPE served stations do have ticket purchasing facilities, then any delay due to purchasing at Leeds is their own fault.

Exactly, although it exacerbates the problem at Leeds with the genuine cases (i.e. Northern) where there are no ticket facilities at the origin station, and the guard cannot get down the train in time.

Of course there is the minority who do it and try and buy a ticket from Burley Park, but these are being weeded out.
 

sevenhills

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Exactly, although it exacerbates the problem at Leeds with the genuine cases (i.e. Northern) where there are no ticket facilities at the origin station, and the guard cannot get down the train in time.

Are there genuine reasons for not having ticket machines? Perhaps tickets should/could be perchased at newsagants?
 

yorksrob

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Northern have put a lot of new ticket machines in at stations which previously didn't have them so they have been doing something. From what I see though, most tickets still get bought on the train, therefore problems arise where the guard can't/wont get through the whole train in time.
 
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Out of interest, just how many passengers per year would be required to start their journey at a particular station before a) it merited a TVM or b) merited having a ticket office ope
n? My local station has c75000 passengers and has no facility for purchasing tickets. It doesn't even have a toilet. The buildings exist, it is just they are closed.
 

Mojo

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Out of interest, just how many passengers per year would be required to start their journey at a particular station before a) it merited a TVM or b) merited having a ticket office ope
n? My local station has c75000 passengers and has no facility for purchasing tickets. It doesn't even have a toilet. The buildings exist, it is just they are closed.
There isn't really any consistency regarding station staffing. A station near the
house of my parents has over 400,000 journeys per year, and has no functioning ticket machines, yet alone a ticket office! Meanwhile, Adderley Park in Birmingham which has only just over 31,000 journeys per year has a ticket office staffed from the start of traffic, to the close of traffic 7 days per week.
 

Flamingo

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And if you take Grangetown in Cardiff, there are around 150 K journeys by ticket sales PA (down from a high of 600K) and no barriers or staff.

(It might have something to do with the fact that it is the favourite station for people to ask for a ticket from on the barriers at Cardiff Central)
 

185

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The average revenue protection officer pays for himself four times over.

*brain+hammer=splat*
 

89sr11

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It is the single most frustrating thing for me about arriving into Leeds by train. I often commute from Burley Park or Castleford to Leeds. Both of these stations have ticket machines, and I use them when they work, but (especially at Burley Park) they are often out of order or there is an insane queue to use them. It's not so bad coming from Castleford because the conductor has the time to come round (when they do), but from Burley this never happens (understandable - it's a very short journey)

When I get to Leeds, the queue to buy tickets is often about 30 deep, with just one person on the booth. I tweeted Northern about it the other day because I was standing there for about 15 minutes waiting for a ticket, which made me late for work. I fail to understand why they cannot put at least another person on the booths. It's infuriating.
 

the sniper

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Meanwhile, Adderley Park in Birmingham which has only just over 31,000 journeys per year has a ticket office staffed from the start of traffic, to the close of traffic 7 days per week.

:lol:

You're looking at the theoretical opening times there Mojo. ;)
 
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It is the single most frustrating thing for me about arriving into Leeds by train. I often commute from Burley Park or Castleford to Leeds. Both of these stations have ticket machines, and I use them when they work, but (especially at Burley Park) they are often out of order or there is an insane queue to use them. It's not so bad coming from Castleford because the conductor has the time to come round (when they do), but from Burley this never happens (understandable - it's a very short journey)

When I get to Leeds, the queue to buy tickets is often about 30 deep, with just one person on the booth. I tweeted Northern about it the other day because I was standing there for about 15 minutes waiting for a ticket, which made me late for work. I fail to understand why they cannot put at least another person on the booths. It's infuriating.

It is a problem. It is fine for TOC's to make stations unmanned and then force customers to buy their tickets on the train, so long as their are enough train staff available to sell them. On my commute, the staff usually get around (although some are far better than others) but sometimes they fail and having to queue for a ticket at your destination is infuriating if you are in a hurry. It does seem sometimes that the railway is operated for the convenience of the TOC's and not the customers.
 

radamfi

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Is there a major city in Western Europe outside the UK and Ireland where rail passengers have to queue for long periods of time on arrival to get out of the station?
 

sheff1

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Are there genuine reasons for not having ticket machines?

I suspect vandalism at some locations.

Perhaps tickets should/could be perchased at newsagants?

This could work if there was a flat fare or simple zonal structure for transport in/around major cities in the UK, as there is for many in Europe where tickets are sold at newsagents etc.
 

Clip

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Exactly, although it exacerbates the problem at Leeds with the genuine cases (i.e. Northern) where there are no ticket facilities at the origin station, and the guard cannot get down the train in time.

Of course there is the minority who do it and try and buy a ticket from Burley Park, but these are being weeded out.

If this is the case then why on earth do Northern not just send a couple of RPIs or what ever there every morning to sell tickets and therefore the ones who claim to have arrived ticketless from there will get prosecuted as they wouldve had the chance to buy.

Seems amazing that they dont do these sorts of things.
 

Solent&Wessex

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No they don't.

(If they did, and they were anything like FCC, we'd see loads of prosecution threads on here!)

In the days of Northern Spirit or Arriva (or might even have been earlier, in RRNE days, I forget) there were carnets on the Harrogate Line. They weren't an outstanding success as anecdotal evidence suggested that commuters never used them correctly, so they were withdrawn.

If this is the case then why on earth do Northern not just send a couple of RPIs or what ever there every morning to sell tickets and therefore the ones who claim to have arrived ticketless from there will get prosecuted as they wouldve had the chance to buy.

Seems amazing that they dont do these sorts of things.

They do occasionally, and the queues at Leeds are even bigger then - although it is a different queue - the queue to meet the RPI for a chat :D


The main problems in the West Yorkshire area are a) the relatively low fares, even at peak times; b) the horrendous overcrowding, even at some off peak times; c) the ancient rolling stock which doesn't make it easy for the Guard to get down the train; d) the time between stations on many routes into Leeds.

These combined make it a very labour intensive task to collect the revenue effectively, made even worse by the fact that most stations have had all staff facilities / buildings etc removed meaning it isn't feasible to just plonk some staff out there each morning.
 

Clip

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They do occasionally, and the queues at Leeds are even bigger then - although it is a different queue - the queue to meet the RPI for a chat :D


The main problems in the West Yorkshire area are a) the relatively low fares, even at peak times; b) the horrendous overcrowding, even at some off peak times; c) the ancient rolling stock which doesn't make it easy for the Guard to get down the train; d) the time between stations on many routes into Leeds.

These combined make it a very labour intensive task to collect the revenue effectively, made even worse by the fact that most stations have had all staff facilities / buildings etc removed meaning it isn't feasible to just plonk some staff out there each morning.

Im unfamiliar with the whole of Yorkshire travel and Northern trains but cant the PTE also do something to help with this? I mean surely its in all their interests to get things sorted to some extent - if only with stations where they suspect large amounts of fare evasion occurs(that being people saying they started there) Portacabin hire for a few months with facilities would certainly pay for itself through more money in the fare box and prosecutions from those that tried to defraud the railway.

Would make smahing headlines to in the local rag if not national.

See they shouldve hired me years ago when they had the chance, within a month or two I wouldve put together the most convincing business case for this and added to my rather abrasive nature at times pushed this through :D
 

4SRKT

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Exactly, although it exacerbates the problem at Leeds with the genuine cases (i.e. Northern) where there are no ticket facilities at the origin station, and the guard cannot get down the train in time.

Of course there is the minority who do it and try and buy a ticket from Burley Park, but these are being weeded out.

How can they be weeded out?

 

tbtc

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The average revenue protection officer pays for himself four times over.

*brain+hammer=splat*

I've never seen figures, but I am firmly of the opinion that it's worth employing more people to check/collect tickets/money.

Since the mantra from Guards is that checking tickets comes well down the list of priorities, I wonder whether it'd make sense for Northern to employ "revenue" staff shuttling between nearby stations and Leeds (e.g. someone collecting tickets on a Wakefield - Leeds train, then jumping on the next Wakefield bound service to do the same - plus Shipley, Bradford Interchange and Dewsbury). A long enough journey for the "Revenue" person to get through the entire train, but with fairly regular services back so that they could shuttle around Leeds. A bit like ticket inspectors on the buses. Not to replace the Guards, but to allow the Guards to concentrate on opening the doors and "train safety". Heck, given me commission and I'd do it :lol:
 

142094

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If this is the case then why on earth do Northern not just send a couple of RPIs or what ever there every morning to sell tickets and therefore the ones who claim to have arrived ticketless from there will get prosecuted as they wouldve had the chance to buy.

Seems amazing that they dont do these sorts of things.

4SRKT said:
How can they be weeded out?

The way Northern do it is to put a RPI team at the station to make sure that everyone getting on from that station (be it Burley Park or another station that is close to large centre i.e. Man Pic, Liverpool LS, Newcastle etc) has a ticket, and in some cases they may be given some sort of token as well. So when someone turns up at Leeds and asks for a single from Burley Park, it is a much more serious case, and intentionally trying to defraud them out of revenue.

Even when Northern and the PTEs get together and install ticket machines at some stations (although vandalism is rife at quite a few stations, and putting in a ticket machine is a sitting duck), most of the TVMs are card-only, and there is no incentive for passengers to buy at the station.
The age old problem is that the RPIs cannot be at every station and get moved around frequently, but from talking with Northern, they are taking on more staff to deal with this and other related problems.
 

Clip

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Good im glad they are. They shouldnt just move them around though and thats probably their weakness. A good solid months block at a station(Burley park now its been mentioned) would catch out far more people then just a day or two would and would send a message that this doesnt work.

Honestly the scope of work to be done can be done but it seems they have no incentive to do anything long term and increase the revenue and thus make a better business case for their next franchise bid and a better case for more rolling stock to cart about people they know come from further afield and not just the last stop before terminal.
 

142094

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The problem is that the fraudsters (which they are) will find out within a few days and use a different station. Part of the problem in a PTE area is that the fares from stations are already quite low, so if Burley Park was continually blocked, the fraud would move onto another station close to Leeds, but which might only cost an extra 20p on a single. Persistent offenders are well known and put before the courts.
 

M60lad

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I know that at Manchester Piccadilly their going through the phase again of only a couple of staff on the bridge (Platforms 13/14) but also checkers have been at the doors from the Platforms to the Concourse for the past couple of weeks
 
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