Long term implications of suspending ticket checks

SlimJim1694

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During the really hot weather last week I overheard some passengers telling another passenger at the ticket machine not to buy a ticket as "they don't check them any more". The person thanked them for the information and went into the station without buying one.

I get the impression that quite a lot if people who used to buy tickets have twigged this and have stopped buying them now.

I can't see regular ticket checks and proper revenue blocks being a thing again for the foreseeable, so I wonder what effect this might have on passenger culture if they are getting away without paying during the pandemic. What will it take to make these new fare evaders start paying again? I also wonder how much harder it will make the jobs of guards and RPIs once they do have to start checking tickets again and come up against a culture of people who have got used to free travel and built up a sense of entitlement. Most station booking offices look to be on borrowed time anyway and sadly I expect the current situation will probably signal the end for many of them.

Just wondered what others thought about it. Personally I've noticed a far higher percentage of passengers walking straight past ticket machines, offices and oyster readers lately and I've not seen any RPIs or BTP since March! Have others noticed similar around the country?

There are far more people travelling for leisure last few weeks and from the 4th when the pubs reopen I'm sure it will be like the wild west. I think it could be hard to put the genie back in the bottle once all this is over.
 
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8J

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Transpennine Express did a revenue sting at a station exit last week (Thornaby off the top of my head) so they are still happening. As you rightly point out, passengers are not buying tickets if they think they can get away with it.
 

SlimJim1694

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Transpennine Express did a revenue sting at a station exit last week (Thornaby off the top of my head) so they are still happening. As you rightly point out, passenger's are not buying tickets if they think they can get away with it.
Oh wow. I've not seen any revenue blocks or inspections on my TOC. How do they do it while still maintaining social distancing? I bet they caught loads of people!
 

Metal_gee_man

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It's a hard line for on board staff to balance on between the Gov advice, the unions recommendations, the TOCs expectations.

As a passenger I would prefer to see the Guard, Conductor, OBM or Revenue staff walking the train I feel safer and happier when I do.

It's not a free service and people shouldn't be taking the piss, the question is how do you get all of the stakeholders to agree returning to normal safely and I suspect the drivers cab is a lovely safety net currently!
 

trentside

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I’d imagine that many of those currently taking advantage of this situation will happily pay if challenged. Once things get back to normal with revenue checks they’ll start paying again. Obviously there’s those who won’t but they’re the ones we’d have problems with anyway.
 

Mcr Warrior

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Probably be loads of new posters on the "Disputes and Prosecutions" sub-forum, asking for guidance (after getting prosecuted/penalty-fared) once we're back to whatever passes for "normal". :rolleyes:
 

trentside

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It's a hard line for on board staff to balance on between the Gov advice, the unions recommendations, the TOCs expectations.

As a passenger I would prefer to see the Guard, Conductor, OBM or Revenue staff walking the train I feel safer and happier when I do.

It's not a free service and people shouldn't be taking the piss, the question is how do you get all of the stakeholders to agree returning to normal safely and I suspect the drivers cab is a lovely safety net currently!
We’re still walking through trains at my TOC with necessary precautions being taken. It keeps us visible and assists us with doing passenger counts. I’m really starting to miss passenger interaction now, I chat to people when I can but it’s nothing like doing tickets.

In terms of return to normal - when the risk assessments say it’s safe to do so. By largely restricting on train staff to the cab it minimises risk as far as possible.
 

Hadders

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Barriers in operation at my local station, I even had a ticket check onboard a Northern train last week and one at Sheffield station.
 

Rockhopper

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The last four times I've traveled on the Robin Hood line there have been no ticket checks, the guard doesn't even come out of the rear cab unless its to open and close the doors etc. This was before lock down and after the franchise change.
 

1D54

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Barriers in operation at the usual hours at Leicester and St Pancras but it seems to be hit and miss at Kings Cross where they were in operation yesterday but not a couple of weeks ago, the same with Euston but Paddington seems to be completely free to wander around on a Saturday at least.

I've been on 36 trains since lockdown ended without one ticket inspection (had valid tickets for all of them!)
 
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Ashley Hill

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Bristol TM barriers have been in operation recently with queues at the fares desk. There were also a few "normal" looking passengers arguing the toss about having to pay having travelled from stations where tickets could have been purchased.
 

APT618S

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In the last month I have had 1 check on board a XC train between York and Leeds and a couple of times on York station when the eastbound TPX has arrived in P4 where there have been a couple of staff waiting across the platform.
 

Metal_gee_man

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In terms of return to normal - when the risk assessments say it’s safe to do so. By largely restricting on train staff to the cab it minimises risk as far as possible.
I must ask have you been told what tasks you should be doing now by your TOC and what advice have any union has given to counteract their expectations.
 

Starmill

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A number of operators have continued both ordinary ticket gateline and also doing at station revenue blocks without ever stepping those down.
 

trentside

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I must ask have you been told what tasks you should be doing now by your TOC and what advice have any union has given to counteract their expectations.
Security walks and passenger counts are expected. Revenue checks are not required. Union has not pushed back against this, so long as it is safe for us to do so. They do issue regular reminders of health and safety at work as well as reminders that the union will back anyone who feels unsafe to work a train in situations such as overcrowding.
 

route101

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Scotrail , not had any checks on four services ive been on. Still gateline at Glasgow Central though.
 

dk1

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Barriers still in operation and at Norwich revenue protection are checking tickets additionally onboard some services before departure to ensure any connecting passengers also have purchased tickets. At intermediate local stations it sadly is a free ride at the moment but what can you do?
 

BurtonM

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I don't understand why barriers are OK to use at the moment, surely mitigating the spread of the virus by reducing the amount of things people have to touch is a better idea?
 

Metal_gee_man

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Security walks and passenger counts are expected. Revenue checks are not required. Union has not pushed back against this, so long as it is safe for us to do so. They do issue regular reminders of health and safety at work as well as reminders that the union will back anyone who feels unsafe to work a train in situations such as overcrowding.
Thank you, I wasn't sure where the truth lay
 

CrispyUK

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I don't understand why barriers are OK to use at the moment, surely mitigating the spread of the virus by reducing the amount of things people have to touch is a better idea?
You don’t need to touch the barriers though, only your ticket / phone / smartcard which you can offer up to the reader/slot without touching the barrier. I guess there is a potential risk that a contaminated magstripe ticket put through a barrier, could then mean than contamination is transferred to subsequent tickets put through the same barrier, but everyone should be practicing good hand hygiene at the minute anyway. Certainly people are going to come into contact with door handles, buttons, grab handles, seats, handrails when out and about anyway.
 

Chew Chew

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Scotrail , not had any checks on four services ive been on. Still gateline at Glasgow Central though.
My commute is only 1 station into Aberdeen.

The barriers are closed in Aberdeen and gateline staff are there all the time.

On the train no ticket checks but the conductor has went by if I'm on an I7C asking about destinations as they only open 1 door at my home station.
 

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