Manchester Piccadilly G4S and their interpretation of the NRCoC

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by Lampshade, 17 Feb 2011.

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  1. Ferret

    Ferret Established Member

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    Here lies a personal bugbear; how the heck do I know if a ticket office is open or not? Tonight, I'm checking tickets and find a lad wanting to buy a ticket from Chester-le-St with a Y-P. How can I possibly know if the ticket office is open or closed? He was the only person who joined, so I couldn't check if others had just bought tickets to give me a clue as to the status of the booking office, so short of ringing the station which then wastes valuable ticket-checking time, I'm left with one sensible option - sell him his Y-P ticket and move on to the next person.
     
  2. Lampshade

    Lampshade Established Member

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    I didn't seek out the Guard immediately because I'd have thought it'd be expected the Guard would come round selling tickets as after 1400 every station on that line is unstaffed. I rarely use that station now anyway, I catch the bus either to Oxford Road/Piccadilly or the nearest staffed station.

    In hindsight the track record of Guards actually coming round to sell tickets on that line is poor when there are G4S barriers at Piccadilly. I once did the entire line from Crewe and one single ticket check took place after Holmes Chapel, with no further checks.
     
  3. Mojo

    Mojo Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    It's not tripe at all. I made this post in January and have said the same on a similar subject in the past:
    I would like to hope that you don't mean you PF someone for failing to seek you out if they had no way of buying the ticket before boarding (which is not what we're discussing here), but merely that you would not PF someone if they attempt to seek you out in a case where you could legally get away with PF-ing someone anyway (ie. if they could have bought the ticket before boarding), although I have no difference either way on the last point.
     
  4. jcollins

    jcollins Veteran Member

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    Some stations still have ticket machines which don't offer the full range of tickets so if the ticket office is closed some people can buy the ticket they require while others can't.

    There's been complaints posted on forums before that EMT staff aren't aware that Northern close Widnes ticket office mid-afternoon.

    There's also issues when a ticket office should be open but it's closed due to staff shortages or technical failures.
     
  5. island

    island Established Member

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    In France the on-board purchase rules give better treatment (lower cost) to people who actively seek out the guard as against waiting to be checked.
     
  6. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    I think that says it all.

    In other words you are going on about what happens in your area, which is completely, totally and utterly different to the situation on the line in question. The line in question would be totally inappropriate for PFs, the two are worlds apart. After 1400 you have to buy on board on this line. How is that comparable to a PF area?

    Helpful? No, I don't think so. So why post it?
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    Assuming you are referring to a PF area, you are asking for leniency/discretion to be shown. In which case I totally agree. However this matter, raised by RPI, to which you are replying to, is muddying the water as it has nothing whatsoever to do with the case in question on this thread, but is worded in such a way that people may think that it does apply. This can cause confusion.
     
  7. Jonny

    Jonny Established Member

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    Here is the Wikipedia article on G4S: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G4S The key point is that it stands for Group 4 Securicor as in the Group 4 that mishandled prisoner escorts in the 1990s.

    Also, if you were to swap the words behind G and S for something rather derogatory, I wouldn't blame you.
     
  8. hairyhandedfool

    hairyhandedfool Established Member

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    This is one of the problems with the fragmented railway we have. Where a ticket office is closed when it should be open, the retail control for the operating TOC will be aware of it and should distribute the information to the Guards/RPIs on duty (Thameslink were quite good at telling other offices if one was not open, that was six years ago though), however, I doubt this information is ever passed on any further.
     
  9. Ferret

    Ferret Established Member

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    In fairness, sometimes I receive messages on the Blackberry saying XYZ ticket office is closed, please offer the full range of tickets. Trouble is, there's other times when I don't receive such messages!
     
  10. Failed Unit

    Failed Unit Established Member

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    In Scotrail land you also have the times when the ticket office is open but the staff are doing other things. May only be shut for 30 minutes but I doubt the gaurds would know. Saying that since the TVMs stopped taking cash you are always allowed to buy the full range on board. Now the gaurds have new equipment that doesn't like debit cards with some strange stories in the press about threatening to throw passengers off trains rather than ask then to pay at the destination which is what really happens.

    As for G4S terrible train. I had an argument with one about doubling back a Piccadilly rather than changing at Oxford road on a journey between Irlam and Edinburgh. The ticket was valid by both York and Carlisie anyway but the didn't like me going to the costa near platform 13. They would never have known if I wasn't hungry.
     
  11. RPI

    RPI Member

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    why would I PF someone who had no chance to buy a ticket? I work in PF areas and non-PF areas in "my area" and even on the few pay train routes people will seek you out to buy a ticket without being accused of queue jumping, maybe it's just a northern thing being accused of queue jumping!
     
  12. Jonny

    Jonny Established Member

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    It most likely is - and I'm from up north. People get a bit fussy about even jockeying for position.
     
  13. radamfi

    radamfi Established Member

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    Tried to buy a ticket at Rochdale station about a year ago and the ticket office had a sign saying "ticket clerk on station duty", or words to that effect. So I took a photo of it, in case the guard on the train didn't believe me. Just that second, the clerk reappeared and gave me the third degree for taking photos (even though as we all know it is allowed). So even if you try to cover your back, it can still backfire.
     
  14. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    The Bristol area isn't North ;)

    I think on any line with loads of unmanned stations approaching a major barriered terminus at a busy time, when people are going to face queuing before they can leave the station, people may be keen to get a ticket issued on the train to avoid that queue. If everyone sought your advice to seek the guard, there'd be loads of standees all blocking the aisles trying to get to the guard on some of these trains!

    Seeking the guard is something that helps when you are in reality 'in the wrong' (e.g. boarding a PF train at a PF station because you didn't leave time to buy a ticket from the ticket office) and you declare an intent to pay and the guard will then show leniency. I am pleased you show common sense in those situations, that's good to hear :) But this situation is completely different.
     
  15. Mojo

    Mojo Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Because that's exactly what this topic is about; someone having no opportunity to buy a ticket because there are no facilities at this station. So if what you are saying is not relevant then why even bother to comment on the thread?
    I don't know how long Greater Bristol has been in the North :-?

    I can't speak for other lines with unstaffed stations as I don't think I've travelled on many at peak hours, so cannot comment on the situation on other lines, but I wouldn't be too happy if I was a regular commuter on another line and saw it there.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    Indeed; this is exactly the type of line we're talking about here.
     
  16. Failed Unit

    Failed Unit Established Member

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    Certainly in Scotrail land, people would be very unimpressed if you were looking fir the gaurd. It can take a long time to get served if you arrive at Waverley or Glasgow without a ticket. People even try to ask gaurds of other trains to avoid the queues.
     
  17. Solent&Wessex

    Solent&Wessex Established Member

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    Ditto, I get messages often, even for other TOCs stations. Again, however, it is not consistent and seems to depend who is on duty in control.
     
  18. reb0118

    reb0118 Established Member Fares Advisor

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    There are no right or wrong answers here. In an ideal world every station would have a staffed ticket office, every train a guard, and every carriage a ticket examiner, at regular intervals revenue inspectors would carry out further checks and therefore every passenger would have the opportunity to purchase a ticket either at a station, on board, or at a barrier.

    However we live in, and have to operate a system in, the real world.

    As a guard myself I would say that it the vast majority of cases I would welcome a proactive request for a ticket especially if you gave me a reason such as:-

    "Look mate can I get a ticket from you? I've a tight connection at the Waverley and this train is already a few minutes down"

    As to a queueing system on board trains. Not so. I've not seen one in 15 years. It is pot luck as to where you sit and where the revenue staff are performing their duties at any particular time. There are too many factors, especially for a guard, to dictate where he will be on any one train at any one time. On busy trains you may be able to be served at your seat almost immediately after boarding or you may have to wait 40mins whilst passengers who have joined en route get served before you. The only way to ensure that passengers get served in time order would be for the train to loaded in a strict order ie passengers from the first station to the front of the train, passengers from the second station sit in behind them and so on and so forth. I don't think this is a practical solution do you? At the very least it would be impractical to enforce and would and substantially increase dwell times at the station. How about this other brain wave? Why don't passengers just queue up at rear door and buy tickets from the guard prior to boarding? We'll leave that one there shall we.

    Anyway to make my point. If you board my train at an unstaffed (or staffed for that matter) station don't be afraid to come and ask me for a ticket if I have not appeared for a few minutes. Be proactive - don't moan at a ticket barrier that there are not enough staff on the trains (even though it is true)!

    However have some common sense - don't all come at once. Think about your fellow passengers if you have plenty time when you arrive at your station then sit tight -if you must catch the 0900 to Kings Cross and you still need to buy a ticket then common sense tells you what to do?

    Finally, forbye the above, there is no legal or indeed moral requirement for passengers to find the guard although it is the passengers responsibility to ensure that they have a valid ticket for their journey. Where practical I will always ensure that I patrol my train to give my passengers an opportunity to purchase any tickets they require.
     
  19. Mojo

    Mojo Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Yes there is a right answer. The right answer is that you don't need to approach the guard, but you may if you wish. Just don't complain if on a line where it is commonplace to wait your turn (which is probably limited to a few lines with barriers or where it has grown up as a local custom) when others shout at you. If there's no such custom then fine, approach the guard, but there is NO obligation to, if boarding at an unstaffed station.
    Yes. It is true. I was a daily passenger and on a number of occasions at least several times per week people would approach the guard and people within earshot would shout at them to wait their turn (me included), the guard would also often tell them to sit down and wait for others to be served.

    Just like how in some branches of McDonalds there is a single queue for all the tills and in some branches the staff request that you form separate queues for all the different tills. It's all about how the train staff prefer to work and the specific policy in that branch which is upheld by regular customers.
     
  20. Failed Unit

    Failed Unit Established Member

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    Reb0118. You work on Scotrail by you location? What are you supposed to do on a double turbo service? How to you know which set the gaurd is in? What if they change sets at the station you join if you get it right? Finding the gaurd is not always that easy or in the case of double turbos possible.
     
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