My single BIGGEST Gripe about the railways...

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Lee_Again

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...no, not stiking staff, the wrong kind of snow or indeed any kind of disruption. As much as I find that list frustrating my BIGGEST gripe is when ticket inspectors write on tickets. WHY???

At about 18.54 the 19.03 to Birmingham is advertised to depart from Platform 1 (Euston if you're not with me). The mad rush across the concourse ensues (largely because the 19.00 to Macnchester has also just been announced). And what am I greeted with at the platform entrence, yes, you've guessed it. Now, I have no problem with showing my ticket but of course, that wasn't enough. I have some bags so 'free' hands were at a premium tonight and the guy wants me to take the ticket out of its wallet and scribble on it. For no reason that I can understand at all. What does it prove? And all it does it p*** off thos behind me who have to break stride, walk in to the back of each other etc. etc.

Can one of you experts please tell me why this is needed? I see it all the time and even if I have my hands free there'll be somebody in front of me who hasn't.
 
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- Cal -

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You may have an open ticket and we wouldn't want you to use it on another day now would we!
 

Lee_Again

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You may have an open ticket and we wouldn't want you to use it on another day now would we!

Completely irrelevant. What would the guy have done if it already had a scibble on it? And I am entitled to use the ticket the next day anyway if I had to break overnight.

Further, my ticket is an Advance so is ONLY valid for 1 train, and 1 train only.

Sorry to sound 'aggresive'; I'm not, I promise. It just makes me so mad.
 

transportphoto

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Staff are perfectly entitled to fully inspect tickets as they wish. The tickets remain the property of the railways. I seriously doubt they are taking it out JUST to scribble on it, it is an anti fraud technique. It ensures you are not showing them a home made forgery, having seen examples of fake tickets, some can be very convincing while in a holder.

Staff are entitled to mark the ticket, punch a hole in the ticket, do what ever they deem necessary in the the course of their duties. They are just doing their job.

It may well 'p***' you off however I'm sure you'd also complain when the prices go up even further due to a high fare evasion rate. These are preventative measures. What would you do if they install electronic barriers at Euston, you'd have to take your ticket out to put it through them!

TP
 

ralphchadkirk

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I think three words sum up this topic: get over it! It's hardly the end of the world having your ticket scribbled on is it? (And as transportphoto says, it will not just be a scribble).
 

transmanche

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Staff are entitled to mark the ticket, punch a hole in the ticket, do what ever they deem necessary in the the course of their duties. They are just doing their job.
Personally I'm perfectly happy that tickets should be taken out of wallets (I always do that in advance anyway) as colour photocopies can be very good these days.

But I too at am a loss as to the purpose of putting a squiggle on it. A ticket punch I can understand (especially those which include the date/headcode on them) - but I could easily have put a squiggle on a ticket by accident, so it doesn't seem to 'prove' anything. Thoughts?
 

transportphoto

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But I too at am a loss as to the purpose of putting a squiggle on it. A ticket punch I can understand (especially those which include the date/headcode on them) - but I could easily have put a squiggle on a ticket by accident, so it doesn't seem to 'prove' anything. Thoughts?

Your point is a valid one. A scribble in anonymous biro doesn't prove anything, nor does a single hole punch. However these two methods are generally accepted marks made by an authorized person. In theory, writing on your ticket could be classed as defacing it, therefore invalidating it totally.

TP
 

GNER 373

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This maybe the inspectors preferred method as opposed to a stamp or hole punch technique, trust me if they didn't need to do this, they wouldn't! Next time smile and enjoy the rest of your day ;)
 

Norman

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I agree with the OP; my understanding is that unless a headcode or or something identifying the train your are on is put on the ticket, then any squiggle an inspector or train manager makes is irrelevant. They may as well not bother!!

However I can fully understan staff checking tickets if they believe it is a forgery.
 

tbtc

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If that's the biggest problem on the railways then I think things must be running pretty smoothly!

I've no problem with whatever the staff want to put on my ticket, tbh
 

Ferret

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This maybe the inspectors preferred method as opposed to a stamp or hole punch technique, trust me if they didn't need to do this, they wouldn't! Next time smile and enjoy the rest of your day ;)

A random squiggle is entirely pointless, as is a holepunch or just a date written on. And frankly, barrier staff writing on a ticket can actually hinder any attempt at detecting fraud. Just to give a Guard's perspective on this......
 

PinzaC55

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"Can one of you experts please tell me why this is needed? I see it all the time and even if I have my hands free there'll be somebody in front of me who hasn't."

Because it is one of the rules of the railway. When you pay for a ticket you agree to abide by those rules. If it causes you serious heartache find the nearest pub.
 

GNER 373

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A random squiggle is entirely pointless, as is a holepunch or just a date written on. And frankly, barrier staff writing on a ticket can actually hinder any attempt at detecting fraud. Just to give a Guard's perspective on this......

The 'random' squiggle could be a signature or a circle to highlight the date of travel, I'm not exactly sure why it would hinder attempt at detecting fraud? Do you mean it makes it difficult to decide whether this is a barrier staff mark or a previously used ticket?
 

GadgetMan

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The 'random' squiggle could be a signature or a circle to highlight the date of travel, I'm not exactly sure why it would hinder attempt at detecting fraud? Do you mean it makes it difficult to decide whether this is a barrier staff mark or a previously used ticket?


You would be surprised at how many of us guards would recognise our own 'scribble' should we come across it again. I only do that on the odd occasion I have a problem with my official stamper. On open tickets it acts as a 'mental deterrent' to the average punter and puts them off trying to reuse the ticket again and again.

The 'scribble' may not mean anything to members of this forum, but to the average punter it means their ticket has now expired at the end of that journey.
 

GNER 373

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You would be surprised at how many of us guards would recognise our own 'scribble' should we come across it again. I only do that on the odd occasion I have a problem with my official stamper. On open tickets it acts as a 'mental deterrent' to the average punter and puts them off trying to reuse the ticket again and again.

The 'scribble' may not mean anything to members of this forum, but to the average punter it means their ticket has now expired at the end of that journey.

I'm with you guys, as an RPI I see many squiggles, holes, stamps etc you just get used to them!
 

GadgetMan

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TBH if a ticket is marked with a biro it is easy enough to wipe it off anyway...

As is an official guards stamper. So should we not bother doing anything to the ticket after inspecting it?

In the majority of cases it has the desired affect which is to prevent passengers from attempting to re-use their open tickets. In the few cases where we do come across marked/stamped tickets from it's origin station then there is good reason for the passenger to be questioned as to why the ticket is stamped/marked. In the majority of circumstances it leads to "Oh I didn't realise I have already used that ticket last weekend, I need to buy one........".:roll:
 

Flying Snail

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The only problem I have is staff who try to stamp/punch/scribble rover type tickets on which marking serves no purpose other than to make the printed text more difficult to read.

I regularly use Britrail passes, even though they are stupidly large there is no space particularly on the flexi-tickets to mark without covering up some part of the ticket. These days I always put them in a plastic cover (in BR days they actually provided a very thick one that was almost impossible to get the ticket into) in order to stop the guards who just casually stamp everything handed to them.

I do occasionally get guards who will remove the ticket to inspect which I have no problem with but on the few occasions where one has attempted to mark the ticket I have challenged them and stopped them from defacing the ticket. The validity of the tickets are universal within date and region and no purpose whatsoever is served by printing a train reporting number on it.

I have good reason for this, on one occasion when I hadn't bothered with a cover a ticket checker on a Stansted Express without having any idea what she was doing managed to perfectly place an X in one of the unused date boxes of a flexi-pass. What was even worse is that for some reason she had decided the best tool to use for marking tickets was a fat black felt tip marker and the X made it look like the date box had been purposely invalidated.
 

Bungle73

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As is an official guards stamper. So should we not bother doing anything to the ticket after inspecting it?
IME 8 times out of 10 nothing is done after a ticket has been inspected.

The only problem I have is staff who try to stamp/punch/scribble rover type tickets on which marking serves no purpose other than to make the printed text more difficult to read.

I regularly use Britrail passes, even though they are stupidly large there is no space particularly on the flexi-tickets to mark without covering up some part of the ticket. These days I always put them in a plastic cover (in BR days they actually provided a very thick one that was almost impossible to get the ticket into) in order to stop the guards who just casually stamp everything handed to them.

I do occasionally get guards who will remove the ticket to inspect which I have no problem with but on the few occasions where one has attempted to mark the ticket I have challenged them and stopped them from defacing the ticket. The validity of the tickets are universal within date and region and no purpose whatsoever is served by printing a train reporting number on it.

I have good reason for this, on one occasion when I hadn't bothered with a cover a ticket checker on a Stansted Express without having any idea what she was doing managed to perfectly place an X in one of the unused date boxes of a flexi-pass. What was even worse is that for some reason she had decided the best tool to use for marking tickets was a fat black felt tip marker and the X made it look like the date box had been purposely invalidated.
I used to get Travelcards punched, and this was an in-boundary ones, within the Zones. This was a long time ago though.
 

Statto

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"Can one of you experts please tell me why this is needed? I see it all the time and even if I have my hands free there'll be somebody in front of me who hasn't."

Because it is one of the rules of the railway. When you pay for a ticket you agree to abide by those rules. If it causes you serious heartache find the nearest pub.

Stupidity isn't it, it's mainly proof that you paid for the journey your taking, just the same with Sports/Concerts, most of which require a ticket before you enter a venue/stadium.

Also with guards marking tickets, it stops them being used again for the same journey, at a later date before the ticket validity runs out.
 

Badger

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I know you say you had no hands free, but given you had to show it anyway, what I tend to do is take the ticket out of it's wallet before getting to the barriers. It's no more difficult than getting the wallet out in the first place.

Of course there are some ticket gate workers who insist on showing a railcard too which is more problematic especially when there's a huge rush of people.
 
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