Northern Ticket Machine Update Issues

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by Jozhua, 14 Jul 2019.

  1. Stevexos

    Stevexos Member

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    Personally , as a frequent user of the 'Northern' ticket machines , I have had no problems with the machines at al!.

    However , I have had many problems with the lack of staffing at a supposedly staffed ticket office. On recent trips to Newton-le-Willows station ( during the J-press northern promotion ) . Where you have to supply a filled out form to a staffed station , only to find signs up saying ticket window temporarily closed ( while staff carry out cleaning duties around the station ) Also on one occasion a member of staff was in the vicinity , but said he was too busy to serve , proceeded to lock himself In a back room , before returning to the ticket desk some 30 to 40 mins later !!! Now after making a journey of 9 miles by road to just stand around for over half an hour , I find quite unacceptable.
     
  2. johnnychips

    johnnychips Established Member

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    South Yorkshire Travelmaster Connect Plus also no longer issue counterparts. Most guards just look at the card without bothering to scan it, one or two do. Had a problem with a TPE guard who said I should have kept the receipt, but in the end he found a way to scan it.
     
  3. Bantamzen

    Bantamzen Established Member

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    Just renewed my monthly MCard this morning, and the TVM didn't properly read my card when inserted into the reader without first prompting the option from the splash screen. After that it worked fine, although with the new software the counterpart isn't printed unlike the earlier version. This is of course normal for MCards now as they can be renewed using NFC compliant devices, but threw me a bit. So for piece of mind I scanned the card with the MCard app to show the guard if needed.

    So a couple of points @northernman

    Firstly there might be a software issue with the renewal process that needs patching. Being able to simply drop the card into the reader to start the renewal process is a very handy, time saving feature. And given that some passengers may not be aware of Metro's change in policy about not printing counterpart tickets, perhaps an on screen message about not printing them might be helpful?
     
  4. 61653 HTAFC

    61653 HTAFC Established Member

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    Thanks for the update, and I appreciate the extra information. However whilst it isn't in Northern's remit, the removal of counterparts is a backwards step, and doesn't actually achieve anything other than removing a back-up that users often have to rely on.

    With no counterpart issued, I certainly won't be trusting some of the dodgier local shops and using Payzone to renew my card in future!
     
  5. Bantamzen

    Bantamzen Established Member

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    I've never trusted them for anything Payzone related, there have been way too many reports of dodgy goings on with that!

    If I recall correctly Metro announced the end to counterparts from April this year, although initially it was only the machines at bus stations, and of course mobile app transactions that would not produce a counterpart, the old version of the Northern software happily still chucked them out as you know. Clearly the update has brought the software in line with the Metro policy, although as you say it does remove a backup, especially if you do not have a NFC-enabled device to read the card.

    I did use the mobile app twice this morning when guards were checking tickets, and neither seemed phased by me doing so. I guess at least for guards based in this neck of the woods have been briefed, although I do feel slightly sorry for them as the colours used in the app for the live ticket are not the easiest to read, being cyan background with white text! I have sent some feedback to the devs to see if this can be looked at!
     
  6. 61653 HTAFC

    61653 HTAFC Established Member

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    You can still check that your card has been updated correctly, simply by putting it back in the NFC reader and allowing the machine to read it again. My concern is with buses with defective readers (happens a lot especially with some of the more "fly-by-night" operators) and being refused travel.
     
  7. Bantamzen

    Bantamzen Established Member

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    To be fair to the bigger operators a faulty reader has always been met with a quick wave on without checking the counterpart, but as you say smaller ones may not be as accommodating. However the Ticketer machines that seem to be standard across the vast majority of operators do seem to be pretty reliable, especially since contactless has become a thing! ;)
     
  8. SteveM70

    SteveM70 Member

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    Only a little gripe in the big scheme of things, but maybe something our resident Northern ticket machine chap can look at (sorry if it’s been mentioned earlier)

    Hebden Bridge has ticket machines on both platforms now, but the selection of “frequently bought tickets” or whatever it’s called are all for travel towards Leeds. Even on the Manchester platform, which anyone who’s been there will realise is under the subway and without external access

    So frustrating and unnecessary
     
  9. 61653 HTAFC

    61653 HTAFC Established Member

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    The same thing happens at Batley (though there's only one machine here) and whilst I'm fully accepting that the majority of am peak users will be going to Leeds, the Westbound platform certainly isn't empty on a morning.

    I guess this could be caused by lots of them not buying tickets (due to lax enforcement and no barriers at the majority of stations) or using PTE tickets.
     
  10. Killingworth

    Killingworth Established Member

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    I suspect that's not only a valid point at Batley but at many Northern stations on many lines.
     
  11. johntea

    johntea Established Member

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    Talking of MCards, any ideas from either Metro or perhaps Northern on where my Zone 1-6 annual card fits in to proceedings in terms of having it 'smart' come my renewal in January?

    MCard seem to wash their hands of any responsibility claiming it is a rail product!

    If you travel between West Yorkshire (Zone 1-5) and Harrogate (Zone 6) or West Yorkshire (Zone 1-5) and Skipton (Zone 7) you can purchase a rail only travel card. These can be purchased from manned rail stations and are not MCard products therefore cannot be added to an Annual MCard.

    As it is starting to get very annoying having my paper ticket swallowed up every x weeks by the barriers destroying the magstrip in the process!
     
  12. Bantamzen

    Bantamzen Established Member

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    Technically it is a rail only pass as it cannot be used on buses, but I believe was one negotiated by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, hence being badged as an Metro product. I'd say your best bet is to start with the contact options on the MCard pages:

    https://www.m-card.co.uk/contact-us/
     
  13. Tim33160

    Tim33160 Member

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    A couple of comments on the TVM software upgrade after a visit to Greenbank Monday afternoon.
    1. The Promise to Pay button was not available on the front screen. It was there but not available.
    2. The only favourite destinations were Manchester Piccadilly and Victoria – single and return
    3. The list of other Mid Cheshire Line stations on the next screen were neither in alphabetical or line order
    I found the screens very difficult to navigate … I cannot imagine what it would be like if you were a first time customer and has little time before the train’s departure - especially if it is from the other platform.
     
  14. thejuggler

    thejuggler Member

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    I don't have to imagine it - this morning showed this systems is simply not fit for purpose. I wonder what Northern consider a 'reasonable' time before the train to buy a ticket.

    I arrived at my station this morning at 7am - 15 minutes before train is due, but only one machine and it's on the wrong platform. Three people queuing (this in itself is unusual as there is usually no one). First person was at the stage of paying. Next person took an age to navigate to buy a single ticket to Wakefield - the number of screens and choices is baffling.

    Next person the same - also wanting a ticket to Wakefield, but a return. By now it was 7.11 and with a walk to the other platform of a couple of minutes and a service (which for a change) was on time I had no option than to abandon using the machine. By now there were 6 behind me in the queue. 11 minutes to serve 1.5 passengers shows a problem with the system.
     
  15. xotGD

    xotGD Established Member

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    Update on the machine on P1 at Bingley:

    It is now possible to buy a return to Leeds without any faff. Hurray!

    However, I still have the painful nonsense when buying a ticket to a destination not on the 'popular' list. Please, please, please get rid of this torture by ticket machine. I just want a ticket. I don't want to select trains (I've already had to press a button to say I'm travelling 'Now'). I don't want to make seat reservations. I just want a ticket!
     
  16. thejuggler

    thejuggler Member

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    It was the endless screens for route, specific service selection and then the seat reservations (when it isn't possible on local services) which lead to the delays this morning.

    The architecture looks very similar to Northern's ticket buying app, but it simply does not work for commuters needing to buy a simple ticket quickly.

    At the point I left the queue the person in front was trying to sort out a Promise to Pay and it took an age as he scrolled through screen after screen.
     
  17. 30907

    30907 Established Member

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    Just took some exercise by walking down to Saltaire to do some more research and I noted the following:

    1. The first screen offers Anytime Single and Offpeak Day Return to Leeds, but (at 14.15) not Anytime Day Return which is required to return in the evening peak.

    2. It doesn't offer any other destinations, which is a waste of a screen.

    3. Viewing the restriction on the CDR brings up the whole blurb of code ND, including a long list of stations twice, when all it needs is the first couple of lines. At least those could be highlighted!

    4. The language spoken in Germany etc is Deutsch not Deutsche - trivial but gives a poor impression (I didn't check further!)

    That said, overall I still think it's pretty good.
     
  18. XC victim

    XC victim Member

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    Please, please, please can you tell me how I can bypass all the select a train screens. This is now a nightmare what used to take me 30 seconds to buy tickets took me about 10 mins today. I wouldn’t mind but I was buying an Anytime ticket.

    I do think a journey planner option is a good idea at present it is turning the simple task of buying a basic ticket to a destination with multiple services extremely complicated
     
  19. DC2001

    DC2001 Member

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    I and many others have noticed that it now seems to take up to 10 minutes to just purchase a ticket from the machines - so much so that there has frequently been a queue of over 10 people attempting to use the machine off-peak. The select a journey option (whilst useful if unsure of route to take) is incredibly annoying and time consuming - it would be better if it was optional and you could just select the ticket you wish to buy without selecting a specific train. Unsurprisingly about 8 people ended up just boarding the train when it arrived and someone else gave up using the machine yesterday- the conductor sold them all whatever ticket they asked for and allowed use of railcards.
     
  20. thejuggler

    thejuggler Member

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    The situation at the moment is if your station isn't listed on the 'popular' tickets list you can't. Hopefully Northern are now realising this and increasing the popular destination options. A friend travels from Menston to Bradford a couple of times a week, but has to go through the whole booking process as no Bradford option on the start screen. Considering the limited destinations from the station he can't understand why not.
     
  21. xotGD

    xotGD Established Member

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    We don't need more stations listed on the 'popular destinations ' screen, we just need to go back to how things were without the nonsense of selecting services and being given the option of two more expensive singles instead of the return I said I wanted 5 screens previously.

    The software is not fit for purpose.
     
  22. jtuk

    jtuk Member

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    I noticed that my station had been upgraded to the new software this morning. Frankly it's unusable, I was trying to see if I could find some sort of ranger ticket on it, but on at least five button presses I wasn't even offered a ticket to the most obvious destination from my station.

    Have none of you guys at Northern ever used a ticket machine overseas? They're universally easier
     
  23. thejuggler

    thejuggler Member

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    All I can suggest is everyone complaining here makes a complaint through the Northern website. I have and await the usual response which will in no way answer my query, but at least it is recorded.
     
  24. sheff1

    sheff1 Established Member

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    It originally seemed better to post on here as northernman is obviously a key player. However, as he has not been on the thread for over a week now, I think your suggestion is a good one as we do not know when/if he will be back.
     
  25. Saperstein

    Saperstein Member

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    I had a go at the one at Wavertree Technology Park during the week... it was bad enough trying to get the dam thing to read my card (collecting ticket TOD).

    After that feat, and as I had some spare time, I thought, after reading this thread, i’d have a go at buying a ticket.

    I choose a single to Liverpool, I agree with other posters, blimey why so complicated?!

    Anytime single yet you need to choose a train... great!

    Don’t even get me started on the permit to travel rigmarole, it asks all the information about where your going but prints sod all about your journey on the ticket!

    Finally, I appreciate Wavertree Technology Park is a long name but does it really have to totally obliterate the date on the ticket?

    Just my 2 pennies worth.

    Saperstein.
     
    Last edited: 10 Aug 2019
  26. ooo

    ooo Member

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    They almost always make you use a journey planner to buy your ticket as well.
     
  27. jtuk

    jtuk Member

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    Never experienced that in my experience. Always a case of:

    - select enter destination
    - type D, type O
    - It knows I want Dortmund
    - done, oh and by the way, it'll indicate the tariff zone so next time I can just go single - priesstufe D - done

    Or:

    - select area tickets
    - press Bayern-Ticket
    - done
     
  28. exesoundtech

    exesoundtech Member

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    I've noticed that you don't actually need to choose a train once you're on the screen with the ticket prices. If you just press the ticket you want it then shows you which trains it is valid on and lets you add to basket without choosing a specific train.
     
  29. DC2001

    DC2001 Member

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    Unless you want to but one of the popular tickets- all of the ones last time I looked at my local station were first class singles to small stations a couple of stops along the line which I don't imagine are actually very popular given that no trains with first class actually call!

    Also the journey planner often gives the most strange of routes for some journeys- I always have to select a random one and have told others to do this; fortunately it doesn't print it on your ticket.

    Only if you want to go to the 'popular destinations' can you do this.
     
  30. exesoundtech

    exesoundtech Member

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    Seems not. I asked for a single for a "non-popular" destination: on the screen with the services and tickets just chose the ticket, and was able to add direct to the basket without choosing a train.
     

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