Not allowed out of gateline on advance ticket

Discussion in 'Disputes & Prosecutions' started by gray1404, 14 Nov 2018.

  1. gray1404

    gray1404 Established Member

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    On Friday I was travelling on an Advance ticket that involved a change of train at Clapham Junction. When I got to Clapham Junction I had 20 minutes between connections and I wanted to get through the ticket barrier (I'd come off the Southern service from Watford Junction - high platform number - down the stairs and turned right). I showed the ticket to the lady at the barrier and she had I had to get my booked train. I asked if I could go through the barrier to use station facilities and then get my booked train. She said no because I had an advance ticket I can't exit.

    I was very sleepy and jeg lagged, suffering from a cold, plus it was wet and cold and I couldn't be doing with the bother. I also didn't want any problems getting back onto the platforms. The lady appears to work for a security contractor rather then a train company (certainly not SWT, Southern/GTR or even LO. Had I been able to get out I might have gone to Lidl just by the station to get some affordable food but in the end I just waited until I got to my destination on the South Coast. Alternatively, I might have used station facilities the other side of the gateline.

    Is this wrong that I wasn't allowed out?
     
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  3. ForTheLoveOf

    ForTheLoveOf Established Member

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    Yes. Break of journey restrictions do not apply to using station facilities. If you explained you wanted to use station facilities you should have been let out.

    Not being let out was false imprisonment - as you should have been allowed to pay the excess to the cheapest valid flexible fare. But I doubt you'll be taking legal action around it; I think a customer service complaint is perhaps justified.
     
  4. Wolfie

    Wolfie Established Member

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    I believe that BOJ is not permitted using Advanced tickets. As such Lidl which is off the station, across a car park and a road, would be a no-no. However use of station facilities should be permitted.
    The question then, given that the lower part of Clapham Junction station merges seamlessly into a small shopping centre, is where the station stops. Specifically whether the small M&S and Sainsbury in that shopping centre are station facilities or not. I really am unsure.
     
  5. Silverdale

    Silverdale Member

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    Did the OP ask to have the ticket excessed so that he could visit Lidl? It isn't mentioned.
     
  6. gray1404

    gray1404 Established Member

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    I didn't mention anything other then exit to use station facilities. I didn't have the energy for a debate that night quite honestly. It sounds like I would have got cheaper food the other side of the gateline (without exiting the station) so should have been let out.
     
  7. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    I've popped out at CLJ loads of times to the M&S, never been stopped. Did you try your ticket in the barrier? My usual experience is that everything with a magstripe opens it, but you do have to ask to be let back in.
     
  8. Wolfie

    Wolfie Established Member

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    Did you mention Lidl? If so l'm unsurprised as that is never going to constitute station facilities.
     
  9. gray1404

    gray1404 Established Member

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    didn't try barrier as I assumed it wouldn't work. But I shall try barrier next time. Getting back in might be easier if ticket, although an Advance, clearly shows a booked train from that station. I really shouldn't have been refused to be let out. I'd have been quiet happy going to one of the shops within the station. Those the platform side of the gateline are very expensive.
     
  10. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    It isn't, but it is totally ridiculous not to let someone pop to the shops between booked trains, and it is precisely the kind of thing that gets the railway a bad reputation when they attempt something quite so stupid.
     
  11. Wolfie

    Wolfie Established Member

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    Oh l agree, particularly if the ticket held showed that stopping short was unlikely... And indeed unless they followed you how they'd know that you popped out to Lidl and not gone to M&S is unclear
     
  12. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    M&S is within view of the gateline, so it would be easy to watch someone.
     
  13. Wolfie

    Wolfie Established Member

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    ...but Sainsbury isn't easily...

    And if you want a smoke you have to go outside...
     
  14. Clip

    Clip On Moderation

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    It appears from the station map that the shop stop shopping centre is not classed as part of the station.

    Source
     
  15. ThisIsSurbiton

    ThisIsSurbiton Member

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    This is why we need a definition in the NRCoT - a sensible one. Going to the shops for a few minutes - especially between booked trains - is clearly part of the journey, across the road or not. Perhaps Network Rail has employed some different contractors who need better training. It must be a challenging station to manage, but railway/other staff need to have some initiative *and* be trusted and supported by management to use it.
     
  16. Wolfie

    Wolfie Established Member

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    Thank you. I genuinely wasn't sure but am unsurprised.
     
  17. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Even so, it's ridiculous in the extreme. I'd be sorely tempted to barge the barrier and purchase a single to the next stop to get back in.
     
  18. PeterY

    PeterY Member

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    I've used advances and where it's required that i need to change trains, i just say i,m popping outside for a smoke. I've never had a problem.
     
  19. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    I've never had a problem (including at the station under discussion) when I've just said I was popping out to the shops - or indeed just asked to get back in, as near enough any ticket seems to work the CLJ barriers to exit. I didn't think of smokers - denying someone their nicotine fix is a very good way to end up with an incident.
     
  20. gray1404

    gray1404 Established Member

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    Its my first time ever having had a problem either when wishing to exit for a bit when using an Advance ticket. It is my first time asking to exit at Clapham Junction. I am not sure if I should complain or just let this one go. It does bother me that it was not even railway staff giving me the wrong information, so there seems no hope.
     
  21. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Security guards operating barriers is increasingly common but it really does not work. The problem is no different from that on Northern. The fare system is too complex for cheap contract security guards to be used for any more than backup to properly trained railway staff who may be vulnerable to assault.
     
  22. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    The problem is the staff may not have let him back in.... though that would be a serious breach of contract by SWR, so he would at least have had recourse.
    It's worth a try. It really depends on who reads the letter. At my workplace (in my main job) someone who acted in such a way would be in serious trouble as complaints are taken extremely seriously, but this is the rail industry so that seems unlikely. I did contact SWR about an incident at Clapham Junction (a Guard closing the doors as people were still alighting) and they claimed they treat complaints seriously but won't give any hints as to the outcome and I heard nothing more, so you will never know if they treated it seriously or not.

    But if you don't complain, then for sure nothing would happen so they will be able to continue to mistreat people.
    If the customer is told their ticket does not allow something but the rule is that it can be excessed to allow it, the onus is on the staff to give the customer the option.

    Of course, the chances of such an individual being aware of this procedure, let alone offering it, is as close to zero as you can get.

    I have never known someone be offered an excess fare over an (alleged) break of journey; the rail industry has incorrectly charged people whole new tickets in some high profile cases (though none recently that I know of) which brought the rail industry into so much disrepute, it was agreed to change the policy to allow people to break their journey even when the ticket forbids it, and a memo was issued to that effect.

    You really couldn't make this up if you tried, and I can't imagine any similar nonsense happening in any other industry.
     
  23. gray1404

    gray1404 Established Member

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    Thank you for quoting this - it is what I suspected but I could not remember where from.
     
  24. Wolfie

    Wolfie Established Member

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    Agreed.
     
  25. madjack

    madjack Member

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    I've had similar, not been allowed to exit at Exeter Central between trains (advance ticket Waterloo to Barnstaple). Not a contractor but an employee at the gateline. There's no way to get a coffee or anything on the platform at Exeter Central. I should have claimed to be a smoker!
     
  26. Smethwickian

    Smethwickian Member

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    Smoking is not permitted anywhere on stations, therefore smoking cannot possibly involve use of a station facility. By definition you have to leave railway property in order to smoke. So such ticket holders are extremely lucky to be given dispensation to break the conditions of their ticket for a reason no more or less spurious than, for example, popping to a nearby shop. It would seem unfair and inconsistent to me.
     
  27. Wolfie

    Wolfie Established Member

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    If any TOC was stupid enough to break the current pragmatic consensus and stop passengers between trains going to the nearest point off station to smoke they would rightly be crucified in the media. It would be errant stupidity not least because it would encourage smokers to break the law and smoke on stations or, God forbid, trains.
     
  28. Wolfie

    Wolfie Established Member

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    If there are no refreshment options either on the platform or on the train this is highly dubious on health grounds. If a dehydrated passenger collapses in summer SWR will have a serious case to answer...
     
  29. Belperpete

    Belperpete Member

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    I think a lot of people in that situation might be concerned that the barrier would keep their ticket. I was worried the first couple of times, until a member of staff insisted that he wouldn't let me out manually unless I had at least first tried exiting using my ticket in the barrier.
     
  30. Belperpete

    Belperpete Member

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    If you don't complain, there is no chance of you getting any compensation. Perhaps more importantly, if you don't complain, then there is no chance that the staff concerned will be corrected, and so will carry on with this practice. Not that the chances of either happening if you do complain are too high, but as the saying goes, nothing ventured, nothing gained.

    I recommend that you make a claim for compensation quoting the Consumer Rights Act, as their failure to act with "reasonable care and skill" in unnecessarily denying you access to the station facilities led to you being inconvenienced, and your journey experience suffering. This is likely to be taken more seriously than a general feedback-type complaint that is fobbed off by a stock reply letter.
    For how to make a claim under the Consumer Rights Act, see item 7 in: https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/travel/train-delays/

    This could be an interesting case, as (if I understand correctly) you were travelling on Southern services, but Clapham Junction is managed by SWT. With delay repay, you claim from whichever TOC delayed you, regardless of who you bought the ticket from. With a claim under the Consumer Rights Act, I think you have to complain to whoever you had a contract with.
     
  31. Stigy

    Stigy Established Member

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    The Shop Stop area at Clapham Junction is all OFF railway property. The railway ends just adjacent to the Ticket Office or there abouts (maybe even further back). To be honest though, I very much doubt the member of agency staff had any knowledge whatsoever about ticketing restrictions and was probably not best placed to advise.
     

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