Nuneaton ticket office - early closing due to staff shortages

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MKB

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The problems we had at Nuneaton over Christmas have returned. I can't remember if it was last week or the week before, but LM's ticket office was already shut at 16:45 and an A4 notice on the glass said this was happening every day "due to staff shortages".

Yesterday, same thing. The office is closing at 16:30 Monday-Thursday, and even earlier on other days.

Would it kill LM to update their website here http://www.londonmidland.com/your-journey/station-info/NUN/ with the revised opening times, and maybe put the travel disruption exclamation mark against journeys starting from Nuneaton linking to a suitable explanation? We need to know before we set off to the station, not once we get there.

Which leads me to my question:

I have some travel vouchers to use up. If I turn up at Nuneaton and the machine is the only way to buy a ticket for an immediate journey, am I okay to just buy on the train part-paying with the voucher? (This would be an LM train that operates penalty fares.)
 
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hairyhandedfool

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....Would it kill LM to update their website here http://www.londonmidland.com/your-journey/station-info/NUN/ with the revised opening times, and maybe put the travel disruption exclamation mark against journeys starting from Nuneaton linking to a suitable explanation? We need to know before we set off to the station, not once we get there....
I doubt it is that simple, the station will doubtless have a poster with ticket office opening hours which have to be the standard opening hours, the same may apply to the website.

....Which leads me to my question:

I have some travel vouchers to use up. If I turn up at Nuneaton and the machine is the only way to buy a ticket for an immediate journey, am I okay to just buy on the train part-paying with the voucher? (This would be an LM train that operates penalty fares.)
If you are part paying you should purchase a ticket for part of your journey by cash/card and exchange this ticket for part payment of the fare for your entire journey.

Interestingly on the Greater Anglia site they say:

....Unfortunately we cannot accept Rail Travel Vouchers as payment for tickets booked on this website, however you can use them at any manned station or on trains where we have conductors and do not operate penalty fares....
For London Midland's take on this subject you might have to email them.
 

yorkie

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I have some travel vouchers to use up. If I turn up at Nuneaton and the machine is the only way to buy a ticket for an immediate journey, am I okay to just buy on the train part-paying with the voucher?
Yes. If this is not possible, then at your destination (or, depending on the journey, possibly at an interchange station if time permits).
 

RJ

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I did precisely that a few weeks back as the ticket office was unexpectly closed at around 1640ish on a Sunday afternoon. I bought a single to Hinckley from the TVM which was 10p less than the ticket I wanted. The XC guard on board had already shut down his machine. When I got to Leicester (Excess window was unmanned so went to the ticket office,) I had problems getting the ticket excessed to the one I required. In fact, I missed my +25 connection as a result and ended up having to wait for the next train, on which the TM excessed the ticket without a problem.
 

yorkie

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There is absolutely no requirement to obtain the correct fare at an interchange station if it causes you to miss your onward train. You can pay at the destination (or the next train) if it is not possible to obtain it at the interchange station in the time available.
 

MKB

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Thanks for the responses on the use of the travel voucher.

On the subject of LM closing the ticket office early, how is it that they are allowed to do this, rather than the alternative of getting existing staff (from Nuneaton or other LM stations) to cover on overtime, or get temporary staff in? The fact that LM have been shutting early for at least four weeks that I'm aware of suggests this is an ongoing issue and not an emergency situation beyond their control. Are there not some franchise requirements that prevent them from adjusting opening hours without due consultation and agreement? As there is only one VERY slow ticket machine, it is creating serious problems for passengers.
 

hairyhandedfool

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....On the subject of LM closing the ticket office early, how is it that they are allowed to do this....
There may not be any choice, we don't know why the office is closed other than "staff shortages".

....rather than the alternative of getting existing staff (from Nuneaton or other LM stations) to cover on overtime, or get temporary staff in?....
Staff have to be willing to work overtime and/or work at another station, LM cannot simply force staff to do it. Believe it or not ticket office staff go through weeks of training (whether that training is any good or is even listened to is another matter), it is often not cost effective to have excess staff 'just in case', or have a training course for a few people (bearing in mind recruiting can take a while) or even get an agency contract 'just in case'.

....The fact that LM have been shutting early for at least four weeks that I'm aware of suggests this is an ongoing issue and not an emergency situation beyond their control. Are there not some franchise requirements that prevent them from adjusting opening hours without due consultation and agreement? As there is only one VERY slow ticket machine, it is creating serious problems for passengers.
When I left Thameslink I had 20 days of leave left and only had to give one months notice, this meant either Thameslink giving me my notice as leave or paying me for the leave I had left, I was happy to have the time off, but it meant the day I handed in my notice was my penultimate day working there (it was a Thursday IIRC).

At that point Thameslink could put out a job vacancy for the post (this could easily be for a few weeks) they may have decided to allow internal applications before putting it in a wider vacancy list (this could add a few more weeks or even months). In any case, if no-one did overtime they may have had to shut a sales point early (or open it late) because there was no one to man it for week after week.

If LM want to perminantly closed the office they have to seek permission as I understand it, but for a temporary shortening of hours I don't believe they do.
 
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Greeby

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Thanks for the responses on the use of the travel voucher.

On the subject of LM closing the ticket office early, how is it that they are allowed to do this, rather than the alternative of getting existing staff (from Nuneaton or other LM stations) to cover on overtime, or get temporary staff in? The fact that LM have been shutting early for at least four weeks that I'm aware of suggests this is an ongoing issue and not an emergency situation beyond their control. Are there not some franchise requirements that prevent them from adjusting opening hours without due consultation and agreement? As there is only one VERY slow ticket machine, it is creating serious problems for passengers.
On some days, the number of LM booking offices which either have no late shift or are closed completely can be in excess of 20. There is at least one station I know of that has no staff on it's own roster, and a few others that are only one person away from being the same.
 

MKB

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That sounds like LM have completely mis-managed their staffing levels then. Does the DfT monitor franchisee performance on these things?
 

12CSVT

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That sounds like LM have completely mis-managed their staffing levels then. Does the DfT monitor franchisee performance on these things?
Not the first time LM have done that (or have they still not rectified their staffing levels from 2 or 3 years ago ?)
 

yorkie

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Is there is only one VERY slow ticket machine, it is creating serious problems for passengers.
Out of interest, does this machine accept all valid payment methods (except RTVs of course) and issue tickets to all destinations?
 

Greeby

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That sounds like LM have completely mis-managed their staffing levels then. Does the DfT monitor franchisee performance on these things?
Mis-managed? I suppose you could say that if you want to ascribe honourable motives to head office. I on the other hand, will not.
 
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