Refused Entry Into Cambridge Station

Discussion in 'Photography Advice & Discussion' started by 159220, 14 Nov 2011.

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  1. 159220

    159220 Member

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    I wonder if any member has had the same difficulties with the incompetence of National Express station staff as I did this Saturday gone at Cambridge Station. I would love your comments on what I might of not done, what I should of done and would i be reasonable to take this up with the Head Offices of First Capital Connect (Station "owner") and NXEA (Station staff).

    I tried to gain a platform ticket with an Italian friend on Saturday to do some spotting. Before I had arrived my friend had tried to gain access, he was point blank refused entry. So on my walk to the station i searched for "my rights" on google and came accross the very useful National Rail Enquires site guidance.

    I often in my native South West Trains/First Great Western barrierland ask for a platform ticket, issued with one and I go and watch the Freightliners etc pass through.

    I went up to the barrier staff who was a tempory worker from a agency company who did not have a clue, so i instantly asked after the duty station manager for permission to enter the platform, along the guide lines of National Rail Enquiries. A whole team of staff and managers came through, the first, a nice chap said yes ill let you through if you sign in at my office. Instantly a grumpy lady point blank refused access to the station, I told the woman that she had no legal right to reject me and my friend access, under the guidelines of National Rail Enquires that i quoted at her. I am lodging a formal complaint with NatEx head office as the woman was very much like "why would you want to train spot, your not 10 years old, theres a perfectly good bridge over there!". Rather humilating as you could all imagine! Now i assume it is just National Express (Ive heard the rumours about how awful they and FCC are before i moved here), or do many Cambridge spotters find it difficult to access the platforms when we have every right to do so?

    I do feel rather angry and embarassed for my Italian friend that we were refused access to go and watch some 170, 317, 365, 379s pass by. I even told my friend that he could only take photos with written permission from the TOC, so he didnt bring along his larger camera?

    Thank you for all your comments in advance.
     
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  3. raildude

    raildude Member

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    You don't have a legal right to access the station if not travelling.
    You don't have a legal right to be sold or given a platform ticket. Only available "where and when sold".

    National Rail produce a set of guidelines which TOCs can choose to implement and follow, but they are not binding!

    From what you write, I maybe think your attitude may have been a little too much filled with "I know my rights etc etc" (when you didn't!) and probably annoyed them.

    Finally:
    That is also, wrong.


    In these situations, I would just buy a cheap ticket to the next stop along to get through the barriers.
     
    Last edited: 14 Nov 2011
  4. transportphoto

    transportphoto Established Member Quizmaster

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    NXEA Manage and Staff the station, you may find FCC Revenue Staff and cleaners etc there :smile: Network Rail own the station :)

    Sorry to be pedantic :|
     
  5. Old Timer

    Old Timer Established Member

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    It does rather sound very heavy handed and unnecessarily harsh treatment.

    I would write down the facts in a conice politely worded letter and send it to the station operator's customer services team. Do not get emotional or critical of the staff concerned simply say you were very unhappy at the way you were treated and that the manner in which you were treated made you feel ridiculed (or similar words).

    By all means refer to the BTP website, the ATOC, and TOC websites, however a quiet word about the legal position. A railway station is a private place, to which the public are permitted access, but it is not a public place. There is a considerable difference between the two. I would therefore not go down the road of mentioning "rights" and "legal" points. It serves no purpose and would spoil your complaint.
     
  6. ralphchadkirk

    ralphchadkirk Established Member

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    Agreed with the above. Whilst it does sound a little rude and certainly not brilliant customer service, stations are private property, and you you actually don't have any legal right of access.
     
  7. ajax103

    ajax103 Established Member

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    Not forgetting FCC's drivers as well, ;)
     
  8. AlterEgo

    AlterEgo Established Member

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    This.

    Was any particular reason given for them not admitting you onto the platforms? Bear on mind you weren't strictly on "legitimate railway business" - there is no right to access the platform. However, as Old Timer says, it does seem rather unnecessary and heavy handed.

    Next time, don't go down the route of "I know my rights" (actually you had no right), perhaps ask calmly why they were refusing access? I'm not sure what to suggest...
     
  9. bb21

    bb21 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    A complaint is very much justified, even if just for the comment the female member of staff directed at you.

    Do what Old Timer said, however I also hope that you managed to get hold of the name of that particular member of staff.
     
  10. ole man

    ole man Member

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    This is just typical of the railway these days, TOC's do what they want and have a rather disappointing attitude towards the public.
    Most spotters do no damage and are clever enough not to get in anybody's way, and as the BTP and Network Rail both said are often the eyes and ears of the railway.
    Why should Spotters have to buy a ticket the the nearest station to do a hobby?.
    This is so wrong, rules/regulations need to be brought in so that all TOC's have to abide by the same rules.
     
  11. raildude

    raildude Member

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    Why not have to buy a ticket? After all the purpose of a rail station is for people to travel.

    Ports - Can I get into a port without a ticket or security permit? No. I have to find a viewing place elsewhere to look at boats.

    Airports - Can I get into an airport without a ticket or permit? Yes, but only to the check in desks. To plane spot, I have to find a viewing place somewhere else.

    Rail - Can I get into a station without a ticket or security permit? On this occasion, no. You were advised to find a viewing place elsewhere.

    I think it would be quite reasonable to levy a small charge to enter stations for a hobby. After all, a lot of other hobbies aren't free.
     
    Last edited: 15 Nov 2011
  12. AlterEgo

    AlterEgo Established Member

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    Isn't that part of the reason why platform tickets exist?
     
  13. Minilad

    Minilad Established Member

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    But all of the above activities can be done from places other than inside the places you mention. Then they would be free
     
  14. Harlesden

    Harlesden Member

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    Sorry, I agree with raildude. The OP seems rather arrogant, and rather unaware of the fact that he is entering private property. Referring to a member of female staff as "grumpy lady" is most disrespectful. There are a myriad of safety rules applicable to working on any part of a NR station, and agency staff are required to undergo training and sign documents confirming that they have been given such training. The OP's assertion that a member of agency staff on a NR station "didn't have a clue" is therefore inappropriate and incorrect.
    The OP does rather come across as one of those "Do you know who I am?" type of individuals.
     
  15. yorksrob

    yorksrob Veteran Member

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    But the OP stated that he did attempt to buy a platform ticket.
     
  16. Ferret

    Ferret Established Member

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    Worst of all worlds - the OP maybe not handling it well, and the member of staff not handling it well either - is my reading of the situation. Doubtless appropriate words of advice will be offered to the members of staff concerned when the complaint letter lands....
     
  17. snail

    snail Established Member

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    Enough has been said by others, but to continue the pedantic note, it would look better if you use "may have" and "should have" when you write, not 'of'. :D
     
  18. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

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    Perhaps the National Express staff wouldn't sell a regular platform ticket because trains pass through that have first class accommodation, so they wanted you to upgrade to a special weekend first platform ticket that they just came up with!

    I've had mixed experiences at Cambridge. On more than one occasion, I've needed to be let out manually (due to having a FCC pass - like the ones recently given out) and had to wait ages for anyone to come over to do so. I don't know if they are NXEA staff, or agency, but they can sometimes forget that if they're not manning the gates they should leave them open.

    Given the station is managed by a TOC, but owned by Network Rail, you'd presumably expect the TOC to abide by the guidelines issued, and have justification to write in and ask WHY they feel they can set their own rules for a station they don't own.
     
  19. moonrakerz

    moonrakerz Member

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    They may not be - but what about DfT policy ?? TOCs have to follow this as part of their franchise............

    "4.10 At stations with a CTA, operators must make arrangements for people who are not travelling to be allowed into the part of the station covered by the CTA, if they have a good reason. This includes people who are meeting passengers, seeing passengers off or helping them with luggage, people helping passengers with disabilities, and people such as railway enthusiasts. The arrangements might include making platform tickets available at the ticket office or from a machine. People who are helping passengers with disabilities should not be charged to enter a CTA."
    (My highlighting)

    SWT tried a similar thing on me a couple of years back, and flatly refused to sell me a platform ticket - I won in the end though.
    I actually carried a copy of the Policy with me for a while after that - but was never refused entry again after the first instance !
     
  20. ole man

    ole man Member

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    Do you have a copy of the policy electronically?.
    If so can you send it me?, or where can i get a copy from?
     
  21. DarloRich

    DarloRich Veteran Member

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  22. moonrakerz

    moonrakerz Member

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  23. ralphchadkirk

    ralphchadkirk Established Member

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  24. moonrakerz

    moonrakerz Member

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    1.It is legislation which applies to franchise holders.
    2.If there isn't a CTA and its associated hardware there is no problem getting access any way.
    3. Are you really suggesting that this requirement (to provide access) ONLY applies to a CTA? - come on !
    4. When I complained to DfT about my "incident" they certainly said that SWT were acting incorrectly and that they (DfT) would sort the problem - which they appeared to do !
     
  25. ralphchadkirk

    ralphchadkirk Established Member

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    Point out to me there (the purpose of the document) where it says it's legislation. It's not a statute, it's not delegated legislation. The only actual legislation that applies to penalty fares are the Penalty Fares Rules as authorised by Statutory Instrument.
    This topic is about not being allowed access to a station by staff. There are lots of staffed stations which are not CTAs.
    Yes, I am. The clue is in the title of the document (Penalty Fares Policy), the title of the subsection (Compulsory ticket areas) and even the wording of the excerpt:
     
  26. moonrakerz

    moonrakerz Member

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    The TOCs have all signed a legally binding franchise agreement, the DfT documents form part of that agreement - as a last resort they are enforceable in Law I was informed of that when I complained to DfT.

    If you wish to generate and pursue a pointless argument to prove how clever you think you are - please don't waste my time any further.
     
  27. starrymarkb

    starrymarkb Established Member

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    Terms of a Contract is different from Legislation. The DfT/TOC contract must abide by the law but is not the law in itself.
     
  28. ralphchadkirk

    ralphchadkirk Established Member

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    So you admit that it's not legislation then? Good: 1 down, 2 to go!

    Now, how about admitting there are lots of staffed stations which are not compulsory ticket areas?


    Sent from my iPhone 4 using Tapatalk
     
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