Southeastern revenue staff making an appearance

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by BluePenguin, 12 Sep 2019.

  1. Barn

    Barn Established Member

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    They have a habit recently of doing checks at Plumstead in the counter-peak direction (i.e. only checking tickets of people alighting in the morning or boarding in the evening). Whilst I can see the merit in that to avoid making people miss their work trains, it does appear a bit of a strange use of resources. I wonder whether they are actually there primarily to count people, in order to get better statistics for the next franchise? The official usage numbers are much lower than the true numbers.
     
  2. Islineclear3_1

    Islineclear3_1 Established Member

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    Perhaps there is a higher incidence of ticketless travel at this time? Or introduce an element of surprise against the given expected norm? People travelling towards London in the peak are (probably) more likely to have paid for their journeys
     
  3. duncombec

    duncombec Member

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    They were accompanying the conductor/guard/on-board supervisor/whatever the current job title is on my train between Maidstone East and Ashford mid-morning on Wednesday.

    When they decide to check at Chatham, it's usually in the company of BTP rather than Revenue Protection.
     
  4. Antman

    Antman Established Member

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    I've never seen that when I've been at Dartford. Often it's a cross platform interchange anyway with no need to use the footbridge.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 13 Sep 2019
  5. brad465

    brad465 Member

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    There was one time last year on the Medway Valley line on a Sunday afternoon 3 RPOs were on-board and a guard also selling tickets, but there were flaws in their approach on that day - they didn't fine/prosecute anyone but ordered anyone without a ticket to go to the guard in the next carriage to buy one, which is fine, except the ticket machines on this line are/were notoriously unreliable, and one innocent person was made to buy a ticket, who couldn't collect tickets due to an issue, but the lead RPO said they hadn't been charged, which was incorrect (I hope they claimed).
     
  6. Jonny

    Jonny Established Member

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    Could they have come in on paper tickets?
     
  7. Islineclear3_1

    Islineclear3_1 Established Member

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    Hmmm, highly unlikely....
     
  8. Horizon22

    Horizon22 Member

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    What doesn't help either is that the Excess Fares Offices at London terminals are increasingly unstaffed, so barrier staff have no real option but to let someone through if there's no Revenue support around.
     
  9. Neil Sadler

    Neil Sadler New Member

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    I travel up from Westenhanger to St Pancras every day and often have my ticket checked on all four sectors. RPI’s are often visible at Ashford and around the area.
     
  10. philthetube

    philthetube Established Member

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    One of those could have been me, I travel up on paper once a week, Seasons don't need to tap out either
     
  11. ScotGG

    ScotGG Member

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    Yep but anecdotal though it is, a frequent traveler across London will see that the number who tap in SE land is far lower on some lines and stations compared to other areas of the capital where revenue is protected to a far greater degree (eg 75% of stations have manned barriers v 20% on the Woolwich line). Years of experience shows me that it may be 50% of people who tap elsewhere and one in 10 in SE areas. I suppose they could all be using paper but it's a stretch. The difference is notable it you use different stations across the capital on a daily basis.
     
  12. Skimpot flyer

    Skimpot flyer Member

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    Seems unlikely to me that an honest person, travelling in to London from beyond the zones, would buy a ticket to travel to the first station with an on-platform Oyster reader, so they could tap-in. Aside from requiring them to stay alert (so they don’t miss the stop), and the inconvenience of jumping off and back on again, is it at all likely they’d save money vs an end-to-end return ticket (or season) ?
     
  13. Barn

    Barn Established Member

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    I do that, heading out of London. I have a season ticket valid on the North Kent Line via Blackheath but not (so far as I know) on the Bexleyheath line. When travelling from London to a Bexleyheath line station I hope out at Blackheath, touch in, re-board the train and tap out at the final stop. Nothing improper about that at all, as far as I'm concerned.
     
  14. MedwayValiant

    MedwayValiant Member

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    I travelled yesterday on a Dartford to Rainham short, and three Southeastern revenue staff were on the train doing their thing. They issued at least four penalty fares, and those only what I saw, so their presence was clearly worthwhile.

    But, the service on which they were working was a Thameslink service. Do Southeastern revenue staff actually have jurisdiction on it, or will anyone who appeals a penalty fare have it cancelled as improperly issued?
     
  15. DVD

    DVD Member

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    I have used Southeastern's Sidcup line for twenty five years, the first twenty two as a peak hours commuter, the last three as a predominantly off peak traveller three or four times a week. My local stations Sidcup and New Eltham are gated, Sidcup gates seem to be manned for much of the day, New Eltham's less so. New Eltham has gates in the station building but no gates on the stairs where most passengers from down trains alight.

    The next three stations, Mottingham, Lee and Hither Green, are ungated. There may be occasional ticket inspections there, although I have never observed them from the train.

    I cannot remember the last on board ticket inspection I witnessed on the Sidcup line. But I am pretty sure it was well over ten years ago, probably longer.

    I have also witnessed passengers doubling up to go through the gates at Charing Cross without tickets. The gate staff seem to ignore it. I do understand the risks of challenging potentially hostile fare evaders. I once asked a chap on the gates about this just after this happened and he just shrugged his shoulders.
     
  16. Islineclear3_1

    Islineclear3_1 Established Member

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    I am sure I've read elsewhere that revenue staff employed by one TOC can do checks on other operator's services. As TL trains stop at SE stations, it would certainly be in the company's best interest to do so
     
  17. bionic

    bionic Member

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    Thats not a sting. Thats the driver pressing the auto announcement on the PIS off his or her own back... probably to have the exact effect that it did - but its certainly not organised for drivers to play that announcement. I've used it a fair bit when I've seen a gang of toerags getting on my train. Sometimes they'll get off, sometimes they won't.
     
  18. transmanche

    transmanche Established Member

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    TOCs often make an arrangement with other TOCs on a common section of route allowing TOC A's RPIs to issue PFs to passengers on TOC B's trains. GTR's Penalty Fare Scheme document sets it all out in detail.

    This version of the document from 2016 is out of date, as it doesn't include newer Thameslink routes.
     
  19. RJ

    RJ Established Member

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    They're often around at Swanley. I've been approached on more than one occasion by plain clothed RPIs on the platform asking to see my ticket.
     
  20. TrenHotel

    TrenHotel Member

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    I've seen them once in the past year on the metro routes.

    Southeastern's attitude was summed up for me the one morning during the summer and had to get the first train in, at 5.30am, and was mildly concerned by the fact I was the only person to have tapped my Oyster on the reader. I got off at London Bridge not only to find the gates wide open (which I half-expected), but switched off, so I couldn't tap out. It did make me wonder how many people on low-paid jobs actually depend on the free travel SE offers at certain times of day.
     
  21. Antman

    Antman Established Member

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    Are you sure they were genuine? I was told by a Southeastern guard that they don't have plain clothed RPIs. I travel through Swanley regularly and I've never been asked for a ticket there.
    On another subject I have seen Southeastern doing ticket checks on Thameslink trains occasionally.
     
  22. bionic

    bionic Member

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    SE have an RPI depot at Swanley which is why you occasionally see them there. They can go and check a few tickets while the kettle boils.
     
  23. RJ

    RJ Established Member

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    Yes. The first thing I do is ask to see ID as they could be anybody. Just because a guard told you that, doesn't mean it's true.
     
  24. Antman

    Antman Established Member

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    No but this particular guard seemed to know what he was talking about. I don't see the point of plain clothed RPIs anyway, surely they should be a high profile deterant to fare dodgers?

    I have seen REOs and BTP at Swanley in the evening sometimes but that's about anti social behaviour rather than revenue.
     
  25. Dumpton Park

    Dumpton Park Member

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    Heading further East, I'd estimate the % of times the gates at Canterbury West are in operation (off peak at least) is about one time in ten, at best. On a lot of High Speed services there don't seem to be checks before Ashford, either.

    Seeing as hardly any stations east of Ashford that feed into Canterbury have gates (Broadstairs I think does and that may be it), it's a strategic failing to not make the most of the gates that exist. A security guard/support officer and someone with a portable ticket machine wouldn't solve the problem (Sturry and Chartham would surely see their nominal passenger figures rocket!) but it would be a start...

    DP
     
  26. Meerkat

    Meerkat Established Member

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    If you haven’t got many then revenue bods in plain clothes can have a much bigger effect than in bright colours. Nab a few regular offenders who look like they will have lots of friends and the rumours will spread like wildfire.
    A bit like the fear of unmarked police cars or mobile speed traps.
     
  27. Antman

    Antman Established Member

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    But nobody will know they are 'revenue bods' if they are not in uniform. A high profile presence will be far more effective.
     
  28. OxtedSignaller

    OxtedSignaller Member

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    Thameslink have an agreement with Southeastern where by they will check their trains in the Kent area. Its because their Passenger Hosts/RPIs are mainly based north and south along the Bedford to Brighton route. Remains to be seen once they ramp up the service, and if Govia were to lose the SE franchise if they eventually employed their own revenue staff however at this moment in time SE sound like they are doing a good job from the amount of sightings.

    GTR Great Northern staff also check tickets on TL trains towards Cambridge and Peterborough and Southern staff can also check tickets where their network overlaps. Obviously a bit different because they are all brands/employees of GTR.

     
  29. hwl

    hwl Established Member

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    Circa 30 on paper tickets of some kind?:lol:
     
  30. Terry Tait

    Terry Tait Member

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    Had tickets checked at Tonbridge today and on train near Paddington Wood.
     

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