Sunday Ticket Checks

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by PeterY, 12 Apr 2015.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. PeterY

    PeterY Member

    Messages:
    437
    Joined:
    2 Apr 2013
    I rarely use trains on a Sunday but today I travelled between Watford Jct and Leighton Buzzard and with a BoJ on the way back at Hemel Hempstead and didn't have my tickets checked at all.

    Are Sundays a bit of a rest day for ticket inspections? :(
     
  2. ainsworth74

    ainsworth74 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    17,171
    Joined:
    16 Nov 2009
    Location:
    Redcar
    In my experience it's no more variable than any other day.
     
  3. PowerLee

    PowerLee Member

    Messages:
    35
    Joined:
    24 May 2014
    Last time I used a train it was a Saturday morning back in October, there was no ticket check on either train I used ( 2 different train operators ) & the only barriers that stopped during the journey where London underground ones which I used my Oyster card for.

    All the national rail barriers I passed where just locked open, one of the stations was Liverpool street.

    We need more barriers to combat fare dodging & we need the barriers to be in use to, get more staff hired to man them.
    Would be nice if there where more ticket checks on the trains to.
     
  4. Agent_c

    Agent_c Member

    Messages:
    933
    Joined:
    22 Jan 2015
    There's only a point in doing a check if the expected revenue raised by checking exceeds the costs of having the people there to do the check. I wonder if the accountants have crunched the numbers and had it turn out negative.
     
  5. AM9

    AM9 Established Member

    Messages:
    4,547
    Joined:
    13 May 2014
    Location:
    St Albans
    That's just a bean counter's justification for it.
    If no checks are done because of that assessment, then others passengers may be tempted to take up the practice of fare-dodging, and the TOCs won't know that fraudulent travel has increased.
    Much more important to those that do always get the correct ticket is that they aren't paying for those fraudsters. It should be an obligation for TOCs who take a subsidy from public funds or who are required to contribute to public funds from operating profits, to police the rules that they are so keen to enforce when it suits them.
     
  6. TEW

    TEW Established Member

    Messages:
    4,464
    Joined:
    16 May 2008
    My gateline was in use today, as it is every Sunday. I had 1 person who had been issued an MG11 on a train by an RPI, and another complaining about the RPIs on his train. So ticket checks definitely do happen on a Sunday.
     
  7. Hadders

    Hadders Established Member

    Messages:
    3,766
    Joined:
    27 Apr 2011
    Watford Junction - Leighton Buzzard is not a very long journey so i not surprised the OP's ticket wasn't checked.

    In my experience guards on London Midland often do a ticket check between Euston and Northampton/Rugby; it might have been completed before you got on at Watford Junction or it might have started after you alighted at Leighton Buzzard.

    It's impractical to expect a ticket check on every journey.
     
  8. Searle

    Searle Established Member

    Messages:
    1,546
    Joined:
    4 May 2012
    Location:
    London
    I find tickets are rarely checked on Sundays. Stevenage - York via Wakefield Westgate, ticket not checked once.
     
  9. Kite159

    Kite159 Established Member

    Messages:
    8,806
    Joined:
    27 Jan 2014
    Location:
    West of Andover
    London Midland, as long as you don't sit in First you okay ;)

    London Overground have stepped up (it seems to me) their revenue protection with RPOs boarding trains rather than have blocks at stations, although would make more sense to start at either end and keep an eye out for any 'jumpers'.

    And shock horror, the P0-P8 gateline at Kings Cross was operational today, both sets, first time I've seen that on a Sunday (although the gateline across the bridge was wide open, as was the suburban platforms, so any dodgers could have slipped out that direction)
     
  10. fairysdad

    fairysdad Member

    Messages:
    712
    Joined:
    27 Dec 2010
    Location:
    London, Surrey... bit of a blur round here...
    Yesterday, I caught a FGW HST from Paddington to Exeter St David's (the train continuing onto Penzance), and even though it wasn't overly busy, and it was non-stop Reading-Taunton, there were no ticket checks. I've no idea how much train managers are paid, but my ticket was around £55 (with a railcard) so would be paid more than £10/hour to make it worth checking all the tickets even if it was just me who hadn't paid (given that I'd have been charged over twice that if I didn't pay) (that's a rough calculation given that the journey is around 3 hours).

    While the revenue / cost aspect pointed out by agent_c may work for shorter or cheaper routes, surely such an expectation cannot be used for all routes that don't have ticket checks.

    (Of course, in this instance, you could well use the 'ticket gates' argument, but the train left Paddington from the ungated Platform 1, and my journey continued onto Umberleigh which is also ungated (and on which train I'm sure my ticket was only checked so that the guard knew to let the driver know to stop there as he only glanced at it, said 'Umberleigh' to himself, and carried on); often I'll use Tiverton Parkway station which is also ungated.)

    (Once again, this is a case of me hijacking a thread that has appeared timely given that it's been something I've thought about recently too!)
     
  11. Agent_c

    Agent_c Member

    Messages:
    933
    Joined:
    22 Jan 2015
    There's more to it than just £10 an hour, there's the costs of attraction, retention, and making sure there is enough work at other times in order to offer enough hours to attract enough people.
     
  12. fairysdad

    fairysdad Member

    Messages:
    712
    Joined:
    27 Dec 2010
    Location:
    London, Surrey... bit of a blur round here...
    Yes, I agree that there's more to it than just the wage of whatever the ticket inspector is called on whatever TOC it's on, and also that the revenue from tickets goes to more than just paying staff.

    However, I'm still sure that it's not just a monetary and income/loss thing - after all, there was a Train Manager on board my HST yesterday whose job does, among other things as I'm sure members like Flamingo can attest, include revenue protection. He probably did do some ticket checking as he did announce on departure from Paddington that passengers could upgrade to First Class.

    Again, I realise that this is just my experiences on travelling with one TOC - it's not the first time that I've been on an FGW service to the West Country which hasn't had any ticket checking; both directions, different times of day, both peak and off-peak. I could give you tales of similar experience on SWT services as well. Other TOCs could have a 'better' excuse for it, such as not being able to afford/justify having revenue protectors on every train, but for some it doesn't seem as there is an excuse.

    (I feel I should point out that I said 'doesn't seem' as I do know that there are situations where this aspect of a train crew's job might be at the bottom of the list, and as a mere passenger I don't know the ins and outs of what a guard/conductor/train manager/whatever does. There may have been some issues with the train yesterday that meant that the TM had other things to be getting on with, things that I'm not party to, and I've no problem with that.)
     
  13. Starmill

    Starmill Established Member

    Messages:
    8,922
    Joined:
    18 May 2012
    Location:
    Manchester
    Ticket checks (or usually, being sold a ticket because Northern can't be bothered to open the ticket office past 1300 or at all at the weekend) are rare on my line on every day of the week.
     
  14. yorksrob

    yorksrob Veteran Member

    Messages:
    14,794
    Joined:
    6 Aug 2009
    Location:
    Yorks
    Got three ticket checks today on a return journey between Wakie and York, so they're not that unconcerned.
     
  15. Andrew1395

    Andrew1395 Member

    Messages:
    282
    Joined:
    30 Sep 2014
    Location:
    Bushey
    London Midland made all their RPI's redundant 16 months ago. You rarely get checked by guards. The company relies on most of its customers going through gates aft Euston WFJ and MKC. They make no money checking tickets. Any extra revenue goes to DfT, but they keep any savings on operating the company. So in the run down of the franchise it makes sense to reduce your staff costs.
     
  16. blakey1152

    blakey1152 Member

    Messages:
    278
    Joined:
    5 Sep 2011
    Last summer I travelled from Slade Green to Liverpool Lime Street and not once did I get my tickets checked or have to pass through a closed barrier.

    Although between Charing Cross and Euston we did get a taxi as we had a few bags with us so we didn't have to use the Underground.

    When I returned I did phone up Virgin customer services to complain about the lack of ticket check on such a long distance journey pointing out the fact that there was the possibility of them losing revenue and someone getting a "Free Ride" when I'd just paid out a small fortune in tickets - but the customer service representative wasn't interested in the slightest.
    There wasn't even the usual Virgin staff on the ramp to the platforms checking tickets which I had experienced on just about every other Virgin journey from Euston that I'd been on.

    I didn't expect to get ticket checked on Southeastern as its a short journey and they seem to do more station exit checks than onboard these days.

    Blakey
     
    Last edited: 13 Apr 2015
  17. A-driver

    A-driver Established Member

    Messages:
    4,483
    Joined:
    9 May 2011

    Well of course the Virgin representative want in the slightest bit interested. You were complaining about nothing. It's not really down to you as a customer to tell someone how to run their business and make their money. I'm sure they know what they are doing regarding ticket checks. Unless you travel that route daily and never see inspectors you can't really complain as it's just based on a single one off journey.
     
  18. CHESHIRECAT

    CHESHIRECAT Member

    Messages:
    68
    Joined:
    27 Jul 2010
    Apparently Stockport/Piccadilly/Wigan NW and Warrington B Q getting them on instruction from DFT!!!
     
  19. Hadders

    Hadders Established Member

    Messages:
    3,766
    Joined:
    27 Apr 2011
    You should've written to them rather than phoned. They'd have probably sent you £50 worth of rail travel vouchers!
     
  20. Arctic Troll

    Arctic Troll Established Member

    Messages:
    7,882
    Joined:
    12 Sep 2013
    Location:
    Newcastle upon Tyne
    I must have imagined the station block at Apsley last week provided by, er, London Midland RPIs.

    I generally find more ticket checks on Sundays on the line into London from Hemel. On the 8-car or 12-car trains you don't see many checks (although the guard was checking last Friday on the 0803 Hemel-Euston) as the guard can't get through the train, but they're more common on the 4-cars. I often get my ticket checked on the Tring stoppers on a Sunday afternoon.
     
  21. jopsuk

    jopsuk Veteran Member

    Messages:
    11,140
    Joined:
    13 May 2008
    "I hardly ever use trains, made one return journey and have extrapolated what I observed to all trains"
     
  22. plastictaffy

    plastictaffy Established Member

    Messages:
    1,088
    Joined:
    18 Nov 2012
    Location:
    Unfortunately, Maps has stopped.
    Most of us will do a ticket check on the up after Leighton Buzzard, and on the down, depending on the stopping pattern, after Watford Junction.

    Hadders - It's about 20 minutes!!

    We're expected to go through after every stop, including the three minutes sprint WFJ-KGL and the 3 minute sprint WFJ-BSH.

    Of course, these ideas have been dreamt up by "managers" that used to work for Cross Country, where you might have a minimum of 20 minutes between stops, and haven't a clue how a predominantly commuter railway works.

    You also need to remember that there are a good few Guards that DO NOT and WILL NOT walk trains, ever. So there's a chance you've got one of their trains.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    We're on 15.22 an hour, flat money. Even though it's non-stop from Reading to Taunton, it's possible the booked Guard has blown in sick and a spare man was sent to work it at very short notice. IE at 1657 the phone goes and the panicking DTCM says "1700, platform 8, so-and-so" has blown in, I'll fax you the diagram....." It happens a lot!!

    It's also possible that the Guard working it has a trainee with him who is busy learning the route, and therefore he hasn't got a machine and won't walk the train.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    Andrew1395 - you haven't got a clue what you're talking about, I'm afraid!!!!
     
  23. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

    Messages:
    20,940
    Joined:
    20 Oct 2014
    Location:
    Up and down the south WCML (mostly)
    I really dislike this view. Is it a contracted part of their role to do so, or is it genuinely optional? If so, surely they should be subject to disciplinary action for not doing their job as contracted? Or is LM too scared of strikes to make sure people do what they are paid to do rather than reading the Sun in the back cab?
     
  24. 33056

    33056 Established Member

    Messages:
    2,283
    Joined:
    12 Nov 2007
    Location:
    On a train somewhere in Europe
    I use both London Midland and Southern all the time and see the Southern guards go through doing tickets far more than their LM counterparts; the only regular LM train that I catch which nearly always seems to get checked is the 4:15 from Northampton.
     
  25. plastictaffy

    plastictaffy Established Member

    Messages:
    1,088
    Joined:
    18 Nov 2012
    Location:
    Unfortunately, Maps has stopped.
    Safety is number one priority. If they get pulled in and questioned, they'll just use that line.
    I dislike the view they take, too, they openly boast about it in front of management and nothing ever gets done.
     
  26. tsr

    tsr Established Member

    Messages:
    6,182
    Joined:
    15 Nov 2011
    Location:
    Ballast
    Southern conductors have usually started checking after Shepherd's Bush and, if need be, will do so up to Bletchley - and vice versa. There's generally little excuse not to - usually plenty of time and not too many people to do it, especially as the Southern trains do not call absolutely everywhere. It's rare to get checks between Clapham Junction and Shepherd's Bush due to overcrowding, but it does happen from time to time. Conductors on this route are Selhurst Link 1 crew and all pretty experienced, so of course the order of which coaches are checked and how often will vary, as there are inevitably a few people who can be "caught out" by unusual spot checks.
     
  27. blakey1152

    blakey1152 Member

    Messages:
    278
    Joined:
    5 Sep 2011
    £50 worth of travel vouchers...I'd have to spend on Southeastern trains....
    Not sure if thats a reward or punishment!
     
  28. Starmill

    Starmill Established Member

    Messages:
    8,922
    Joined:
    18 May 2012
    Location:
    Manchester
    Fortunately, guards who see customer service as an optional part of their role are a dying breed.
     
  29. island

    island Established Member

    Messages:
    9,336
    Joined:
    30 Dec 2010
    Location:
    0036
    VTWC has been ordered to barrier most of its stations. Which is pretty irrelevant. The manual checks at Euston are better than any barrier can be because barriers can't verify that advance tickets, the users of which constitute a very substantial proportion of VTWC's ridership, are valid for the train behind the barriers.
     
  30. Starmill

    Starmill Established Member

    Messages:
    8,922
    Joined:
    18 May 2012
    Location:
    Manchester
    It's been required under the direct award and has been being mentioned for some time (since before 2012 I think). They don't seem too eager to make progress on the ground :p
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page