The Manchester Victoria Gateline

Discussion in 'Infrastructure & Stations' started by Starmill, 30 Aug 2015.

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  1. Starmill

    Starmill Events Co-ordinator

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    What experiences does everyone have with this? I for one am starting to get really concerned about it. They are of the S&B type and seem very slow and unreliable compared to gates made by the other main firm that manufactures them, cubic.

    On the first day of their operation, I arrived with a ticket to Manchester Stations which I wanted to keep because I needed to send it back to a train company. I asked the gateline staff if the gates were set up to retain tickets or if it would be returned. The man replied by asking what 'retain' meant. It turned out that, at that time the gates were set to accept simply return all tickets. Northern later put up publicity to this effect, which said that there would not be further notice when this changed and the gates went into full operation.

    More recently, it seems this change has taken place and some tickets are now retained by the gates and not all tickets are necessarily accepted. Recently some changes to TransPennine Express services due to engineering work meant lots of passengers who wouldn't normally be travelling to Victoria ended up there. A lot of their tickets it seemed were rejected by the gates with the message "Ticket not valid at this location. Please insert a valid ticket or seek assistance." (except it was in all caps). I asked one of their staff to let me out, showing my ticket and he replied "I'm getting fed up of these f***ing stupid tickets." He later denied use of the f-word and said he had said 'stupid transpennine tickets' but it had been pretty clear to me. Even if this was the case, how can anyone who works at a gateline blame a passenger for their ticket not working because Northern have not got it set up correctly?

    Could this be related to Northern using staff to man this gateline employed not by themselves, but by a firm called STM Security. This is not considered acceptable at, for example, Leeds or Manchester Oxford Road, other Northern-managed* stations.

    I notice Virgin Trains are not using a security contractor to man their new gatelines at Stockport. They use a security firm for security, but not for revenue protection.

    Is there a quality issue here? What are Northern's Direct Award franchise obligations?


    *No pedantry please.
     
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  3. RAPC

    RAPC Member

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    I have had no problems with the gates there, but my tickets have been Manchester ones. As for the staff, I have always found them competent enough, but not necessarily as friendly as similar Northern staff at Deansgate, Oxford Road etc.
     
  4. ian959

    ian959 Member

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    Based upon what you have said, how exactly was the gateline attendant blaming the passenger?

    He was blaming the f****** stupid tickets...
     
  5. Starmill

    Starmill Events Co-ordinator

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    So it was OK for him to say that, in that way?

    For what it's worth there was nothing wrong with the tickets. The only thing at fault was his gateline.
     
  6. geoffk

    geoffk Established Member

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    An acquaintance of mine was returning in the pm peak with an anytime return ticket to Todmorden. The gate at Victoria rejected his ticket even though Todmorden is outside the area to which pm peak travel restrictions apply. Has anyone else had this experience?

    He got through OK by talking to the attendant.
     
  7. yorksrob

    yorksrob Veteran Member

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    I personally haven't had any problems with the barriers at Victoria. They seem to have been programmed to allow breaks of journey on my various cross Manchester journeys.

    I've not noticed them grind to a halt in the way the Leeds ones seem to regularly, but that may just be because I use the Leeds ones more often.
     
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