Ticket Barriers retaining tickets

Discussion in 'Infrastructure & Stations' started by Andyh82, 4 Aug 2016.

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  1. Andyh82

    Andyh82 Established Member

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    I find the fact that some barriers retain tickets quite an annoyance.

    The fact there is no rhyme or reason of which ones do or don't is annoying, as often you may want to keep the ticket for expenses or for delay repay, and have to ask a member of staff if it will get swallowed before you go through.

    Also surely the station operators have to empty and dispose of thousands of tickets every day, not to mention having to fish out ones that someone did want to retain, and also having to manually let through people at a manned gate. Seems easier to me to not retain tickets.

    There is a theory that some people would use the same day return over and over again every day though presumably?
     
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  3. greaterwest

    greaterwest Member

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    Most people don't want to keep their tickets when they finish their journey, and many just leave tickets on the end of the ticket barrier when they leave the station, or drop them on the floor (causing litter, and ensuring those with no tickets can simply grab a "used" ticket to get through!)

    I can't see this ever changing (and quite rightly too!), if you want to retain your ticket for expenses/delay repay/etc then you should continue to speak to the member of staff on the barriers.
     
  4. sheff1

    sheff1 Established Member

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    ... especially when the ticket has onward validity to another station !
     
  5. jopsuk

    jopsuk Veteran Member

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    I find it annoying when they don't retain, my ticket has no further validity and I have no expenses or delay claim, as there's inevitably not a bin handy.

    In general for the small number of people it annoys, it's far better than the inevitable litter problem. The bin is easy to empty (possibly to recycling?) and is of no security risk
     
  6. gsnedders

    gsnedders Established Member

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    Of course, that requires the member of staff on the barriers to let you through and keep your ticket, which doesn't always happen… I've just been pointed back at the barriers and been told that needing the ticket for expenses and delay repay (on separate occasions) is my own problem.
     
  7. gray1404

    gray1404 Established Member

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    Train companies have to let you retain your ticket if it is for delay repay purposes or has further validity on it. As for the issue of expenses I believe that strictly speaking you are required to obtain a receipt from the TVM, booking office, on the train, use your booking confirmation when you buy your ticket.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    Yes, I find this very annoying too. Moreover when staff insist you must use the barrier when you know the ticket will be retained.
     
  8. johntea

    johntea Established Member

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    My London Underground Day Travelcard once got chewed up by a ticket machine, the member of staff on duty wouldn't budge until I insisted for the fifth time it was a Day Travelcard and I sort of needed it to continue my travels :D
     
  9. rg177

    rg177 Established Member

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    I've had the barrier at Leeds swallow my ticket then just not open, leaving me stuck the wrong side of the gates without a ticket...

    Sent from my F3311 using Tapatalk
     
  10. Ladder23

    Ladder23 Member

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    Ask for receipt as proof of purchase, whenever I've needed to provide recipes for expenses I've done this. Makes everyone's life easier.
     
  11. Arctic Troll

    Arctic Troll Established Member

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    The trouble is that receipts issued on the railways are useless.

    This is one I got from Northern at Bradford Interchange (a station that retains tickets), for instance:

    [​IMG]

    No origin, no destination, no date of travel, a blank space where the VAT number should go (yes, I know rail travel is not VAT chargable). Payroll would tell me to do one if I tried to use that in an expenses claim. It could be for anything.

    I agree with the OP. All barriers should retain or all barriers should return. It shouldn't be pot luck. If you guess wrong and the barriers swallow your ticket, getting a barrier pixie to open it up and retrieve it for you is like getting blood from a stone.
     
  12. greaterwest

    greaterwest Member

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    In SWT land, our TVMs give you two receipts when you ask for a receipt, one is that collection receipt, which is what you have there and the other is a card receipt, which has the last 4 digits of your card number, and the price of the ticket. It should produce one of these:
    [​IMG]
    (not my image, found on google)

    I agree with you there about it being pot luck sometimes. I've seen barriers retain the wrong part of a return and allow the person to exit the station.

    Barriers should:
    • return travelcards inside the travelcard area
    • return tickets where journey has been broken within the ticket's validity
    • retain singles
    • retain completed returns
    • retain completed travelcards
    Of course this isn't a complete list, feel free to suggest more, but these are key things mentioned in this thread

    Getting "barrier pixies" to open the barrier should not be like getting blood from a stone, it's part of the job & good customer service.

    As for the whole point of the thread (retaining your ticket for expenses), if it's that much of an issue then purchase your ticket at the ticket office and request a full receipt until such time as the machines in your area issue proper receipts.
     
  13. Arctic Troll

    Arctic Troll Established Member

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    Certainly at Leeds and Bradford their attitude tends to be that the barrier has correctly retained the ticket and so they're not going to fish it out for you.

    The receipts from staffed ticket offices don't show what was bought, which makes them useless for expenses. I can't remember with certainty now, as it was two years ago, but I'm pretty sure that receipt was from the staffed counter not the TVM.
     
    Last edited: 5 Aug 2016
  14. lemonic

    lemonic Member

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    This whole retention of tickets seems to be a very British thing. Across the rest of Europe, where there are automatic or manual ticket checks at stations, I have never come across tickets being retained on exit.

    With more tickets being mobile, print at home, smartcards or paper tickets issued on-board trains, it is time for the railway to install barcode readers at all ticket barriers, print a date/time/station name on traditional tickets when exiting a station and stop retaining tickets across the whole network.

    Then, and only then, can you insist on customers using the automatic ticket barriers. With this you can get much better data for passenger counts, delay repay purposes etc. and also detect fraudulent tickets far more efficiently.
     
  15. greaterwest

    greaterwest Member

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    I don't think that's the right attitude to have, but it may even be company policy not to retrieve tickets stolen by the machine, but I couldn't say whether or not that's true.

    Whilst that receipt may have been from a ticket office, the ones produced by SWT TVMs produce are exactly the same.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    Smartcards are, I would say, the most reliable way forward. Barcode readers can be great fun when you have a glossy phone screen/the machine is dirty/etc.

    The ITSO standard is proven across the transport industry already (buses are already using it, and some TOCs have their own smartcard schemes)
     
  16. DarloRich

    DarloRich Veteran Member

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    the policy of my previous employer was quite clear - No ticket = no expenses.
     
  17. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    They're odd. I would have thought that a receipt detailing what you bought, where and for how much is good enough. After all, they would accept it for any other expense (or did you have to send in your empty plate if you claimed for a meal? :))
     
  18. DarloRich

    DarloRich Veteran Member

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    They weren't odd, they were tight! Any excuse to save a few quid ;)

    There was some historic issue with non vat receipts going through the books and the auditors being unhappy that the receipts didn't always tie up with the travel. They missed the fact that you could buy tickets in advance.................

    The system was changed to so that you had to send in both the ticket and the receipt and woe betide anyone failing to do so. The petty cash tin remained locked in those cases! BTW - you took your own butties or went without. No expenses for dinner.
     
    Last edited: 5 Aug 2016
  19. Hadders

    Hadders Established Member

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    I'm always amused when we hear tales of companies insisting on rail tickets to support employee expense claims.

    The same employers happily sign off mileage receipts with no supporting documentation whatsoever, except for a petrol receipt which has no details of the journey undertaken.
     
  20. Arctic Troll

    Arctic Troll Established Member

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    It is at my employer, which is in a sector renowned for its bureaucracy.

    If I've bought online in advance, the email receipt has been enough for expenses. This shows the amount paid, the class of travel, the origin and the destination and the date of travel.

    The issue with many "receipts" issued on the day of travel is that they don't show what was bought. The receipt in my example shows I bought a ticket for £3.40 at Bradford Interchange. It doesn't show what that ticket is for. Without that, my employer won't pay up.
     
  21. colchesterken

    colchesterken Member

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    There should be one system for all, that is the problem with a fragmented system
    Here in Anglia land the machine always gives back the ticket, the other week when I got to Brighton the barrier swallowed my ticket, I had a delay repay claim on AGA for the outward leg and a claim on GTR for the return
    Sent AGA a copy credit card receipt and a copy of the return portion and the orig portion to GTR
    See how I get on
     
  22. johntea

    johntea Established Member

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    Why don't you get your employer to book the tickets for you before your trip? Mine were happy to do that, plus hotels as they get a small discount for doing so! (and it saves being out a pocket for a few weeks too!)
     
  23. Antman

    Antman Established Member

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    I've always gone through the staffed gate and told them I need to retain the ticket and I've never had any problem.
     
  24. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

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    With the new style ticketing, couldn't machines print receipts that contain more useful information?
     
  25. WatcherZero

    WatcherZero Established Member

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    Everywhere me or my father have worked they have to book the travel and accommodation for you to get it on expenses. While you keep receipts for food or other stuff you then do a monthly expenses claim in bulk for those.
     
  26. adc82140

    adc82140 Member

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    My employer is a bit more flexible- they'll accept a photocopy (or a photo!) of the ticket- easy to do with a camera phone. But they encourage you to buy directly through their own ticketing provider (Trainline!!) online using a works login via Concur, so you never have to pay out of your own pocket. I have pointed out to them the well documented Trainline booking fee, but they're not interested. Their loss.
     
    Last edited: 6 Aug 2016
  27. bb21

    bb21 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    The Sheep Line will produce various reports for business customers on a regular basis, so probably saving the business money and time in admin.

    A different ball game business and individual customers. Different requirements.
     
  28. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    Businesses don't necessarily pay a per-transaction booking fee. There can be other advantages - for example I can change Advance bookings right up until ten minutes before departure with no charge (providing the tickets haven't already been collected).
     
  29. crehld

    crehld Established Member Senior Fares Advisor

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    We have two options where I work. Buy through the corporate 'preferred supplier', which is some travel agent nobody's ever heard of, or buy the ticket yourself and claim it back of expenses. Departmental budget holders are explicitly clear that as the travel agents seem incapable of booking anything other than an anytime ticket, and as they also charge a hefty commission they prefer (i.e. require) staff to buy tickets at their own expense and then claim back. Strong emphasis is placed on making advance or off-peak bookings wherever possible. In all cases the original travel tickets must be retained. Apparently while email receipts do indeed contain all necessary information (origin, destination, ticket type, price, etc.), they can be quite easily tempered with (compared with rail tickets which, relatively speaking, are not so susceptible) and don't meet the strict accounting / auditing standards demanded by the research councils which fund a great deal of my employer's budget (although I am very glad they no longer ask for the reservation tickets on the seats to also be provided, which made travelling to London with Virgin very difficult indeed).

    To be quite honest I don't really care about the logic of it all. All I know is that unless I present the travel ticket I am not getting my money back. As it is my employer that is paying my salary, and as it is my employer that will determine whether I am to be reimbursed for work travel, I am minded to follow their instructions.

    When travelling for work I always hold on to my ticket and never put it in the barrier. Save for a couple of occasions this has been fine and accepted with no problems. On the couple of occasions I was told I might be tempted to commit fraud or re-use it (despite there being no evidence to support such a stunning allegation). I explained I was more than happy for them to mark the ticket in such a way where the key information was not obscured and all was fine. There was only one occasion where I was forced to put the ticket in barrier, being informed the correct procedure was that once it had gone through the barrier a gate line assistant would then retrieve it. This was London Victoria station at 0845 so you can imagine the chaos that ensued and how incredibly stupid it made the gate line assistant look.

    While the ticket remains the property of the rail industry, there are no real credible reasons why it would want to hang onto a used ticket (unless, perhaps, it wants to retain it as part of some sort of investigation, which I doubt anyone travelling on business expenses would have cause to warrant). And if it were so concerned about people committing fraud or reusing tickets it would make more of a concerted effort to carry out on board checks and to mark tickets as used in an appropriate manner rather than relying on gate lines.

    Anyway, the barriers at Crewe are rather odd indeed. They either reject absolutely everything or they accept and swallow absolutely everything (including season tickets and the like). Perhaps this is why they seem to be kept open more often than not when I have observed them.
     
  30. talldave

    talldave Established Member

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    Yes, but there has to be a willingness on the part of someone in the industry to make it happen. It's always easier to do nothing, and any such changes wouldn't have any impact on revenue so why bother?
     
  31. scrapy

    scrapy Established Member

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    Gates are going to be less reliant on the magnetic strip and more on barcode and qr codes as new style tickets come in. These will be scanned so won't be retained.
     
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