Ticket checks at Leeds

Discussion in 'Disputes & Prosecutions' started by beeza1, 4 Jun 2015.

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  1. beeza1

    beeza1 Member

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    A few months ago a work colleague and 5 of his mates travelled from Brighouse to Leeds for the football, as Brighouse is an unmanned station they expected to purchase tickets on board, the conductor never came round as the train was packed, they got off the train at Leeds and expected to purchase their tickets either at the barriers or at the ticket office, when they got to the barriers a member of staff said they had to return to the platform where the conductor would be there selling tickets, a few words were exchanged as this meant going back to the far side of the station, not wanting to escalate the situation they went back to the platform and, sure enough, the guard was selling tickets. They had to queue around 20mins to get their tickets. There was no announcement on the train informing PAX they would have to purchase tickets on the platform in order to get through the barriers, if there had been they would have waited on the platform.
    I have never heard of this practice before, is it commonplace?
    As has been posted many times, it's not acceptable PAX should be delayed because the TOCs don't employ enough staff.
     
  2. Deerfold

    Deerfold Established Member

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    Where on the platform? There's a small ticket window near platform 1 that's been there a few years. It's not well signposted though.
     
  3. beeza1

    beeza1 Member

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    I'm not sure where, as I wasn't there, from what I can gather it was the guard/conductor from the train they had arrived on, selling tickets on the platform, near the back of the train, he never mentioned going to a ticket office, I don't know which platform it was.
     
  4. timbo58

    timbo58 Member

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    I'd possibly ask why there were lots of ticketless individuals making the queue 20 minutes?

    i.e. did they all get on at unstaffed stations without ticketing facilities then?

    FWIW I don't think it's acceptable anyone should be delayed 20+ minutes due to lack of staff but sometimes it isn't lack of staff that's the problem and I genuinely feel sorry for those that are disadvantaged because of this.

    When Reading got barriers in, Paddington didn't have them -so peak times on Friday nights often had massive queues when the Gatwick lines disgorged those 'out on the toon' the majority of which did have the opportunity and hadn't used it and those that couldn't be bothered at Paddington either.

    Revenue staff when available would go through the queue quietly pulling aside those who told us they'd got on at unstaffed stations and selling them a quick ticket, leaving the lazy bones to queue up at the excess fares window.
    I thought that a very fair system TBH.
     
    Last edited: 4 Jun 2015
  5. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Are you not familiar with West Yorkshire and its lack of ticket issuing facilities? :lol:
    Given most stations in the area are unstaffed, that's not difficult.
    There is a constant lack of staff and regularly long queues.

    Northern's charter laughably claims "When purchasing a rail ticket for immediate travel, we will try to ensure you will not have to wait more than five minutes in busy periods and three minutes at all other times" which is a joke, because at Leeds the reality is they try to ensure you will not have to wait more than 20 minutes at busy times, and 10 minutes at non-busy times.

    It's a shame there isn't an effective Regulator or Ombudsman to enforce anything!
     
  6. bb21

    bb21 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Excess fares window is a common facility at stations with barriers. Not all stations have them or have them in use, but a large number do.

    I find it odd that the guard would be standing on the platform selling tickets rather than prepping for the next journey or going on his PNB. Your friend probably meant the excess fares window, which as others have pointed out, isn't the most obvious if not coming into the bay platforms 1-6.
     
  7. timbo58

    timbo58 Member

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    Thanks for that Yorkie, I am not familiar with West Yorkshire rail facilities as you know and 'spoke' from my experience on GW region where the situation is clearly somewhat different.
     
  8. Arctic Troll

    Arctic Troll Established Member

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    Northern quite often have people on the footbridge selling tickets from a handheld machine, so they could also be referring to that. Although the excess fares window does look like it is on platform 1.

    Most stations in West Yorkshire do not have ticket offices, and of the ones that do plenty are shut by teatime. The queues at Leeds station can be pretty horrendous sometimes. It's not good enough, but Northern don't seem particularly bothered about changing it.
     
  9. beeza1

    beeza1 Member

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    Spoke to my colleague again today, he assures me 100% it was the conductor from the train selling tickets on the platform at the rear of the train, he said when they got back to the platform there were 15 to 20 people waiting to be sold tickets, so I suppose this explains why it took 20mins to get tickets.
    They had expected to buy tickets at the gate line, as this is what happens at Huddersfield on a regular basis when the guard can't be bothered to sell tickets, (in this instance the train was busy and the guard was not able to get round).
    As a matter of interest, what is the turnround time for this service?
     
  10. Arctic Troll

    Arctic Troll Established Member

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    Some guards are happy to sell tickets as they want the commission, so I can well believe it. Usually people are directed to the excess fares window, which sometimes has people with hand held machines, or the sellers on the footbridge.
     
  11. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    I've seen Guards selling tickets at Leeds before. And why not? They get commission, and some will be happy to boost their income and provide a service passengers will also appreciate as it keeps down the queue size. Of course not all will want to do this and may simply need a well-earned rest.

    I wouldn't wait behind 20 people to be served by a Guard when I could go to the excess fares window though; that wouldn't make sense. But if people are unfamiliar with the station and/or have been given poor advice then I suppose it's possible.
    Yeah, Leeds is different to Huddersfield.

    You have to be careful because Northern sometimes threaten people with prosecution if they follow exit signs and don't happen to know that ticket issuing facilities are located in a different direction.

    Which service? :lol:

    Also note the train may have a completely different diagram to the Guard!
     
  12. beeza1

    beeza1 Member

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    As it wasn't me who travelled I'm not sure, it could be either the Huddersfield - Leeds service, or Man Victoria - Leeds, both terminating at Leeds.
     
  13. bb21

    bb21 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Have you seen the size of queues at the excess fares window?! :lol:

    It seems to me every time I go past it during daytime that there is a big queue there. Yeah those people living in places without ticket purchasing facilities in W Yorks have my sympathy. The government should get its acts together and sort out this mess with Northern. I'm surprised that Passenger Focus seem very quiet about this particular problem, which also affects several other stations.
     
  14. bewildered

    bewildered Member

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    Back in the days of having to commute into Leeds on the odd day I got particularly fed up of waiting to buy tickets on the bridge or on platform 1. I think my longest wait was 30 minutes, so I'd book tickets online and collect from the machines as I was leaving Leeds for the next time I needed to travel in. However hopefully the forthcoming MCard pay as you go could do away with all this for the users that don't travel on a daily basis
     
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