Ticket Checks on Rail Replacement Buses

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Mutant Lemming

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I have been unfortunate enough to have been subjected to replacement buses four times over the past week, in the North-West, South-East and for LU services. Not once have I been asked to show a ticket. Is this a common recurring theme as I can't recall if I have ever had to show a ticket when using rail replacement services in the last 10 years.
 
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causton

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I have been unfortunate enough to have been subjected to replacement buses four times over the past week, in the North-West, South-East and for LU services. Not once have I been asked to show a ticket. Is this a common recurring theme as I can't recall if I have ever had to show a ticket when using rail replacement services in the last 10 years.

Never been checked either. I believe Chiltern check as they say you must touch in/out on Oyster... but other than that don't think anyone else does!
 

Lrd

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I've had to use rail replacement buses late at night, ticket office was closed at the time and the TVM's were locked inside. Station manager was still floating around though, bus never turned up so he organised a taxi for two of us, fairly sure neither of us had a ticket and no one checked. This was years ago though!
 

Ivo

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If what my father has previously told me is anything to go by - and bearing in mind he has driven countless RRBs and been Controller a fair few times so it must have something in it - drivers aren't allowed to check so it's up to the TOC(s) involved to do it, meaning that if they don't bother no-one will.
 

PR1Berske

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I don't want to make myself a target for staff in the NW with this post, but to be honest, such ticket checks seem to be a complete no-no in my experience!

I must have taken the rail replacement coach from Wigan to Preston every hungover Sunday for three months at one point in recent times, and not once, ever, did I get checked for a ticket.

Sometimes I'd buy one, sometimes I'd still have my (walk up and buy) return from the night before, sometimes I'd have nothing at all. Nobody checked - you just hung around Wigan North Western, a coach turned up, the hi-viz jacket people waved you on, and that was the end of it.

At Preston, you walked off, the hi-viz jacket people smiled and waved, and that was the end of it.
 
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If what my father has previously told me is anything to go by - and bearing in mind he has driven countless RRBs and been Controller a fair few times so it must have something in it - drivers aren't allowed to check so it's up to the TOC(s) involved to do it, meaning that if they don't bother no-one will.

That's certainly correct here in Southern Trains land. In B.R. days replacement buses used to be a nice little time and three-quarters an hour Sunday earner for ticket staff. I rather suspect that T.O.C.s nowadays are prepared to write off the ticket losses against Sunday overtime for their staff.
 

Flying Snail

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Had tickets checked last year by a bus (NatEx uniform) controller at Rugby boarding a coach to Northampton. He seemed to know what he was looking at too.
 

Whistler40145

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I have travelled on many RRBs in the North West & like the rest of you, no ticket check has taken place.

I have always presumed they don't check for tickets because it's presumed you are already in possession of a valid ticket for onward travel & they don't have anybody on the RRB to sell/check tickets, so on you get & off you go.


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I am here: http://tapatalk.com/map.php?511baj
 

GadgetMan

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Had tickets checked last year by a bus (NatEx uniform) controller at Rugby boarding a coach to Northampton. He seemed to know what he was looking at too.

There's a Arriva Wales Bus Co-ordinator who checks tickets before allowing passengers to board replacement buses.

In the past when the route I worked had weekend blockades on for a number of weeks, I noted I was selling tickets from A-B in stead of the more popular A-C journey. Surprise surprise the B-C leg was on a bus.

Simple solution to that as there was just one bus an hour.

I asked the driver to hang on 2 mins before releasing the doors on my behalf on arrival at the terminating station where buses took over. This gave me time to pop to the booking office window and recommend it was a good time for the clerk to take a break. I would then run over to the Bus entrance holding a ticket stamper ready to re-check tickets :lol:.

Bus left about 20 out of 80 passengers behind as they did not have valid tickets for onward travel and the booking office was shut for 10 mins:p. It ended up costing these passengers an extra hours wait and additional money as a ticket from A-C is cheaper than buying a A-B and B-C ticket.
 

WatcherZero

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Ive used rail replacement buses practically everywhere outside the capital and never had my ticket checked. Theres usually a member of staff moving between coaches and counting how many people board though, and sometimes a second dividing people up between a couple of different coach routes as the coachs usually only do half the stops the train do to keep the same timings.
 

GadgetMan

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That's news to me. I have been on plenty of ATW Bus replacements and never had my ticket checked.

I wasn't suggesting that all ATW co-ordinators check tickets. This one definitely does as I've seen him on a number of occasions. As XC get there coaches arranged by ATW, their co-ordinator also comes with the package. This chap lives in the midlands so I'd have thought he only covers stations local to where he lives as they have co-ordinators employed on a casual basis all over the UK.
 

anthony263

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That's news to me. I have been on plenty of ATW Bus replacements and never had my ticket checked.


I have to agree I have enever seen ATW check tickets on rail replacement buses.

Of course thats if a bus actually turns up.

I do remember getting off a hst from London at Bridgend back in 2011 at around 22:45 and saw a large number of passengers waiting outside the station for a rail replacement bus. These passengers were all going to Pencoed, Llanharren & Pontyclun and have come up on the 22:15 from Maesteg or were traveling from Bridgend.

Now I did suggest some of them head down to the bus stn to catch a normal bus since there was one due in 10 minutes. In fact by 23:40 they were still waiting in fact I know a few came up to the gaurd on the 23:44 Carmarthen service fair play to him he did his best bust there were no station staff etc.

I never did find out who was booked to provide the bus but I did tell the staff at Bridgend station the day after what had gone on the night before.
 

Eagle

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The last RRB I caught was arranged at short notice due to a complete suspension of services. One of the VT platform staff stood in front of the door and checked (and seemed unfazed by my relatively unusual ticket—a LM Great Escape from Leamington).
 

Dave A

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In the past when the route I worked had weekend blockades on for a number of weeks, I noted I was selling tickets from A-B in stead of the more popular A-C journey. Surprise surprise the B-C leg was on a bus.

Simple solution to that as there was just one bus an hour.

I asked the driver to hang on 2 mins before releasing the doors on my behalf on arrival at the terminating station where buses took over. This gave me time to pop to the booking office window and recommend it was a good time for the clerk to take a break. I would then run over to the Bus entrance holding a ticket stamper ready to re-check tickets :lol:.

Bus left about 20 out of 80 passengers behind as they did not have valid tickets for onward travel and the booking office was shut for 10 mins:p. It ended up costing these passengers an extra hours wait and additional money as a ticket from A-C is cheaper than buying a A-B and B-C ticket.

So you inconvenienced 20 people who were willing to pay for a ticket just to amuse yourself for 5 minutes... :|

I'm sure I once was told that Network Rail pay attribution costs to the TOC for any lost minutes even with planned works?
 

GadgetMan

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So you inconvenienced 20 people who were willing to pay for a ticket just to amuse yourself for 5 minutes... :|

I'm sure I once was told that Network Rail pay attribution costs to the TOC for any lost minutes even with planned works?

No, I inconvenienced 20 passengers who were trying to be clever by taking advantage of the lack of ticket checks on RRBs. If they were willing to pay the correct fare then they should have bought tickets to their destination as there is no financial incentive in splitting on that line.

Each one of them was asked when I checked tickets on the train if they were planning to connect onto the RRB, the answer they gave on the train Ofcourse was NO!
 

Cumberlandkev

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I have driven RRB for Virgin and Northern and was told to have nothing to do with tickets - and rightly so as I would not have had the knowledge to do so.
However, most passengers boarding the coach would wave a ticket at the driver and my guess is that the number actually travelling without a ticket would be pretty small? I wouldn't have thought it was worth the hassle of having sufficient staff for the TOC's to check.
I can say that RRB passengers were deffo the most grumpy set of passengers I carried and who can blame them, having been shoved off a train service onto a coach which was going to take a lot longer?
As an aside we were not allowed to drop passengers anywhere except the station which used to upset a few heading for Kendal as an example, as we drove straight through Kendal to the official stop at Oxenholme. If you broke the rules you got put off the job.
 

Dave A

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No, I inconvenienced 20 passengers who were trying to be clever by taking advantage of the lack of ticket checks on RRBs. If they were willing to pay the correct fare then they should have bought tickets to their destination as there is no financial incentive in splitting on that line.

Each one of them was asked when I checked tickets on the train if they were planning to connect onto the RRB, the answer they gave on the train Ofcourse was NO!

So you checked tickets on the train, then told the booking office guy to go on a break, so that when you checked tickets again for the RRB the people who had said they weren't going on the RRB but were, without valid tickets, couldn't buy valid tickets because there was no-one to sell them?!

Therefore; 20 passengers who got caught "trying to be clever" were inconvenienced because you took away their option to buy tickets. They had not yet evaded paying a fare, and even if they had, it may not have been illegal... :|

Just to clarify here; I'm not searching for trouble or trying to tell you how to do you job, but you can see why we (railway staff) get such a bad name from other people/the press.

IMO, this is a silly act that benefitted no one but yourself. Unless you're perfect (and no-one is), you can't say you've never acted in a way that benefits yourself, wether that be getting home from work early (still being paid) or saving a few £ by not buying a ticket for a RRB (which would've caused disruption to their journey anyway), so why do the same to other people?

I'm just trying to point out that what you did seems silly and pointless, and I'd hope that you'd understand that from the view of an outsider or a passenger, acting that way is just not fair.
 

GadgetMan

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So you checked tickets on the train, then told the booking office guy to go on a break, so that when you checked tickets again for the RRB the people who had said they weren't going on the RRB but were, without valid tickets, couldn't buy valid tickets because there was no-one to sell them?!

Therefore; 20 passengers who got caught "trying to be clever" were inconvenienced because you took away their option to buy tickets. They had not yet evaded paying a fare, and even if they had, it may not have been illegal... :|

Just to clarify here; I'm not searching for trouble or trying to tell you how to do you job, but you can see why we (railway staff) get such a bad name from other people/the press.

IMO, this is a silly act that benefitted no one but yourself. Unless you're perfect (and no-one is), you can't say you've never acted in a way that benefits yourself, wether that be getting home from work early (still being paid) or saving a few £ by not buying a ticket for a RRB (which would've caused disruption to their journey anyway), so why do the same to other people?

I'm just trying to point out that what you did seems silly and pointless, and I'd hope that you'd understand that from the view of an outsider or a passenger, acting that way is just not fair.

The only passengers that will feel it unfair is those that attempted to cheat the system. If they were allowed to board the bus after telling me they weren't going to, thereby travelling on that leg for free, would it be fair on those that had paid?

Well that's your opinion and you're entitled to it. I can assure you that the same people the following weekend will have thought twice before doing it again.

You may see it as pointless, I don't as the next time these passengers travel, the majority if not all will not try it again and will pay the correct fare. I have no sympathy for people who intend on avoiding paying for their whole journey.
 
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Dave A

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The only passengers that will feel it unfair is those that attempted to cheat the system. If they were allowed to board the bus after telling me they weren't going to, thereby travelling on that leg for free, would it be fair on those that had paid?

Well that's your opinion and you're entitled to it. I can assure you that the same people the following weekend will have thought twice before doing it again.

You may see it as pointless, I don't as the next time these passengers travel, the majority if not all will not try it again and will pay the correct fare. I have no sympathy for people who intend on avoiding paying for their whole journey.

My opinion is that no-one should pay for RRB's. If a TOC/NR want to take away a train service from people and inconvenience them, sometimes at short notice or/and without adequate warning, then why should people pay for that?! I will happily pay for a train service, but why should I pay the same fare for a run down bus that does the same journey in double the time...

That's besides the point though. What gets me is that you think what you did was right. The main part I'm concerned with is the closing of the booking office. Yes ask them if they intend to take the RRB, and yes stop them if they haven't got a valid ticket, but don't take away their means to buy another one and inconvenience them further!

Surely you can see where I'm coming from here?! You took away their means to buy another ticket, and made them wait an hour for another RRB, for your entertainment purposes! How is that fair?
 

gnolife

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The only passengers that will feel it unfair is those that attempted to cheat the system. If they were allowed to board the bus after telling me they weren't going to, thereby travelling on that leg for free, would it be fair on those that had paid?

Well that's your opinion and you're entitled to it. I can assure you that the same people the following weekend will have thought twice before doing it again.

You may see it as pointless, I don't as the next time these passengers travel, the majority if not all will not try it again and will pay the correct fare. I have no sympathy for people who intend on avoiding paying for their whole journey.

And what about any passengers travelling from where the bus started from and not from where you joined the train. If they were running late for the bus and found that the ticket office was shut because you'd sent the clerk away?
 

Skymonster

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In the past when the route I worked had weekend blockades on for a number of weeks, I noted I was selling tickets from A-B in stead of the more popular A-C journey. Surprise surprise the B-C leg was on a bus.

Simple solution to that as there was just one bus an hour.

I asked the driver to hang on 2 mins before releasing the doors on my behalf on arrival at the terminating station where buses took over. This gave me time to pop to the booking office window and recommend it was a good time for the clerk to take a break. I would then run over to the Bus entrance holding a ticket stamper ready to re-check tickets :lol:.

Bus left about 20 out of 80 passengers behind as they did not have valid tickets for onward travel and the booking office was shut for 10 mins:p. It ended up costing these passengers an extra hours wait and additional money as a ticket from A-C is cheaper than buying a A-B and B-C ticket.

I'd like to believe that had a manager found out about that, those involved would have had at least a stern talking to if not been put on a disciplinary. It's one thing to make sure passengers have a valid ticket and quite legitimate to do so, but something totally different to deliberately put in place measures to prevent them buying tickets with effectively the objective of prolonging their journey. Seems like a woeful lack of customer service to me - whilst the passengers trying to evade paying was wrong, wronging them back further other than expecting them to pay an additional fare (over distance excess) isn't right either.

Besides, if there's no means of buying a ticket (booking office closed) couldn't the passengers legitimately board witout a ticket and be prepared to pay for their onward journey enroute?
 

GadgetMan

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And what about any passengers travelling from where the bus started from and not from where you joined the train. If they were running late for the bus and found that the ticket office was shut because you'd sent the clerk away?

There weren't any, it is a very underused station at weekends. The booking hall was within view.


My opinion is that no-one should pay for RRB's. If a TOC/NR want to take away a train service from people and inconvenience them, sometimes at short notice or/and without adequate warning, then why should people pay for that?! I will happily pay for a train service, but why should I pay the same fare for a run down bus that does the same journey in double the time...

This engineering work was advertised many weeks previously. I'm afraid I do not agree that people should be allowed to travel for free on replacement transport. I accept it can't be nice having a journey disrupted by engineering work but the work needs to be done at some point and if there isn't a realistic alternative rail route then there is no choice but to put road transport on.

There is nothing stopping passengers from avoiding 'expensive' rail replacement buses and opting for the likes of National Express coach services instead.

That's besides the point though. What gets me is that you think what you did was right. The main part I'm concerned with is the closing of the booking office. Yes ask them if they intend to take the RRB, and yes stop them if they haven't got a valid ticket, but don't take away their means to buy another one and inconvenience them further!

Surely you can see where I'm coming from here?! You took away their means to buy another ticket, and made them wait an hour for another RRB, for your entertainment purposes! How is that fair?

Why should we have to go to extremes like having to rapidly get from train to coach door to ensure people are honest enough to pay for their journey? This pay only when challenged attitude is bang out of order.

But yes in hindsight I would have to agree with your last point. I was a lot younger and a bit more naive back then.:oops:
 

Dave A

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This engineering work was advertised many weeks previously. I'm afraid I do not agree that people should be allowed to travel for free on replacement transport. I accept it can't be nice having a journey disrupted by engineering work but the work needs to be done at some point and if there isn't a realistic alternative rail route then there is no choice but to put road transport on.

As I said, its an opinion but I understand why it's done.

But yes in hindsight I would have to agree with your last point. I was a lot younger and a bit more naive back then.:oops:

Fair enough! I was certainly not try to embarrass you or anything like that, it was just worded like you saw what you did as acceptable, but I'm glad you understand what I mean. We all make mistakes & like to have a bit of fun but I'd recommend it's not shared here with the "all-seeing" eyes... ;) :)
 

323235

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The First North Western Rail Replacement buses during the west coast upgrade on the Macclesfield line used to have ticket checkers onboard with Sportis machines. Other than that and the Metrolink buses where the drivers sometimes requested to see tickets, I have never been ticket checked on a Rail Replacement Bus.
 

CNash

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There is nothing stopping passengers from avoiding 'expensive' rail replacement buses and opting for the likes of National Express coach services instead.

I agree with this, especially within Greater London, as the regular local bus services will often be faster and more direct than an RRB which has to take a more ponderous route in order to replicate the journey of the train it's replacing. For example, instead of getting the RRB for a journey of Bexleyheath to Lewisham, you would simply hop on an 89, skipping Falconwood, Eltham and Kidbrooke entirely and proceeding straight through Blackheath to Lewisham.
 

DXMachina

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I was once urged by then-Silverlink staff to get on the RRB at Watford rather than miss it, against my protestations that i hadnt yet got a ticket......

So I did. Thanks. Was going to Apsley which has no facility to buy incoming tickets at night!
 

Failed Unit

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I don't know if things have changed in EMT land, but replacement buses from Market Rasen = free ride. No rail staff on the bus and no ticket issuing facalities at the station. Yes you could buy at Lincoln upon arrival but I never saw anyone bother.
 
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