Ticket Checks Scotrail

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In the last few weeks at Johnstone station there have been multiple Scotrail staff on each side of the station checking tickets, with the draconian measure of having the gate locked on one side of the station.

I have to question the logic of this, there are barrier checks at Paisley most days and now you cannot exit central without a ticket. They also have the usual sunny Scotrail customer service disposition also (emphasised by the the gate being locked, which I must assume is a safety issue) .

Can someone of sane mind explain to me the why this is a good use of resources ?
 
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khib70

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Last few weeks @ Johnstone station there have been multiple Scotrail staff on each side of the station checking tickets, with the draconian measure of having the get locked on one side of the station. I have to question the logic of this , there are barrier checks @ Paisley most days and now you cannot exit central without a ticket. They also have the usual sunny Scotrail customer service disposition also ( emphasised by the the gate being locked, which I must assume is a safety issue) .

Can someone of sane mind explain to me the why this is a good use of resources ?
Actually, you can exit Central without going through a barrier, as I did it a couple of weeks ago. Innocently, I might add, as I wasn't travelling anywhere at the time. Better not say how though:)
 

Failed Unit

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There are many ways to avoid paying the fare that are easier than you think, the ticket barriers at Glasgow Central have in fact made it easier to avoid paying the correct fare. So really having checks on the stations is a good thing, considering it is so hard to check on trains (although to be fair at least your line has corridor connections between units)
 

Scotrail84

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There are many ways to avoid paying the fare that are easier than you think, the ticket barriers at Glasgow Central have in fact made it easier to avoid paying the correct fare. So really having checks on the stations is a good thing, considering it is so hard to check on trains (although to be fair at least your line has corridor connections between units)
Platforms 1and 2 at central are not gated. These are mainly used by virgin, x/c and east coast services. Although scotrail units are booked to use them too.
 

Aictos

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So a company actually tries to be proactive in preventing fraud by ticketless users yet gets slammed for doing so?

Stevenage, Finsbury Park, Potters Bar etc...are all gated YET from time to time ticket blocks are put in place for a period of time ensuring every ticket presented is valid.

I don't see a problem as I rather companies be proactive in trying to prevent ticketless fraud which costs £millions then do nothing at all.
 

stut

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So a company actually tries to be proactive in preventing fraud by ticketless users yet gets slammed for doing so?

Stevenage, Finsbury Park, Potters Bar etc...are all gated YET from time to time ticket blocks are put in place for a period of time ensuring every ticket presented is valid.

I don't see a problem as I rather companies be proactive in trying to prevent ticketless fraud which costs £millions then do nothing at all.
It's not either/or. It's a good thing for a company to prevent fraud, yes. But it's not rocket science to do this without causing excessive inconvenience to honest passengers and general members of the public.

When they block my local station, for example, they tend to turn up in small numbers at rush hour, and create a terrible bottleneck, making it take ages to get off the platform, queues backing up all the way up the steps and along. They also block off a heavily used right-of-way over the bridge (the company acknowledges this is illegal and they'd shouldn't be doing it).

In addition, a significant minority are downright rude and aggressive, to fare-dodgers and fare-payers alike.

So yes, go after fraud. But that's no reason to treat genuine customers poorly. Do it properly and inspect the inspectors.
 

The_Stig

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It is quite simple, it eases the huge build up of passengers that need to purchase tickets at the Glasgow central barrier and ensures that correct fares are paid.
 

big_dirt

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I've never heard a complaint about an RPI from someone whose ticket was valid...
Try Elephant and Castle when you're in a rush and the queue down the stairs is hectic at the best of times. Especially when your train is running ten minutes late and it is pouring rain!<(
 

bAzTNM

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Actually, you can exit Glasgow Central without going through a barrier, as I did it a couple of weeks ago. Innocently, I might add, as I wasn't travelling anywhere at the time. Better not say how though:)
I know the way you're on about it, but it is always guarded at the weekends.
 

rail-britain

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Well there certainly wasn't when i was there on Friday 1700-1715. No sign of any checks whatsoever
Was there any need for staff to be there though?
Once the Euston departure is announced the Virgin Trains staff usually stand back and allow anyone access to either platforms
 

Scotrail84

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Was there any need for staff to be there though?
Once the Euston departure is announced the Virgin Trains staff usually stand back and allow anyone access to either platforms
Yes because my stopper from Wav arrived into plat 1 then a whifflet arrived and departed from platform 2. No checks to either service.
 

Sadsmileyface

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In the last few weeks at Johnstone station there have been multiple Scotrail staff on each side of the station checking tickets, with the draconian measure of having the gate locked on one side of the station.

I have to question the logic of this, there are barrier checks at Paisley most days and now you cannot exit central without a ticket. They also have the usual sunny Scotrail customer service disposition also (emphasised by the the gate being locked, which I must assume is a safety issue) .

Can someone of sane mind explain to me the why this is a good use of resources ?
You seem to be under the impression that the station is a public area and anyone is free to come and go as they please.

Imagine how having the gate unlocked would operate in practice. It would cause more disruption, hassle, confusion and most importantly, confrontation... "let me through, that's my train sat there, I'll get my ticket on the train... just get out of my way... I'll get my ticket on the train, I'm going to be late for work" etc.

The idea is to get people into the habit of going through the booking office entrance and ultimately actually paying for the service they use.

It's about changing long-term criminal behavior as it is protecting one mornings revenue.
 

142094

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It's about changing long-term criminal behavior as it is protecting one mornings revenue.
Scotrail do not operate any Penalty Fare zones, so whilst going past a booking office without buying a ticket is technically an offence, it has been accepted for so long that you can buy an anytime ticket onboard and so many people actually do it, that trying to change decades of behaviour is going to take a lot of effort. Northern have the same problem.
 

michael769

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Really? When the smoking ban came in people stopped smoking in pubs more or less overnight - and that was far more controversial than paying for tickets on the train.
That was backed by a widespread publicity and media campaign though. Blockading the odd station now and again without explanation is not really comparable, nor likely to be effective IMO.
 

HH

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Legally TOCs can only introduce Penalty Fares where there are two separate methods of paying for a ticket. It used to be that many ScotRail stations did not meet this standard, but things may have changed - for instance a TVM that takes both cards and cash counts as two methods. It is a big step to change to a Penalty Fare regime however, and previous SR managements have not wished to take that step, even if they bid it (as I know First did). I would be very surprised if it were not introduced in the next Franchise though.
 

tbtc

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So a company actually tries to be proactive in preventing fraud by ticketless users yet gets slammed for doing so?

Stevenage, Finsbury Park, Potters Bar etc...are all gated YET from time to time ticket blocks are put in place for a period of time ensuring every ticket presented is valid.

I don't see a problem as I rather companies be proactive in trying to prevent ticketless fraud which costs £millions then do nothing at all.
I've never heard a complaint about an RPI from someone whose ticket was valid...
I agree with both of you - nothing wrong with having a visible revenue protection system in place that ensures people pay their share. After all the complaints about TOCs who don't bother collecting ticket money (Virgin in Lancashire, for example), it's strange to see FSR criticised so much here recently.

Incidently, is it coincidence that it's the "English" platforms/ trains that don't have ticket barriers at Glasgow Central/ Edinburgh Waverley? Always struck me as a funny exemption...
 

telstarbox

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Incidently, is it coincidence that it's the "English" platforms/ trains that don't have ticket barriers at Glasgow Central/ Edinburgh Waverley? Always struck me as a funny exemption...
The trains from England are long-distance services with more time between stops, so passengers on these trains are more likely to be ticket-checked on board.
 

tbtc

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The trains from England are long-distance services with more time between stops, so passengers on these trains are more likely to be ticket-checked on board.
True, but it seemed strange to leave them "ungated" whilst spending money doing the rest of the stations.

The problem is that some long distance TOCs don't seem to be so keen on revenue collection (assuming that gated stations, especially at the London end will make people pay) and the short distance TOCs don't always have time to get along the train to check tickets due to the short distances between stations (and the need for Guards to operate the doors on some units).
 

reb0118

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Incidentally, is it coincidence that it's the "English" platforms/ trains that don't have ticket barriers at Glasgow Central/ Edinburgh Waverley? Always struck me as a funny exemption...
This goes back to when GNER held the East Coast franchise. GNER kicked up a big stink when they discovered Scotrail staff checking tickets on the approaches/exits to the Suburban Platforms at the Waverley (now 8 & 9) whenever a GNER service was arriving/departing as in their view this seriously inconvenienced their customers.

This did not make sense to me personally because the only people who were seriously inconvenienced were the "customers" without tickets i.e. not customers at all! Surely even with having to pay Scotrail a 10% agent fee it is still better to get 90% of something than 100% of nothing.

~Although the best story (true as it happened) was when the Barrier Staff (Agency) stopped the GNER driver of the 1600 KGX service and asked for his ticket. No amount of explanation would let him through so he turned back to report to his manager - a late start ensued so you can imagine the resultant fallout~

Similarly at Glasgow Central it was GNER/Virgin who were the strongest resistors for implication of the fixed barriers.
 

stut

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This did not make sense to me personally because the only people who were seriously inconvenienced were the "customers" without tickets i.e. not customers at all!
Seriously? You don't see how someone who's had their ticket checked en route, has put it away, is juggling heavy suitcases and and a couple of kids, being faced with a queue to exit the platform, and having to stop and fish everything out again sees it as a big inconvenience?

Revenue protection should always be balanced against customer service. And, like it or not, multiple ticket checks, and particularly barriers on long-distance services where you're likely to have luggage, are an inconvenience.
 

scotsman

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ScotRail (Agency staff I reckon) TEs have started asking for tickets on East Coast services at Edinburgh. I presumed that they must have permission, but I was told last night that East Coast platform staff asked them to leave on one occasion, and the BTP were called when they didn't...
 

IanD

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Really? When the smoking ban came in people stopped smoking in pubs more or less overnight - and that was far more controversial than paying for tickets on the train.
But not on railway stations in Scotland it would seem. Spent the day in the Glasgow area yesterday and at almost every station other than Glasgow Central there were people openly smoking, in many cases in full view of staff who said nothing. The air in Ayr was particularly smokey.
 

michael769

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I would be very surprised if it were not introduced in the next Franchise though.
Currently the TVMs at most unmanned stations do not accept cash.

I think in any case any incoming ToC will have a very steep hill to climb to convince Transport Scotland it is necessary or appropriate when so much of the network involves journeys that start and end an unmanned stations.
 

142094

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But not on railway stations in Scotland it would seem. Spent the day in the Glasgow area yesterday and at almost every station other than Glasgow Central there were people openly smoking, in many cases in full view of staff who said nothing. The air in Ayr was particularly smokey.
Scotland is different as you can smoke on the open platforms.
 

reb0118

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Seriously? You don't see how someone who's had their ticket checked en route, has put it away, is juggling heavy suitcases and and a couple of kids, being faced with a queue to exit the platform, and having to stop and fish everything out again sees it as a big inconvenience?

Revenue protection should always be balanced against customer service. And, like it or not, multiple ticket checks, and particularly barriers on long-distance services where you're likely to have luggage, are an inconvenience.
I am not disagreeing with you but how is it only an inconvenience at Scottish stations in East Coast's view but not at e.g. Newcastle, Durham, Darlington, & now London KX where EC run the ticket barriers themselves?
 

stut

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I am not disagreeing with you but how is it only an inconvenience at Scottish stations in East Coast's view but not at e.g. Newcastle, Durham, Darlington, & now London KX where EC run the ticket barriers themselves?
I'd argue it's an inconvenience there too! However, at least it is expected, and passengers are warned to have their tickets ready. The gates and volume of staff also have the throughput to stop excessive queues forming.

However, when I've got a case, a bag full of lunch and newspapers and a coffee, negotiating the barriers will always be a pain.
 
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