Using staff passes on other toc`s

Discussion in 'Railway Jobs & Careers' started by westbrom, 5 Dec 2019.

  1. bramling

    bramling Established Member

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    I can't see revenue being able to do a great deal if someone has attempted to buy a ticket off the guard and the guard has told them something like "PRIV's fine" and then walked off.

    I do know people who have had issues getting through gatelines, mainly at major termini.

    I don't think I've ever been sold a PRIV ticket by a guard on either Northern or ATW.
     
  2. 43066

    43066 Member

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    When travelling for leisure I’ve never had an issue where I’ve approached a guard and politely asked if they would mind if I joined their train. 9/10 they tell me I can sit wherever I like and won’t hear of selling me a priv ticket. Obviously that’s a different thing entirely than a guard letting his mates travel for free on a regular basis.

    One of the perks of the industry is (or should be!) looking out for each other.
     
  3. Stigy

    Stigy Established Member

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    I can’t believe this is getting blown all out of proportion. Speak to guard, ask if he or she minds you travelling on board (don’t even mention it being a free journey, just show your staff passes). If they offer to sell you a ticket so be it.
     
  4. 43066

    43066 Member

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    That’s it in a nutshell. Just like any other walk of life, politeness and respect goes a long way.

    While you get the occasional grumpy jobsworth, 90% of guards are as good as gold and don’t sit there thinking “drivers are on £60k+ therefore must buy a ticket”.

    Honestly, this board at times!
     
  5. Aivilo

    Aivilo Member

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    Don't get wrapped up in the politics mate. It's a professional courtesy and as you've pointed out if they/you really want to go against that and purchase a ticket then do so.
     
  6. 185

    185 Established Member

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    A driver? Amateurs lol. Drivers get charged 27 standard open fares. At non Priv rate ;)

    Seriously though, I don't see the point in charging staff, bigger fish to fry hiding in the bog or legging it to the front.
     
  7. dctraindriver

    dctraindriver Member

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    I’ve met the 10%...... my experience means I’ll play it by the book as I don’t want the hassle, each to their own.....
     
  8. falcon

    falcon Member

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    But there it is you see. Someone who has no right to be travelling without a a ticket in the first place. Who then places the guard in a difficult position by asking him if they can travel in contravention of the rules (which he knows himself). When he is told you need a ticket by a guard who is doing his job correctly the guard is called grumpy!

    It's the old story. The guard is nice if I get what I want but if not he is grumpy.

    If one is so inclined to put a guard in a postition of refusal.Then accept it as a refusal and buy a ticket without complaint.
     
  9. furnessvale

    furnessvale Established Member

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    For what it is worth, I am retired safeguarded and, occasionally, rather than filling in a box I buy a priv. I have never thought about not doing so, and if I am buying on a train I prefer to be sold a priv rather than the guard saying "it's OK" to save any potential hassle further up the line.
     
  10. Stigy

    Stigy Established Member

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    Of course, you are qualified to comment on this Guard’s attitude, as you were present no doubt?

    Some people are generally miserable. We have done this to death now. As has been said, each to their own. I don’t see it as any different to police officers using warrant cards for travel when not entitled to most of the time. In these circumstances it’s usually deemed as acceptable as long as they agree to assist if it all kicks off. I’d like to think the same applies to other staff members. I know I would always assist.
     
  11. 43066

    43066 Member

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    Fair enough - as you say each to their own.
     
  12. dctraindriver

    dctraindriver Member

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    In regards to coppers using warrant cards for travel when not entitled you should know if it comes to light with Professional Standards they will lose their job as it’s gross misconduct?
    https://www.croydonadvertiser.co.uk/news/local-news/south-london-police-officer-fired-837623
     
  13. Stigy

    Stigy Established Member

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    Indeed they will, I’m not disputing that. I was just pointing out that it’s widely accepted. Surrey Police used to place Professional Standards officers at certain stations some days to catch police officers doing this.
     
  14. Scotrail84

    Scotrail84 Established Member

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    Whats it got to do with you if an authorised person allows someone travel or not?
     
  15. philthetube

    philthetube Established Member

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    Totally agree, I just wish you could buy priv tickets on line to avoid the issue.

    Maybe it is my face but I seem to get charged the weekend first upgrade more often than not when travelling with Virgin, even though I have shown my ticket and pass.
     
  16. TheAlbanach_

    TheAlbanach_ Member

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    I would love to be able to get priv tickets online! But would probably be open to a lot of abuse, even from staff getting them for other people.

    Some people just get along with others more easily than some, I'm probably the same as you haha.
     
  17. 6Gman

    6Gman Established Member

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    This.

    It's nice of them to offer, but it really, really isn't worth the risk to either me or the guard involved.

    And if a guard needed help then I'd offer anyway, not just in return for a freebie!
     
  18. TheAlbanach_

    TheAlbanach_ Member

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    Exactly! We may work for other TOCs but most o9f not all railway workers help each other out daily. It's what makes it such a great place to work!
     
  19. dctraindriver

    dctraindriver Member

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    You’re acknowledging you know it’s scorned upon for coppers who are likely to be sacked doing this yet it’s ok for rail staff who don’t work for that TOC to do the same thing if they get permission from the guard? Surely if it’s deemed wrong by one organisation it’s deemed wrong by the other? While you may not see it any different the powers that be potentially do...

    Anyhow that’s my last comment about it, I’m done with going round in circles.
     
  20. Cesarcollie

    Cesarcollie Member

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    Surely this is fraud/gross misconduct? I don’t work in the railway, but if I gave free goods/services to a colleague- even in the same company, or a discount to which they weren’t entitled, it would be theft and result in dismissal and possibly even prosecution. In the railway it’s arguably even more contentious as there’s large amounts of public money involved. I do realise I will probably get shot down in flames, but actually in total there are very large sums of money involved, and I can’t offhand think of any other industry where this would just be shrugged off as just one of those things which is accepted practice? I agree it’s very nice if you can get it - I’d love free rail travel - but in what way is it not fraudulent?
     
  21. Starmill

    Starmill Events Co-ordinator

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    Why would it be? Railway staff aren't held to the same standard as police officers? Surely that's obvious.

    Of course, that most certainly does not mean that misuse of travel facilities could never be a disciplinary matter. It most certainly could be, and it could end in dismissal, not just the loss of the facilities.
     
  22. Starmill

    Starmill Events Co-ordinator

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    This touches on a point I've thought about before. The government currently has an insatiable desire to micro-manage the industry. At what point might that attention turn to the generosity of staff travel benefits?
     
  23. bramling

    bramling Established Member

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    At the end of the day the practice has been going on for many years, in BR days it was very much standard practice (IME at least) and no one would bat an eyelid. The advent of privatisation has muddied the water with things like safeguarded versus non-safeguarded, agency staff, advent of gatelines et cetera.

    Management are certainly aware it happens, and it never seems to have been something which has been deemed worthy of attention. The biggest issue is, for example, guard grants free travel to (for example) London Underground staff, and then when said guard goes for a day out in London gets short shrift or blank look when they arrive at a gateline - which may then naturally lead to a bit of hostility developing. Having said all this, in my experience it tends to be more retired staff who push their luck.
     
  24. 8J

    8J Member

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    I know a driver that asked nicely for a lift once on a long distance service and the guard was more than happy to agree to this.

    45 minutes later the train was involved in a fatality. The off duty driver who was authorised to travel by the guard sprung into action and sat with the driver involved in the incident and assisted the onboard crew in providing information and supplying provisions to passengers. He gave his name and depot to the driver and a few weeks later, his manager was sent a letter of commendation and gratitude from a senior ops manager of the other TOC for the off duty driver's help in a pretty unpleasant situation.

    That is one of many reasons why the 90% of guards and a lot of revenue staff are more than happy to allow staff from other TOC's travel and favours are often reciprocated.

    That is how it is and has been for decades. I don't care how the Police go about doing things internally. Railway staff from different TOC's share the same Unions, the same messrooms and any semi decent member of staff will assist the traincrew as and when required if asked to do so.

    As an ex guard, I was even told by training managers to accept other TOC passes and Police warrant cards (if they've asked first and aren't drunk) as you never know when you'll need their help when you're out there on your own and it was true! I did have to request assistance on more that one occasion.

    Long may this practice continue I say!
     
  25. 43066

    43066 Member

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    Totally incorrect. It really, really isn’t fraudulent.

    It’s politely showing a staff ID to a guard (who has absolute discretion to allow whomever they wish to board their train) and being allowed free passage as a fellow railway employee.

    In doing so you’re not depriving anyone of anything, and you’re certainly not committing fraud.
     
  26. 43066

    43066 Member

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    Indeed!

    A clique of pedantic jobsworths frequent this forum, it would appear (let’s face it, there’s a few at every TOC, we all know who they are, and they generally aren’t popular).

    What ever happened to staff looking out for each other etc.? It’s actually quite depressing to read.

    Luckily it isn’t reflected in the real world. Most guards are as good as gold, as I posted earlier.
     
  27. C J Snarzell

    C J Snarzell Member

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    Someone mentioned the police on here.

    I served in two forces - the Met and Greater Manchester.

    In the Met, bobbies used their warrant cards on the Underground and on Central London rail services for free and this was for both commuting to and from work and also rest days. It also covered buses aswell.

    What I do remember about the Met policy was that the free rail travel was only covered for sixty miles outside of Central London. I worked with quite a few officers who lived in the home counties - one lived in Northampton and commuted in everyday to Euston and he then used the Underground to get to Kensington and did not pay anything. In fact the use of both trains and buses was widely encouraged by bosses as firstly if you were on duty in full uniform you were of course a deterent for troublemakers.

    When I served down there in 2005/06, the station I was based at had strong rules about you travelling to and from work in part blues (wearing your trousers and white shirt underneath a casual jacket) because of things like professional image and self security off duty - what happened to Lee Rigby in 2013 is a prime example. However, if using your warrant card on public services while wearing 'civvies' you were still expected to deal with any incidents that broke out, the danger was that having no radio with you made you quite vulnerable and I've seen a few cops over the years try to deal with stuff off duty with the best of intentions and have landed up in hospital for their troubles.

    To the best of my knowledge, I never had to deal with anything and when travelling from Euston to the North of England I always paid the full fare rather than blag my way as far as Milton Keynes for free!!!!!

    Moving on to GMP - I know officers are widely encouraged to use any public transport while on duty because once again it is a welcoming site for Drivers, Conductors, or Revenue Protection Officers to have a visible presence on board one of their services. This includes the Metrolink which sadly is still plagued with issues like anti social behaviour.

    Throughout most of my service for GMP I worked on the outer divisions so I never needed to use public transport to get to and from work. There was however occasions when I had to attend Manchester Crown Court to give evidence and you usually wear formal atire for these occasions rather than your traditional uniform (to be honest I never liked GMPs black cycling tops and combats which look appalling and unprofessional). Considering this is technically work related - I still had to pay the full fare but police officers then had to submit travelling expenses forms with proof of the journey attached (the actual ticket being clipped to the form). Petrol receipts and pay & display tickets were also submitted for these things.

    Certainly the Met policy on using your warrant card could very well have changed since I left. There have certainly been a few officers facing Misconduct hearings in recent years for fare avoidance and have lost their jobs because technically it is a criminal offence. It is simply not worth it.

    Just regarding rail employees for one TOC using another TOC's service - would speaking to a member of staff at the station ticket office be worth while prior to boarding any train? I would be inclined to seek advice from someone in the station before going near a train about whether I would need to pay anything. I'm very interested about this as I'm presently applying for a Arriva TOC but may have to use a First Group TOC from time to time if I get the job?

    CJ
     
  28. 185

    185 Established Member

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    Ticket office would be irrelevant... for most TOCs, tis the guard who makes the decision, best to approach them. Well within rights to say no, as unlikely as that may be.
     
  29. bengley

    bengley Established Member

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    Very similar happened to me fairly recently. I was travelling home from work but on a route where my reciprocal travel was technically not valid. Two units with no walk through for the guard to get to the front set. I sat in the front set only because it was most convenient for me to get off there for the exit at my station. Sadly, just before getting to my station, the train hit a person and the driver was very upset, having also seen the body after he got out of the train to check that he had actually hit someone (the person jumped from behind a bridge pillar).

    I sat with him and when the BTP arrived I walked up to meet them at the road.

    The guard was quite shaken too as he had seen more than he would have liked and he wasn't really in a position to go and comfort the driver.

    Having other staff on a train is highly valuable and I would never turn anyone down.
     
  30. jamesst

    jamesst Member

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    Fully agree. However there are a number at my TOC (and prob most others I suspect) who have demanded free travel/1st class upgrades travelling with other tocs. This sadly does ruin it for the majority of staff and as a result I can understand why there are some staff who refuse.
     

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