Using staff passes on other toc`s

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

  1. Stigy

    Stigy Established Member

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    The Met now have subsidised travel arrangements which they pay for, and have a card which must be produced with their warrant card. Unless it’s changed again recently.

    Regarding police officers ravelling free in general, my rule of thumb was that if I ever said a warrant card, whilst carrying out my duties I’d happily let them travel on it, regardless of what the technicalities of the rules say. The only proviso was that if it kicked off, I’d be expecting some assistance, and that if they were drunk as a skunk, they should really be buying a ticket. Not me being awkward, but for their own protection as much as anything, because they’d not be much use if it kicked off but may still try and help, getting themselves in to trouble in the meantime. Likewise if they’re out with their family and won’t be in a position to assist. Best to keep under the radar in these situations and surely only step in if it gets really out of hand, or make a sneaky phone call from afar? It’s not necessarily for my benefit, but for other staff who may be involved too, or members of the public who see the warrant card being shown. Even BTP aren’t entitled to free travel outside London officially. (May be different in other large cities like it is in London).

    I should point out that I was never a guard, not revenue protection, but part of my remit was dealing with ticketless travellers and report offenders etc.
     
    Last edited: 8 Dec 2019
  2. 8J

    8J Member

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    BTP are entitled to free travel on and off duty at the TOC's I've worked for.
     
  3. Stigy

    Stigy Established Member

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    As I said, it’s likely to vary. There’s also uncertainty at certain TOCs. Officially they’re not allowed at SWR, although officers will often tell you different. However, staff would never decline free travel for them (most of the time).
     
  4. Danny Boy

    Danny Boy Member

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    You would think so but unfortunately it's not the case. I'm a BTP officer and have safeguarded travel, so I get free residential travel from my home station to work, I can also use this pass for leisure purposes, I also get priv travel card with boxes.
    Anyone who joined after April 1996 is not safeguarded and they only get free travel from home station to work only when travelling to work & nothing else.
    My experience is that guards are normally happy for officers to travel on their warrant cards as they have someone to turn & some TOC's have put in a local arrangement for officers HOWEVR any BTP officer who gets caught without the proper ticket is risking a gross misconduct hearing and will almost certainly loose their job.
    Our chief recently blogged that we are going to go to the TOC's to get blanket free travel for officers, given that they rail staff don't get this I cant se him getting very far
     
  5. Merle Haggard

    Merle Haggard Member

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    In BR days any misuse of travel facilities was a misconduct offence almost certain to result in dismissal after due process; and that certainly occurred, I know of more than one case. I am surprised that the privatised world is more lenient; after all, we are often told how BR staff had such easy conditions!

    In slightly different circumstances, but of asking staff to provide something you are not strictly entitled to, I have been told that someone very important was in the habit of taking meals on an Inter City TOC when travelling free but this ended very badly for him. Not someone who worked for a TOC, though.
     
  6. ComUtoR

    ComUtoR Established Member

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    There is a difference between misuse and professional courtsey.

    As to BR days.... There are so many stories to make your toes curl.
     
  7. Merle Haggard

    Merle Haggard Member

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    The examples quoted above seem to be ones where someone is travelling free when their travel facilities do not entitle them to do so, but then relying on a member of ticket inspection staff allowing them to travel free. I would suggest that the person travelling free is using their facilities when they are not permitted and this might reasonably be termed 'misuse'; and the member of staff accepting the situation is making a concession that's not within their power, rather than extending courtesy. The latter may feel pressurised; a little while ago in a conversation with a conductor manager of my acquaintance about a very similar situation the manager gave exactly that reason, that conductors only did it because they 'had to work with these people', but that didn't make it right.
    What I was, unsuccessfully, trying to imply was that the saving made by not buying a quarter fare ticket might not, with hindsight, be considered proportional when one loses one's job (and, in the case of the example outlined above, possibly pension as well) as a result and that this is not a completely remote possibility.
     
  8. ComUtoR

    ComUtoR Established Member

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    Misuse is where someone deliberately fills their boxes out in pencil so they can rub it out at a later date. BR staff did, and still, do that on a regular basis. Speaking to the Guard to ask if they need to fill out a box or can they slip on for free is a courtesy.

    The most common 'misuse/courtesy' I have found, is that people will pay for a ticket but get upgraded to first class for free. Another common one is a 'staff cuppa'.

    I know staff who travel around the world and flash their Priv and get a free upgrade or free travel.

    When it comes to staff helping out, this really is a benefit. Just as you are prevented from entering a cab, going on the track, using internal equipment, communications etc would be strictly forbidden. I was heartened to hear that members of staff have stepped up to help out and sit with the Driver when it really mattered.

    I know internal staff at my own TOC who will sit there and cover up their uniform or staff badge/lanyard and hide themselves away when an incident occurs.

    I travel rarely but when I do I always buy a priv, it's cheap enough that I don't care. However, whenever my ticket has been checked there is a nod and a smile and an almost implicit understanding that I'm here to help if needed. It also generates conversation.

    Bringing people together is something that should be supported. 'The Railway' is considered to be a family and tbh I've enjoyed working here for many years. I also used to work in retail. We would also offer each other a courtesy. Getting first through the door or skipping the queue for the Next sale; always put a smile on my face.

    As a staff member. I also get a discount at Nero coffee and various other outlets when I'm on duty. I know a station where they get all the end of day sandwiches from the cafe upstairs. I haven't been in McD's for a while but we used to get a discount on breakfast meals if you were in uniform. At my depot, on the station we all get a discount in the cafe, depot side but not the other. Platform, but not Drivers, get a discount on the cafe on the platform but not outside. Should all of that stop because technically it's not allowed ?

    I know a few Signallers who get waived through the gateline at my local station.

    I would rather live in a world where people extend these kind of courtesies to each other than one that doesn't.
     
  9. bramling

    bramling Established Member

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    Most of the time it will be a case of turning up on a train and asking for a PRIV single or return to wherever, and being told not to worry. Same with something like a weekend first upgrade.

    On crew-operated services this is simply not going to run into problems as the guard will tip off his relief if the service has more than one guard, and likewise revenue in the unlikely event that they work the train.

    Where I am in DOO-land it will be the same if boarding at an unmanned station, revenue will simply adopt the same approach especially if being asked for a single ticket. Out of curiosity I experimented with showing my PRIV on its own without showing my (valid) season ticket, and never once was this challenged by revenue. I *have* however been asked to show my PRIV when showing just a PRIV ticket on its own.

    I’ve also had the same on Metrolink, where I’ve been told several times “your PRIV would have done you”.

    I don’t see that any of this constitutes misuse if one attempts to buy a ticket and is told not to bother.
     
  10. Lemmy99uk

    Lemmy99uk Member

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    So, how far does that discretion extend?

    As a guard can I allow my brother a free ride?
    Could I give free travel to my taxi driver mate knowing he would reciprocate when I’m finishing late?
    Could I give free travel to someone I’m attracted to in the hope of a phone number?

    I’m pretty sure you would agree that discretion wouldn’t count in those cases so why would I be allowed to give free travel to someone because they work in the same sector?
     
  11. 8J

    8J Member

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    Technically you could offer them a free ride and it's highly unlikely you'd get caught doing so although it would be dealt with quite seriously if management caught you doing this.

    Several TOCs supply vouchers for free or heavily discounted travel for family and friends of TOC staff.
     
  12. NoOnesFool

    NoOnesFool Member

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    It's worth adding that contractor staff often get an allowance of complimentary 'tickets' on the client's trains.
     
  13. bramling

    bramling Established Member

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    It’s not so much discretion, but a matter of what management are prepared to tolerate. Clearly it’s not an issue or else quite simply it wouldn’t be happening widespread across the board.

    I guess it’s one of those things which doesn’t cost much but keeps staff happy. Especially as alluded to elsewhere if such staff may prove useful in the event of an incident, even for something as mundane as going through the train and counting numbers or passing information.

    It’s always nice to get a smile and wink whether from the guard or at the station, in my town (home counties) it’s one of the rare occasions I see someone else smile...
     
  14. 387star

    387star On Moderation

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    Often you ask for a priv and the guard looks at you as if you're mad ! They wave you off
     
  15. CC 72100

    CC 72100 Established Member

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    I must confess that I always buy a priv for a journey of any length, with the only exception be when I ask (and always do so, even though its normally met with a 'you shouldn't have even worried about asking!') for a monthtly 1 hour journey that can be carried out on my TOC or another one but the other TOC means I get home quicker.

    In any circumstance, I take a view that unless I am otherwise what I would consider not fit for duty (had a few drinks basically!) I consider myself as available to assist any member of train crew, regardless of whether I'm travelling due to a 'favour/ask' or have paid for a priv.

    We get fantastic benefits in this industry, so let's not take the mick!

    (Note - this is no slight on those who do ask for favours etc., and I'm more than happy for them to ask on my train and it will be met with a nod, but I feel more comfortable having paid with a Priv in first instance)
     
  16. richw

    richw Established Member

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    I’ve got a First bus pass, I was travelling on a First group staff priced GWR only day Rover train ticket. Missed my connection, next service was a XC, spoke with the XC guard and had the same treatment you mention.
     
  17. Raul_Duke

    Raul_Duke Member

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    All this talk of “public money,” and “fraud” make it sounds like a sophisticated multi million pound racket.

    IME you get a very few people at every depot who seem to be on a train somewhere random every week (usually a pub) and the other 98% who are sick of the sight of trains and won’t go near one bar the odd day out to London which they’re legitimately entitled to.
     

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