Why are there no ticket inspectors on national rail trains coming into london?

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by plasmaxx, 18 Apr 2015.

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  1. plasmaxx

    plasmaxx Member

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    i have noticed that generally there are NO ticket inspectors who check passengers tickets on trains like London Midlands from Watford Junction to the final stop, London Euston.

    Even on the south and south west trains from Clapham junction to Epsom there are NO ticket inspectors!

    I feel angered because I see quite a few passengers who either don't have the right ticket or no ticket at all and here I am paying for my monthly season ticket and in effect their rail fraud!
     
  2. MCR247

    MCR247 Established Member

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    I was in London on Thursday and Friday and I went from London Bridge - Barnham and return to Victoria and also London - Cambridge (out via GN return via GA) and my ticket wasn't checked once. Was the same on the numerous SE, TL and SN services I travelled on. However, with ticket barriers they aren't really essential I suppose
     
  3. plasmaxx

    plasmaxx Member

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    It seems that when a train travels within greater London, there are no ticket inspectors or if there are they don't bother to check.

    Also there are rail stations in Greater London that still don't have barriers. West Brompton is one example
     
  4. Domh245

    Domh245 Established Member

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    Unfortunately, the logistics of checking tickets on services in Greater London are quite challenging, particularly because of things like the number of stops there are, the number of people on the train, etc. You also have to remember that there are a lot of trains going around as well, and if a person sees a group of travelling inspectors boarding a train, they'll just wait all of 5 minutes for the next service on the busier lines! That is why, ticket inspections on these kinds of services are done once people get off the train and have to go past the inspectors (eg at Wimbledon P5) which is usually quite effective (although it really does slow everyone who is coming from platforms 8-10 as they take up half the space there)

    Edit to add: A lot of services are DOO, so there aren't guards on these who can do ticket checks anyway, and have to rely on travelling inspectors.
     
  5. CC 72100

    CC 72100 Established Member

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    Strong disagree.

    While barriers can do an initial shift, they only check if the holder of the ticket has a valid ticket for that location.

    What about those on child tickets?

    What about those short-faring?

    What about those with railcard discount but no railcard?

    I support the use of barriers combined with on-train checks. The first can act as an initial shift to keep certain people away; the latter can much better determine validity in real time and catch people who just purchase tickets to get round the former.

    In my view, one does not replace the other - they are mutually beneficial.
     
  6. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

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    I do sometimes wonder why an awful lot more ticket checks weren't done by plain clothed inspectors.

    Sure, you lose the visual deterrent, but I think for the most part you'd deter more people by making them not have a clue if the person(s) next to them are inspectors waiting to pounce.

    I know many RPIs really enjoy dressing down too, so I do think it could work particularly well on London trains and TfL services.
     
  7. Starmill

    Starmill Established Member

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    Unlike most stations in London, West Brompton does have barriers.
     
  8. Crossover

    Crossover Established Member

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    This also backs up Kofieye's point
    http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/SME/html/NRE_WBP/images/photos/800/o3328-0000020.jpg
     
  9. SPADTrap

    SPADTrap Established Member

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    Out of interest, how do you know this?
     
  10. jopsuk

    jopsuk Veteran Member

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    Quite common to see inspectors on trains from Cambridge to London- both routes, all stopping patterns
     
  11. Antman

    Antman Established Member

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    West Brompton does have barriers, are you thinking of Kensington Olympia which didn't have them until recently?
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    How do you know how many passengers don't have the right ticket or no ticket at all?

    As others have said there are probably a variety of reasons for the lack of ticket checks not least of all the fact that most stations have barriers although these are by no means foolproof, tailgating other passengers through them is by no means unusual in London.

    I have seen a few ticket checks on LO trains but never on LU.
     
    Last edited: 19 Apr 2015
  12. CockneySparrow

    CockneySparrow Established Member

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    As I have posted on here before relying on barriers is ineffective all what happens is that it either pushes the problem away to another location or people find a way around it, Cambridge for example is a doddle to get round
     
  13. londonbridge

    londonbridge Member

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    Was checked onboard a Jubilee line train last year but apart from that I haven't been checked onboard an LU train for years.
     
  14. 387star

    387star Established Member

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    Almost all suburban trains aside south west trains in london and london midland are now DOO so that might mean ticket inspectors are not stuck with one train that said if they were doing the doors it might not make a difference

    Lots of ticket barriers as mentioned and crowded trains

    Not sure if oyster cards can be checked using avantix
     
    Last edited: 19 Apr 2015
  15. CockneySparrow

    CockneySparrow Established Member

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    Sometimes it's obvious, you see a young spotted oik get on the train and sit in first class, others you can tell by their behaviour, some wont sit down they will stand near the door looking up and down the gangway, whilst others do sit but sit on the edge of the seat with their knees in the gangway looking up and down, others are just nervous

    Oh don't forget those that sit in the tiolet
     
  16. 387star

    387star Established Member

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    Then there are those who act ridiculously innocent are really polite and have an incorrect or no reservation for their advance ticket with an excuse that sounds genuine... Till you ask a few more questions <D

    They normally state the price is the same for a later train which it might be but end of the day the ticket is invalid and they are valid for specific trains to reduce overcrowding
     
    Last edited: 19 Apr 2015
  17. Starmill

    Starmill Established Member

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    Oh come on, that is twisting it. They're valid on the booked train only to make the TOC more money!
     
  18. island

    island Established Member

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    They can't. Some but not all TOCs issue Retail Inspection Devices to inspect Oyster and contactless cards.
     
  19. ChiefPlanner

    ChiefPlanner Established Member

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    Annoying - get on a 507 bus in London and watch those who do not swipe in and (in some respects) meet the stereotypes. Bendy-buses were "free rides"
    As far as the railway is concerned - there are ticketless surveys done quite frequently to identify the % of free riding.In a perfect world there would be none - but (and I cannot tell you the routes or percentages - in the bit I am interested in work wise , it is pretty low) - and these checks are done right across the 24 hours ....
     
  20. mister-sparky

    mister-sparky Member

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    I travel from Tunbridge Wells to London quite frequently and I see ticket inspectors on the trains EVERY single time.
     
  21. Mag_seven

    Mag_seven Established Member

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    ScotRail seem to get by with both barriers and on train checks.
     
  22. tsr

    tsr Established Member

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    As I have recently posted, "spot checks" of unexpected areas on any given service are often very effective to keep people on their toes. Just checking a small part of a train can be profitable and, if that's all there is time for, is way better than doing nothing. Also, there are many crowded services into London where you can only employ this method and few others if you are on your own. Teams of RPIs, ATEs or assisting conductors can often work more comprehensively through even extremely busy trains.
     
  23. route:oxford

    route:oxford Established Member

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    Quite a few unmanned stations in Scotland and you can buy your ticket on board as machines do not accept cash.
     
  24. Jonny

    Jonny Established Member

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    Some of which are legitimate behaviours even for those who do have valid tickets and may be nervous/on edge for other reasons, which may have nothing to do with wrongdoing.
     
  25. tsr

    tsr Established Member

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    Quite.

    The three golden rules of ticket checking: know what you're talking about, be thorough, and keep an open mind... the latter being rather important here!
     
  26. Chrisgr31

    Chrisgr31 Established Member

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    On Southern my ticket is checked on average twice a week in to London, invariably before Edenbridge. I can only recall one occasion in when it has been checked between East Croydon and London Bridge, and I cant recall the last time we had a ticket check on the way home, or rather not on a peak hour service. Regularly gets checked on a day time journey home.
     
  27. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    As LU is very nearly 100% barriered at pretty much all times (I know there are a few exceptions, but only a few), inspections can I guess be far more targetted.
     
  28. 387star

    387star Established Member

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    Do southern conductors check tickets often between brighton and havant?
     
  29. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    These trains have commercial Guards, but most seem remain in the back cab (between Watford Jn and Euston) in my experience*.
    South West Trains services on this route will have non-commercial Guards. They cannot check, nor sell, train tickets.

    How do you inspect their tickets, out of interest?
    How do you know they have no ticket? Presumably because they are acting suspiciously or saying to someone that they have not bought a ticket. Using your Watford Jn to London example, They'd have to have got on at somewhere like Watford West, and they'd have to hope for a non-barriered station at Euston, otherwise they couldn't get away with having no ticket.

    (* By that I don't just mean what I have witnessed but based on what other people who I know, who commute on that line, have said)
     
  30. TEW

    TEW Established Member

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    Not always. Some services will have Commercial Guards and you do get ticket checks on the route sometimes.
     
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