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Author Topic: Christian Wolmar - Trend Back To Barriers Is Damaging The Customer Experience  (Read 11715 times)
Lee
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« on: January 19, 2008, 11:18:50 am »

Quote from Christian Wolmar RAIL article (link below) :
http://www.christianwolmar.co.uk/articles/rail/580.shtml

Quote
Now the trend back to barriers is damaging the ^customer experience^, another own goal of the train operators. Just look at Paddington station where barriers have been installed at the instigation of First Great Western. People with suitcases are not allowed to use the hand operated gates, but, instead, are hustled by unsmiling ticket staff through the inconvenient barriers. Since many carry tickets that are not compatible with the barriers, queues build up at the gates, and yet even as the whistles are being blown, passengers are not allowed through without a check. It is all part of what I have dubbed the Ryan Railways approach to running the train service, which is operated for the benefit of the company rather than the passenger.
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vacman
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« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2008, 11:23:19 am »

Quote from Christian Wolmar RAIL article (link below) :

Quote
Now the trend back to barriers is damaging the ^customer experience^, another own goal of the train operators. Just look at Paddington station where barriers have been installed at the instigation of First Great Western. People with suitcases are not allowed to use the hand operated gates, but, instead, are hustled by unsmiling ticket staff through the inconvenient barriers. Since many carry tickets that are not compatible with the barriers, queues build up at the gates, and yet even as the whistles are being blown, passengers are not allowed through without a check. It is all part of what I have dubbed the Ryan Railways approach to running the train service, which is operated for the benefit of the company rather than the passenger.
I remember  reading that article with interest, he's picked up all the bad points of barriers without pointing out the good, like the fact that they control who goes onto the platforms i.e. its a way of keeping drunks of trains and stations and tramps, theres the obvious reduction in fare evasion, they make it easy for family to meet people off trains because everybody has to come out of one exit, yes some stations aren't perfect such as Bath where there are not enough gates for peak times but they are a necessary evil in this day and age.
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Ollie
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« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2008, 04:06:35 pm »

The big gates mentioned are there for the use of vehicles within the station (those little buggys for passenger assistance and taking bins away)

They will be happy to know that the barrier line is being extended at Paddington then?
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gaf71
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« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2008, 10:07:10 am »



I remember  reading that article with interest, he's picked up all the bad points of barriers without pointing out the good, like the fact that they control who goes onto the platforms i.e. its a way of keeping drunks of trains and stations and tramps, theres the obvious reduction in fare evasion, they make it easy for family to meet people off trains because everybody has to come out of one exit, yes some stations aren't perfect such as Bath where there are not enough gates for peak times but they are a necessary evil in this day and age.
[/quote]
It's all well and good if they are manned for all the times that trains are running! At Exeter St Davids the barriers are only manned til sometime between 1800 and 1900, and the manual barrier at Exeter Central only til 1300, and obviously the worst time in my experience for drunks, fare dodgers etc is in the evenings(bearing in mind we work trains til after midnight) In a way I think they are just a hassle for honest fare paying passengers, and they actually don't prevent the people they are meant to, from entering the stations, or boarding the trains.(This applies to my experiences at Exeter, as I know barriers at other stations are manned for longer) To be fair to the barrier staff at Exeter, they do a good job while they are there, and we now get very few passengers boarding without tickets, unless they have come off a tight connecting service.
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devon_metro
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« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2008, 10:52:19 am »

Barriers were unstaffed at 1620 yesterday at Plymouth

Poor show really.
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vacman
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« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2008, 06:35:09 pm »

Barriers were unstaffed at 1620 yesterday at Plymouth

Poor show really.
Plymouth is a joke, a certain SDM at plymouth who used to be Devon station manager under Wessex has instructed staff to open up all the gates when it's busy!! surely defeating the object of the gates??
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Mookiemoo
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« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2008, 06:53:44 pm »

The problem with the barriers is the complete jobsworthiness of the knobs on them

I have arrive at Slough with ticket in mouth and with bike at a run because the train is coming in - later than normal because of flat - I was trying to get the lights off etc but the guy refused to take ticket and open big gate until ticket was put through the reader and all lights were off - I missed my train and got home 2 hours after I should have done

Of an evening - before I theyt removed the gates at the top of the PAD» (Paddington (London) - next trains) steps, I used to quite often go through to work out if my train was on the barriered platforms, if it wasnt I came out again but try getting the gat staff to let yo back through EVEN WITH A TICKET just because your train isnt there

I understand why but as an honest fare paying passenger I resent being treated like a criminal because of a minority
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vacman
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« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2008, 07:08:53 pm »

I'm not usually one for dis-ing my fellow staff at FGW (First Great Western) but some of the gateline staff in the London area are a little on the miserable side, however, it is a thankless job where you get PLENTY of abuse from passengers.
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Ollie
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« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2008, 07:11:22 pm »

Paddington was short on gateline staff, for which agency staff got brought in to cover.

However when the new gateline gets brought in, it should be proper FGW (First Great Western) Staff manning them.

FGW did a recruitment for barrier line staff for which the vacancy had to close early due to an overwhelming response of applicants.
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devon_metro
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« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2008, 07:12:16 pm »

Barriers were unstaffed at 1620 yesterday at Plymouth

Poor show really.
Plymouth is a joke, a certain SDM at plymouth who used to be Devon station manager under Wessex has instructed staff to open up all the gates when it's busy!! surely defeating the object of the gates??

It wasnt even busy at 1620!!
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vacman
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« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2008, 07:26:51 pm »

Barriers were unstaffed at 1620 yesterday at Plymouth

Poor show really.
Plymouth is a joke, a certain SDM at plymouth who used to be Devon station manager under Wessex has instructed staff to open up all the gates when it's busy!! surely defeating the object of the gates??

It wasnt even busy at 1620!!
Plymouth gates just seem to be always open, they might aswell put them somwhere where they would be appreciated, like Newton Abbot!!
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devon_metro
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« Reply #11 on: January 20, 2008, 07:33:47 pm »

Yer, They were in use when I arrived at Plymouth.

Newton Abbot should get some, same at Taunton/Tiverton IMO (in my opinion) as all major high speed stops should really have barriers!

Problem with Newton Abbot is the low fence that coul easily be climbed over.
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vacman
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« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2008, 07:39:59 pm »

Yer, They were in use when I arrived at Plymouth.

Newton Abbot should get some, same at Taunton/Tiverton IMO (in my opinion) as all major high speed stops should really have barriers!

Problem with Newton Abbot is the low fence that coul easily be climbed over.
Well Truro is far more exposed but they're putting barriers in there! (at last!!)
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Conner
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« Reply #13 on: January 20, 2008, 08:46:19 pm »

Yer, They were in use when I arrived at Plymouth.

Newton Abbot should get some, same at Taunton/Tiverton IMO (in my opinion) as all major high speed stops should really have barriers!

Problem with Newton Abbot is the low fence that coul easily be climbed over.
Well Truro is far more exposed but they're putting barriers in there! (at last!!)
I heard that rumour I'm glad you confirmed it, and is it true Penzance are getting barriers aswell.

And the barriers at Plymouth are awful. They just open them for every arrival Huh DEFEATS TTHE OBJECT. And if you're going back at about 4/5 they are open then aswell.
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vacman
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« Reply #14 on: January 20, 2008, 09:17:25 pm »

Yer, They were in use when I arrived at Plymouth.

Newton Abbot should get some, same at Taunton/Tiverton IMO (in my opinion) as all major high speed stops should really have barriers!

Problem with Newton Abbot is the low fence that coul easily be climbed over.
Well Truro is far more exposed but they're putting barriers in there! (at last!!)
I heard that rumour I'm glad you confirmed it, and is it true Penzance are getting barriers aswell.

And the barriers at Plymouth are awful. They just open them for every arrival Huh DEFEATS TTHE OBJECT. And if you're going back at about 4/5 they are open then aswell.
It's the latest rumour amongst the management that Penzance and Truro will be gated, followed by St Austell.
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