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Author Topic: Some ticketing issues from a station without a staffed ticket office.  (Read 4380 times)
Trowres
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« Reply #15 on: March 01, 2019, 05:41:51 pm »

btw -
Quote
As stated, these rules say that you'll no longer be able to travel from Melksham and pay in cash for your journey as from the start of next month.

is ann incorrect understanding of

Quote
"You will need to your ticket before you board to avoid being issued with a Penalty Fare" and "If ticket selling facilities are not available where you board, you will be given the opportunity to purchase a ticket on board".

If the TVM doesn't take cash, and that uis the method by which you want to pay (and have the cash on your person to do so), then the facilities to buy are *not* available, thus you would be given the opportunity to buy onboard.

The notice quoted by Grahame does *not* qualify "facilities available" with "by a payment means available to you"; nor do the National Rail Conditions of Travel:-
Quote
You must have a valid Ticket to travel before you board a train where there was the opportunity to buy one unless one of the following circumstances applies:
At the station where you start your journey, there is no means of purchasing a Ticket, either because there is no Ticket office open or self-service Ticket machine in working order; and where notices indicate that you are in a Penalty Fares area you purchase a Permit to Travel if there is a working Permit to Travel issuing machine at the station where you start your journey see
Condition 10 for more information about Penalty Fares

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Robin Summerhill
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« Reply #16 on: March 11, 2019, 08:40:46 pm »


But until the fares review is complete, there would be no point in starting this project!


Do you know something I don't?

I've heard so little about this review just lately I thought it had died a death. Is it still going on?

Edited to add that I've just found the appropriate thread. Apologies - I've been away for 8 weeks in South Africa and just got back this morning Smiley
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ChrisB
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« Reply #17 on: March 12, 2019, 12:02:59 pm »

The notice quoted by Grahame does *not* qualify "facilities available" with "by a payment means available to you"; nor do the National Rail Conditions of Travel:-
Quote
You must have a valid Ticket to travel before you board a train where there was the opportunity to buy one unless one of the following circumstances applies:
At the station where you start your journey, there is no means of purchasing a Ticket, either because there is no Ticket office open or self-service Ticket machine in working order; and where notices indicate that you are in a Penalty Fares area you purchase a Permit to Travel if there is a working Permit to Travel issuing machine at the station where you start your journey see
Condition 10 for more information about Penalty Fares

Neither does it say anything bout stations *without* Permit to Travel amchines (which are generally being removed/not maintained anyway) - So it's not conclusive. THe National Conditions *do*.
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grahame
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« Reply #18 on: May 05, 2019, 11:33:15 am »

THis is NOT a GWR problem, it's a national problem that can only be solved by a rewrite of the TVM software across the UK - so a Rail Delivery Group (ex-ATOC) problem. And the cost is in 7 figures, ....

The software in the ticket vending machine at Melksham has been updated.   New look and feel ... new selection of menus ... so looks like someone has spent that 7 figure sum ...

While waiting between trains at Melksham yesterday, I pressed a few buttons to see how the London fares worked - sad to see that the "quick return" ticket to London on offer was  still priced at 74.60 - that's an off peak return;   travelling up on Saturday and back later than day, or back on Sunday, or back on Monday (because it's a bank holiday), the best fare available is 56.00 super off peak and I would have hoped that was the quick ticket to be offered.  The next return trains from yesterday (Saturday) that would require the extra spend of 18.60 are the 09:45 or 16:30 on Tuesday ... an unlikely choice for the majority of passengers heading for London on Saturday!

OK - so can I persuade the machine to sell me the 56.00 ticket?   Yes - by going through five extra menus / questions and answers.   Select the London Return, then select the "change ticket" ... it said 'off peak' against it anyway, so there was a need to know that the super-offpeak existed. Still no clue from the machine at that point that you may be able to buy a lower price product for your trip.  Extra menus asked if you wanted a day or period return ... but greyed out "day" since there are no day return available for Melksham to London ...

Finally got there ... a 56.00 London return .... and after a couple of seconds a box came up telling me to pay, pointing towards the various card devices ... and obscuring (overlaying) the price, so if I hadn't read it quickly enough I still wasn't sure what I would be paying.   My companion did point out that the amount of 56 was showing on the credit card pad, across from the main screen beyond the note reader, the coin slot, and two separate contactless readers.

It told me to pay by card as coins and notes are "temporarily unavailable" too.  Very interested in this - does it mean that there are plans to start accepting cash at this machine?  Grin

Overall, a very underwhelming upgrade.  Still advertising an overpriced specialist product on the front panel, with a need to know (and be confident in) what you are doing to save 18.60.  Still, I suspect, within the railway's rules and franchise in what they are doing, as it's only staffed ticket offices where they're obliged to offer you the best price ticket, and indeed they could argue that it's available through the machine ...

Still nothing that I saw in any of the menus to tell me which trains off peak and super off peak prices applied to - just identical words on each that they are not valid on some trains at peak times on Mondays to Fridays.



As a constructive suggestion - http://www.mrug.org.uk/londonfares.html provides a table of the various Melksham to London walk up fares.   When the user selects "London" at the TVM, why not offer something like this?
« Last Edit: May 05, 2019, 11:41:41 am by grahame » Logged

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ChrisB
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« Reply #19 on: May 05, 2019, 11:51:49 am »

Can you not select a specific station & then see all the fares (single & return), rather than selecting a specific journey? I thought you could - but haven't played with a GWR TVM for a little while now.

I doubt any major rewrite will now take place until (well) after the Williams review & decisions taken thereon.
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old original
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« Reply #20 on: May 05, 2019, 12:07:47 pm »

...... and two separate contactless readers.

One will be a contactless payment reader, the other is to load tickets onto your new GWR Touch smartcard,  not that it tells you that either!
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grahame
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« Reply #21 on: May 06, 2019, 06:46:52 am »

Can you not select a specific station & then see all the fares (single & return), rather than selecting a specific journey? I thought you could - but haven't played with a GWR TVM for a little while now.

I doubt any major rewrite will now take place until (well) after the Williams review & decisions taken thereon.

I went down to Melksham Station yesterday to get an answer on this.  Surprisingly busy so quick notes only from memory of a few button presses.

Ignoring the "Quick ticket to London Paddington" on the top menu, I selected the "A to Z of stations" option. Not sure if it said OTHER stations - suspect not (good!) but light was too bright / surface too reflective to take a photo .

Entered P-A-D-D and found my choice limited to Paddock Wood  Grin Grin. Started again L-O-N-D ... and option got quickly narrowed enough for me to select "London Paddington" ... A further screen or two as I recall - (single v return?).  Then ...

Yes - a whole screen of fares offered.  "Via Swindon" and "Any Permitted" columns.  Still no explanation of "off peak" v "super off peak".

Agreed that GWR and other TOCs / RDG unlikely to invest big money in further fixing software in such TVMs with Williams pending, and if they were ready, willing and able to make the experience better and cheaper in cases like this, I'm sure they would have done so by now.
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FenMan
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« Reply #22 on: May 13, 2019, 04:28:46 pm »

The OP asked other forum members to share their experiences.

My local station, Blackwater, is in a Penalty Fares area and is served by two TVMs. Although only served by GWR, many tickets from Blackwater are priced by SWR, probably because it used to be a member of the now-defunct Farnborough Stations Group.

Now here's the thing, SWT (as was) decided to bump their off peak revenue for journeys heading away from London by introducing time-restricted Super Off Peak tickets. These were priced the same as the old Off Peak tickets, while the new Off Peak tickets "benefited" from a c.20% price increase.

The slight problem is, the TVMs at Blackwater never display these country-bound Super Off Peak tickets and I've been caught out at least twice, to GWR and SWR's benefit. Also the TVMs will not offer point to point fares from Blackwater to many stations in Greater London at all, necessitating a purchase on the train (which the guards are happy to do).
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grahame
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« Reply #23 on: June 30, 2019, 10:08:15 am »

Another unhappy glitch (?) which looks like it boosts TOC revenue ... after the morning peak when it switches the London ticket from "Anytime" to "Offpeak", the from panel on the Melksham TVM still offers an anytime day return to Trowbridge and not the 20p cheaper off-peak day return which is valid any train after 08:59.

I'm fully aware of other comments in this thread which tell me the TVMs are fare more limited than we would like - with just two fare sets they can switch between.   And I'm aware of quotes of astronomic sums to update the machines.    But even considering those issues, why on earth are they promoting any time day returns when there are no more trains that day that require such tickets rather than the cheaper off peak day returns which (as far as I'm aware) offer exactly the same service from 9 a.m.
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grahame
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« Reply #24 on: January 25, 2020, 07:07:36 am »

THis is NOT a GWR problem, it's a national problem that can only be solved by a rewrite of the TVM software across the UK - so a Rail Delivery Group (ex-ATOC) problem. And the cost is in 7 figures, ....

The software in the ticket vending machine at Melksham has been updated.   New look and feel ... new selection of menus ... so looks like someone has spent that 7 figure sum ...

While waiting between trains at Melksham yesterday, I pressed a few buttons to see how the London fares worked - sad to see that the "quick return" ticket to London on offer was  still priced at 74.60 - that's an off peak return;   travelling up on Saturday and back later than day, or back on Sunday, or back on Monday (because it's a bank holiday), the best fare available is 56.00 super off peak and I would have hoped that was the quick ticket to be offered.  The next return trains from yesterday (Saturday) that would require the extra spend of 18.60 are the 09:45 or 16:30 on Tuesday ... an unlikely choice for the majority of passengers heading for London on Saturday!

OK - so can I persuade the machine to sell me the 56.00 ticket? ....

Ever heard the saying "Careful what you wish for" ... in many ways, delighted at some of the very significant changes to the menus, disappointed (but just a worry as yet).

Front screen - "touch me to use me" - Fine

Second screen:



A little dramatic to headline that it won't take cash.  But at least it's said.   I assisted an overseas visitor yesterday looking for a ticket to Bristol.  Questioned by me "just one way" and "the centre of Bristol - main station". Excellent English (her first language I'm 100% sure) but unfamiliar with UK rail travel / tickets.   She had trouble from the screen above "where now?" ... "what is ITSO?" ... the found the A to Z for stations:



Starting ... B-R-I and there's an offer on the right hand side.  Stations offered for completion so you don't have to type the complete name are consistent in being offered, but don't seem prioritised to the most likely options. I had to help pick out "Bristol Temple Meads" as being the main station.   And on we went ... 11.50 fare, Anytime single, which is the best "Melksham to Bristol Temple Meads ticket".

Interesting decision for me to make in an instant - whether to point out that an off peak single from Melksham to Clifton Down would have cost only 10.40, and been valid on the next train with the passenger getting off short at Temple Meads.



My own ticket ... day return to Westbury.  Common local requirement?  No short cut screen any more so "station A to Z".  W-E-S-T and the list of suggestions are all sorts of places like West Allerton (where's that?) and had to carry on to W-E-S-T-B before Westbury was offered. I appreciate space is limited, but there are far more journeys from Melksham to Westbury than West Allerton, West Dulwich or West Byfleet.

Single or return?  And I choose "return". Just one ticket offered - Anytime Day Return at 4.90.  Odd that, as I thought there was an off peak ticket.  Then I noticed - it was 08:56 and the off peak ticket is only valid on trains tied to leave after 08:59.

Walked away, came back 5 minutes later, and the machine offered to sell me a ticket at 4.10 (to which I added my senior card and purchased).

Melksham to Westbury ... 06:36, 09:09, ... no trains between.   No service at all (to anywhere) between 07:52 and 09:09.  So why is it selling me peak tickets only over an hour after the last peak train has left?

I started, intended to start a new thread "careful what you wish".   I am delighted that the front screen / off peak (not super off peak) London ticket that had people spending 18.60 more than they had to on a regular basis has gone.  Disappointed at the slowing down of the use of the TVM with so many extra key stokes needed.  Disappointed at the machine only offering peak fares (*) even when the last peak trains has left and the first off peak service arrives in a few minutes. 

(*) - I have noted a button - "Tickets for future travel" and it may have been possible for me to get the off peak day return through there, so my use of "only" may prove to be simplistic.
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« Reply #25 on: January 25, 2020, 05:44:13 pm »


Single or return?  And I choose "return". Just one ticket offered - Anytime Day Return at 4.90.  Odd that, as I thought there was an off peak ticket.  Then I noticed - it was 08:56 and the off peak ticket is only valid on trains tied to leave after 08:59.

Walked away, came back 5 minutes later, and the machine offered to sell me a ticket at 4.10 (to which I added my senior card and purchased).

Would it be helpful for the off peak ticket to be shown but greyed out or with a big red X through it explaining why you can't buy it and when you can?
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Robin Summerhill
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« Reply #26 on: January 25, 2020, 06:04:41 pm »

Nothing to do with the thread, but Graham asked the question.

West Allerton is in Liverpool, not far fromthe airport and also not far from where Speke Junction MPD used to be in steam days
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grahame
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« Reply #27 on: January 25, 2020, 06:43:54 pm »

Would it be helpful for the off peak ticket to be shown but greyed out or with a big red X through it explaining why you can't buy it and when you can?

Yes and no - that would make it better, but that's comparative - still not good that you can't buy the best-value ticket for the next train until a few minutes before it arrives.   

The extra keystrokes required for many sales seemed to be increasing transaction times - what's been gained from contactless payment has been lost to having to spell out W-E-S-T-B ... (or P-A-D-D, be offered only "Paddock Wood" and go back to L-O-N.. to get a suggestion of London Paddington!)

GUI (Graphic User Interface) Design - which is something I have taught an introduction to - does suggest a consistency of menus with options greyed out is preferable to menus that change and have options disappear off them depending on data conditions.  All tickets shown at all times ... those valid on the next departure shown in bold, others with a "next valid on train at xx:xx" note and perhaps greyed out. 

I do appreciate the issue of making the system flexible yet easy to follow and not bogged down in obscure products; sadly, it's already allowed to get into potential destinations from Melksham which are obscure to the extent of hiding the local places.  There are a lot of "West"s ... won't list them all, but if it were to be my design:
a) West-s with direct service (first)
b) Other West-s served by same TOC (second)
c) Other West-s sorted either on distance or on passenger numbers
Westbury //  Weston-super-mare.  Weston Milton. West Drayton. West Ealing. West Worthing // then others ... as a scouser, sure, I might even go to West Allerton sometime, but really it's not a first or even second tier flow!
 
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