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Author Topic: Overchecking of tickets - on train and at arriving station.  (Read 4368 times)
grahame
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« on: July 15, 2019, 01:49:57 pm »

I am very much a supporter of steps being taken to collect all rail fares, and to take steps to recover unpaid and underpaid fares from travellers who have knowingly travelled unpaid / underpaid and indeed may have taken steps to maximise their chance of being able to travel at less than the minimum valid fare.

On our service to Weymouth yesterday, the train manager did an excellent job of checking all the tickets, and selling tickets to those who boarded at stations without facilities (we stopped at Thornford AND Yetminster AND Chetnole!!) and by I would be pretty sure that the train rolled into Weymouth with everyone ticketed.

So why oh why make everyone queue at a fares blockade to leave the platform?   It's ONLY the GWR train that would have used that platform and a whole train load of people had come for a day at the seaside and not for a second check of what had already been checked.   I WAS going to say "unnecessary" second check - but perhaps there's a reason that someone can tell me that it was necessary.

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Fourbee
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« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2019, 02:31:36 pm »

I take it the second bloke is watching to see if anyone just walks past the agency guy doing all the work!
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eightf48544
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« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2019, 02:37:08 pm »

It seems to me what you had was an example of the splitting up of the railways.

The Weymouth checking staff seemed to be SWR, presumably doing a check on their trains as well.

Wonder who would have got the money if there had been ticket less/wrong ticket  passengers on the GWR train?

Also would SWR staff know that Thornford AND Yetminster AND Chetnole had no ticket selling facilities?
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grahame
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« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2019, 03:10:03 pm »

It seems to me what you had was an example of the splitting up of the railways.

Very likely - "we manage this station so we check our way ..."

Quote
Also would SWR staff know that Thornford AND Yetminster AND Chetnole had no ticket selling facilities?

Doesn't matter - train manager with mobile ticket machine had visited everyone who got on at each of them.
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Fourbee
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« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2019, 03:20:04 pm »

Doesn't matter - train manager with mobile ticket machine had visited everyone who got on at each of them.

Even if he/she had had a word while changing ends/going on break (and would have walked near/past them), would they have relented or had the authority to let everyone pass (especially as it's an SWR/GWR divide)?

Common sense doesn't seem to prevail at times.
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bignosemac
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« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2019, 04:16:39 pm »

I fully support random ticket blocks. These need to be conducted without fear or favour regardless of the origin, calling points and operator of incoming trains.

A highly visible presence on a busy day to the seaside (and a Sunday too) is to be applauded. Any chancers (on ANY incoming service) may not have expected a block on a Sunday.

How were those manning the block to know that the conductor had done a full ticket check? For instance, can you categorically confirm said conductor got to all those who had boarded at Dorchester West and Upwey? All incoming services should be checked.

When you travel on the railway you have to expect a ticket check at any point of your journey and whilst on railway property. And remember, exit checks were once common across the network, privatisation and fragmentation is not to blame.
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2019, 06:15:45 pm »

I fully support random ticket blocks. These need to be conducted without fear or favour regardless of the origin, calling points and operator of incoming trains.

A highly visible presence on a busy day to the seaside (and a Sunday too) is to be applauded. Any chancers (on ANY incoming service) may not have expected a block on a Sunday.

How were those manning the block to know that the conductor had done a full ticket check? For instance, can you categorically confirm said conductor got to all those who had boarded at Dorchester West and Upwey? All incoming services should be checked.

When you travel on the railway you have to expect a ticket check at any point of your journey and whilst on railway property. And remember, exit checks were once common across the network, privatisation and fragmentation is not to blame.

Random ticket checks are valuable as a deterrent against fare evasion, but perhaps in this case their time could be more usefully spent checking tickets on services where the conductor hasn't already done so? If nothing else it's really poor customer service and makes the system look idiotic.

As for them not knowing if the conductor had been through the whole train and checked everyone, presumably the revenue bods could have tried asking him, or is that too much like common sense?  Huh
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Robin Summerhill
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« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2019, 07:59:35 pm »

I was going to respond to this earlier but I had to go out and have been busy all day.

I must say I am very surprised the way this thread has gone so far, and it is only Mac who appears to me to have got the full picture.

Firstly, Revenue Protection have blocks from time to time, and seaside resorts on busy days are favourite spots. I recall them once getting good pickings at WSM one Summer Saturday when I arrived on a through London service, non-stop from Bristol. Clearly there were a lot of people on that train who didn’t have a ticket or, if they did, not one valid to take them to Weston.

I am afraid the line of thought “they could have asked the Train Manager” I find startling in its naivety. Part of the blockade’s purpose is an audit check; not railways I accept, but many years ago in the days of bus conductors I was on a bus between Staple Hill and Hanham where the conductor was charging everybody half fare and issuing them with penny tickets (a long time ago this, of course!). When an Inspector got on at Soundwell the conductor tried to go swiftly through putting matters right, but I suspect that that was the last bus he ever worked on…

Thinking more about that particular incident during the day, it crossed my mind that if he was pulling that stunt regularly his takings would be lower than the other conductors on the route, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he hadn’t actually been deliberately targeted on that day. Taking that principle forward, who on here knows for certain that there aren’t a few “iffy” Train Managers out there?

But leaving potential fraud and criminality to one side, OK the TM went through and checked every ticket and made sure that everybody had a ticket. We have already been told that it was a busy service. Would it be reasonable for him to remember the nature of each and every ticket for each and every passenger on that train? For example, what if he had been shown a valid return from Yeovil to Dorchester and the holder was still sitting on the train as it passed Jersey Sidings?

Multi-ticket checks are and always have been quite common. Back in the 60s if I was issued a free pass on a long distance journey, say to Scotland, that Edmonson Card could get back to Bristol looking more like a sieve than a ticket. And yes, the TI at Temple Meads would also look at it and take it off me. On the other hand, a free pass to Bournemouth used down the S&D would usually come back in pristine condition. And you can draw your own conclusions on how that might happen… Wink
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RA
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« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2019, 11:21:02 pm »

A full ticket check such as the one shown at Weymouth where everyone has had an opportunity to purchase a ticket before the train arrives at the destination station means that anyone who has intentionally 'slipped through the net' has then shown intent to avoid paying and potentially made it easier for the TOC to proceed with a prosecution.

I would assume that the SWR member of staff watching the proceedings is part of the Revenue Protection department and is observing to see if anybody attempts to bypass the check for the reasons mentioned above.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2019, 11:27:19 pm by RA » Logged
Timmer
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« Reply #9 on: July 16, 2019, 06:30:53 am »

I would assume that the SWR member of staff watching the proceedings is part of the Revenue Protection department and is observing to see if anybody attempts to bypass the check for the reasons mentioned above.
I wonder if they also had someone guarding the exit to the car park at the end of platform 1. There must also be a case for Weymouth to be ticket gated as well.
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Fourbee
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« Reply #10 on: July 16, 2019, 09:36:02 am »

Grahame, would I be right in saying this post has been motivated, at least in part, by MRUG's Travel by Train with Confidence day?
http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=21793.0

On the plus side any people breaking their train duck and travelling for the first time had help if they needed it at the revenue block and on the other it may have put off people travelling in future?

I can see the potential frustration with the latter, but also maybe it's good they had the full experience so they can assess if they want to do it again solo.
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Phantom
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« Reply #11 on: July 16, 2019, 10:04:22 am »

Last week on one of the local services from Weston which started here

Went through barrier with ticket
Guard checked ticket BEFORE train left
Train Manager checked ticket again before we'd arrived at Worle
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grahame
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« Reply #12 on: July 16, 2019, 12:57:50 pm »

I kinda guessed I would get some heartfelt and differing comments back when I started this thread.

Let me strongly re-iterate my starting point which was that steps should be taken to ensure all fares are collected.

But at the same time the system should be such that it does not make anyone who's going about their correct (ticketed) journey feel checked to the extent of being doubted as to their correctness, or be delayed by jams at gatelines or RPI blockades.  There are those of us who try to be law abiding to the extent of feeling guilty when our valid tickets are checked and then rechecked again soon thereafter, or when our tckets fail to work a gateline and we have to seek out an assistant or explain outselves over a video link where we and our ticket can be seen, but we don't even get the visual of the person we're talking to - just a voice from the person who has magic key to let us through or not ...

I had not, I admit, considered the possibility that one of the purposes of the extra ticket check might have been to audit the effectiveness and correctness of the train manager's checks.

"Our" train was followed into Weymouth by the "Belmont Pullman" charter from Coventry.  I note some forum members suggesting that all incoming trains irrespective of operator should have been checked;  I did not stick around at the station to see that arrival, but I do wonder if the team of 3 (I think) - one supervisor and 2 actually checking - looked at the paperwork for everyone coming off that 11 carriage train, and if they did how they wel trained they were on what constituted a valid ticket or charter staff pass.

It seems that the many are inconvenienced as a result of the actions of a few. Not the only example of that at Weymouth station ...

« Last Edit: July 16, 2019, 01:22:34 pm by grahame » Logged

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Robin Summerhill
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« Reply #13 on: July 16, 2019, 08:22:26 pm »

I kinda guessed I would get some heartfelt and differing comments back when I started this thread.

Let me strongly re-iterate my starting point which was that steps should be taken to ensure all fares are collected.

But at the same time the system should be such that it does not make anyone who's going about their correct (ticketed) journey feel checked to the extent of being doubted as to their correctness, or be delayed by jams at gatelines or RPI blockades. 

I used to work with a bloke at Bath Road who used to say "It's the SYSTEM that's wrong, it's the SYSTEM that needs sorting out." Should you ask him what he thought was wrong and what he thought should be done to put it right he'd repeat the same thing, or he might say "don't ask me, ask the people who thought up the SYSTEM"

Much the same as the ephemeral "they" who should "be doing something about it..."

Now I am not totally guiltless here, but whenever I find something that's going wrong, I do at least put suggestions forward for what should be done instead and/or what changes could or should be made. So I would put the poin back to Graham - what would YOU do about it, whilst bearing in mind the following:

You started your journey at Melksham, a station without a Gateline. The TM ought to have checked your ticket or sold you one on the way to Trowbridge. You then changed to the Bristol to Weymouth train where the TM on that train checked your ticket. You then got off the train at Weymouth, a station without a Gateline, but find a squad of RPOs there checking tickets. So according to my arithmetic you had your ticket checked three times.

If I travel from here to Cheltenham via Bristol, I put my ticket into the Gateline at Chippenham. I may get my ticket checked by GWR staff on the train to Bristol, especially if its in the peak, and if I go outside for a fag break at Bristol it gets checked twice more, and one of those won't operate the Gateline because of the built-in time delay. The XC TM on the Brum train will want to check my ticket too, and when I get to Cheltenham, it goes into a Gateline again. That sounds like at least four, and possibly up to six, ticket checks to me, at least one more than the people on your train "suffered." Quite probably many of them who joined at unstaffed stations between Frome and Weymouth only got theirs checked twice; once on the train, and once by the RPOs at Weymouth.

So where's the problem in the system, and what would you do to "sort it out?"

I feel your bringing up the Belmont Pullman is a complete red herring. That train is reservation only and, after leaving Coventry, only hadadvertised calls at Birmingham International and New Street. There would not have been anybody allowed on that private charter train if they didn't have a reservation for it or weren't a crew member. Checking people getting off that train would have been a piece of cake compared to the train from Bristol, which had made 19 station calls since it set off that morning, many of which were unstaffed, and it passed through interchange points where people with (or without) tickets from other lines may have joined the train. Indeed, you were one of them!

So as I said, where's the problem in the system, and what would you do to "sort it out?"
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PhilWakely
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« Reply #14 on: July 16, 2019, 08:36:29 pm »

I just wish GWR would do a block on Platform 7 at Reading on Friday afternoons during the holiday seasons. All Westcountry services are advertised as 'Pick Up Only' at Reading, yet savvy pax know that GWR cannot police this - resulting in gross overcrowding. GWR's own attitude to this is 'we need to get folk out of London quickly and by any means possible', so turn a blind eye to this.

Penalty fare all those alighting at Reading even if they are season ticket holders!
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