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Author Topic: Gatelines, social distancing and unnecessary ticketless travel  (Read 524 times)
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« on: April 08, 2020, 03:41:43 pm »

Northern appear to have got themselves into a pickle of reversed decisions on the balance between opening gate lines and not checking tickets for distancing reasons, and the problems of ticketless and unnecessary travel that brings.

from Business Live

Northern to start checking rail tickets again after increase in 'unneccessary day trips'

Last week, the firm announced passengers would not need to show their tickets due to Covid-19 fears - but it has been forced to reverse the policy

Coffee Shop Admin, Vice Chair of Melksham Rail User Group, and on the board of TravelWatch SouthWest.
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« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2020, 06:47:53 pm »

Surely keeping gatelines open to avoid queues without the required social distances is the least that can be done? The potential loss from an unscrupulous few who might "take advantage" is surely insignificant against the overall loss of fare income because most are not travelling?
Robin Summerhill
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« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2020, 10:37:24 am »

The trouble is that many organisations are currently making decisions about social distancing etc that have not been fully thought through.

We have three supermarkets in Chippenham that I use - Sainsburys, Morrisons and Tesco. All have a queuing system outside the store and, whilst both Sainsburys and Tesco's queueing systems are flexible (ie, if there is no queue you can walk straight in), Morrissons have erected metal barriers outside their store so that you have to walk through a chicane not unlike the arrangements one finds in airport security or passport control. This effectively means that irrespective of the number of people actually wanting to get in, you have to walk up and down their store forecourt three times before you get to the entrance door.

Sainsburys allow customers to go straight to an availble checkout. Morrisons and Tesco want customers to queue, and Tesco have closed off their self service tills.

I am not one to dawdle in supermarkets at the best of times - I want to go in, pick up what I want, pay for it and get out, and I want to do that even more so now in the current crisis. All it needs is one infected person who doesn't know they are infected to be wandering around the store and everyone in there will be at increased risk. Morrisson's chicane and Tesco closing their self service tills, as I see it, are actually increasing the length of time that their customers could be exposed to the virus whilst on their premises.

That of course is my own personal view. I would be intetsted to know the views of others.
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« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2020, 11:18:04 am »

The trouble is that many organisations are currently making decisions about social distancing etc that have not been fully thought through.

I was a bit puzzled, when this whole thing got started, by the number of criticisms of the government's actions and advice I heard that could be paraphrased to include "this hasn't been thoroughly thought through". Well, no - don't we all know that? It's all been hurried improvisation, right from the start. I had some sympathy for opposition politicians doing this, as it's their default setting, but it went far wider into the commentariat. 

I'm not convinced we've reached a stage where it's reasonable to expect a much more reasoned coherent basis for the measures. Ideally, yes, we'd have well-targeted evidence-based restrictions, but for a start there is almost no worthwhile evidence of what measures reduce infection risk by how much. Plus, of course, high priority has been given to simplifying the message so it can be used as a battering ram rather than a learned treatise. There are very good reasons for that, though I'd agree it's been OTT in some respects.

On the basis of the evidence, WHO are still saying that to have a significant chance of catching the virus directly you need to be within 1 m of someone infectious for 15 minutes - the chance is much higher via surfaces you touch. From that follows the advice on keeping well apart in queues, though not in aisles (or parks). But different groups of advisors (whether expert or "expert") can easily come up with different rules, depending on how they weight importance, ease to implement, visibility, reassurance to others, etc., etc...

If there's one extra measure I think fits the evidence and would help it's more cleaning of hands and handles in supermarkets and other shops. Ideally, several times as you go round! That was included in the output of one bunch of experts in Nantes, but they also included strict one-way movement and no overtaking so you never passed anyone else in an aisle, and not touching anything and putting it back. They wanted to ban gloves used by shop staff - which also makes sense, unless they are discarded after every customer. But chacun a son avis ...
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