Ticket office closures

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Grumble
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Ticket office closures

Post by Grumble » Fri Sep 01, 2023 5:20 am

If you haven’t yet there isn’t long to submit your thoughts on ticket office closures. https://www.transportfocus.org.uk/ticke ... sultation/

The question you are asked is: How will you be impacted by the proposed changes to the ticket office?
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Re: Ticket office closures

Post by JQH » Fri Sep 01, 2023 8:15 am

It seems to be asking about the impact of closing my local ticket office. I will be impacted more by the closure of ticket offices in mainline stations,
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Re: Ticket office closures

Post by Grumble » Fri Sep 01, 2023 8:36 am

JQH wrote:
Fri Sep 01, 2023 8:15 am
It seems to be asking about the impact of closing my local ticket office. I will be impacted more by the closure of ticket offices in mainline stations,
I think you are free to change which station you claim as yours
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Re: Ticket office closures

Post by headshot » Fri Sep 01, 2023 8:47 am

You can also select the first option in the drop-down which relates to national network comments.

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Re: Ticket office closures

Post by IvanV » Fri Sep 01, 2023 10:57 am

In the Netherlands, very few stations have ticket offices, only the main city stations. Even large commuter stations with 2m station entry/exits don't have a ticket office. Though at such stations there would generally be a café and/or a convenience kiosk, so they wouldn't be entirely unstaffed, though stations with low enough traffic don't have that and are unstaffed. They tend to subcontract station cleaning to such shop staff.

The difference is:

The ticket system is simple and fair. For most journeys, there's one price. You can buy long distance intercity tickets on variable discounts, airline type "load management" fares, but only advance purchase. Otherwise the fare system is simple enough they have a national chip card you can just tap in and out and pay a normal fare. And the normal long distance fares aren't eye-watering fares like the anytime London-Manchester and London-Bristol fares in this country.

Most trains have conductors who sell tickets at normal prices.

It seems that they don't suffer the sense of insecurity from using an unstaffed station that many people here experience. That does seem to be a trickier one. Probably the sense of personal insecurity can only be repaired with longer term reparation to the social structure of the country. It is not as though the Netherlands is some very low crime paradise by European standards.

So you can get to a satisfactory situation where widespread stations don't have ticket offices. But there's a lot else you have to do first. We have been promised simpler fare systems and national smart ticketing, but there has been nothing done to advance these ideas by the present government. Even though they are now in an ideal situation to achieve it, with all of the private train operators on cost-only contracts.

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Re: Ticket office closures

Post by EACLucifer » Sat Sep 02, 2023 1:29 pm

I do wonder how you are meant to book disability assistance without a ticket office.

There's lots of bad stuff in the impact assessments.

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Re: Ticket office closures

Post by IvanV » Sat Sep 02, 2023 5:40 pm

EACLucifer wrote:
Sat Sep 02, 2023 1:29 pm
I do wonder how you are meant to book disability assistance without a ticket office.

There's lots of bad stuff in the impact assessments.
In the Netherlands, the train conductor deals with that, and the train carries the necessarily equipment, so no need to book.

If we ran our railway system in a normal way, then it all gets a lot easier.

When I go to those countries where where the train platform is a couple of large and often steep steps down from the saloon, I have often wondered about disability arrangements there. But of late in the Czech Rep, the trains increasingly are equipped with this mechanical device which incorporates a large folding telescopic arm that lays out and supports a sloping ramp down onto the platform, deployed when required. It even has a winch to haul or slowly release an occupied wheel chair up or down the ramp into the train. Needs to be operated by train staff, and takes up a fair amount of space.

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Re: Ticket office closures

Post by dyqik » Sat Sep 02, 2023 6:05 pm

For the completely unmanned stations on the Boston commuter rail (all but the two terminii in Boston), there's usually a raised platform for at least one pair of train doors, and at least two conductors on each train to provide assistance.

Those conductors are needed to open and close the doors of the train (manual doors and hatches over steps down to the grade level platforms for most of the length of the platform at most of the stations and sell tickets anyway.

Some stations can't have the raised platforms for various reasons (including nimbyism in Concord), and those are just inaccessible.

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Re: Ticket office closures

Post by monkey » Sat Sep 02, 2023 6:48 pm

IvanV wrote:
Sat Sep 02, 2023 5:40 pm
EACLucifer wrote:
Sat Sep 02, 2023 1:29 pm
I do wonder how you are meant to book disability assistance without a ticket office.

There's lots of bad stuff in the impact assessments.
In the Netherlands, the train conductor deals with that, and the train carries the necessarily equipment, so no need to book.
But some train companies have been trying to remove the guards from the trains.

Pretty sure that also comes down to this bit.
IvanV wrote:
Sat Sep 02, 2023 5:40 pm
If we ran our railway system in a normal way, then it all gets a lot easier.

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Re: Ticket office closures

Post by El Pollo Diablo » Mon Sep 04, 2023 8:24 am

The reason for the railway costing so much here is not because we operate ticket offices. There are many reasons, but that isn't one of them. If properly-thought-through long-term cost saving measures are to be enacted, they should be focused on renewals unit rates, standardisation (both removal of bespoke systems and alignment with European standards where possible) amongst other things, rather than those measures which cause problems for the disabled or elderly.
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Re: Ticket office closures

Post by EACLucifer » Mon Sep 04, 2023 8:52 am

IvanV wrote:
Sat Sep 02, 2023 5:40 pm
EACLucifer wrote:
Sat Sep 02, 2023 1:29 pm
I do wonder how you are meant to book disability assistance without a ticket office.

There's lots of bad stuff in the impact assessments.
In the Netherlands, the train conductor deals with that, and the train carries the necessarily equipment, so no need to book.
Works for wheelchair users, or at least has the potential to, but not for blind or partially sighted people.

A lot of UK stations still apparently lack tactile edging to the platforms, meaning they are very dangerous for people with significant visual impairments.

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Re: Ticket office closures

Post by IvanV » Mon Sep 04, 2023 10:06 am

EACLucifer wrote:
Mon Sep 04, 2023 8:52 am
IvanV wrote:
Sat Sep 02, 2023 5:40 pm
EACLucifer wrote:
Sat Sep 02, 2023 1:29 pm
I do wonder how you are meant to book disability assistance without a ticket office.

There's lots of bad stuff in the impact assessments.
In the Netherlands, the train conductor deals with that, and the train carries the necessarily equipment, so no need to book.
Works for wheelchair users, or at least has the potential to, but not for blind or partially sighted people.

A lot of UK stations still apparently lack tactile edging to the platforms, meaning they are very dangerous for people with significant visual impairments.
Early in August I was catching a train from one of my local London Underground stations, when a lady set down her wheelchair-using husband in front of the station entrance, while she drove around to the car park on the other side of the tracks, which would be a much longer walk for him from there.

Using his folded wheelchair as a walking stick, he entered the station and went through the ticket gates. He momentarily let go of his wheelchair to deal with his wallet or something. But he was on a slope, so the wheelchair accelerated towards the platform edge, with no barrier to stop it. It might have failed to proceed towards the platform edge when it tried to cross a little drainage gully that lay between there and the platform edge. But I didn't want to test that and ran and grabbed it. The member of station staff, who should have been standing there ready to assist, wasn't, as per usual.

Now in theory, the member of station staff is supposed to be standing just there around the ticket barrier area, ready to assist people. That's what their job instructions tell them to do. But only a small minority of staff will do that. It's been going on like this ever since ticket offices closed. Mostly they hide in an inner room inside the former ticket office, and you have to bang and shout on the office glass to get their attention. The minority that do make themselves available on the platform according to instructions are outgoing types who like talking to people.

The other thing they don't do that they should be doing is keep an eye on the trains. Out on the extremities of the Metropolitan line, some stations are served only half-hourly and others quarter-hourly. Trains can be sent up the fast line, missing out stops and calling at a different platform at Moor Park - which is often locked out of use in off-peak periods. And they ought to be keeping an eye and telling you what's going on when stuff is happening. But they don't. If LUL had a modern Customer Information System, rather than its ancient outdated and expensive system it continues to install even for new installations, at much greater cost than non-proprietary alternatives, they could give these messages electronically from the centre much more easily, for all to read, rather than fail to hear a muffled announcement. But they don't do that either.

At least this LUL station does have step-free access to the street for both platforms, which is not the case for many. And tactile paving. And a platform hump where you can get level access into the train for a wheelchair at one point.

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