ScotRail booking/ticket office 'cuts'

Dai Corner

Established Member
Joined
20 Jul 2015
Messages
4,233
My mum had exactly this problem at Kilmarnock station. Ticket office closed, TVM couldn't give her pensioner ticket. Luckily the guard came through the train on this occasion so she was able to purchase from him and didn't have to queue at Glasgow Central
Here on the South Wales Valley Lines, over 60s concessionary bus passes entitle holders to 1/3 discount off-peak. From memory this is accessed on TVMs in the same way as Railcard discounts.
 
Sponsor Post - registered members do not see these adverts; click here to register, or click here to log in
R

RailUK Forums

Llandudno

Established Member
Joined
25 Dec 2014
Messages
1,566
Pensioners and the disabled get free bus travel in England & Wales too. Yet many still use trains. And most of them are pretty good with technology too.
Age 66, soon to be 67 in England compared to 60 in Wales and Scotland.

Huge difference in the amount of people eligible for free bus travel
 

Deltic1961

Member
Joined
30 May 2018
Messages
525
Location
Aberdeen
Up here the buses generally travel at 15 to 20mph and sit at timing points every mile or so. For us it's a 5 minute walk to the station and a 8 minute train ride to town, car takes 20 minutes (so about the same as the train with the walking at both ends) and the bus takes 45 to 50 minutes. I really don't understand why they go so slow as they are always well under the 30mph speed limit and just limp along, going via Timbuktu on the way in. The direct service was about 30 minutes but it got pulled years ago.

Absolutely no desire to take the bus at all, even if free.

My son qualifies for the Scottish free bus pass because of his age but he's not even interested.
 

6Gman

Established Member
Joined
1 May 2012
Messages
7,417
An online method would be easier - some sort of code with your priv to input.
I believe there is an intention to make priv tickets available online sometime this year.

Personally, as someone who often decides where to go at the station having then to fiddle around online would be a nuisance.
 

mde

Member
Joined
17 Nov 2016
Messages
510
Here on the South Wales Valley Lines, over 60s concessionary bus passes entitle holders to 1/3 discount off-peak. From memory this is accessed on TVMs in the same way as Railcard discounts.
Strathclyde concession tickets (which would be the one for Kilmarnock) aren't available at TVMs sadly - despite it being issued against an ITSO smartcard which is easily verifiable (and can be used by any ScotRail booking office to load ticketing products).

A more modern way of issuing this, perhaps using stored credit on the cards, would certainly help, as every station has validators - and the photocard would still need to be presented, therefore the risk of fraud is perhaps no greater than someone trying it on elsewhere - there's a good chance they'd get caught regardless.
 

Scotrail314209

Established Member
Joined
1 Feb 2017
Messages
2,065
Location
From Paisley, sadly.
Found a consultation poster with the proposed opening hours for Saltcoats Station.

Image shows the new proposed times as

Monday - Thursday: 0645 - 1200
Friday: 0730 - 1415
Saturday: 0815 - 1600
Sunday: 1015 - 1300

Not a huge fan of the opening hours as the trains from here have a good amount of people throughout the day.
 

Attachments

  • 1B378EF2-2E2D-4D2D-AD98-1BA466712D65.jpeg
    1B378EF2-2E2D-4D2D-AD98-1BA466712D65.jpeg
    2.4 MB · Views: 22

Carntyne

Member
Joined
8 Jul 2015
Messages
828
Not a huge fan of the opening hours as the trains from here have a good amount of people throughout the day.
Are those people using the booking office in signifiant numbers?

m-tickets, smart, and on-train retailing still available.
 

mde

Member
Joined
17 Nov 2016
Messages
510
Are those people using the booking office in signifiant numbers?

m-tickets, smart, and on-train retailing still available.
The notable part of that poster is perhaps not even related to retail - under the table, it says "The changes proposed to the hours of this station may potentially impact the following: Reduced period of time the waiting area will be accessible".

Reducing amenity access, particularly in a station known for perhaps less than hospitable weather conditions at times, might not be a good idea.

The idea that this may be a potential impact suggests they don't know if they intend to schedule mobile staff in the area - in which case it'd probably just be the clerk no longer behind the window, but the ambiguity doesn't instil confidence.
 

Scotrail314209

Established Member
Joined
1 Feb 2017
Messages
2,065
Location
From Paisley, sadly.
The notable part of that poster is perhaps not even related to retail - under the table, it says "The changes proposed to the hours of this station may potentially impact the following: Reduced period of time the waiting area will be accessible".

Reducing amenity access, particularly in a station known for perhaps less than hospitable weather conditions at times, might not be a good idea.

The idea that this may be a potential impact suggests they don't know if they intend to schedule mobile staff in the area - in which case it'd probably just be the clerk no longer behind the window, but the ambiguity doesn't instil confidence.
The waiting area is barely available because they’ve had hoardings up for well over a year now because of work being done to the ceiling.
 

Craig1122

Member
Joined
14 May 2021
Messages
65
Location
UK
This once again raises the issue that was identified up thread, not just on ScotRail, that the booking clerk is often the last member of staff on site. This means if they go you lose facilities such as toilets and waiting rooms as well as someone to handle queries etc. If you're keeping someone on site it seems to make sense that they can take money as well.

Of course if it's a complete closure you still need mobile staff for cleaning etc and that doesn't always represent a huge saving especially if you're off setting against loss of revenue both directly over the counter and from making rail a less attractive way of travelling.
 

Jordan1296

Member
Joined
5 Sep 2020
Messages
36
Location
Aberdeen
Up here the buses generally travel at 15 to 20mph and sit at timing points every mile or so. For us it's a 5 minute walk to the station and a 8 minute train ride to town, car takes 20 minutes (so about the same as the train with the walking at both ends) and the bus takes 45 to 50 minutes. I really don't understand why they go so slow as they are always well under the 30mph speed limit and just limp along, going via Timbuktu on the way in. The direct service was about 30 minutes but it got pulled years ago.

Absolutely no desire to take the bus at all, even if free.

My son qualifies for the Scottish free bus pass because of his age but he's not even interested.
Appreciate this is a completely separate issue from ticket offices, but I do share your frustrations at how slow the buses are from Dyce. Only noticed last minute that a 1011 train on Tuesday was cancelled and I had to be in town for 11am. Made the mistake of catching the 17 - never again!
 

Deltic1961

Member
Joined
30 May 2018
Messages
525
Location
Aberdeen
Appreciate this is a completely separate issue from ticket offices, but I do share your frustrations at how slow the buses are from Dyce. Only noticed last minute that a 1011 train on Tuesday was cancelled and I had to be in town for 11am. Made the mistake of catching the 17 - never again!
Yes, it's painfully slow. Thankfully we have to option of the train here.
 

The exile

Member
Joined
31 Mar 2010
Messages
905
Location
Somerset
I like this idea in theory although SWR have quietly abandoned it & replaced those machines with standard TVM's. My worry would be that in practice it would end up like station help points on some operators, rare that they're actually working and that someone answers.
And when they do it’s someone just reading from a script that bears no relation to reality or what you actually need.
 

3rd rail land

Member
Joined
30 Jan 2019
Messages
517
Location
Where the 3rd rail powers the trains
And when they do it’s someone just reading from a script that bears no relation to reality or what you actually need.
I fear you are right. It's one of those thing which sounds great in theory but in reality won't be of much use to passengers. If you could press an button on the TVM and be connected to a ticketing expert that would be ideal but we all know that in reality it'll be someone with limited ticketing knowledge, possibly reading from a bunch of scripts as you point out.
 

Bletchleyite

Veteran Member
Joined
20 Oct 2014
Messages
76,289
Location
"Marston Vale mafia"
I fear you are right. It's one of those thing which sound great in theory but in reality won't be of much use to passengers. If you could press an button on the TVM and be connected to a ticketing expert that would be ideal but we all know that in reality it'll be someone with limited ticketing knowledge, possibly reading from a bunch of scripts as you point out.

To be fair, at a lot of booking offices you won't get anything better than that, either.
 

alangla

Member
Joined
11 Apr 2018
Messages
1,177
Location
Glasgow
The notable part of that poster is perhaps not even related to retail - under the table, it says "The changes proposed to the hours of this station may potentially impact the following: Reduced period of time the waiting area will be accessible".
This is a relevant point, especially around Glasgow. The typical 1960s box station building that appeared around electrification has the indoor waiting area next to the ticket counter in the building. This proposal means a lot of these will only be available for a couple of hours a day. If this happens then it’ll be the building’s platform side canopy and that’s it for what’s usually the city bound platform.
 

Class83

Member
Joined
8 Jun 2012
Messages
450
This is a relevant point, especially around Glasgow. The typical 1960s box station building that appeared around electrification has the indoor waiting area next to the ticket counter in the building. This proposal means a lot of these will only be available for a couple of hours a day. If this happens then it’ll be the building’s platform side canopy and that’s it for what’s usually the city bound platform.
Surely CCTV, a tannoy and some mechanism to remotely lock the door would do, with an emergency release button on the inside if someone was there after closing.
 

alangla

Member
Joined
11 Apr 2018
Messages
1,177
Location
Glasgow
Surely CCTV, a tannoy and some mechanism to remotely lock the door would do, with an emergency release button on the inside if someone was there after closing.
You’d think so, but it hasn’t up to now despite CCTV coverage being pretty much total for years and long line PA being installed decades ago on some routes. No station staff = no waiting room & usually no toilets.
 

plebb11

Member
Joined
26 Jun 2014
Messages
26
Location
Bedfordshire
Rumours are all ticket offices will either have times changes or be closed on the following tocs:

East coast (all ready announced)
West Midlands train
Scotrail (all ready announced)
GWR
Greater Anglia

And others most likely to follow.
 

Philip

Established Member
Joined
27 May 2007
Messages
2,638
Location
Manchester
Rumours are all ticket offices will either have times changes or be closed on the following tocs:

East coast (all ready announced)
West Midlands train
Scotrail (all ready announced)
GWR
Greater Anglia

And others most likely to follow.

Where have these rumours come from?
 

Class360/1

Member
Joined
10 Feb 2021
Messages
490
Location
Essex
Rumours are all ticket offices will either have times changes or be closed on the following tocs:

East coast (all ready announced)
West Midlands train
Scotrail (all ready announced)
GWR
Greater Anglia

And others most likely to follow.
TBH I’m not surprised about Greater Anglia. They hate ticket offices
 

LowLevel

Established Member
Joined
26 Oct 2013
Messages
5,990
TBH I’m not surprised about Greater Anglia. They hate ticket offices
Their franchise bid originally had them all shutting in their original form bar a handful. It's what they've done in the Netherlands.
 

ScotsRail

Member
Joined
19 Aug 2019
Messages
62
Location
Aberfeldy
Looks like the impact will not be as severe as first planned,

SCOTRAIL's plans to shut down three ticket offices have been withdrawn after a series of protests.

Rail unions and campaign groups in Scotland united to fight cuts to ticket office opening hours.

A coalition representing workers, passengers, disabled people, environmentalists, women and pensioners protested against a plan by operator Abellio Scotrail to cut ticket office opening hours at 117 stations, and complete closure of three offices.
Scotrail, which returns to public control when Abellio’s franchise ends on March 31, said that no staff would lose their jobs as a result of any cuts.

ScotRail has confirmed that the proposed ticket offices planned for closure - Cartsdyke, Clydebank and Woodhall - will remain open for at least two years while ScotRail carries out a review to consider whether new housing and incentives for businesses by local authorities will increase ticket office sales.


full story at : https://www.heraldscotland.com/news...ail-u-turn-plan-shut-ticket-offices-protests/
 

riceuten

Member
Joined
23 May 2018
Messages
261
They could probably close more if they didn't persist with an outdated method of electronic ticketing (m-tickets) and adopted e-tickets. M-tickets need to be abolished.



It's certainly a change to the job. However, the railway's role isn't job provision, it's providing a train service. If a particular role is no longer necessary for that purpose, offering the staff a different one on the same money is entirely reasonable. If they would prefer an indoor office-type job, time for them to consider moving to one.
But having someone in a single central location where there are multiple possibilities to sell tickets seems to tick more boxes than wandering aimlessly on a platform or concourse.

The solution there is simple, and is coming at some TOCs already. You have a button on the TVM connected to a call centre who put the ticket through for you. All you have to do is pay. Some will also have video so you can see each other too. This way one ticket office employee can cover lots of stations at the same time. Much more affordable.
I can just imagine how that would work with a little old lady wanting to painstakingly go through all options for a return to Scarborough ("Ooh it's SO expensive) and someone at another station desperate to avoid being fined for a journey they can't buy at the ticket machine also wanting to be served by the same staff member.

We should be working to ensure ALL tickets are available on smartphones, or loadable onto ITSO cards, and then the little old ladies can have their peace and discuss Scarborough to their heart's content.

ScotRail has confirmed that the proposed ticket offices planned for closure - Cartsdyke, Clydebank and Woodhall - will remain open for at least two years while ScotRail carries out a review to consider whether new housing and incentives for businesses by local authorities will increase ticket office sales.
I wonder if that includes any kind of other commercial outlet that allows tickets to be bought, either at the station or close by. I don't know the geography of the stations concerned and whether or not a shop selling tickets - as has been proposed elsewhere - would actually make sense,
 
Last edited:

Top