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Keith gets more Northern Rail ticketing complaints

by Iain Roberts on 4 January, 2016

Despite a positive meeting with Gatley Village Partnership and Northern Rail a few weeks ago, Cllr Keith Holloway has received another complaint of unacceptable behaviour from Northern Rail ticket inspectors.

On this occasion the ticket office was open at Gatley but the queues were so long that people would have missed their train if they’d queued up to buy a ticket. There was no opportunity to buy a ticket on the train and at Piccadilly Northern Rail’s G4S enforcers were issuing Gatley travellers with “Failure to Purchase” notices – two notices leads to a fine.

Keith said “It is the responsibility of the train companies to ensure that passengers can buy a ticket in time. When missing a train can mean a wait of 30 minutes or longer it’s not acceptable to penalise people. Northern Rail need to put passengers first.”

   2 Comments

2 Responses

  1. Duncan says:

    It’s been said before but it remains that the only sensible answer here is to install a ticket machine at our station so passengers can quickly purchase tickets prior to travel. Failing that (and bearing in mind we’re in 2016 now) purchase and validating tickets via a web app needs to rolled out sooner rather than later. It’s (un)surprising that I can purchase a ticket for cineworld didsbury online and have this validated on my phone when at the cinema but for a service I (a) pay much more for and (b) use more frequently I struggle to find a way to easily give money to the franchise holder for the service they provide. To compound matters, both myself and no doubt many other rail users from Gatley then get treated like criminals by the franchise and their ‘revenue protection’ sub contractors. It seems a little odd that the approach here is to ask G4S to be a little bit nicer. Just invest in providing customers with a convenient way to pay. However, I guess the key word there is ‘invest’!

    • David Harvey says:

      New year, same old poor service at Northern rail it seems. I am a regular commuter and was also in the enormous but sadly regular queue at Gatley station on Monday the 4th morning before the 7:23am service into Manchester. Most people were returning to work for the first time after the festivities and were understandably purchasing season tickets rather than quick to purchase single or return tickets. One lady purchased a monthly ticket to Warrington that took the ticket lady over 5 minutes to complete. I was also unable to buy a ticket before my train arrived and was treated like a criminal once I got to the front of the inevitable queue at Picadilly to buy a ticket from the lovely G4S enforcers on the platform. My complaints to G4S staff about the Gatley situation appeared to fall on deaf ears. It really is hard to understand why we, the customers are not provided with automatic ticket machines like we have at the East Didsbury metro link station or an online app purchase system. Do Northern rail not realise that most of us commuters could go back into their cars or start driving down Kingsway to use the metro link rather than putting up with their service. Due to this longstanding issue I now use the train only once a week when I previously used it three times weekly as I prefer to drive or use the metro link. Iain – please feed my example back to Northern rail as the only way I feel we are going to see a change in this sorry saga is if we all vote with our feet and stop using their service all together.

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