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Forum topic: Palmers Green Station to lose its ticket office?

Palmers Green Station to lose its ticket office?

Basil Clarke

05 Feb 2016 01:04 #2003

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...

Govia, the company behind the Great Northern and Thameslink brands, is planning to close ticket offices at Palmers Green and other stations where average ticket sales are low.  Instead, a station "host" will be available on the "concourse", selling a limited range of "popular" tickets.  However, the plans do have a positive aspect - there would be a Host at the station from first to last train every day.

According to Govia's "Stakeholder Manager" (PR person?), these plans would only be implemented after consultation with London Travelwatch and Transport Focus and will require approval by the Department Transport.

The affected stations (which presumably exclude non-staffed stations such as Crews Hill) will be allocated to one of three "models" depending on the number of tickets currently sold per hour.

Palmers Green, Alexandra Palace and Enfield Chase are all "Model 1" stations, Hornsey, Gordon Hill and Winchmore Hill "Model 2".  No other local stations are mentioned in the information supplied by Govia.

Model 1 stations

Fewer than 12 tickets per hour are sold from the ticket office at these stations. The majority of customers use ticket machines and smartcard technology so there is minimal need for a ticket office

At these stations we propose to close the ticket office windows and move people out onto the concourse as ‘Station Hosts’

Station Hosts will be

  • visible and available from first service until the last, which is longer than current ticket office hours in many cases
  • trained in customer service
  • able to sell the most popular tickets and provide information using a new handheld device
  • helping passengers use the ticket machines

So the ticket office at Palmers Green, which was completely refurbished only recently, is likely to close.

Model 2 stations, where more tickets are sold, will have a slightly different arrangement:

"At these stations we propose to relocate the ticket selling equipment to a station hosting point so the staff are available on the concourse, able to sell tickets for longer than today."

No information is available about the difference between a "station hosting point" and ticket office or about which types of tickets will be available - for instance, whether it will be possible to book advance tickets for longer distance journeys.

Govia's track record so far

Regular travellers on Great Northern don't need me to tell them that cancellations and delays remain the order of the day.  The shortage of drivers inherited from First Capital Connect continues to cause cancellations during school holidays and delays are a daily occurrence.  And information about problems is not always supplied on the website, at stations or on trains - as was the case with the signal failure during the evening peak on Tuesday.

London Travelwatch has published some comments and a graph relating to Govia's punctuality record:

Performance of the Thameslink, Great Northern and Southeastern franchises in the London & South East area

Right time is defined as less than one minute late and should not be confused with ‘on time’, as defined for Public performance measure (PPM) purposes. PPM is the percentage of planned trains which are run and which complete their journeys ‘on time’ across the whole day. Trains which complete their whole route calling at all timetabled stations are measured for punctuality at their final destination. In the case of London and South East services, a train is defined as being ‘on time’ if it arrives within five minutes of the planned arrival time. It does not include trains removed from the timetable on a planned basis.

The performance of Southern, Thameslink and Southeastern franchises is closely linked to, but not exclusively dependent on the rebuilding programme of London Bridge station and associated track works as a result of the Thameslink programme.

The chart below shows the percentage of RTA in 2014/15, from periods 6 to 10 September to December. These are compared to the national and London & South East (L&SE) averages. It shows a decline in the operators’ right time performance overall and when compared to the averages.

right time arrival

Sources:

 

http://www.thameslinkrailway.com/about-us/news/modernising-our-stations/

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Palmers Green Station to lose its ticket office?

Garry Humphreys

11 Feb 2016 10:14 #2004

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The ticket barriers at Palmers Green are long overdue, but this means that a staff member needs to be present if they don't work or for some reason reject legitimate tickets, as sometimes happens - so 'concourse' implies ticket hall! But a 'host' present from first to last train is more than we get at present (when the ticket office is often closed) so why can't such a person be based in the ticket office?

Lack of over-the-counter ticket sales is a consequence of most travellers having a season ticket, Oyster card or Freedom Pass - but if at the last minute I have to go to a distant station (Birmingham or Bristol) who will sell me that ticket. The ticket machines are not always reliable and often break down. More information, please. Govia.

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Palmers Green Station to lose its ticket office? More information

PGC Webmaster

23 Feb 2016 01:38 #2028

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More information about the proposed changes is available on the London TravelWatch website .

The link above also includes details of how to respond to the consultation.

The changes would happen between June and September, but not before the appointment of a "station host" for each station.

There is also a more detailed list of the proposed changes at each station .

"The Host will provide assistance with ticket purchases, information provision and assisted travel at the times shown within the station concourse or gateline areas, these times are the minimum hours that the Host will be available. The Host will have a hand held ticketing system that will enable them to provide some tickets that are not available from the self-service machines.

"The Ticket Office at these stations will close and Schedule 17 will be amended to reflect this change. The primary point for purchasing tickets on the station will be from the self- service machines or from the Station Host."

At Palmers Green the "minimum availability" of the Station Host would be Mon
-Sat 0530-2300 Sun 0730-2300. However, the station would also be "staffed first to last train 7 days a week", meaning that someone would be there until 0123, when the last train from Kings Cross reaches Palmers Green.

Rather curiously, the mininum availability of the Station Host at Winchmore Hill would start half an hour earlier (0500) and end an hour earlier (2200).

So what tickets would the Host sell that can't be issued by a machine? Perhaps tickets starting from zone boundaries for people with travelcards or Freedom Passes - let's hope so anyway.

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