DLR Ticket Inspectors at stations

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Public Transport & Cycling
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BuddingBudding Forumite
3 Posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Public Transport & Cycling
Hi,

I take the DLR to work and get off at Heron Quays station in the mornings, and recently there have been DLR ticket inspectors at the station waiting at the bottom of the escalators leading down from the platform checking people's oyster cards. This results in a massive queue forming at the bottom of the escalators, as there are often dozens of commuters descending and only one or two inspectors holding everyone up.

Apart from this being an utterly pointless exercise (a fare dodger could just say they popped up to the platform to take a look and came straight down), it wastes people's time and could be potentially dangerous because it blocks people on the escalators from getting off.

Has anyone else experienced this, and are these station ticket inspectors something new that TFL/Serco are rolling out across the DLR network? Since it's not on a train, do those inspectors have any legal right to stop you and check your ticket? Are they legally allowed to do anything if you just ignore them and touch out instead?
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Replies

  • Parts of DLR stations (not just the platforms) will be "compulsory ticket areas" - usually marked by a red line. Passengers are required to have a valid ticket or Oyster card within those areas.
  • In faqct I think every station is a CTA - bar the shared stations - but those you would need a ticket anyway to get into.

    I dont understand the OPs apparent dislike for ticket checks these are essential to catch fare evaders and they have been quite successful by doing these and other blocks over the last year or so.
    "If you no longer go for a gap, you are no longer a racing driver" - Ayrton Senna
  • I just fail to see the effectiveness of checking people's tickets when they exit stations for fare evaders, because all that is going to do is punish those who are seeing off/picking up friends (and are not evading fares, since they would have never boarded a train).

    You could argue that people should not enter a "compulsory ticket area" without a ticket, but this CTA thing is not well known and not well sign posted at stations. If the aim of these inspectors is to catch "CTA evaders", then the inspectors should check people's tickets before they enter a CTA, rather than when they leave.

    Public transport officials should in my opinion focus more on preventing fare evasion rather than encouraging fare evasion, and then dishing out punishment for those who do. Of course, those who go to great lengths to evade fares should be punished, but stopping people on their way out of a station is time wasting to commuters, unfair for those who did not board a train, and looks like just another way for TFL or Serco to fill their pockets.
  • The rules for a CTA are a bit weird - and difficult to find now as they appear to have been removed from the Dept for Transport website (Why ??)

    The legislation (The Railways (Penalty Fares) Regulations 1994) and the British Transport Police guidelines do not state that it is an offence to be in a CTA without a ticket. They say that it is an offence to be in a CTA if you have, or intend to travel without a ticket - the implication is that it is NOT an offence just to be in the CTA.
    It is difficult to understand what they do mean - I would say deliberately difficult !

    The "disappeared" DfT explanation clearly stated that non-travellers must be allowed access to a CTA for meeting/greeting, luggage helping etc. They did say that the TOC managing the station could make a platform ticket charge - have you tried buying a platform ticket lately ?? - one TOC has actually told its staff NOT to sell them. Disabled traveller's helpers were NOT to be charged at all. The DfT rules also stated that "railway enthusiasts" must be allowed access ! (I wish I had kept a copy of those rules !!!)

    If you are refused entry to a CTA by railway staff (for a valid reason, say train spotting !) and you cannot buy a platform ticket - ask for the Duty Manager and say that you are entitled to enter the CTA. Barrier staff are just "obeying orders" - I have twice dragged the Duty Manager down to the barrier and have then been let in !!

    I would say that Para 7.(2).(a) of The Railways (Penalty Fares) Regulations 1994 covers all law-abiding entries to a CTA:-

    "Circumstances in which a penalty fare is not to be charged where a person is in a compulsory ticket area

    7. .............

    (2) The circumstances to which this regulation applies are that—

    (a)
    there were no facilities in operation at the station (in this regulation referred to as “the relevant station”) of which the compulsory ticket area formed part for the sale of the appropriate ticket or other authority to be present in that compulsory ticket area;"


    ie: If they can't/won't sell you a platform ticket !!!!!
  • benjusbenjus Forumite
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    I work opposite Heron Quays - I've seen the ticket inspectors there on and off for ages.

    As for seeing someone off - if there were ticket barriers, would you go through those to see someone off? Given that the person would have to have gone past the ticket inspectors to enter the station, it would only be an issue if they'd stayed there long enough for the inspectors to start their shift.

    It does seem a bit pointless though - a fare evader would only have to continue to the next station and get off there. I get off at Canary Wharf - in 7 years of commuting there I think I've only once seen ticket inspectors stopping people leaving CW DLR station.
    Let's settle this like gentlemen: armed with heavy sticks
    On a rotating plate, with spikes like Flash Gordon
    And you're Peter Duncan; I gave you fair warning
  • benjus wrote: »
    As for seeing someone off - if there were ticket barriers, would you go through those to see someone off? Given that the person would have to have gone past the ticket inspectors to enter the station, it would only be an issue if they'd stayed there long enough for the inspectors to start their shift.

    What I am witnessing on a weekly basis at Heron Quays is that there will be one or two ticket inspectors at the bottom of the escalators descending from the platform only, so they would not be aware of anyone going onto the platform since the escalators going onto the platform are located elsewhere. I am not sure whether the same is happening at other stations, since I only commute to Heron Quays.

    Regarding the ticket barriers, it only makes me feel that the ticket inspectors waiting at the exit are there to make a quick buck off people who visit the station without intending to take a train. If there were ticket barriers, then those who are picking people off/seeing them off would be prevented from going onto the platform without buying a ticket. However, since there are no barriers at many DLR stations, people would be encouraged to continue onto the platform, which would result in them promptly getting fined for "fare evading" when they leave.

    I guess the next time I come across an inspector I will ask them what the policy is for those picking up/dropping people off.
  • yorkie2yorkie2 Forumite
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    Budding wrote: »
    ...people would be encouraged to continue onto the platform, which would result in them promptly getting fined for "fare evading" when they leave...
    People are not encouraged to do so; there should be signs warning people not to.

    Providing signage is adequate, a Penalty Fare can be issued, which is a charge made for a mistake under certain circumstances. However passengers can not be prosecuted for "fare evading" under these circumstances; there would be insufficient evidence.

    Penalty Fares are not generally issued when there is evidence of fare evasion. The fine for intentional fare evasion can be very substantial and it also carries a criminal record.
  • benjusbenjus Forumite
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    benjus wrote: »
    I get off at Canary Wharf - in 7 years of commuting there I think I've only once seen ticket inspectors stopping people leaving CW DLR station.

    Of course, having said that they were there today...

    But they didn't cover the platform-level exits (e.g. the one that goes to Tesco) so any fare evader with any sense would just use that exit where they can see that there is no-one checking tickets.

    It does seem like they are more interested in catching people who have made a mistake and think they have a valid ticket than actual fare evaders.
    Let's settle this like gentlemen: armed with heavy sticks
    On a rotating plate, with spikes like Flash Gordon
    And you're Peter Duncan; I gave you fair warning
  • duchyduchy Forumite
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    Sounds like a conspiracy to me <sarcasm is ON>

    But I'm sure any would be fare evaders using the station appreciated your tips !!!!!


    Sheeesh !
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  • benjusbenjus Forumite
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    duchy wrote: »
    Sounds like a conspiracy to me <sarcasm is ON>

    But I'm sure any would be fare evaders using the station appreciated your tips !!!!!


    Sheeesh !

    Just seems like a bit of a waste of manpower. I only saw them today as I got out of the other side of the train due to not noticing I was at my stop until the last minute and having to dash before the doors closed on me. If I'd taken my normal route out of the station I wouldn't even have known they were there at all. They might as well do it properly if they are going to do it.
    Let's settle this like gentlemen: armed with heavy sticks
    On a rotating plate, with spikes like Flash Gordon
    And you're Peter Duncan; I gave you fair warning
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