Train Tickets from the Station

Apparently, one of the reasons Wivenhoe Station is staffed is due to the level of 'footfall', which is significantly higher than many other stations on the line. However, I'm told that the number of tickets sold at the ticket office is a major factor in these calculations.  As this service faces online competition, it's important we buy our tickets (and receive helpful free travel advice) from the station staff, if we want to retain this 'human element' to our journey.  Just look at the impact of this on our Post Offices!

I certainly value the helpful advice & personal service I receive at our station.  Use it or lose it, I'm afraid.


  • Apparently the number of tickets sold from Wivenhoe's ticket office will be monitored for the next few months, and then a decision will be made as to whether the station will continue to be staffed. Did you know that if you buy your tickets online, you may still not be able to pick them up until at least an hour later? Plus the staff can give you advice on good deals and best ways to travel, if needed. I really don't want to see the station become unstaffed, so please support it.

  • Also, when you buy your tickets online they are processed by Trainline into a Luxembourg account "Abellio Luxembourg SRL". So buy your tickets at the station to save not only your station but money from leaking out of our economy.

    PS. Jonathan Denby of Abellio Greater Anglia admitted this practice when I questioned it but denied, in an email to me, that it's illegal. Just in case you're worried about me libeling yet another tax-shy multi-billion pound corporation. 

  • What about the fact that the only disabled access from the Clacton bound side is using the mobile staging arrangement which allows the person to be moved from that platform back across to the ticket office side.  This requires staff.  If the station becomes non-staffed, then does that mean that for any disabled person, the only option is a taxi from Colchester?  How does that sit with the equality act?
  • I was told the last time closing the office in Wivenhoe was mooted that it couldn't be done...staff have to give the driver the line all-clear because the station sits on a curve.  That's why they leave the office with their table-tennis bat thing several times an hour.

    I'll be down buying tickets again today later and have this discussion, and asking if we should also avoid buying tickets from the machine to boost sales in the office.

    Good advice about avoiding the Luxembourg account!!!
  • I saw a chap on platform 2 this morning with his table tennis bat AND a dustpan and brush ... fine multi-tasking that man!!
    Like Gloria, I will be using the human interface in the ticket office to get my monthly season for Friday morning ... I always have a feeling that the machines can have a hissy-fit and give you the wrong ticket, whereas it's so much nicer to talk to a real person and you can always query anything on the spot.
  • If what you say is right Mike, we need to hope that another train company, without a 'Luxembourg Account', wins the new franchise this year!

    In the meantime, maybe passengers can fill out the postcards to their MP (Bernard Jenkin), asking for major changes to be considered for our rail network...?

  • I have always found the staff at Wivenhoe Station to be very helpful and friendly and it would certainly be a great loss to the community if the station were to be unstaffed.

    From a safety point of view with regard to staff being on the platform; while that is a very good point, safety, regardless of what the company may say, is not their main concern. It is money, more specifically, profit. Therefore, dont expect a safety decision to take precedence over profit that might be made by cuttin staffing levels.

    While I am in favour of companies making a profit, safety should be paramount. Unfortunately, in this day and age, it isn't. Rail companies will weigh up the potential risks, including loss of life, and will in most cases try to maximise profits to the nth degree even if it means not reducing the risk. However, this is in no way a reflection on the station staff or even of most management, It reflects decisions taken at boardroom level and governments of the left, right and centre have allowed traon operating companies to get away with it.
  • It's The Trainline, not Abellio, who route the transaction through Luxembourg. You should therefore be able to avoid this even when buying tickets at the machine (i.e. it doesn't have a bearing on the debate about the station being manned).

    Also, the purpose is to circumvent charges from credit card companies, rather than a tax issue (at least according to them).
  • I've returned from buying my ticket, and can confirm:

    a)  buying from office, not ticket machine helps the figures --though the smiling young lady assured me "we sell a lot of tickets!"  It was busy there just after 4pm.
    b)  Wivenhoe requires trains to be "dispatched" because of visibility on the curve, and therefore
    c) Great Bentley and other stations not requiring this are at greater risk of ticket offices closing.  Wivenhoe would be unlikely to close.

  • Imagine if someone stuck chewing gum in the card machine slot outside and you couldn't use it, then everyone would have to buy tickets from inside the station.

    I said IMAGINE!!! don't actually do it!

    DO IT

    no just joking

    DO IT
  • Remember that the office isn't always staffed so the machine is needed then. And who sees the trains off then? 
  • There is always a guard on all the trains to/from Colchester to Clacton/Walton
  • @Hammeroo...Tsss...they can't even sort out Platform 1!  Or deal with the burnt-out engine shed remains.

    Some people are obsessed with tarmac/airports.
  • Yep, fill out the postcards to Bernie and let's get this vital piece of public infrastructure back where it belongs, in public hands.
    As a slight (but related) aside, there was a piece on the BBC this morning about rural bus services facing the axe due to cuts to local government budgets. They didn't mention Essex thankfully, but if things continue as they are the country risks losing many facets of the public transport services so many people rely on.

    Back on the specific topic, I very much hope Wivenhoe Station continues to be manned by the very friendly staff there - always purchase my tickets from the office.

  • edited February 2016
    In the wider scheme of things, I hope that the tendency of many big businesses to remove experienced and helpful people and replace them with robots, thus requiring the customer to work things out for themselves, pay the price for their complacency.

    Human beings have developed large brains (well, in most cases) and the ability to communicate effectively (ditto...) over millions of years and in most cases it is still the most time - efficient way of making decisions.

    I can envisage - hopefully one day soon - a mass boycott of customers away from businesses who insult our humanity and our time by offering us a machine as the first point of contact.
  • Unfortunately arguments such as these must be as old as the Industrial if not Agricultural Revolution, one only has to think of the Luddites or the Swing Riots; indeed underthebridge's call to arms has the air (admittedly tongue in cheek?)of a 21st Century Captain Swing letter.

    Personally I have no problem whatsoever with finding the best available deal online, paying for my journey in the comfort of my home and getting the tickets printed by the machine on the platform.  The last time I had the opportunity to travel by train I did exactly that, but omitted the last two parts, took a quick trip down to the station and got a far better deal via the handy, friendly, human-user interface situated behind the glass in the ticket office, long may it continue that way (hopefully).
  • Received the attached from a friend today. It is also reported on in the Gazette.  It appears that Alresford and Great Bentley ticket office are currently facing closure amongst others. Objections can be raised by anyone impacted before 20th March with

    Seems as good a time as any to remember how valued our local ticket office is - if it's possible to buy tickets at Wivenhoe station it helps keep the footfall up.

  • Agree completely with the 'use it of lose it' idea. But, just used the phone app to but mobile tickets - its very convenient. 
  • If they are measuring footfall in the near future, that feels a little mean, since the disruption at the weekends, which I think is ongoing for quite a bit longer, must have impacted on numbers travelling.  Especially the "one off" travellers who may well have more to lose if staff go, in terms of travel advice etc. for non-familiar journeys.  Speaking personally, having tried in previous years to navigate the bus replacements I have grown wise to it and now do everything I can to avoid travelling durung engineering works on our line to London, including rearranging holidays and postponing visits to and from friends.
  • Isn't Arlesford the nearest accessible "down" train platform ?  Would Abelio conveniently forget this, or don't they have a statutory duty ?
  • edited March 14
    I'm looking into the accessible "down" platform situation at the moment. It's my understanding that only new stations have to be Disabilities Discrimination Act compliant then that's a strange omission, especially as all trains have to be compliant from the start of 2020. 

    I'll let you all know if I find out more. 
  • Given that network rail insist in trains sounding their horns ( definitely louder and longer ) to warn people of their impending arrival, a simple ramp across the platforms and a quick dash/ wheel would suffice, at least there would be a benefit to the noise. Maybe a louder horn should be sounded by the individual crossing to warn the train of someone crossing, okay getting silly now. 
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