Passenger watchdog seeks action to resolve ticket machine failures at London Overground and DLR stations on 14/02/2013
London TravelWatch’s Consumer Affairs Committee this week discussed a number of issues relating to ticket vending machines at London Overground and Docklands Light Railway (DLR) stations. This follows the independent passenger watchdog’s analysis of TfL’s complaints data and appeals it has received in recent months and is an excellent example of how it acts to follow through concerns raised by the public to help improve the overall passenger experience.
The latest figures from London Overground and the DLR show that a majority of passengers buy their ticket at the station. However, figures show that the availability of ticket vending machines at London Overground and DLR stations has fallen over the last year and this has been reflected in a rise in the number of customer complaints.
London TravelWatch has identified a number of problems with ticket machines:
- A large number of passengers have paid for either a Pay As You Go top up or a Travelcard product but have found that this has not been uploaded to their Oystercard despite the fact that their cash or card payment has been taken*
- Problems with the machines at DLR stations are exacerbated by the lack of trained staff available to deal with queries
- Lack of change available from machines at DLR stations leading to the issue of short change vouchers
- Ticket jams and ticket machines unavailable
Some of the problems were due to increased staff leave after the Olympics and organisational changes made to machines by the manufacturer while other issues such as maintenance issues, ticket jams and lack of change are being dealt with in operators’ monthly working groups. However, LondonTravelWatch is also pushing for solutions to the remaining issues.
Stephen Locke, Chair, London TravelWatch commented: ‘This is an example of an area where London TravelWatch can make a real difference for passengers. Buying tickets is a complicated process and passengers need and deserve to be able to buy the right ticket when and where they want to buy it and to have trained staff available if they need help. We welcome the work being done by London Overground and the DLR to resolve some of the problems identified with ticket machines and we are glad they recognise that there is a real need to make sure people do not lose out if they buy a ticket from a machine. We look forward to an update on progress at a future meeting.’
*To avoid losing money when topping up your Oyster card, you need to remember to touch your Oyster card twice when buying an Oyster product – once to show which product you have and once you selected the product you want to buy and have paid, you need to touch it again to ensure it loads the product correctly.
It is also important that when purchasing tickets online, passengers do not hit the ‘back’ button once they have put in their card details as this could result in them being charged more than once.
For more information, please contact the London TravelWatch press office on 020 3176 5941 or 07734 055494.