Travel hell as ticket machines fail at Brighton Station

Travel hell as ticket machines fail at Brighton Station

Queues at ticket machines in Brighton Station – picture by Liam Nicholes

Queues at ticket machines in Brighton Station – picture by Liam Nicholes

First published in News

Frustrated rail passengers missed their trains after ticket machines broke down.

Commuters queued for up to 45 minutes at Brighton Station on Wednesday, February 20 and yesterday morning (February 21) after three machines stopped working.

One passenger said: “I saw lots of people missing their trains because they couldn’t get their prepaid tickets.

“When you pay so much to travel it’s really frustrating to be let down like this.”

A spokesman for Southern Rail apologised for the disruption and said passengers would now be able to travel if they had their ticket reference number.”

He said: “We are working to resolve faults with these three ticket machines at Brighton Station as quickly as possible.

“In the meantime we have additional staff on the station concourse helping passengers and selling tickets and passengers can also buy tickets from the ticket office.”

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Comments (23)

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11:17am Fri 22 Feb 13

uniteagainstparkingcharges says...

I would never miss a train because their ticket machines do not work properly. I'd be through the barriers whether the guards like it or not.

Why should I be made late due to no fault of my own?
I would never miss a train because their ticket machines do not work properly. I'd be through the barriers whether the guards like it or not. Why should I be made late due to no fault of my own? uniteagainstparkingcharges
  • Score: 0

11:25am Fri 22 Feb 13

Peter58 says...

I am amazed people continued to queue after their train had gone. With the ticket barriers, it is not easy to just buy a ticket on the train, as I did in the not so olden days.
I am amazed people continued to queue after their train had gone. With the ticket barriers, it is not easy to just buy a ticket on the train, as I did in the not so olden days. Peter58
  • Score: 0

11:25am Fri 22 Feb 13

Maxwell's Ghost says...

I salute all those regular commuters who rely on public transport because it's absolutely dreadful.
I've been commuting to London for a client for a month and the trains and bus service to my estate have been atrocious.
People like Ian Davey, Kitkat and Lucas should be made to work in jobs where they have to be on time, five days a week or they lose pay and then try to use public transport before killing off the car.
In this town we have a band of self employed 'consultants' middle class retired stay at home mums, pushing people out of cars without a reliable or affordable alternative.
My month long experiment has laid bare the failings of relying on public transport.
When will the 81 bus turn up?
I salute all those regular commuters who rely on public transport because it's absolutely dreadful. I've been commuting to London for a client for a month and the trains and bus service to my estate have been atrocious. People like Ian Davey, Kitkat and Lucas should be made to work in jobs where they have to be on time, five days a week or they lose pay and then try to use public transport before killing off the car. In this town we have a band of self employed 'consultants' middle class retired stay at home mums, pushing people out of cars without a reliable or affordable alternative. My month long experiment has laid bare the failings of relying on public transport. When will the 81 bus turn up? Maxwell's Ghost
  • Score: 0

11:28am Fri 22 Feb 13

Crystal Ball says...

A good case for extending use of the Oyster Card to major towns serving London.
A good case for extending use of the Oyster Card to major towns serving London. Crystal Ball
  • Score: 0

11:43am Fri 22 Feb 13

Hoarder12345444 says...

Another reason why I don't commute to London. How those commuters do that every day year after year is beyond me. That extra London wage must be really worth it.
Another reason why I don't commute to London. How those commuters do that every day year after year is beyond me. That extra London wage must be really worth it. Hoarder12345444
  • Score: 0

11:53am Fri 22 Feb 13

Peter58 says...

London weighting allowance is simply not worth it. By the time u take away the season ticket cost, & also the emotional stress getting a train, u are way out of pocket in my view. I know people who have, & it is a killer - a time bomb inside u (lives are shortened - early heart attack for example)
London weighting allowance is simply not worth it. By the time u take away the season ticket cost, & also the emotional stress getting a train, u are way out of pocket in my view. I know people who have, & it is a killer - a time bomb inside u (lives are shortened - early heart attack for example) Peter58
  • Score: 0

12:16pm Fri 22 Feb 13

Purple55 says...

2 were out-of-order on Saturday, total mayhem in station. I asked a ticket guard why they hadn't got the machines fixed as priority, especially being a Saturday, his response "we didn't expect it to be busy today so wasn't considered vital"! He further added "odd that so many people are travelling to London today". I also asked if they could get more than one ticket issuer on the concourse, he stated they "only had 1".

Additionally the ticket swipe-thru barriers were all closed, so everyone had to go through the open gate where the ticket guard stands, so no-one could get through without a ticket. as commented above, if we had ticket-issuers on the trains as we used in the "good ol' days" this wouldn't have been such an issue. However, in these supposedly modern civilised times everyone was stuck until they bought a ticket, after queuing, queuing, queuing...
2 were out-of-order on Saturday, total mayhem in station. I asked a ticket guard why they hadn't got the machines fixed as priority, especially being a Saturday, his response "we didn't expect it to be busy today so wasn't considered vital"! He further added "odd that so many people are travelling to London today". I also asked if they could get more than one ticket issuer on the concourse, he stated they "only had 1". Additionally the ticket swipe-thru barriers were all closed, so everyone had to go through the open gate where the ticket guard stands, so no-one could get through without a ticket. as commented above, if we had ticket-issuers on the trains as we used in the "good ol' days" this wouldn't have been such an issue. However, in these supposedly modern civilised times everyone was stuck until they bought a ticket, after queuing, queuing, queuing... Purple55
  • Score: 0

12:28pm Fri 22 Feb 13

Peter58 says...

Reading Purple55 comment, so much for customer service. Why do so many companies say "Your call is important to us"? I do not why people are so hoodwinked into believing how good customer service is, or I suppose they want us to believe it is. If they say it so often, they end up believing it themselves.
Reading Purple55 comment, so much for customer service. Why do so many companies say "Your call is important to us"? I do not why people are so hoodwinked into believing how good customer service is, or I suppose they want us to believe it is. If they say it so often, they end up believing it themselves. Peter58
  • Score: 0

12:30pm Fri 22 Feb 13

Hoarder12345444 says...

Peter58 wrote:
London weighting allowance is simply not worth it. By the time u take away the season ticket cost, & also the emotional stress getting a train, u are way out of pocket in my view. I know people who have, & it is a killer - a time bomb inside u (lives are shortened - early heart attack for example)
I agree, lots of jobs across sussex that are commutable (is that a word??) but car. The quality of life would go down massively. Leaving home at 7am and getting home at 7pm 5 days a week? For what, and extra 20 grand a year? hmmm, nah I dont think so.
[quote][p][bold]Peter58[/bold] wrote: London weighting allowance is simply not worth it. By the time u take away the season ticket cost, & also the emotional stress getting a train, u are way out of pocket in my view. I know people who have, & it is a killer - a time bomb inside u (lives are shortened - early heart attack for example)[/p][/quote]I agree, lots of jobs across sussex that are commutable (is that a word??) but car. The quality of life would go down massively. Leaving home at 7am and getting home at 7pm 5 days a week? For what, and extra 20 grand a year? hmmm, nah I dont think so. Hoarder12345444
  • Score: 0

12:39pm Fri 22 Feb 13

rolivan says...

All they needed to do was bring the "Gestapo" from wherever they were deployed.I was going abroad a few years ago and parked up at Horley and caught a train to Gatwick.Because it was about 5am the ticket office was closed and the ticket machine was out of order needless to say on arriving at Gatwick there were at least 6 "Gestapo" waiting at the barrier. They wouldn't take my explanation just wanted ¨£20 each from my friend and I.
All they needed to do was bring the "Gestapo" from wherever they were deployed.I was going abroad a few years ago and parked up at Horley and caught a train to Gatwick.Because it was about 5am the ticket office was closed and the ticket machine was out of order needless to say on arriving at Gatwick there were at least 6 "Gestapo" waiting at the barrier. They wouldn't take my explanation just wanted ¨£20 each from my friend and I. rolivan
  • Score: 0

12:41pm Fri 22 Feb 13

chilliman says...

I could have got promotion a lot sooner if I'd been prepared for a daily commute into London but I decided it just wasn't worth the hassle, and that was over thirty years ago let alone now.

For some people it is worth it, to live on the coast and travel, for some they don't feel they have an option if they want a particular job and can't afford to move closer, and I have known a few people wo claim to enjoy the commute.
I could have got promotion a lot sooner if I'd been prepared for a daily commute into London but I decided it just wasn't worth the hassle, and that was over thirty years ago let alone now. For some people it is worth it, to live on the coast and travel, for some they don't feel they have an option if they want a particular job and can't afford to move closer, and I have known a few people wo claim to enjoy the commute. chilliman
  • Score: 0

12:47pm Fri 22 Feb 13

Maxwell's Ghost says...

The average house price in the city is £250,000 and the average salary about 22,000 hence many people with families having no choice but to commute.
Generally the city has few jobs for professionals. It's a service industry city with work for plumbers and builders and a few media jobs.
Many families eventually leave and head into mid Sussex where the commute is quicker and the schools and housing better.
Hence scruffy brighton and its transient population.
The average house price in the city is £250,000 and the average salary about 22,000 hence many people with families having no choice but to commute. Generally the city has few jobs for professionals. It's a service industry city with work for plumbers and builders and a few media jobs. Many families eventually leave and head into mid Sussex where the commute is quicker and the schools and housing better. Hence scruffy brighton and its transient population. Maxwell's Ghost
  • Score: 0

1:12pm Fri 22 Feb 13

Purple55 says...

This affects all passengers not only commuters. Many of us rely on public transport for ALL our travel so we have no choice regardless of where we live.

Personally I was shocked at the attitude, the guy looked seriously puzzled why the station was so busy, the 'lights were on but no-one was home'. Whilst us public know Sats are always busy... maybe Southern have trained their staff to 'act thick' so people leave them alone!

Were these the same machines broken on Saturday which were in the corridor approach? If so, how come they still weren't fixed by Wed? Or did the others break down due to 'excessive-use'? Whichever it is, it's still a total shambles… they want people to travel yet hamper us at every turn.

This highlights the shoddiness of Southern/Bton station, a supposedly 'city-geared-up' public hub, whereas it performs no better than a small town station (some of which are vastly superior).
Can't cope with:
1) lots of people travelling (how dare they use the station!)
2) B&H Albion football matches – e.g. taxi rank closed Sun 17th Mch 0130-2000 cos of B&H v Crystal Palace, quoted "for safety reasons" by Transport Police who act on requests from the station itself
3) taxi rank being outside despite every cab paying £425 permit
4) being a train station!
This affects all passengers not only commuters. Many of us rely on public transport for ALL our travel so we have no choice regardless of where we live. Personally I was shocked at the attitude, the guy looked seriously puzzled why the station was so busy, the 'lights were on but no-one was home'. Whilst us public know Sats are always busy... maybe Southern have trained their staff to 'act thick' so people leave them alone! Were these the same machines broken on Saturday which were in the corridor approach? If so, how come they still weren't fixed by Wed? Or did the others break down due to 'excessive-use'? Whichever it is, it's still a total shambles… they want people to travel yet hamper us at every turn. This highlights the shoddiness of Southern/Bton station, a supposedly 'city-geared-up' public hub, whereas it performs no better than a small town station (some of which are vastly superior). Can't cope with: 1) lots of people travelling (how dare they use the station!) 2) B&H Albion football matches – e.g. taxi rank closed Sun 17th Mch 0130-2000 cos of B&H v Crystal Palace, quoted "for safety reasons" by Transport Police who act on requests from the station itself 3) taxi rank being outside despite every cab paying £425 permit 4) being a train station! Purple55
  • Score: 0

1:57pm Fri 22 Feb 13

Hoarder12345444 says...

Maxwell's Ghost wrote:
The average house price in the city is £250,000 and the average salary about 22,000 hence many people with families having no choice but to commute.
Generally the city has few jobs for professionals. It's a service industry city with work for plumbers and builders and a few media jobs.
Many families eventually leave and head into mid Sussex where the commute is quicker and the schools and housing better.
Hence scruffy brighton and its transient population.
Well summed up sir.
[quote][p][bold]Maxwell's Ghost[/bold] wrote: The average house price in the city is £250,000 and the average salary about 22,000 hence many people with families having no choice but to commute. Generally the city has few jobs for professionals. It's a service industry city with work for plumbers and builders and a few media jobs. Many families eventually leave and head into mid Sussex where the commute is quicker and the schools and housing better. Hence scruffy brighton and its transient population.[/p][/quote]Well summed up sir. Hoarder12345444
  • Score: 0

2:21pm Fri 22 Feb 13

Fairfax Sakes says...

bummer. thats a bummer.
bummer. thats a bummer. Fairfax Sakes
  • Score: 0

3:51pm Fri 22 Feb 13

Peter58 says...

I hope some manager at Brighton stn will carry the can for the fiasco, especially if they knew about the problem last Saturday, & according to Purple55 played dumb
I hope some manager at Brighton stn will carry the can for the fiasco, especially if they knew about the problem last Saturday, & according to Purple55 played dumb Peter58
  • Score: 0

5:20pm Fri 22 Feb 13

davyboy says...

as this appears to be for those collecting pre-paid tickets, or purchasing from the machine, why not just go to the ticket office, and buy your ticket when you want to travel. they should also be able to give you your pre-paid tickets there too. i suppose these people pre-book expecting it to be easier, but it seldom is. a minor hiccup makes front page news. get a life you lot! whether the staff knew of the problem or not, people are still making a mountain out of a mole hill. leave yourselves enough time to purchase your tickets, instead of blaming everyone else for your failures
as this appears to be for those collecting pre-paid tickets, or purchasing from the machine, why not just go to the ticket office, and buy your ticket when you want to travel. they should also be able to give you your pre-paid tickets there too. i suppose these people pre-book expecting it to be easier, but it seldom is. a minor hiccup makes front page news. get a life you lot! whether the staff knew of the problem or not, people are still making a mountain out of a mole hill. leave yourselves enough time to purchase your tickets, instead of blaming everyone else for your failures davyboy
  • Score: 0

5:22pm Fri 22 Feb 13

CatoTheCat says...

Notice how the ticket machines are carefully placed so that the queues block the main entrance/exit to the station. And they did it three times!
Notice how the ticket machines are carefully placed so that the queues block the main entrance/exit to the station. And they did it three times! CatoTheCat
  • Score: 0

5:28pm Fri 22 Feb 13

southwicker2 says...

Given the cost of a London to Brighton Season Ticket (around £20k for four people), surely it would make sense for 4 people to share a car to work to London even at todays petrol prices. Obviously with the general poor state of the economy it is now very difficult to find any employment and I'm sure given the opportunity many commuters would prefer to work nearer to home but the jobs (and salaries) are just not there. I would also agree that there is a big human cost to pay for the higher salary such as the very long day that must eventually take its toll on your health and the fact that many parents miss out on time spent with their children and families and must spend much of the weekend recovering from the exhaustion of the stressful weekly commute.
Given the cost of a London to Brighton Season Ticket (around £20k for four people), surely it would make sense for 4 people to share a car to work to London even at todays petrol prices. Obviously with the general poor state of the economy it is now very difficult to find any employment and I'm sure given the opportunity many commuters would prefer to work nearer to home but the jobs (and salaries) are just not there. I would also agree that there is a big human cost to pay for the higher salary such as the very long day that must eventually take its toll on your health and the fact that many parents miss out on time spent with their children and families and must spend much of the weekend recovering from the exhaustion of the stressful weekly commute. southwicker2
  • Score: 0

7:34pm Fri 22 Feb 13

Hove Actually says...

can also buy tickets from the ticket office.”

Wow Open sky thinking here................
...
can also buy tickets from the ticket office.” Wow Open sky thinking here................ ... Hove Actually
  • Score: 0

9:02pm Fri 22 Feb 13

Somethingsarejustwrong says...

southwicker2 wrote:
Given the cost of a London to Brighton Season Ticket (around £20k for four people), surely it would make sense for 4 people to share a car to work to London even at todays petrol prices. Obviously with the general poor state of the economy it is now very difficult to find any employment and I'm sure given the opportunity many commuters would prefer to work nearer to home but the jobs (and salaries) are just not there. I would also agree that there is a big human cost to pay for the higher salary such as the very long day that must eventually take its toll on your health and the fact that many parents miss out on time spent with their children and families and must spend much of the weekend recovering from the exhaustion of the stressful weekly commute.
Engage brain and then post
[quote][p][bold]southwicker2[/bold] wrote: Given the cost of a London to Brighton Season Ticket (around £20k for four people), surely it would make sense for 4 people to share a car to work to London even at todays petrol prices. Obviously with the general poor state of the economy it is now very difficult to find any employment and I'm sure given the opportunity many commuters would prefer to work nearer to home but the jobs (and salaries) are just not there. I would also agree that there is a big human cost to pay for the higher salary such as the very long day that must eventually take its toll on your health and the fact that many parents miss out on time spent with their children and families and must spend much of the weekend recovering from the exhaustion of the stressful weekly commute.[/p][/quote]Engage brain and then post Somethingsarejustwrong
  • Score: 0

12:58pm Sat 23 Feb 13

FatherTed11 says...

Maxwell's Ghost wrote:
The average house price in the city is £250,000 and the average salary about 22,000 hence many people with families having no choice but to commute.
Generally the city has few jobs for professionals. It's a service industry city with work for plumbers and builders and a few media jobs.
Many families eventually leave and head into mid Sussex where the commute is quicker and the schools and housing better.
Hence scruffy brighton and its transient population.
But if you like to ride a bike a kilometre or two at a speed faster than cars are allowed to drive, you can't beat it!
[quote][p][bold]Maxwell's Ghost[/bold] wrote: The average house price in the city is £250,000 and the average salary about 22,000 hence many people with families having no choice but to commute. Generally the city has few jobs for professionals. It's a service industry city with work for plumbers and builders and a few media jobs. Many families eventually leave and head into mid Sussex where the commute is quicker and the schools and housing better. Hence scruffy brighton and its transient population.[/p][/quote]But if you like to ride a bike a kilometre or two at a speed faster than cars are allowed to drive, you can't beat it! FatherTed11
  • Score: 0

6:16pm Sat 23 Feb 13

Purple55 says...

davyboy wrote:
as this appears to be for those collecting pre-paid tickets, or purchasing from the machine, why not just go to the ticket office, and buy your ticket when you want to travel. they should also be able to give you your pre-paid tickets there too. i suppose these people pre-book expecting it to be easier, but it seldom is. a minor hiccup makes front page news. get a life you lot! whether the staff knew of the problem or not, people are still making a mountain out of a mole hill. leave yourselves enough time to purchase your tickets, instead of blaming everyone else for your failures
Do you really think we're that stupid not to have considered purchasing from the ticket office which is in clear view and directly next to the machines? On Sat, ALL queues were of similar length but the office queue was moving more slowly which is normal, so a no-brainer as to which queue to join!

In both queuing circumstances people were missing their trains. I was at the station 30mins before my train was due to leave – ample time as usually only takes 10mins to get a ticket. We have every right to blame Bton station for this debarcle as they dealt with the situation in their normal incompetent manner, yet another example of their dire customer service. I wonder, are you an employee of theirs? That would explain the stupidity and arrogance of your comment.

FYI, the ticket office is mainly used by people that require advice or need to buy multiple tickets, so it's a much slower moving queue. The machines are 'fast-track' extensions of the ticket office for people that know their journey, and are intended to reduce the office queue. "These people" who pre-book tickets are attempting to use a system that's been created to ease pressure on ticket purchasing, they're planning ahead which is commendable; yet you consider them wrong for this for some odd reason. You say " should be able to give you your pre-paid tickets" – so you don't know? Not a frequent traveller by the sound of it, yet advising us to "get a life" because we dare to complain about disruption to our journeys due to utter incompetence. Maybe you were one of the dullards I spoke to on that day…
[quote][p][bold]davyboy[/bold] wrote: as this appears to be for those collecting pre-paid tickets, or purchasing from the machine, why not just go to the ticket office, and buy your ticket when you want to travel. they should also be able to give you your pre-paid tickets there too. i suppose these people pre-book expecting it to be easier, but it seldom is. a minor hiccup makes front page news. get a life you lot! whether the staff knew of the problem or not, people are still making a mountain out of a mole hill. leave yourselves enough time to purchase your tickets, instead of blaming everyone else for your failures[/p][/quote]Do you really think we're that stupid not to have considered purchasing from the ticket office which is in clear view and directly next to the machines? On Sat, ALL queues were of similar length but the office queue was moving more slowly which is normal, so a no-brainer as to which queue to join! In both queuing circumstances people were missing their trains. I was at the station 30mins before my train was due to leave – ample time as usually only takes 10mins to get a ticket. We have every right to blame Bton station for this debarcle as they dealt with the situation in their normal incompetent manner, yet another example of their dire customer service. I wonder, are you an employee of theirs? That would explain the stupidity and arrogance of your comment. FYI, the ticket office is mainly used by people that require advice or need to buy multiple tickets, so it's a much slower moving queue. The machines are 'fast-track' extensions of the ticket office for people that know their journey, and are intended to reduce the office queue. "These people" who pre-book tickets are attempting to use a system that's been created to ease pressure on ticket purchasing, they're planning ahead which is commendable; yet you consider them wrong for this for some odd reason. You say "[ticket office] should be able to give you your pre-paid tickets" – so you don't know? Not a frequent traveller by the sound of it, yet advising us to "get a life" because we dare to complain about disruption to our journeys due to utter incompetence. Maybe you were one of the dullards I spoke to on that day… Purple55
  • Score: 0

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