The Random Thoughts of a Geek heading for Banbury
The Random Thoughts of a Geek heading for Banbury

Trains and Cost – Part 5: Why Automatic Ticket Gates FAIL

One of those things that TOC’s seem to be fond of installing at Stations is ATGs (Automatic Ticket Gate see RIS-7701-INS – Rail Industry Standard for Automatic Ticket Gates at Stations).

Ostensibly they claim that these are installed for revenue protection (reduction of ticket less travel), Reduce anti-social behaviour, and also seem to be a requirement of the franchise agreement between the TOC and DfT.

Revenue protection is one of our key priorities. We recognise that ticket-less travel is a problem and we have developed a revenue protection strategy to help reduce the number of passengers travelling without a  ticket. Automatic ticket gates have been very successful in reducing ticket less travel in other areas; they also help to reduce anti-social behaviour and improve on-train and station security. [Northern Rail]

When ScotRail introduced them at Glasgow Central Station they listed the reason as:

They were introduced under commitments to reduce ticket less travel, increase revenue protection, improve station security and discourage anti-social behaviour. [ScotRail]

Further Steve Montgomery, ScotRail’s managing director, said:

Revenue protection and reducing ticket less travel have always been priorities for us because it is honest, fare-paying passengers who bear the burden in lost investment in Scotland’s railway.

Ticket gates, which are part of out franchise agreement, are also proven to discourage anti-social behaviour and improve station security.

With the introduction of the gates, ScotRail is encouraging customers to buy their tickets in advance of travel. Daily passengers can opt for weekly, monthly or annual season tickets, saving up to 30% in their travel costs in the process. For one-off journeys, pre-dated tickets can be purchased up to seven days before travel.

East Coast on Gates:

Safe, secure and fair
We are committed to improving security and have installed CCTV cameras on our fleet and at our stations. The automatic ticket gates help us to reduce the number of people travelling without a ticket, improve security and discourage anti-social behaviour.