By Tristan Harris Wednesday 25 September 2013 Updated: 26/09 00:49
A BROMSGROVE rail user has called on London Midland to get more ticket machines installed at Bromsgrove Station to prevent people being late for appointments and missing expensive connections at Birmingham New Street.
Neil Holmes, who contacted The Standard, said it was unacceptable that there was just one ticket machine at the station and added that many travelling on trains had to opt whether to let trains go and wait to buy a ticket or risk getting a fine.
"Each person takes around one minute to buy a ticket at the station and sometimes there could be 20 people waiting in the queue which means you have to get to the station at least 20 minutes before the train comes and that is ridiculous.
"If people miss one train waiting for a ticket, it could mean they also miss a connection and trains to London can be around £80.
"That is money which is lost and they can't get back."
He added London Midland would not be held responsible for recouping that cash and he also criticised the way on-the-spot fines were given out.
He said he knows some people who travel on the train all the time and are always given the chance to pay the fare by inspectiors, whereas others are hit with a fixed penalty.
He said some young people he saw on board had student railcards, which cost £40 each, and clearly intended to pay for their tickets, but the inspector issued them with fines.
"I hope London Midland stop behaving in this cavalier manner.
"They have a duty of care to their passengers and they are not offering this to them."
A London Midland spokesperson said: "There are numerous ways in which passengers can buy rail tickets.
"These include online advance purchases or for regular journeys, weekly or monthly travel cards and season tickets – all of which offer competitive discounts against walk up fare prices.
"The principle remains that it is the passengers’ responsibility to ensure they have a valid ticket for travel before boarding a train, and they must allow enough time to do this on arrival at the station.”
On those being fined she added all passengers must be in possession of a valid ticket for travel.
"Failure to produce a valid ticket upon inspection (or at ticket gates) will, unsurprisingly, result in a penalty fare notice being issued.
"All London Midland trains have a conductor on board but at busy periods conductors may not be able to get through the train.
"For this reason, passengers should never rely on being able to purchase a ticket on the train.
"Additional inspections are also carried out by Revenue Protection Inspectors – failure to produce a valid ticket when asked will result in the immediate issue of a penalty fare notice."
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