What exactly is it with the Robin Hood Line and the revenue collection and issue of tickets?
For the second time recently I went on that line and had a devil’s own job of trying to buy a ticket from the guard. I went up on the 12.39 from Hucknall and sat in my seat waiting for the guard to come round.
Despite all the announcements of the train arriving at the various stations no one appeared to sell me a ticket. By the time the train got to Mansfield I’d had enough of the waiting and went and sought out the guard down the end of the train, showing him my money and a rail card. He nodded his head etc and I thought he would come up the train when he had seen to the boarding passengers. But no. No sign of the person anywhere. What on earth is going on? Some guards are conscious of getting the money in from people and selling tickets whilst others like to remain in the compartment at the end of the train making the announcements.
Upon my return journey later in the afternoon I went into the ticket office at Worksop and explained the situation, asking for a return to cover myself as regards both journeys that I will have made that day.
I duly bought the return ticket. Though I have to say that I retained the impression they would have been quite happy to sell me a single back home.
For me this is not the first time this has happened. Some weeks earlier I went up there and the guard was in his compartment. I even knocked on the door after a long while, not wanting to bother him. Observed I might say by four other passengers at the time. The guard erupted from his cubby hole and tried to make out that he had been up the train and back at least once.I had, on that occasion, used the on-train toilet for a very short period, but for the rest of the time had been sitting in my own seat all the way up the line. The guard also complained that he had not heard my knocking, even though this was witnessed, as I say, by other passengers.
When at Worksop this time round I got talking to an old boy there in the station bar who said that there had been problems running the Sunday service on the Robin Hood Line because of the lack of revenue and the disjointed (his words) timings of the service. I do not know about the latter, but the former certainly.
If they cannot collect the revenue during a normal working week how on earth are they going to be doing it on a Sunday when perhaps, staff are less alert and more relaxed?
Anybody care to reply on behalf of the railway on this? Or indeed the county council which I think still helps to fund the service? It would help..
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