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Hermit

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Everything posted by Hermit

  1. Hermit

    Portsmouth Harbour - Barriers Installed

    There is now a message on the Wightlink website to warn that the barriers have been installed, but that Wightlink customers and visitors are not required to show a ticket to pass through. Any problems tell the Wightlink ticket office. So it looks as though Wightlink have accepted the situation, though the extent to which the barriers will be manned or left open remains to be seen. Next time I have time to kill between ferry and train I will see whether I’m allowed through to visit the station cafe (cheaper and with a better range than the Costa in the Wightlink terminal). As has been suggested, this looks more like a box-ticking exercise for the franchisee than an effective revenue-protection measure.
  2. Hermit

    Portsmouth Harbour - Barriers Installed

    It will be interesting to see what (if any) agreement they can come to. But it’s asking a lot to expect Wightlink to accept any additional check being carried out by a third party (SWR) on their passengers who are not rail passengers. No doubt one of the things their lawyers will look at is whether there would be any legal basis for this. Nor will they want to have to take on more staff to man the barrier themselves, which would be in addition to those checking and counting in their terminal. All this to deal with a purely SWR problem, for which other remedies are available.
  3. Hermit

    Portsmouth Harbour - Barriers Installed

    You can indeed claim delay repay on a through ticket from mainland stations to island stations. I have done it several times, including occasions when the delay arriving at the Harbour was not long enough to qualify but the consequential delay arriving at Ryde St Johns was. The snag is that for frequent travellers the through tickets (even advance ones) normally work out more expensive than using a Wightlink multilink ticket for the ferry and buying separate rail tickets for the island and mainland legs. So delay repay doesn’t apply to the overall journey. As you say, it should be in SWRs interest to maintain connections, but I’ve not seen much evidence that this affects their behaviour in practice. I remember once remonstrating with a guard at Portsmouth and Southsea who was chatting to a colleague rather than waving our late running train off. It wouldn’t matter if we missed the ferry, he said, because they run ‘every ten minutes’. If only.....
  4. Hermit

    Portsmouth Harbour - Barriers Installed

    It may be the company’s problem, but it then becomes the passengers’ problem, as we found when they had a spat about through ticketing years ago. Even apart from the likely Wightlink objections I mentioned, I don’t think selling ferry tickets on the ‘landward’ side solves the problem anyway. The barriers will not read ferry tickets, and the poor chap manning the barrier will not be able or indeed empowered to check the validity of the wide variety of ferry, multilink, season tickets, attraction tickets that are used. He will have to let them all through, so no real advance in terms of revenue protection on letting through everyone who says they are going to the Wightlink terminal.
  5. Hermit

    Portsmouth Harbour - Barriers Installed

    Hello - as a longtime lurker on this fascinating forum I have finally been moved to join and comment, as barriers at Portsmouth Harbour are a pressing concern to those of us islanders who travel frequently on the Wightlink catamaran. Our overriding concern is that there should be no impediment to a quick transfer to or from the ferry terminal, whether we are walking from The Hard or getting off a train. Delay caused by having to negotiate a barrier, perhaps while the attendant is dealing with someone else, could be the difference between catching a ferry and waiting an hour or even 85 minutes in the evening. I waste enough of my life in the unappealing Wightlink terminal area as it is, thank you. At least the current proposal does not impede the passage of passengers between train and ferry, where we are even more likely to find ourselves running for the ferry from a late-running train. The suggestion that platform 1 could be split would presumably mean that barriers would be needed at the platform ends, which would be much worse. Imagine the chaos when a late train or ferry arrives with only seconds to make a connection. An even worse solution would be to make us walk up one side of platform 1 to barriers near the cafe and then back again. It has been suggested that one answer would be for Wightlink tickets to be available from the ticket office or machines. In fact Portsmouth Harbour ticket office does not sell tickets to Pierhead or island stations - there is a sign directing you to the Wightlink ticket office. Nor can you buy a railway ticket to Pierhead online (why should you - no train involved) though you can get one from the Wightlink website. I cannot see why Wightlink would agree to their tickets being available from the SWR office in competition with their own ticket office, as SWR would presumably take a cut from the revenue. The whole situation is a mess to which there seems no satisfactory answer other than more on-train inspections. It does seem extraordinary that SWR have gone ahead with the barriers without reaching an agreement with Wightlink, who I think are entirely within their rights in objecting to a change from which they gain no benefit and which will make life more complicated for their passengers, the majority of whom have no connection with SWR other than needing to walk along one of their platforms. Incidentally, the most astonishing thing about this saga is the revelation that there is such a thing as a SWR/Wightlink liaison committee. Having suffered 25 years of non-joined up operation I find this very hard to believe!
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