‘No warning is just not fare...’

Steve Barrett at Leighton Buzzard Train Station
Steve Barrett at Leighton Buzzard Train Station

A commuter missed THREE trains to work because of ‘poorly managed’, unannounced ticket checks during peak time travel.

Last week staff at Leighton Buzzard Railway Station carried out the extra checks with no prior notice to allow for extra time, which London Midland claim is welcomed by commuters.

After arriving to catch the 7.41am on Tuesday, Stephen Barrett, 33, of South Street, Leighton, told the LBO: “The queues inside were the worst I’ve seen ever at the station, there must have been 25 people in the queue for the windows and around 10 people in the queue for the machine.

“So I thought I’d get my ticket on the train, but when I went to go to the platform I was stopped by a security guard and was told I had to buy a ticket first. So I joined the queue, which caused me to miss the 7.41, 7.46, 7.57.

“I asked one of the London Midland employees why they had started to check the tickets with no prior warning to customers, he very defiantly said they ‘didn’t have to give notice’. To be quite honest I got a bit cross.

“Whilst I agree the checks are good, it has been poorly managed in my opinion, they should have had more staff on hand to sell tickets, There were only two windows open, the two ticket machines and one employee selling them on a mobile machine.

“Whilst buying a ticket there were a number of passengers that complained to the staff, so how London Midland can say people are pleased is a joke!

“All it would have taken is a week or so of notices/online to advise the checks were going to be undertaken and to allow extra time to get a ticket. VERY poorly managed!”

A London Midland spokesman said: “We have been carrying out extra revenue checks at our stations, as we often do.

“It would have slowed the passenger flow down slightly and there would have been longer queues at the ticket window.

“Experience shows that the vast majority of our passengers support these surprise checks because they are honest people and they spend a lot of their hard-earned cash on rail travel.

“This means that they are very supportive of our work to ensure that everyone who travels has paid for their journey. They like to see the checks happening.”