Great Northern to rebrief staff on ticketing after incorrect advice given

PUBLISHED: 16:35 17 May 2018 | UPDATED: 16:35 17 May 2018

Great Northern services are changing massively under a new timetable. Picture: Great Northern

Great Northern services are changing massively under a new timetable. Picture: Great Northern

Archant

The Great Northern rail line operator is to rebrief station staff after passengers received incorrect ticketing advice ahead of an overhauled timetable’s introduction this weekend.

The timetable, dovetailing Govia Thameslink’s Great Northern and Thameslink lines, will see some Great Northern trains now go via London St Pancras to Thameslink stations like Farringdon, Blackfriars and London Bridge.

But there has been confusion over whether existing Great Northern season tickets for London terminals will cover journeys further along this route beyond St Pancras.

Jonathan Sever, an editorial staffer from Hitchin, currently commutes to King’s Cross before walking a mile or so to work.

He was told by Thameslink staff at Farringdon – which is much nearer his workplace – that his existing London-terminal season ticket would be sufficient for him to commute beyond St Pancras from next week.

But Govia today told this paper the Thameslink staff at Farringdon were incorrect and that people in Jonathan’s position would need to get their season tickets changed to the appropriate destination – something the firm said would mean a more expensive ticket, but would not be subject to any administration fee.

A spokesman apologised for the incorrect advice, adding: “We will rebrief staff immediately.”

Jonathan, 41, told this newspaper: “There is so much confusion. It’s lucky there’s not a major timetable alteration on the horizon! With such a major overhaul starting on Sunday, how are passengers meant to have a clear picture if the staff are even less clued up?”

Jonathan, who moved to Hitchin in December, said the staff at Farringdon had told him he was not the first to ask about this issue – meaning other passengers could now potentially be penalised for going beyond St Pancras with their old London-terminal season tickets.

He queried the issue only after seeing a post in the Hitchin Rail Commuters Facebook group, having seen nothing about it in the railway’s FAQs. He was then confused by advice from Great Northern’s customer service team that he would need to change his ticket to a Thameslink one.

A Govia spokesman told this paper: “It doesn’t matter whether it is a Great Northern or a Thameslink key smartcard the passenger has – it is the actual ticket your reader has loaded to it.”

Related articles

DIGITAL EDITION

Image
Read the The Comet Motors e-edition E-edition

Traffic News

09:03

A motorcyclist has been taken to hospital after being involved in a crash with a van on the A602 in Stevenage this morning, police have confirmed.

Quick Tips & Advice

Euro Car Parts, official battery supplier to the RAC, has reported a 100 per cent year-on-year increase in sales of the absorbent glass mat (AGM) and enhanced flooded battery (EFB) types for cars with start-stop systems.

Keeping your car in tip-top condition is essential to ensure it’s reliable and holds its value.

Press the key fob to lock the car and that’s it, job done; the car is safe and secure. This is what many of us think, but thieves are always on the lookout for cars to steal, so here is how to make sure your pride and joy is not the criminals’ next target.

Is your car’s speedometer telling the truth? Nobody wants to end up with a speeding ticket when we think we’ve been travelling at the legal limit, so it’s important that the speed you see is accurate.

The complex electronics in modern cars mean that you can’t simply jump-start them without a second thought. Here’s what you need to know.

Buying a used car doesn’t need to be a gamble, particularly if you do your research and make some simple checks.

You wouldn’t keep food in the fridge past its use-by date, so what about the safety kit and essential components of your car?

The temperature is plunging below freezing overnight and barely scraping above it during the day. Time, if history repeats itself, for everyone to panic and start crashing into things.