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to think you should be able to use your disabled persons railcard wherever you buy your ticket

(25 Posts)
itsmeitscathy Wed 08-Jul-15 18:38:03

I try to avoid buying my train ticket from the office before boarding the train as I can't hear well through the glass. I bought ticket at the barrier as I left the train and was told in future I couldn't use my card if I bought there.

aibu to think this is unfair? those without disabilities can buy a ticket when they alight so why should it be any different for those with a disabilities? there are many reasons why someone with a disability may find it easier to buy from the conductor on the train. as you need a ticket to get through the barrier scotrail will never miss out.


PausingFlatly Wed 08-Jul-15 18:43:51

Hmm. I use mine when I buy on the train or wherever.

The only occasion I've had someone say that I could be charged a penalty fare for not buying before I travel, I've replied I would welcome the chance for the railway to explain in court why there are no ticketing facilities, not even a permit to travel machine, on the side of the station that I can access.

And that me buying a ticket on the train - or even at the destination ticket office after I've got off - constitutes a reasonable adjustment in making their service accessible.

PausingFlatly Wed 08-Jul-15 18:45:18

Why not write to Customer Service for clarification and something to wave at the staff. Look up the Equalities Act so you can cite it appropriately, and use the words "reasonable adjustment".

itsmeitscathy Wed 08-Jul-15 18:56:57

That's my next step - wasn't sure if I was being unreasonable though!

PausingFlatly Wed 08-Jul-15 20:12:11

I've just re-read your OP. So they let you buy a ticket, and didn't threaten you with a penalty fare.

But they refused to let you use a disabled person's railcard for a discount. While the only reason you needed to buy at the barrier was... a disability!

OK I'm not sure how that one pans out legally, as they didn't stop you travelling. But it does make them look a bit bonkers if they don't allow use of the card. Still worth writing to them.

Janette123 Wed 08-Jul-15 20:35:30

I am sorry you are having problems with this.
Don't the ticket offices you mention have a hearing loop?

Gemauve Wed 08-Jul-15 20:51:29

I try to avoid buying my train ticket from the office before boarding the train as I can't hear well through the glass

Is there a ticket machine you can use?

MissDemelzaCarne Wed 08-Jul-15 20:59:56

YANBU, I think you should be able to use it anywhere you can buy a ticket.

Gemauve Wed 08-Jul-15 21:11:25

YANBU, I think you should be able to use it anywhere you can buy a ticket.

I've just looked at the terms and conditions.

The clause that matters is this one.

Tickets for your journey should be purchased before boarding the train. When buying tickets in person from a member of staff, you must show your valid Railcard. If you are buying tickets online or from a ticket machine you must declare that you have a valid Railcard by selecting the Disabled Persons Railcard option. If you fail to do so, you and, where appropriate, the adult travelling with you will be required to pay the full price Standard Single fare for your journey as if no tickets where purchased before starting the journey and in some cases a Penalty Fare. This does not apply if:

there was no ticket office at the station at which you began your journey or if the ticket office was closed, and

there was no working ticket machines from which you could buy discounted tickets, or

you have a disability which prevented you accessing ticket retailing facilities

In these cases you will be able to use your Railcard on train or at your destination.

If you can't hear sufficiently to use the ticket counter, the only way they could get out of this would be by arguing you could use a machine. So my previous question still holds.

Peshwari Wed 08-Jul-15 21:14:11

I think it's fairly standard that you can't use any sort of concessionary card when purchasing on a train where there are facilities to buy before you board.

If you cannot access any facilities due to disability to buy before you board that would be unreasonable.

StripyStrawberry Wed 08-Jul-15 21:19:57

I think that they are contravening the 2010 equality act, because you have a protected characteristic and they are acting in a way / enforcing conditions that unnecessarily disadvantage you compared to someone without that characteristic.

In the short term, I would print off the relevant bits of the EA and show them if they try to enforce these illegitimate conditions again.

I would also contact a lobbying body who represent people with your condition ( ) pointing out what's going on, and asking if they can challenge it.

plecofjustice Wed 08-Jul-15 21:53:26

But you don't need to hear to buy a ticket? The amount is provided visually as well as the destination. So long as you can communicate your requirements, either verbally or visually, the ticket counter is accessible for sensory impairments. I think you're in the wrong I'm afraid.

Alanna1 Wed 08-Jul-15 22:00:27

Contact the Equalities and Human Rights Commission. They are lovely smile

lunalelle Wed 08-Jul-15 22:38:40

To be honest, I think you are being unreasonable. I commute, I can't hear very well at all and have a Disabled Railcard for a couple of reasons.

I usually use the machine, but if I have to use the office and have any problems, I simply write down what I want on a bit of paper. Saves a lot of fuss.

itsmeitscathy Wed 08-Jul-15 22:45:18

sorry, no machine where I live.

I'd find writing down my requirements on a piece of paper that I may not have fairly humiliating when I can communicate fine face to face.

questions asked don't always come in the same order and can vary - Not knowing what someone is saying to you is, for me anyway, disorientating.

I have no loop on my hearing aids either so again, not an option.

I wasn't aware of the line about not being able to use t h e ticket office due to disability and will mention it should it come up again.

plecofjustice Wed 08-Jul-15 22:52:47

I'm sorry, I don't really understand the problem. I can't hear through the glass and buy tickets every couple of weeks. I just recite my requirements, "anytime return from this station to Birmingham, travelling at 9 am today and retuning on Friday off peak." No need for any questions to be asked or answered, no accessibility issue.

The fact you chose not to access facilities which, as you've said we're accessible to you in that you can make your requirements understood, makes you unreasonable in my opinion I'm afraid.

AgentProvocateur Wed 08-Jul-15 22:53:36

I think there's a basic misunderstanding here. In Scotland, on Scotrail trains (op mentions scotrail) there's no fine if you don't have a ticket - you just buy it on the train or at the end destination before you go through the barrier if it's a big station. These ways are as valid as buying a ticket at the station, and concessions etc can be bought on train or at final destination, so it would be discriminatory if you couldn't buy a disabled person's ticket in the same way.

Scholes34 Wed 08-Jul-15 22:53:54

If you can't hear what they are saying to you in the ticket office, it's their problem, not yours and you should emphasise their shortcomings when buying your ticket from them, rather than getting yourself into a pickle not being able to use your railcard. Is there no amplification?

Is it possible to get a different hearing aid you can use with a loop?

lunalelle Wed 08-Jul-15 22:54:34

Well, if you find it humiliating then that is your perspective - I just see it as a way of getting it done with minimum hassle but I can understand your point. You should be able to use the card at the barrier, anyway, but printing out the relevant stuff might help. Trouble is, it also might not...I have had a LOT of trouble in the past from railway ticket people. There does not seem to be a lot of awareness at all whicj is why I suppose I avoid attempting communication.

itsmeitscathy Wed 08-Jul-15 23:01:30

justice - I didn't say I find them accessible. I find them inaccessible - something as simple as being told it's a nice day or the train is running late turns into a lengthy pantomime discussion.

Yes, the talk of penalties is confusing me, I don't think we get them up here? apparently you can't use any form of concession card on the train or at the destination now. however, as has been pointed out, in their ts and cs they actually address this issue so it won't be a problem now I can point this out when buying a ticket.

no, my hearing aids were purchased privately and address my hearing better than NHS ones with loops on them. I have bilateral hearing loss and boosting the lost frequencies is pretty difficult as it's nerve damage.

PausingFlatly Thu 09-Jul-15 08:28:14

So the the ticket office is partially accessible.

You can carry out very basic ticket purchases by writing down (albeit you find this method humiliating).

But you can't carry out more advanced functions like understand what's being said in return, including important info about trains being late, or even work out if what's been said is important.

There is a person at the barrier anyway, who is able to sell tickets, so the level of disruption to the railways of providing this as a reasonable adjustment is low. And it greatly increases your ability to communicate.

I don't know where the law would draw the line, but it's more than reasonable to ask that they accommodate you just as a reasonable thing to do, because the disruption to them is low and the increase in access to you is large.

muminhants1 Thu 09-Jul-15 12:27:30

I think you are completely reasonable to buy a ticket on the train or from someone at the other end.

Even if there were a ticket machine which you could use easily, they are not very helpful at times. For example:

You can't buy a ticket for tomorrow before 3pm
You can't buy a ticket for after 9am tomorrow until 9am tomorrow
Assuming you happen to pass by Exeter station, but actually need a ticket from Plymouth to Totnes, you can't buy from the ticket machine.
You can't use all railcards at a ticket machine.
etc etc

So if you find it difficult to use the ticket office, or it's closed, you should absolutely be able to buy on the train or at the destination. That actually applies regardless of disability, but if you do have a disability of course they should be making reasonable adjustments.

I don't think there's an argument otherwise despite a couple of the posts above, which sound like they come from people who don't use the trains very often. Revenue inspectors have a major attitude problem in any event and treat everyone like they are a lying criminal which I find deeply offensive, given the difficulty of buying tickets, or at least the ticket you actually want. And the fact that ticket offices are often closed while the member of staff has a tea or lunch break, due to lack of staff.

You could buy your tickets online and collect at station or maybe even print off depending if you live somewhere with an enlightened railway company.

Peshwari Thu 09-Jul-15 18:52:09

You can't buy a ticket for tomorrow before 3pm
You can't buy a ticket for after 9am tomorrow until 9am tomorrow
Assuming you happen to pass by Exeter station, but actually need a ticket from Plymouth to Totnes, you can't buy from the ticket machine.
You can't use all railcards at a ticket machine.
etc etc

None of the above is true in my experience, but I expect it varies by train company

Gemauve Thu 09-Jul-15 19:01:25

You can't buy a ticket for tomorrow before 3pm

Yes you can: just order it online, and pick it up from the machine.

You can't buy a ticket for after 9am tomorrow until 9am tomorrow


Assuming you happen to pass by Exeter station, but actually need a ticket from Plymouth to Totnes, you can't buy from the ticket machine.

That is true (although it's not universally true). You can, again, order it online and pick it up from any machine. Most of the online services now say 15 minutes, but are actually instant, so you can stand in the station with a phone, buy the ticket, and collect it immediately.

You can't use all railcards at a ticket machine.

That is simply wrong. You can buy a ticket with any railcard from a machine. You just have to have it available to show on demand.

itsmeitscathy Thu 09-Jul-15 20:43:14

no machine so not applicable in this case.

I look forward to the day that public transport is universally accessible - but as someone with hearing and mobility issues - I can safely say that'd a long way away

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