SCOTRAIL have been branded a “disgrace” after commuters were left in a queue stretching over 100 metres to buy tickets – after their journey.
A picture taken at Glasgow’s Central Station on Monday morning shows a line of disgruntled travellers stretching in to the distance as they wait to leave the platform.
The passengers had not been able to buy tickets at their departure station or on the train, leaving them with no option but waiting to pay at their destination.
Christina Wilson, who had got on at Cambuslang, had been unable to buy a ticket there because the queue meant she would have missed her train.
However, when she arrived at her Glasgow Central she was faced with another huge queue and only one member of staff selling tickets.
She posted the shocking image of the queue stretching as far back as the eye can see on the ScotRail Facebook page and wrote: “So this was the queue for tickets on platform six at Central Station at around 8:50am this morning.
“With one member of staff (later two) selling tickets. What an absolute disgrace. #lateforwork.”
ScotRail responded to tell her that she “must buy a ticket before boarding” however Christina stressed that this wasn’t always possible due to queues and the machine often being out of order.
In their response, ScotRail got her name wrong and wrote: “Hi Lisa, where do you travel into the station from?”
Christina replied: “My name isn’t Lisa. Obviously. Cambuslang but the queue for the ticket machine meant I would’ve missed the train if I’d waited in it.”
ScotRail responded: “Sorry Christina, my mistake there. I’m afraid you must buy a ticket before boarding the train at Cambuslang, this’ll allow you to avoid the queues at Glasgow Central. Do you travel in daily on this route?”
Christina responded: “Not daily, hence why I don’t always buy a four week ticket and have to buy individual tickets.
“But it is often the case that the ticket machine at Cambuslang isn’t even working and again, the queue at the desk would mean I would miss the train. Do you really expect people not to get on a train because they haven’t been able to get a ticket?”
ScotRail responded to tell her that they have a “buy before you board policy” and urged their customers to get to stations in “plenty of time to purchase a ticket.”
Other incensed commuters were quick to respond on Christina’s post.
Leanne Adkin wrote: “Look at Scotrail trying to give you a telling off for not having the time to stand for 30 minutes in a queue to buy a ticket before you board.
“You queue longer than you are on a train. I don’t think the buy before you board policy is really working for you considering the hundreds of people queueing after their journey.”
Stephen Walsh commented: “Just the type of response I would expect. The service should meet the customer’s requirements not the opposite.
“Just because you have a monopoly does not give you the right to provide poor service and expect your customers to be inconvenienced because it suits ScotRail.”
Whilst Fee Dinning-Coutts added: “It sounds like you are passing the blame onto passengers when the initial problem lies with ScotRail not providing adequate ticketing facilities.”
A ScotRail Alliance spokeswoman said: “No one likes having to queue, particularly on cold Monday mornings.
“However, most of our customers in the queue this morning could have avoided the wait if they’d bought their tickets or weekly passes at their departure station before starting their journey.
“Our records show 8 out of 10 boarded at a station with ticket buying facilities.”