We want to start by saying sorry.

Over the last six months or so, we know you’ve faced far too many problems when buying your tickets. We realise that ticket office queues have become a real pain, because they add uncertainty to your journey just when you don’t need it. We know that a broken ticket machine or a failed online purchase is hugely frustrating. It’s very much in our interests, as well as yours, that we get this sorted.

We want to let you know we’ve heard you. And we promise we’re doing something about it. To help you beat the queues we’ve started making improvements already, and there’s a lot more to follow over the coming weeks and months.

Here are four key areas we’re working on:

  • We’re making sure our ticketing system is stable and working properly. We’ve been spending a lot of time and money with our suppliers at IBM to put things right. Recently a new software upgrade fixed more than 80 bugs and glitches in the system. These improvements speed up transaction times and put right some of the minor issues. Over time these upgrades should make a big difference.
  • We’re addressing your main gripes. We’ve had a lot of feedback, and we’re working on a host of fixes for your main bugbears. Having to wait a long time for the beep when paying by card? That’s now sorted. Frustrated by your Smartcard filling up with Flexi-Season tickets? You can now top them up from 0 again. Irritated by having to enter the name of your station when using one of our ticket machines? Give us a month or so and that should also be resolved. We’re also doing our best to pass on helpful tips and advice for common problems. Read our FAQs here. Look out for our new “how to” videos online, or tips on the screens on top of our new ticket machines. Or you can ask us on Twitter.
  • We’re offering more choice on how you buy your ticket. You probably shop or buy cinema tickets online sometimes, because it’s easy. We’re trying to make your train ticket easier to buy online too, and will be launching a brand new app in the summer to help you buy tickets quickly and manage your Smartcard easily. We’re now selling annual tickets on Smartcards at the station, with weekly and monthly season tickets following soon too.
  • We’re making sure we have our staff available where and when they are needed most. We’re going to fill the gaps in our ticket office staffing where we need to, especially at peak times. And we’re going to be putting more people on the gateline too at busy times. You can’t stand fare dodgers, and nor can we.

Some of these changes will be in place fairly quickly, while others are longer-term. We know it takes a long time, but we hope to regain your trust – even if we can only do it one day at a time.

The team at c2c