An unusual decision to install a train ticket machine more than a third of mile from the nearest station is proving a big hit with thousands of University of Birmingham students.
More than 3,000 tickets have been issued since the machine was installed at the beginning of March on the University’s campus in Edgbaston.
Train operator London Midland and transport authority Centro decided to locate it on campus to ease pressure on the ticket office and two automatic machines at the nearby University Station.
The station is one of the busiest on the local network with 2.6 million passengers using it each year – more than the number who use Crewe station
As a result, long queues could often build up at the ticket office and machines during peak times.
Centro’s lead member for rail and Metro, Cllr Roger Horton, said: “This is the only machine in the West Midlands that is not located at a rail station but installing it on the campus is already proving a smart move.
“It means students, lecturers, staff and visitors can buy a ticket or pick up pre-paid tickets at their leisure. It’s another example of how we are working to make train travel even more convenient and attractive.”
The new campus machine, which is located near to Cafe Go and the Spa supermarket in the University Centre building, is one of eight that have recently been installed by London Midland and Centro at Four Oaks, Redditch, Bournville, Northfield, Selly Oak, Bloxwich and Rugeley Town stations.
London Midland’s Customer Service Manager, James Elliot, said: “We’re committed to improving the overall journey experience for our passengers and making it easier to buy a ticket is part of that process.
“We listened to our customers and through effective partnership working with Centro and the University of Birmingham have delivered an innovative solution which makes travelling by train even easier”
Caroline Radnor, University of Birmingham’s Sustainable Travel Coordinator, added: “This is a great asset to the university and will save staff and students a lot of time queuing at the station. It’s made buying tickets far easier and we’ve had a lot of positive feedback and thanks as a result.”
London Midland and Centro are spending more than £400,000 on ticket machines this year with five more due to go in at Rowley Regis, Bloxwich North, Landywood, Alvechurch and Stourbridge Junction.
That will see ticket buying facilities at every station on the Birmingham – Walsall – Rugeley line and Cross City line.
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Since 2007, London Midland has been providing train services to and from London in the south, to Birmingham in the Midlands and Liverpool in the north-west. Over 60 million passenger journeys a year are made using on the network and London Midland manage 148 stations and operate
over 1,300 services a day.
London Midland is owned by Govia, the partnership between the Go-Ahead Group and Keolis. Govia
is the UK’s busiest rail operator, responsible for nearly 30 per cent of UK passenger rail journeys through its three rail companies, Southern (which includes Gatwick Express services), Southeastern and London Midland. Further information on Govia is available at www.govia.info
London Midland has won a range of awards, including Best Local Transport Integration, four Rail Business Awards for marketing, public relations and customer information, five Golden Spanner Awards for Engineering, three IOIC awards for internal communication and three Railstaff Awards for Outstanding Customer Service, Lifesaving and Charity Work.
In 2013 London Midland was awarded the Investors in People (IiP) Silver Award and been awarded the 5 Star award by the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM) in 2012.