Office of Rail and Road calls for improvements of ticket machines

Great Western Railway
Credit: Great Western Railway

The Office of Rail and Road has announced that it will be pressing the industry to improve competition, value and innovation in automatic ticket gates and ticket vending machines.

Ticket vending machines sell nearly 150 million tickets a year, and Automatic Ticket Gates are vital for revenue protection.

Back in March 2018, the ORR launched a market study into ATGs and TVMs – the findings were as follows:

  • The market for ATGs is a nearly a monopoly. Buyers of gates are potentially paying too much.
  • The market for TVMs is delivering poor service quality. A low availability of machines is impacting on passengers.

The Office of Rail and Road wants the market for ATGs and TVMs to be more competitive, this promotes innovation and development of these vital machines.

The ORR is seeking feedback on its emerging findings and proposed action until 11 October 2018.

What did the officials say?

Tom Cole, ORR Head of Competition, said:

“Supply chains for key railway products should be competitive in order that they can deliver the innovative products and value that British railway passengers deserve.

“This study has revealed a number of concerns about weak competition for retail equipment, and the detrimental impact this has on price, quality and innovation. This is having a direct impact on passengers and taxpayers who ultimately pick up the bill, and miss out on new product developments.

“We are committed to working with industry to change how competition works and how this equipment is purchased to ensure new and existing suppliers are better incentivised to invest, innovate and compete in these markets.”

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Michael Holden avatar
I have had an interest in Railways for as long as I can remember. I am a member of a number of heritage railways and actively volunteer at 2 of them. I enjoy all types of railways, real life, model and simulations. I started RailAdvent in 2014 and am the main editor of the site.