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“Please help me persuade Network Rail to actually tell people where to buy tickets in the new Kings Cross” – Tom Steinberg


Tom Steinberg

So the new Kings Cross is very shiny and lovely.

However, when you walk in the massive new main entrance, there isn't any signage or any clues of any kind about where to go to buy tickets.

I walked around in circles for a couple of minutes, including leaving the station again, before I could find which way to go. So this is a modest campaign to get a big sign installed right by the front entrance telling people where to go. After all, I believe the companies do *want* us to have tickets, right?

Problem History

  • 1 Tom Steinberg reported the issue on FixMyTransport. close 21:00 22 Mar 2012
  • 2 Tom Steinberg wrote to Network Rail close 21:00 22 Mar 2012

    Here is the letter that Tom Steinberg wrote.

    No signing for ticket purchase

    Hi there,

    I went into your shiny new station yesterday, and had to walk back out again because I couldn't find the ticket offices.

    I went and double checked, but there are no signs at all pointing you to where you should go to buy tickets when you walk in. You might think it's obvious, but I walked in circles for a while before tracking them down.

    Please can you put a big sign and an arrow in the main entrance pointing people to the ticket offices and machines?



  • 3 william perrin commented close 21:49 22 Mar 2012

    you misunderstand - you are just supposed to gawp at the architecture and under no circumstances criticise the station. network rail get very cross.

  • 4 Frankie Roberto commented close 07:51 23 Mar 2012

    You've identified a problem, but your proposed solution (a sign) isn't necessarily the best solutions.

    Signs are easily missed, plus require reading (although a really good icon can help), which isn't the fastest way to process the information. Plus, you might introduce a new problem - if lots of people pause at the entrance to read a sign, it'll cause a bottleneck.

    A better solution is to improve the sight lines from the entrance to wherever the tickets can be bought - either by moving the ticket machines, or removing obstructions.

  • 5 CRHQ responded to Tom Steinberg close 16:08 23 Mar 2012
    Hi Tom

    Thanks for your comments and feedback, and I'm sorry that the signage was not sufficient enough to guide you to the ticket offices. As with any new station, there will always be a period of time until the new becomes the familiar, but I will certainly make sure that the station team are aware of the problems you faced and see what we can do to improve the situation.

    As you may have noticed, we have focussed on making sure that passengers and visitors to the station are aware of the new layout of the station following the opening of the new concourse. You may have seen our staff in white with the large 'pointer hands' - there have been over a hundred deployed over the past couple of weeks, and they have been answering any questions about the facilities at the station.

    Importantly, they have also been tasked with collecting all the comments and questions so that we can make sure that a thorough review of the station user experience takes place. In this way, the feedback that you have provided will help improve the station as will all the questions and comments collected by our staff. Along with giving advice, our staff have also been giving out maps to help passengers on their way. If it would be beneficial, I'll happily send you one of these.

    I note that there have been some comments to your original enquiry. Certainly, we understand the issue with creating potential bottlenecks and crowding if we employ too much signage. We were also aware that openness and space are the core characteristics of the station - we do not want to create too much clutter with wayfaring and signage. The 'line of sight' approach to station mapping is a fair one. Within the new concourse, the stunning roof structure originates from outside of the ticket offices which are located in the middle of the station - each of the 5 entrances into the new concourse lead towards the ticket office, in much the way that the roof acts as the focal point of the station.

    I hope that this helps, but if you need anything further please do not hesitate to contact me

    Kind regards


    Brian Wortman
    Communications Manager (Community Relations)
    Corporate Communications
    Network Rail

    show quoted sections
  • 6 Dave H commented close 21:09 23 Mar 2012

    The grouping of in and out ticket gates seems to have messed up some of the old rapid ways to the trains. Given that I often have a 6 minute connection from Euston to the train I'd like to catch, and these trains can leave from any platform between 0 and 11. I'd like to know that heading up Pancras Road will be faster than going though a crowded concourse to read the display and then find I need to head for 9-11

    Just as with Euston the provision of a platform display as one heads up past the Doric Arch, I think you need clear departure displays as one exits from St Pancras (perhaps back to back with one for St Pancras departures for passengers heading over from Kings Cross, and a display on the corner at Euston Road.

  • 7 Frankie Roberto commented close 09:29 27 Mar 2012

    Brian's response is pretty great. Deploying actual staff to help people find their way around a new station is a good way of discovering common problems and questions, and will allow them to see how use of the station beds in before deciding whether and how to make physical interventions.

  • 8 Chris T commented close 17:42 14 Oct 2012

    Signage to the Ticket Office has been changed and there are now more tickets machines - these also have bright pink signs on top of them top make them more visible from a distance.

  • 9 Aunybravo SSG commented close 03:13 03 Apr 2013

    Just to confirm there is a massive ticket office bang in the middle since 1852, I am surprised you missed it.

  • started 22 March 2012
  • supporters 4
London Kings Cross Rail Station in King's Cross
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