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“Please help me persuade Merseyrail to install ticket machines at Liverpool South Parkway station” – Paul Davies


Paul Davies

There is more often than not ridiculously large queues to buy a ticket at Liverpool South Parkway - people frequently miss departing trains standing in queues to buy a ticket. Why is there no ticket machine to use like at the the majority of other Merseyrail stations?

Long distance services also serve this station - the option of collecting your tickets (like at other mainline stations) should be made available by installing a ticket machine, so we can avoid transaction and postage fees charged by et al.

Problem History

  • 1 Paul Davies reported the issue on FixMyTransport. close 22:45 07 Sep 2011
  • 2 Paul Davies wrote to Merseyrail close 22:45 07 Sep 2011

    Here is the letter that Paul Davies wrote.

    Why no ticket machines at Lverpool South Parkway

    Can you please explain why there are no automatic ticket issue machines at Liverpool South Parkway station?

    It us hugely frustrating queuing for long periods and often missing trains trying to buy a ticket - a problem which could be alleviated by installing ticket vending machines. Many other Merseyrail operated stations have ticket vending machines, so why is our station the exception?

    Machines would also allow me to collect pre-booked tickets for my longer distance journeys at the station, rather than having to have these delivered (and pay ddlvery fees) or having to begin my journeys at another station.

  • 3 Paul Davies commented close 08:43 26 Jan 2012

    Nearly 5 months later, still no reply from Merseyrail....

  • 4 Paul Hollinghurst commented close 19:22 26 Jan 2012

    I have just checked up with Merseyrail about progress with this issue and they have asked for you to contact them directly as described in the message below. We believe there is no good reason for an operator not to engage with its customers through the site but at the moment their policy is only to correspond directly. However please do come back and update FixMyTransport on any progress you've made.
    Paul (FixMyTransport Volunteer)

    Message from Merseyrail:

    "Thank you for your contact regarding our services.

    Here at Merseyrail we very much welcome feedback from our customers and have, in line with our Franchise and Passenger's Charter commitments, established a full range of agreed channels for customers to contact our Customer Relations Team.

    These are as follows:-

    Via our website
    By email
    By post to: Merseyrail Customer Relations, 9th Floor, Rail House, Lord Nelson Street, Liverpool,
    Merseyside, L1 1JF
    By fax: 0151 702 2413
    By telephone: 0151 702 2071

    Therefore, to allow us to follow our agreed processes, would you please advise the individual to use one of the established methods of contact to obtain a full response to their concerns.

    Thank you for your assistance in this matter.

    Merseyrail Customer Relations"

  • 5 Geert Biermans commented close 09:39 03 Feb 2012

    I've sent Merseyrail a similar comment, telling them the option by post is not available for me as a Belgian, and they replied me i should "collect my tickets at Runcorn station".

    But if you land at 2115 and your last train to Leeds is at 2240, that is hardly an option... Especially if you then have to buy tickets in Liverpool South Parkway to get to Runcorn.

  • 6 Paul Berry commented close 09:46 03 Feb 2012

    If Liverpool South Parkway wants to be thought of as a mainline station it should have mainline facilities. I would consider a booked-ticket collection machine to be part of the basic setup.

  • 7 Paul Davies commented close 09:58 03 Feb 2012

    Guys, please continue to forward your comments to Merseytravel by email

    and refer them to this weblink when you do email them:

    I bring this up every single time I visit the ticket office at LSP - the staff are bored of having the same conversation with me, but hopefully sooner or later someone will get the message.

  • 8 Richard Grassick commented close 11:19 18 Aug 2012

    Booked to fly in to Liverpool airport from abroad next month. Just went online to buy train ticket from South Parkway, only to discover this crazy omission. How can a station that claims to be "the" airport railway station not have a ticket collection facility???? Beggars belief, given the fancy architecture of the station, the express bus link to the airport, more long-distance trains stopping there. Crazy.

  • 9 Paul Hollinghurst commented close 00:30 24 Aug 2012

    Geert and Richard,

    You commented about wanting to collect pre-booked tickets from Liverpool South Parkway station. I have just been told by my local station that is it possible to collect pre-booked tickets at any ticket office, so you can just pick a random station from the list then collect them anywhere. I havn't tried this myself, but will experiment when there is an oppurtunity in the next couple of weeks (unless someone else can already confirm this).

    The opening times for the ticket office at Liverpool South Parkway are:
    Monday-Friday 05:51-00:16
    Saturday 05:51-00:16
    Sunday 07:51-00:16

    Unfortunately this will not help Paul Davies who is experiencing long queues when he travels.

    Paul (FixMyTransport Volunteer)

  • 10 Shaun McDonald commented close 09:52 24 Aug 2012

    I have on may occasions booked tickets online and picked them up from a ticket machine at a completely different station unrelated to the stations that involve the tickets and that I said I would pick them up from. I think the only reason that they specifically give you the list of stations and to choose one is to prevent a user from trying to pick up a ticket from a station that doesn't have ticket facilities.

  • 11 Richard Grassick commented close 10:12 24 Aug 2012

    Many thanks, Paul and Shaun for that fascinating information. It makes sense. The reservations we make are in a system that is accessible from any ticket office or machine in the network, so there is no reason why in theory any pre-booked ticket cannot be collected from anywhere.

    But would it not then make sense to add stations like South Parkway to the list of collection stations, maybe with an asterisk to indicate office hours only?

  • 12 Richard Grassick commented close 10:51 24 Aug 2012

    Just sent a comment to

    It bounced. I think the proper address is:


  • 13 Richard Grassick commented close 11:09 24 Aug 2012

    Reply from Merseyrail:

    Thank you for your email.

    However, tickets that are pre-booked through a telesales number or on-line cannot be collected from any Merseyrail Station. There are, however, ticket collection machines at Lime Street Mainline Station. We currently have no plans to install a ticket collection machine at Liverpool South Parkway, although it may be something that we consider in the future.

    I am sorry that I cannot give you a more favourable response.

    Yours sincerely,

    Debbie Hunter
    Customer Relations

  • 14 Paul Hollinghurst commented close 17:50 24 Aug 2012

    Thanks for this. It appears that none of Merseyrail's ticket machines are capable of issuing pre-booked tickets so perhaps this is also true for their ticket offices. I will do a bit more research on this!
    Paul (FixMyTransport volunteer)

  • 15 Paul Hollinghurst commented close 01:47 25 Aug 2012


    I contacted The Trainline and asked them about collecting tickets from ticket offices.

    They replied “there is also a method of tickets collection which is called as "Collect at Station Window." By using this method, you may avoid the ticket machine and collect the tickets directly from the station office. However, this method is not frequently available and is applicable to the selected station only. Also, as you have said, "I found out that many ticket offices are capable of issuing tickets which are specified for collection at another station." - even this method is at the discretion of the station staff. Therefore, I would not recommend you to take this risk.”

    So it seems it is possible, but my guess is that it depends on staff being trained. I checked through the list of stations which The Trainline offer for ticket collection and Merseyrail are the only operator who manage stations but don’t have any ticket machines which can be used to collect pre-booked tickets.

    As there are tickets which can only be bought over the internet, this is unsatisfactory as postal delivery is slow and cannot be guaranteed, whereas tickets from machines are available 2 hours after purchase. Perhaps Merseyrail can be persuaded to at least offer collection from their ticket offices.

    Best regards,


  • 16 Paul Hollinghurst commented close 10:30 25 Aug 2012

    One more message from The Trainline in response to a question - wouldn't is be beneficial to extend the collection to tickets to ticket offices. They are clearly only interested in using ticket machines.

    "The Self Service Ticket Machines we list on our website are those that are linked to a nationwide reservation system where prepaid tickets can be collected. Train Operators are working together to increase the availability of these machines across UK stations and our website is updated as soon as new Self Service Ticket Machines are added to the network.

    You may visit our website at to check for the
    list of Self Service Ticket Machines available at various stations from where your prepaid tickets can be collected using the same payment card.

    You may collect your tickets from any station that has a Self Service Ticket Machine which is is close to your residence or workplace using the same payment card."

    So if you live on Merseyside with no machines and no interest in providing machines you are a but stuck.

    Not at all satisfactory,


  • 17 Richard Grassick commented close 12:58 25 Aug 2012

    Thanks, Paul. "Train Operators are working together to increase the availability of these machines across UK stations".

    ...well, except Merseyrail.

  • 18 Dai texas commented close 02:31 08 Oct 2012

    2 days running I couldn't buy a ticket due to queues in the morning. Don't bother with the call centre they just fob you off. Email the Managing Director of Merseyrail and copy in your l

  • 19 Dai texas commented close 02:34 08 Oct 2012

    ...your local MP and the Mayor of Liverpool. is his email. Merseyrail MD is Maarten Spaargaren, his email is

  • 20 Dai texas commented close 02:38 08 Oct 2012

    I suggest you remind them that this station cost £32m to be built but is mismanaged as people are missing trains as the station managers are not providing an adequate ticket service at this station, which is appalling.

  • 21 Dai texas commented close 02:48 08 Oct 2012

    Also, it's got so bad in the queue that sometimes they've waved people through the gate without ticket to get the train. But sometimes they don't and people miss trains. Remember that students or anyone with railcards cannot then use them when they buy tickets on the train so these people are paying more to travel due to this station's mismanagement. Don't accept any bs from Merseyrail when they fob you off. They try every trick such as making out only you complain about this. Although one of their people did slip out that they had 300+ emails to deal with first when I demanded they dealt with my complaint that day. They also try and fob you off with a 20 day response process- just demand a callback from station manager that day or you will take complaint to the press etc

  • 22 Shaun McDonald commented close 09:10 08 Oct 2012

    Unfortunately being hostile and demanding being dealt with first is likely to just drop you to the bottom of the queue and them more likely to ignore you. Being persistent and calm while going through the appropriate channels is more likely to get the response that you desire.

  • 23 Dai texas commented close 10:32 08 Oct 2012

    Shaun, seems you've made no progress with that philosophy, you just get fobbed off and no change.

  • 24 Dai texas commented close 16:19 11 Oct 2012

    Despite Shaun McDonald's sneering criticism of my complaining methods... it seems to have worked.

    I have received confirmation from Merseyrail that following my complaint to their MD they will install a ticket machine soon and in the meantime will allocate extra staff during the busy period to sell tickets. They said that the Merseyrail Passengers' Charter terms state that customers should not have to queue to buy a ticket for more than 5 minutes. I would like to express gratitude to the hierarchy of Merseyrail for taking this complaint seriously and provide action on this matter.

  • started 7 September 2011
  • supporters 13
Liverpool South Parkway Rail Station in Garston operated by Merseyrail
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