The machine offers 24-hour live help and the ability to buy the cheapest ticket available thanks to the new state-of-the-art “virtual ticket agent” machines. In addition, customers can use the machines to pick up tickets they’ve ordered online.
If people have a query while using the new machines, or are not sure what to do, they can press a button which will put them straight through to a real person who can help them buy tickets and find the best fares.
Greater Anglia’s Commercial, Customer Service and Train Presentation Director, Martin Moran, said, “It’s like having a 24-hour ticket office, making it much easier for people to get the right ticket quickly and conveniently.”
“We know that customers sometimes feel apprehensive about buying tickets from a machine as they are unsure of how it works or which is the best ticket for their journey. So being able to connect straight to a friendly voice who can help means that we can improve customer service at Whittlesea too.”
Greater Anglia was the first train operator in England to roll out the “virtual ticket agent” machines, which have the technology that means passengers can connect - via an audio link – to one of 14 Greater Anglia ticket sellers who provide the contact centre service 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The installation of the new machine is the latest upgrade in a multi-million pound regeneration of Fenland’s railway stations which is pushing forward with major improvement works on the rail line between Ely and Peterborough.
The programme is being delivered through Fenland District Council’s Railway Station Masterplans project, with a £9.5million package of funding from the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority, chaired by Mayor Dr Nik Johnson and support from Greater Anglia.
“Making public transport more convenient and accessible and people-friendly across Cambridgeshire is a priority and it’s nowhere more important than for communities in the fens. This is just one of a raft of rail improvements the Combined Authority is already funding across Fenland, here at Whittlesea but also at Manea and March,” said Mayor Dr Johnson.
New platform waiting shelters have already been installed at Manea and Whittlesea stations through the Combined Authority funding and Section 106 contributions, along with an improved passenger footpath and lighting at Whittlesea and car park upgrades.
Manea station is set to benefit from a new car park and at March the car park and buildings on platform 1 will be improved with construction works beginning in July.
Further plans are in the pipeline for Whittlesea, with the Council and the Combined Authority currently working alongside colleagues at Greater Anglia and Network Rail to look at options for a level crossing upgrade as part of a programme of works.