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Honor Oak Park station staff
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Posts: 50
Joined: Jul 2008
Post: #1
08-01-2013 08:37 PM

Letís play a name game.

Whatís the collective noun for a group of lazy, monosyllabic, ineffective, rude, cud-chewing station staff?

Iím getting cross.

This morning, like many mornings, there were FOUR staff on the north bound platform huddled together talking amongst themselves and playing with their mobile phones. No effort was made by any of them when a train came in. Why canít at least one of them go to the south bound platform where all the school children get on the train? It makes me mad.

This evening like ALL evenings there was a queue backing up to halfway down the southbound stairs because the ticket barriers are not fit for purpose. All it would take to speed things up is for one of the station-monkeys to open the double gate and stand by it and allow two-way traffic. This makes me mad too.

All the time I hear people muttering under their breath so why do we put up with this?

I always used to say a cheery ďGood morningĒ when seeing staff on my way to work but after usually getting a disinterested grunt in return I no longer make the effort.

Tell me Iím not the only ĎMr. Angry from H.O.Pí

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Nick M

Posts: 35
Joined: Sep 2012
Post: #2
08-01-2013 09:04 PM

Agreed. There's one guy who is smart, agreeable and engaged, the rest seem worse than useless. After all those years of the station being completely unmanned at many times, it seems highly odd that it is now overmanned. Always a good idea to write to LU - they do after all have video cameras on the station and can see for themeselves.

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Posts: 50
Joined: Jul 2008
Post: #3
08-01-2013 11:50 PM

Does anyone reading this know how to contact the agency who is in charge of the station and staff? Network Rail, Southern, London Overground?
I've tried to get hold of a Station Manager to discuss the manning of the ticket barrier but none of the station staff would give me any contact information unbelievably.

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Posts: 190
Joined: Oct 2006
Post: #4
09-01-2013 07:36 AM

Googled Honor Oak Park Station and found:

Call London Overground Customer Services 0845 601 4867 for issues related to London Overground trains, station staff and facilities.

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Posts: 361
Joined: Dec 2007
Post: #5
09-01-2013 09:51 AM

I'd have to agree, there seem to be two completely different "crews" working at HOP station. The tall young man who often guards the ticket barriers late eves is very polite and helpful, ditto one or two of his colleagues and one of the regular ticket sales guys - friendly, reasonably knowledgeable.

But in the last 12 month, a lot of new chaps have showed up, ranging from the totally ignorant (and yes, mobile phones seem to take priority, they text and browse whilst verifying my card details, and you have to wait til they're done, never mind that train you were trying to catch) to the impolite, and I'm afraid one burly chap actually qualifies as a bona fide bully. I'd love to know who thought it to be a wise idea to put that man in a customer facing position - he actually scares me! (or maybe that's the point, not sure). Not amused.

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Posts: 87
Joined: Nov 2011
Post: #6
09-01-2013 10:15 AM

Agree with the consensus here on this - matches my experience. I quite often find I know more about which train tickets to buy than they do, too.

Please do complain to London Overground. If we don't say anything, how can we expect change?

And if still not happy, take the complaint to London TravelWatch.

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Posts: 1,031
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #7
10-01-2013 07:01 PM

Am I the only one to notice that some of the staff who work on the northbound platform still wear Southern uniforms including name badges?

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Posts: 64
Joined: Feb 2008
Post: #8
12-01-2013 05:24 PM

I think that many of the staff at the station are there to signal the trains are able to leave. Since longer trains have been introduced there must either be a visual system for the train driver to see that the doors are shut and that the train is safe to leave OR there has to be staff there to do that. Eventually there ail be mirrors or CTV or something but in the meantime the trains are 'waved off' by 'hand'. The staff are moved around between stations on the network so might not feel they 'belong' to HOP.

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Posts: 134
Joined: Nov 2009
Post: #9
13-01-2013 09:51 AM

We have raised this with LOROL and await their reply, Their initial reaction was one of disappointment.

We will post any reply here.

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Posts: 106
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #10
14-01-2013 07:32 AM

I complain to http:/ if I have problems at HOP or anywhere else on the London transport system. I always receive a reply.

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Posts: 134
Joined: Nov 2009
Post: #11
16-01-2013 11:48 AM

I have just had a phone call from LOROL's Area Manager.

As kipya noted, there are Southern and LOROL staff at the station in the mornings. The Southern staff are there to wave off the train, but they are all supposed to be customer friendly.

She also said that they will review the ticketline status. A quick analysis of ORRs Station Usage figures shows that passenger numbers have grown by 30% since 2006 at Honor Oak and that there are 30% more passengers per gate than at Forest Hill or Sydenham. However, increasing the number of gates at Honor Oak will not be easy.

If you have any praise or citicism, you can pass it through TfL or send us a PM or an email to, We will forward it to her; the more specific you can be (time, day, description) the better.

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Posts: 50
Joined: Jul 2008
Post: #12
16-01-2013 05:30 PM

Thank you FHSoc very much for this.

I have some constructive comments for Southern / LOROL so I will email you.

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Posts: 50
Joined: Jul 2008
Post: #13
21-01-2013 10:08 PM

So for two weeks they've been 'salting' the station platform (albeit in random handfulls) when the overnight temperature has been above freezing:

...... and then last Friday when it was needed, they didn't. Maybe they didn't have enough warning.

So you would have expected a clear platform this morning, Monday, wouldn't you?

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Posts: 87
Joined: Nov 2011
Post: #14
22-01-2013 01:33 PM

Yes, how did they manage that?

Also enjoyed watching the gateline guy watch me pretty much fall through the ticket gates, where the floor was very slippy. He just stood there, watching impassively, as he seems to every morning.

Complaint to London O on its way...

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Posts: 63
Joined: Aug 2011
Post: #15
22-01-2013 02:27 PM

Ah yes, Mr Chewing Gum. He likes to watch. I always get the impression he's rather angry about something. Maybe he reads this site!

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Posts: 50
Joined: Jul 2008
Post: #16
22-01-2013 06:01 PM

Ah yes, Mr Chewing Gum. He likes to watch

That's FUNNY! Rofl

Mr. Chewing Gum was huddled under the heater this morning with another guy doing stuff all. Obviously neither of them wanted to actually go down to the station and do the flag waving. Laughable really how they can get away doing so little.

Last night we were all crowding through the two outbound gates and the attendant was standing under the heater doing something on his mobile completely oblivious to the mutterings.

A chap complained and asked him to open the gates and he snapped out of his dream and opened the third gate. What a drip. These guys have absolutely no understanding of customer assistance.

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Posts: 627
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #17
22-01-2013 07:29 PM

Yes. That is quite a common occurrence.

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Posts: 87
Joined: Nov 2011
Post: #18
24-01-2013 03:27 PM

Will be semi-interesting to see what LO come back with.

Seems ironic at a time of station staff being cut in lots of places that our problem doesn't seem to be the quantity but the quality.

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Posts: 216
Joined: Oct 2011
Post: #19
14-02-2013 01:29 PM

Looks like they have rotated the staff - certainly looks like some of the old faces have now gone.

I remember a number of occasions which drove me crazy. This one in particular was on a day there were virtually no overground trains running, not that the boards showed this. Having let two London Bridge trains, I went to ask the guy on the platform with the loudspeaker (I think he was moved to Forest Hill after a while) who said of yes, there has only been one Overground Train since 6am. It was around 7.30am now. Cursing So the passengers had to update each other, as he just shrugged his shoulders whilst getting an earful form someone else. Next train was rammed and no-one could get on, train that had passed before had a decent amount of space. Proactive he was not.

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Posts: 134
Joined: Nov 2009
Post: #20
14-02-2013 03:41 PM

We arranged a meeting between LOROL, various people who had complained on here and local councillors. Points which were raised:

  1. Gateline.
    • Queues start developing from 17:30
    • Problems occur when Oyster is refused or when people want to enter station and go against the flow (due to chicane).
    • Staff will be trained to hold wide gate open during busy periods so that those with paper tickets or season tickets can pass through quickly.
    • One gate must be kept for entry
    • Other gate will be available for those who are on PAYG Oyster to tap in / out. [Do Travelcard Oyster users have to tap out? Oyster T&Cs say: When you use a National Rail service, you should touch your Oyster card on the yellow card reader before you start your journey, at the station you are leaving from; and at the end of your journey, when you arrive at your destinations station. You can still use your Oyster card at stations where there is no yellow card reader or if it is not working provided that your Travelcard is valid for the journey you are making. You may be asked instead to show your Oyster card (and photocard where needed).]
    • Requested that rear wall onto footbridge be removed and gateline be modified to remove chicane so that passenger flow more linear. Could also allow for fourth gate. LOROL replied that this may cause problems when lift installed.
  2. Southern Staff
    • These personnel are there to wave off the Southern trains and will be on the platform appearing to do nothing for long periods.They are not there in a customer service role.
  3. Mobile Phones / Headphones
    • This is a management issue. Staff use their mobile phones for professional purposes (EG for teeling destination station which coach disabled passenger is on), but this issue needs to be addressed.
  4. Lifts
    • Cllr Addison's primary concern was one of safety / rape. Unfortunately she had to leave before looking at drawings.
    • Subsequent inspection of the drawings revealed that:
      • Two 16 person, through lifts (ie with door at front and rear) will be installed. The axis of entry/exit will be parallel to the tracks.
      • People will enter the lift from a landing which will be built out in line with the main footbridge (over new lift motor room). This landing will measure 3.9x2.3m.
      • The lift shaft will be built in line with the first descent of the existing staircases.
      • People will exit facing London, emerging from under the second descent of the existing staircases.
      • There will be an area approximately 3m in front of the lift. Areas under stairs with less than 2.3m headroom will be fenced off
      • CCTV coverage will be adjusted to ensure that the new areas are covered. Honor Oak Park currently has 90% coverage.
  5. Disabled Access
    • While the lifts will provide step free access to the platform, there is still a major step between platform and train. Requested Harrington Hump at country end of platforms be pursued with Network Rail to make trains accessible.
    • Although LOROL request 24 hours' notice to guarantee availability of staff, they will do best to accommodate those arriving at station with need of ramp to access train. Staff will use phone to call ahead to arrival station advising where customer is seated so that station staff are available to assist with disembarking.
    • Staff will assist with pushchairs, but during busy periods must staff gateline as a priority. Infants must be removed from pushchair for their safety.

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