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firstclassx last won the day on September 11 2016

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About firstclassx

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  1. But extra layers is what is being provided, because the DfT (government) believe that is what consumers want/need. The current Penalty Fare arrangements and appeal body is staying, but simply an ADDITIONAL second tier appeal body, (which must be even more independent), sits above the first tier appeal arrangement, (which exists now). So where exactly do you think the funding for the 2nd tier will come from? The government? The rail companies? Or, the passengers? In the end, it won't really matter, as Penalty Fares will simply be bypassed and replaced by criminal prosecution instead, (which is far more costly for both government and passenger).
  2. Erm, nothing is changing to the Byelaws for starters, just Penalty Fares. The DfT also fails to mention that they are planning on increasing the Penalty Fare to £80, (50% reduction if paid promptly), but this is pretty irrelevant. Secondly, for the Byelaws, the independent adjudicator is the legal system. A rail company still has to prove the offence(s) to the usual criminal standards. Because, all that will happen is that TOCs will stop issuing Penalty Fare notices (or not introduce them at all), and simply prosecute for Byelaw 18 instead. Northern Rail currently follows a similar model to this. The DfT is completely inept and is allowed to get away with it because of people like the previous posters on here who don't consider the bigger picture. If you insist on adding extra layers of "consumer protection", somebody has to pay for it - and the government requires that to be YOU. The government won't repeal or drastically change the Byelaws, or the right to commence a private prosecution, because the economics of franchise bids will seriously weaken, which will generally reduce the financial return to the government, or require additional subsidy.
  3. You need to completely ignore them, forget they exist - and stay away from their stores for the time being. There will be several more letters, threatening all sorts of legal action, just ignore them.
  4. Nobody on here will disagree that, to you, it feels like an emergency. Unfortunately, the law does not support your position. I'd suggest asking some charities specialising in autisim/learning difficulties for some support/advice.
  5. Just to clarify how rail operators and London Underground deals with potential cases like yours: ]The Oyster system automatically flags suspicious patterns up to the operators. This is then monitored electronically for a bit longer to see if it is an ongoing problem. Normally, plain clothes inspectors / fraud team then start to take an interest. If you board/alight at a certain time based on Oyster transaction records, they will likely hang about at the station around that time and see who is using it, and where you go etc. They can do this for a surprisingly long amount of time, without you noticing. The rail operator then has seen enough and decides to call you in for an interview, but doesn't give too much away at this stage. At the interview, you are given lots of opportunities to explain your side of the story. The operator probably will not tell you what they have been up to in the background, to see how honest you are. At the end of the interview, or in a follow up letter, they may then let you know that they can prove you're lying, and will be prosecuting you for deliberate fare evasion or fraud, at which point you have absolutely no defence, and they have a formal statement with you lying to them. There was a TV series called "The Tube" that had an episode on this, where London Underground fraud teams were monitoring unusual Oyster activity, and then dispatching plain clothes officers, before confronting the offenders with the evidence several weeks later. Finally, if your Oyster Card has a discount on it, (student perhaps), or a season ticket, and somebody else has been using it, even accidentally, you are going to have to come clean. It looks to me as though you are only touching IN/OUT within Zones 1-2, with the reality that you are travelling beyond those zones, meaning you are deliberately not touching out because you know your ticket is invalid.
  6. They'll probably find out then if it's that involved. They may even do a SC or CTC level vetting. Best thing would be to just come completely clean and give a very short explanation about the circumstances and how you learned your lesson. It may not necessarily prevent you from being successful.
  7. The caution will more than likely appear on an "Enhanced" disclosure. That said, most employers can't use the "enhanced" option unless you're dealing with vulnerable people, (teaching, care homes, police, NHS etc) or in an area of high security (MI5/SOCA, HMCS, Prisons, Airports, Military etc). If it's just a standard disclosure, the records won't be included. What's the company, or at the very least, the job description?
  8. The DfT are effectively micro-managing these franchises anyway - and basically tell the operators what they can and can't do. The rail industry is nationalised, it's just hidden behind a very thin veneer of a private transport company paint scheme on the trains. Whilst I support full privatisation, the DfT has to basically let the TOCs have free reign. The market won't bear excessive price rises, (customers stop travelling), so they can't really jack up fares any higher than present. If operators were allowed to properly compete with each other then we'd likely see special offers, sales etc, and a drive to actually increase the appeal of services. The current "pretend privatisation" model stifles innovation and private investment, because a private operator is very unlikely to see any return within a 5-8 year franchise period that the government is likely to award to the highest bidder on renewal! These need to be 25 year long term franchises, to allow private investment to flourish.
  9. Again, this is very bad news. As with the Consumer Rights Act and previous to that, allowing cash refunds for delays etc - customers really don't realise that this all costs FAR more in the long term. In response to being forced to refund in cash (and other factors), the majority of Train Operating Companies (TOCs) amended their unregulated Advance fare products, removing the cheapest tiers or severely restricting the number available. Some TOCs amended their regulated Off Peak fares, not through fare increases, but by applying the very maximum time restrictions permitted by regulation, resulting in customers having to now purchase a higher priced Anytime (peak) fare. The Consumer Rights Act has made the situation far worse - it's early days yet, but expect to see things like withdrawal of catering, seat reservations, possibly first class accommodation on borderline or low profit margin services - because if they don't provide (or advertise) a particular service, customers can't claim when it isn't there! This results in the QUALITY of the service being degraded. As for the delay compensation - all that TOCs will do is artificially increase journey times. They'll add longer dwell time at stations, pad out journey times, if a journey can be done in 10 minutes, they'll schedule it for 15, maybe 20. If a train is running 10 minutes late, it will then magically arrive early because the advertised timetable is padded out. This will result in the customer being shown artificially higher journey lengths, (which can affect what onward connections are offered etc). This is most evident with CrossCountry. The 06:01 Glasgow to Plymouth currently has around 40 minutes extra incorporated for "performance", AS WELL as long dwell times at stations, for example, this one sits at Edinburgh (6 minutes), Newcastle (9 minutes), Birmingham (13 minutes), and 2-5 minutes at every other station. If the TOC and passenger wasn't motivated by money/compensation - just think how much quicker this service could be! Finally, Rail franchises are obviously commercial ventures awarded by the government. A TOC will obviously have an idea of what profit/return it needs to make to be viable. The reality is that all companies interested in rail bidding will want a very similar return on their investment. If the government is telling them to pay out compensation after 15 minutes, the TOCs will just reduce how much they pay for the franchise in the first place, (by £millions), which results in less money being returned to the taxpayer - same with the CRA. (For info, a Train Operator normally only makes a single low- digit percentage profit).
  10. I think you need to think how many times you have done this before. You are going to need to admit to multiple fraudulent acts, and apologise for them. I suspect they won't be too impressed if you try and claim this is your first time, especially as Oyster usage data is retained for years! A rail company normally settles for around £100-£200 for a SINGLE offence, I suspect to settle NINE offences, you're looking at a 4 figure sum.
  11. If it involves any sort of violence, sexual crime, theft or dishonesty/fraud - no matter what you write - an organisation like the NHS or Ambulance service won't touch you full stop. Those sort of offences will normally always bar someone from working with vulnerable people or in a position of trust. If it's something minor, road traffic/drunk and disorderly etc, just explain the circumstances of the incident, hopefully you pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity to show remorse, (make that clear), and how you have learnt from the experience, and haven't offended since. If you plead not guilty to the offence(s), you're going to have to come up with a very good explanation why! You need to tell us: 1) What the offence(s) were 2) Whether you plead guilty or not 3) Whether you have been in any trouble (for anything else) between 2003 and now 4) Whether you have been totally honest with this new potential employer up to now.
  12. If they've offered you a suitable alternative position, (or returned you to your original position)- without any loss of pay - then I'd say they have treated you fairly and lawfully.
  13. If there was a ticket office or self service machine available at your origin - you MUST use it, even if it means missing your train. It is a criminal offence to fail to do so - regardless of whether you "intended" to avoid the fare or not. Fortunately, Northern Rail will, for first time offenders only, offer you a Fixed Penalty of £80.00 plus the full single fare for the journey. If you refuse to pay it, they will commence a criminal prosecution, to which you have absolutely zero defence. To get the offer of fixed penalty, you must admit the offence and express your regret and apologies.
  14. £60 doesn't sound right to me. A Penalty Fare would be £20 or twice the (child, if 15 and under) single fare - whatever is the highest. So unless the child fare was £30, no Penalty Fare would come to £60. A Penalty Fare would also result in a small paper document being given to your child immediately. If you've had a letter in the post instead, read on. It sounds like this could me a more serious, "reported for prosecution" case, where they are offering to settle the matter out of court to avoid prosecution and a criminal record. Your child has actually committed a CRIMINAL offence, by entering a train and failing to produce a valid ticket on demand, (Railway Byelaw 18). The only other way you could potentially get to £60 is if they have added an administrative fee on because you haven't appealed or responded within the statutory timescales. If you could let us know what exactly is being offered for £60, we can advise further.
  15. Seeing as he is in charge of an aprox £15BILLION project, his salary is actually fairly modest. If it were in the private sector, his salary would probably be above £1m. You aren't going to get good leaders or executives if you pay below market salaries. Just because it is government funded does not mean you can pay substantially below market rates - you simply won't attract qualified, experienced leadership- they'll just go elsewhere privately, and the government will be stuck! In fairness, the project seems to be coming along very well and will deliver fantastic benefits to London and surrounding areas, far in excess of the capital costs. For such an important project, with high national benefits, I'd rather know I am paying someone who will be committed enough to get things done right, first time, rather than pay someone half the cost, with half the experience. (If I have my zeros right, his pay is a tiny 0.005% of the overall budget, i.e. negligible, almost nil impact overall).
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