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  1. Hi. Parked at a Southern railway rail station today and used the phone number to pay the daily charge . I had used it before but with a different car and the system recognised my phone number did a fast track to payment confirmation . I didn't spot that the registration number quoted by their system was not that of the car I was using today (lot of background noise in the car park). There was a penalty notice issued by Indigo when I returned. What are the chances of success if I appeal? I can prove that I own both cars and that the one for whom they issued the ticket was not there today (it's in a garage for repair). Any tips on how to phrase the appeal in such a case? Thanks
  2. Rail passengers to benefit from ‘one-click’ compensation READ MORE HERE: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/rail-passengers-to-benefit-from-one-click-compensation
  3. Hello all. Firstly, as a first time poster I just want to say how useful this forum is, so I’m hoping you’ll be able to help me out too. I was recently stopped by a Southern Rail inspector. I was travelling on a packed commuter train and (although many of you might think this is an excuse) I suffer from really bad foot pain, which I have been to the doctors about, and sat in first class as I was in real pain. In hindsight, I shouldn’t have done it. I should have asked someone to get up for me, but being a young guy I doubt people would have taken me seriously. I spoke with the conductor who made me feel out a ‘witness statement’ I gave my name, full address, phone number and then she handed it to one of he colleagues who completed the process. He was a nice guy. He told me not to worry and that they would send me a letter in the post asking for a fine. But he didn’t ask me to pay anything there and then, he said I had to wait until the letter comes through. I later revealed some kind of gold badge and asked me a few questions which I answered truthfully. He said not to worry and that this was only ‘civil’ and that I would 100% just get a fine. I’m not a fare dodger and never sit in first class barring this one time. What should I expect? Just a fine? A court summons? Once again, thanks for all your help/advice.
  4. Hello,, Today I received a notice of intention to prosecute from Govia Thameslink Railway after an incident on Northern Rail back in January. I am extremely extremely worried about this incident and it is causing me great upset. I have read around on this forum and have prepared my response below to the notice of intended prosecution, please can you offer any advice on what I should / should not included and also indicate what the repercussions of this could be? Is there anything else I should do like ringing them etc? Any help is massively appreciated! RESPONSE: Dear Sir/Madam, I offer my most sincere apologise for my shameful actions in this case. In all other circumstances of my life, I had until this point - upheld a strong degree of integrity and character. As a young lady starting out my career, a criminal record would completely devastate my current and future employment prospects. I’m in my first job working in London and had been using carnets to travel to and from work. During the week of the 8th January, I was in the midst of moving house and with everything going on more stressed than normal. On the 10th January, I caught an extra early train at 6:21am from Letchworth Garden City to attend an earlier-than-usual meeting. Due to it being much earlier than I would typically travel, I hadn’t prepared a carnet beforehand like normal, but instead planned to complete a blank one on the train. In complete stupidity, I didn’t check there was a blank one in my bag and whilst on-board, I realised to my horror I had forgot to pack the empty carnet. In panic, I searched through my bag and could only find a previously used carnet. In a complete error of judgement, I stupidly changed the dates on the carnet to the 10th January. This was a terrible thing to do and I am extremely ashamed of my action. Upon arriving at Kings Cross, I was questioned by the ticket officer and at which point, I admitted whole heartedly to what I had done, apologised profusely and explained the circumstances. The officer thanked me for my honestly telling me he would leave a mark on my file, but advised he would have to report the incident. I made a grave mistake. I have never done anything like this before and certainly will not do anything of this nature again. I am extremely sorry for the way I acted and the damages this action has caused others. I am more than willing and able to make immediate payment to cover the unpaid fare and any other damages or administrative costs I’ve caused. I’m also happy to sign up to an annual ticket so this event can never happen again. I appreciate your consideration in this matter.
  5. Plans to change the way fare dodging rail passengers are punished have been outlined by the Department for Transport (DfT). Ministers want to make the process simpler following accusations that it is unfair and lacks consistency. The proposals are in response to reports into the issue by independent watchdog Transport Focus (TF) which explained that, under current arrangements, train operators are "the victim, the investigators, the decision makers and the prosecutor". It described this as a "powerful position" and declared that "the whole system requires an overhaul". TF said the outlook for passengers mistakenly accused of fare dodging is "bleak", and warned that some passengers are being threatened with criminal sanctions despite no evidence they were attempting to commit fraud. The proposals announced by the DfT include: :: Clearer rules on deadlines for payments and appeals :: Making appeals bodies independent of train operators and their owners :: The creation of a third-stage independent appeals panel :: Stronger DfT oversight of the appeals process through an annual audit of penalty fares data https://uk.yahoo.com/finance/news/revamp-plans-punishments-dished-rail-161443357.html
  6. Hello, I did not post a query on the forum but just wanted to thank you for providing such a valuable resource. I foolishly attempted to use someone else's annual travelcard and was stopped at the entry barrier. I provided my details to the inspector and bought a ticket and went on my way. I received a letter from the rail company a few weeks later informing me that they intended to prosecute, and asking for my version of events. I wrote back a brief contrite reply, outlining the facts, apologising and asking if it would be possible to cover their costs to avoid further action. I then received a letter asking me to contact them. After speaking to them on the phone, they have been happy to settle the matter if I pay their admin costs. The outcome has been a huge relief to me, after weeks of worry and several sleepless nights. This forum provided incredibly useful guidance as to how to respond to the letter and it was helpful to read that others have been through similar issues and managed to avoid court action. Thank you all for the time you take to help people, provide useful templates and advice. I have made a donation.
  7. The Consumer Rights Act (CRA) will apply in full to all transport services, including mainline rail passenger services, from next month, allowing passengers to challenge the amount of compensation they are offered by rail companies. From the start of next month, under the Consumer Rights Act, passengers will be able to ask for their money back by going to a local county court if they are not happy with the way a rail operator has dealt with their request for compensation. Long-suffering commuters will also be allowed to demand that compensation is paid in cash rather than train vouchers. Under existing guidelines most train operators only offer a ‘delay repay’ deal which allows passengers to claim the cost of half a single journey for delays of more than half an hour – or the full one-way ticket price if held up for over an hour. It is only if a train is cancelled, or a vital connection missed, that a full refund of a return journey will be paid. These refunds are not automatic – you must fill in a form first – and they are currently paid in train journey vouchers. The new rules will allow passengers to demand all their money back if they believe the compensation offered is inadequate – or they believe they deserve a full refund as the service fell well short of what they had expected. Read more: http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/news/article-3783016/Delayed-leaves-line-train-company-court.html#ixzz4KtQ6t3ff
  8. The rail watchdog is launching an investigation into “rip off” rail machines after a Telegraph investigation revealed that passengers are routinely being denied the cheapest fares. Joanna Whittington, chief executive of the Office of Rail and Road, said that research suggests one in 20*passengers were being sold rail tickets by machines that are too expensive. This means the millions of rail passengers could be potentially be paying the wrong*train*fares for journeys. An investigation by the Telegraph in 2014 found that customers were forced to pay double the required fare*as a result of machines promoting the most expensive tickets and “burying” the cheapest options. Telegraph
  9. hi, On wednesday 23/03/2016 i was travelling as I am used to from ilkley to go work in leeds, I have a metro card that i top up every month, this one expired on 22/03/2016. As I was in a rush I did not want to miss the train I did not buy a ticket from the station i assumed I could do so on the train, on board no guard came offered fares as I was expecting. When I arrived i then decided to go and buy the ticket from the platform. I was then stopped by a guard and telling me i to fill inn the paper... The guard took my travel card receipt covering for the period from 23/02/2016 to 22/03/2016. Opened the gates and let me go. I then went to the nearest payzone and topped up my metro card covering period from 23/03/2016 to 22/04/2016 INCLUDING wednesday 23/03/2016. I am now very concerned about this situation in here as I did not do anything wrong. The agent who took my details saw my passport and Iam sure i spelled my name correctly but for some reason I received a letter with my first name spelt wrong. My question is will I be prosecuted for this ? this was the first time this has ever happened to me. I am flabbergasted as i was not trying to be dishonest that is not my nature.. but then I receive that letter accusing me of fare evasion. I am really worried I don't want to have it on my records and ruin my future. Can any one help me ? Much appreciated Thank you S.S
  10. The government is set to delay implementing enhanced rights for rail passengers by 18 months, Which? has discovered. Earlier this month, it emerged that the government is set to delay the implementation of the Consumer Rights Act in sea and air travel until October 2016. And now, Which? has discovered that rail will be delayed by a further 12 months until October 2017. The Consumer Rights Act came into force across most sectors in October 2015 and was initially due to apply to all travel sectors from 6 April 2016. This delay means consumers will now have to wait another 18 months to be able to claim a full refund or compensation when a train operator does not deliver a service 'with reasonable care and skill'. http://www.which.co.uk/news/2016/04/further-delays-in-store-for-rail-passenger-rights-439947/
  11. Accompanied children under 11 will be able to enjoy free travel on all National Rail services in London from 2 January, At the moment children are only allowed free travel when they are accompanied by a paying adult on Tube, Transport for London (TfL) rail, Docklands Light Railway, and London Overground trips. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-34791332
  12. i suspect after last night i am in the wrong here. however i didn't before then. our local station is unmanned outside of morning rush hour. it has in the past had a permit to travel machine, which is a pain as you have to find someone to issue a ticket on the train and network south east (edit southeastern) guards often sit in with the driver to have a chat rather than issuing and checking tickets. i was therefore pleased to see it removed with the promise of a new ticket issuing machine, but then dismayed to see it replaced with a machine you can only pay by card with as i would no more trust southeastern to keep my card details safe than i would trust them to run all their trains on time! i therefore had a chat with the guy who sells the tickets in the morning explaining that i didn't want to use my bank card in the machine and asking how i stood legally. instead of telling me he didn't know he told me i should purchase a ticket at the earliest opportunity, be that from someone checking tickets on the train or at the other end of the journey. yesterday i entered the train intending to buy a ticket from the guard but he was nowhere to be seen. it was a short journey of less than 15 minutes. when i tried to go up the train i couldn't as the carriage was locked off from the rest of the train. at the next stop i actually got off and saw a southeastern employee in a closed off area and asked him if i could buy a ticket. he simply told me there was no one to issue a ticket in that section, whatever that meant, but didn't tell me where or if i could buy one. when i got to my destination i was told i had a penalty fare of £20 to pay. i explained the full circumstances and there was even a girl standing next to me who had seen me get off the train and try to buy a ticket. i told him when it became obvious he was going to fine me despite being fully aware that i had made every reasonable effort to buy a ticket that i was meeting someone and i was in a rush and what did he want. he had already asked me politely if he could have my address and i replied firmly 'no' and was not asked for it again. he said the penalty fare was £20 on a few occasions so eventually as he was taking his time fiddling about pressed a £20 note into his hand and cleared off without a receipt and without giving him my address. as you can imagine this has left a very bad feeling, i clearly haven't tried to dodge the fare but haven't been able to buy a ticket for cash despite making a lot of effort to do so. i would comment as follows, can anyone confirm i am in the wrong and the inspector was in the right? if so surely people issuing tickets should know the legislation and be able to advise the public correctly on where they stand! if you can be fined as soon as you get on the train it means you need to pay by card, i can open up another bank account with no overdraft and a card which i can keep a low amount of cash in to buy tickets with. this seems excessive to me but may be the only solution. however if a teenager doesn't have a bank card what do they do? it seems a ridiculous situation to me brought about by southeastern installing a machine that doesn't take cash and removing the permit to travel machine that i used before. i use the train for occasional non work trips and have decided not to use it today nor until i find out where i stand and if need be sort out a new bank card for the purpose of buying tickets. therefore network south east are already 'out of pocket' and the incident has already affected my use of their service. it is all the more galling if as i suspect their employee at the local station unintentionally misled me through lack of training and also because our line has always been historically overcharged due to an anomaly in fares that they have never dealt with. the whole episode is pretty unpleasant and unsavoury to be honest and is brought about by the failure southeastern to offer a cash payment option at our local station. i could go to the lengths of sorting out a new bank card, but a teenager couldn't. we are already overcharged and have no waiting room and an unmanned station. the situation is i personally believe unacceptable
  13. Hi all hope you are well. Today I received a letter from Northern Rail's Debt Recovery and Prosecutions Unit. It's regarding the end of July when I traveled from Hadfield to Glossop by train. The ticket office was closed, and the ticket machine only accepts card. I was carrying cash and fully intended to buy a ticket. When I cannot get a ticket in this situation I simply get one in Glossop. When I got off the train I saw two northern rail uniformed staff, I approached them to get a ticket. At this point they told me I had committed an offence and they took my details. I was literally asking them to pay as I figured they must have the ticket machine! Just wondering if I have a leg to stand on? Any advice will be appreciated.
  14. Any of the rail experts have a view on this ? My local TOC (C2C) seems to be tying itself in knots over whether a ticket valid from one station is also valid to the next stop as the cost is the same for both. So far I've been told, they ARE valid, they ARE NOT valid, or they are valid only if the ticket is a weekly season but not a daily one (this makes little sense as the criteria, i.e. the cost is the same, applies equally to both). The advice given here > https://www.ircas.co.uk/docs/c2c_Penalty_Fares_Leaflet.pdf would imply tickets are NOT valid but one must assume if permission has been given then this wouldn't apply ?
  15. It amuses me that the lady appointed by government to look at network rail suggests that privatisation may be an option. The upgrade and ongoing maintenance of a very old railway is very expensive. Any private investors are going to want guarantees from government that the company will be given the money it needs. I cannot see a blank cheque being given. Apparently it was a surprise how complicated it was to upgrade the Great Western line from Paddington to the west country and Wales. Trying to electrify a line with all the bridges, tunnels, stations, nearby towns/cities was always going to be very challenging. They are doing the work, while trying to run a normal service on the line. My opinion for what it is worth, is that the government should drop HS2 and instead invest the money in upgrading the network over the next 20 years. They will have to accept that the upgrade works will take longer than expected and cost more. If they bring in private companies with competition for jobs of a limited number of qualified engineers, the engineers will do very well as they are poached by other companies. They need to have one public company that is properly run and accountable to government and parliament.
  16. Hi, I have recently been asked to give my details for dodging a train fair for a second time. Admittedly they were different circumstances. However because this was the second time this has happened (the first time I had to pay a fine) I was worried i would be sent to prison or get a criminal record so I gave false details. I quickly withdrew these details after further questioning and admitted I had lied. But because this is the second time they have pulled me up, and because I gave false details to start, will I get a criminal offence? Please anyone that has any experience with this I would appreciate your help. Thank you.
  17. I am currently tidying up the house doing little jobs. The bannister rail was varnished in a dark colour, most of which I have been able to remove and will keep going until it is fully removed ( bit of a job) The question is whether to re-varnish in a lighter colour or to prime paint, then coat with a hard wearing oil based white paint. With varnish over a period of time, grease from hands gets into the varnish making it unstable and needing to be removed, re-varnished. With white paint, it will get a little dirty over a period of time, but if you clean it regularly with a damp sponge, it would not look too bad. The option of leaving it as bare wood is not really an option, as removing the varnish will have caused slight noticeable damage. What do people suggest ? I know it is a question of personal taste to a certain extent.
  18. here is the story. On Saturday (25th Oct), early in the morning I was heading towards the Tube station in London and I saw some fella heading towards me. He then stopped and offered me his paper railcard, saying that he's done with travelling for the day and kindly offered me to take his card. I accepted this as an act of kindness from the stranger and continued walking towards the station. Since I got a valid rail card, my initial intent to top up my existent Student Photocard Oyster was foregone. The rail card worked perfectly and was actually valid till the end of the next day (weekly pass, worth 57 pounds). Unluckily for me, in the station that I got off, I was stopped by an inspector. I gave him this railcard I had received and he asked for a photocard associated with this travel pass. I explained the situation to the investigator that I do not have it and I was given this card by a stranger outside the tube station. He then said that this is illegal and I haven't paid for my travel. He also mentioned, that this card may be fake, which I was absolutely unaware of. He also scanned my Student Oyster (there was 80p only) and took my details from there, and took notes on his notebook (Qs and As). At the end he said that I should receive a letter shortly with either a warning, a fine or a prosecution. I am panicking and stressing hell of a lot. I am a master's graduate from prestige University and also am a financialist by a profession. I want to avoid criminal record at any cost as it may ruin my life and career. Please advise on the most obvious outcome and what should I do next?? Also, I was not asked to sign anything by the inspector and was let to continue with my journey.
  19. Train companies are being forced to offer commuters the cheapest rail fares possible, following criticism that passengers can pay an excess of £100 when purchasing tickets at self-service machines instead of paying at a ticket counter. The changes, which are expected to be implemented by March, are aimed at ending the anomaly in prices available at the counter, where staff have access to a complex database of fares, discounts and promotions, and the more limited options in a self-service machines. Some machines have been found to promote expensive fares, bury cheaper options and do not apply discounts for groups or families, leading to a difference in train prices of up to £100, according to the Daily Telegraph. As a first step, they must label all self-service machines by March to warn passengers they could save money by using the counter service. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/rail-bosses-told-to-show-passengers-how-to-get-cheapest-tickets-9952838.html
  20. Rail passengers are routinely being denied the cheapest fares when they buy tickets at stations, The Telegraph can disclose. Self-service machines — which are used to purchase almost a quarter of all tickets sold annually — offer wildly different fares, an investigation by this newspaper shows. Customers buying from a machine can pay more than £200 when a ticket for the same destination can be found elsewhere at the station for more than £100 cheaper. For example, at machines run by train company Northern Rail in Leeds, passengers buying a First-Class Anytime Return to Birmingham were charged £271. Only feet away, an East Coast trains machine offered the same journey using a First-Class Off-peak Return for £145.70. This type of ticket is not available for customers using Northern Rail’s machines, which means that some passengers might not be aware that they could save £125.30 by travelling off-peak. The Telegraph investigation examined rail fares across the country and found that customers were being offered different prices for the same journey depending on which operator’s machine they used. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/road-and-rail-transport/11175688/Rail-ticket-rip-off-passengers-routinely-denied-cheapest-fares.html The best way to ensure you don't get ripped off is to buy your ticket at the ticket office. Ticket office clerks are required by law to offer the cheapest tickets, regardless of which company they work for.
  21. reading around I think I'm screwed but... I was in a rush today and I was collecting some pre-booked Advanced Single tickets for a trip next week using one of the self service ticket machines at the station and I printed them all but had to run for the train I mistakenly thought they had all printed when I got on the train I noticed too late that only the outward single had been printed not the return single... I spoke to the train conductor (It's a small off shoot of a larger train network so has conductors) who said he would phone the previous station when he got off at the next one and ask if they were still there I also phoned the lost property number and left a message with my contact details how screwed am I if they aren't found? would it make a difference If I just said they didn't print? after all I really don't know if they did or not Many thanks in advance.
  22. Would be great to get your advice.... Last Friday I travelled from London to Leeds with east coast. I used my friends 16-25 rail card, and an inspector realised the rail card was not mine and prosecuted me on the train. I am yet to hear back from them, however after speaking to friends and reading online about the severity of the situation, I would really like to prepare a good defence . Why I used his rail card? I used my friends railcard because my wallet was stolen the week before with my rail card in it. I had a busy few weeks working late shifts as a waiter and did not remember to buy a new one until the day of travel. When I checked my bank balance I did not have enough money to pay for a rail card. I thought I would take a risk and use his. Very stupid of me, and now I have to deal with the consequences. I have recently graduated from University and do not want a criminal record. I have worked incredibly hard to get to where I am today. This is the first offence I have committed. I hope to embark on a career in accountancy and I know a criminal record will make it difficult for me to get a job. Thank you!
  23. Rail commuters are hit by up to 40,000 bogus parking fines: 'Pirates' accused of demanding money from commuters using the wrong law £100 fines handed out when drivers outstayed permitted period at car parks belonging to Chiltern Railways MET Parking Services was using the wrong law to issue the parking tickets Company also issues fines on behalf of McDonald's car park users Firm, which manages car parks on line between Marylebone and Birmingham, admitted that 1,025 tickets were incorrectly issued DVLA earns £10m a year from private parking firms for right to access its database Parking ‘pirates’ are accused of issuing thousands of bogus penalty notices to travellers using railway station car parks on a busy commuter line. Fines of £100 a time were handed out when drivers stayed beyond the permitted period at car parks belonging to Chiltern Railways. But MET Parking Services was using the wrong law to issue the tickets, and is now accused of demanding money under false pretences from as many as 40,000 commuters. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2716193/Rail-commuters-hit-40-000-bogus-parking-fines-Pirates-accused-demanding-money-commuters-using-wrong-law.html
  24. Hi South West trains are threatening to take me to magistrates court for fare evasion and I'd like to hire the best solicitor possible who specialises in these types of cases. Does such a thing exist? Does anyone have any recommendations? Any help appreciated. Thanks Steve
  25. Hello, I was recently stopped by ticket inspectors for inadvertently travelling one zone beyond that which my monthly travelcard covered. I was stopped and told about the fine; when I tried to explain it was an accident, the inspector walked me over to his more senior colleague, who immediately started taking down my details. I soon realised the second inspector wasn’t interested in hearing my side (which, naively, is what I first thought was happening) but instead started to write me up and take down details, and reading me a caution. I asked several times why this was happening (was ignored), and I then offered – again several times – to pay the on the spot fine, sensing whatever was going to happen was going to be more trouble than it was worth. I produced my bank card to show I had means to pay. I was also accused of giving a false address just because the inspector couldn’t find me on whatever system he was accessing – which I soon disproved by showing a tax bill addressed to me, which he accepted. The whole exchange got quite heated, primarily because the inspector was refusing to accept payment for the on the spot fine, and also accusing me of trying to give false details, which was never the case. From what I can tell from initial research, it’s completely up to the discretion of the First Capital Connect’s prosecution department whether or not to accept an appeal, accept payment/admin costs, or just take the whole thing straight to court. I’m perfectly willing to accept I’m in the wrong and need to pay something; but I was wondering if anyone had any advice on the likelihood of this being taken further – i.e. to court – straight away. I’ve never fare dodged before in 15 years of commuting, this was an honest mistake, and I tried very hard to pay the fine after the initial conversation, but the inspector seemed very intent on taking it further. Any advice? thanks
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