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Can I challenge a £20 penalty fare on a technicality?


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Hi,I was on a train from Redhill to Earlswood yesterday after work and as normal had a valid return ticket for the journey to see my gf. As we pulled out of Redhill, my gf called me to say she was stuck at work in Horsham and could I meet her there as we were meeting up with friends in Brighton and she was driving down. I didn't have a valid ticket for the entire journey and as the train was so crammed decided to wait for the ticket inspector to come around and I could buy one on the train. No-one came so my friend and I got off expecting to be able to pay at the barrier. The person infrount of us said to the inspector he needed to buy a ticket and was shown to the ticket booth to buy a valid ticket, my friend explained he needed to buy an extension and was directed to the ticket booth to buy the ticket, I explained I needed to buy an extension and he fined me! When I asked why he let some people through but not me he said "we don't let anyone through without a valid ticket!" I explained he'd let my friend through and another passenger but he didn't care and continued to fine me.Any way I paid fare from Earlswood to Horsham, with the remainder to pay within 21 days but on the penalty notice he handed me there are a few errors.1. The time he stopped me it says 15:55 at which time I was at work. I was actually stopped at 17:552. The reason I was fined is indicated as 00 No ticket, when in actual fact it should have been 03 Travel beyond validity3. He has stated I was travelling from Ifield to Horsham, when I was travelling from Redhill to Horsham.My question is based on the face that the penalty notice is incorrect, can I fight this on this basis?ThanksSmackbat

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Guest Old_andrew2018

yes I think you can on the basis that you were treated unfairly, this quote is taken from london midland web page

Q: What is a penalty fare?

A: A penalty fare is an on-the-spot fare issued to anyone who does not have a valid ticket for their journey "when they have had the opportunity to purchase one".

You wrote "as the train was so crammed decided to wait for the ticket inspector to come around and I could buy one on the train No-one came", so you did not get an opportunity to purchase a ticket whilst on the train, in addition other people were permitted to purchase an extension ticket at their terminal station, so you were treated unfairly.

 

Regards

 

Andy

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  • 1 month later...
yes I think you can on the basis that you were treated unfairly, this quote is taken from london midland web page

Q: What is a penalty fare?

A: A penalty fare is an on-the-spot fare issued to anyone who does not have a valid ticket for their journey "when they have had the opportunity to purchase one".

You wrote "as the train was so crammed decided to wait for the ticket inspector to come around and I could buy one on the train No-one came", so you did not get an opportunity to purchase a ticket whilst on the train, in addition other people were permitted to purchase an extension ticket at their terminal station, so you were treated unfairly.

 

Regards

 

Andy

 

That's rubbish. 'The opportunity to purchase a ticket' means getting off the train and buying another one, or excessing the original, which is obviously preferable. It does not mean to buy a ticket on the train.

However, as the PF was issued so poorly, you could probably challenge it. I doubt you'd even need to say others were let through.

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I had a similar situation where I jumped on the train expecting to be able to pay at the other end at London Victoria as I had done before and was fined while I was waiting in the queue at the booth while other people were sold tickets and let through. It didn't make any sense to me that they have a booth on the platform to sell tickets, but they won't let you purchase a ticket there. I didn't pay the £20 but was forced to buy a single ticket to get through the gate and then a travelcard to get on the tube so it cost me twice as much as it should have done anyway. I sent a letter of appeal against the ticket saying that I had been treated unfairly and inconsistently, and as expected I got a bog standard reply saying that they must insist on payment as I should have purchased a ticket before getting on the train. I sent another letter back saying that I didn't think my concerns had been adequately addressed and I remained of the opinion that I shouldn't have to pay the fine. I never heard from them again. I now live in Spain so I'm not sure if that had anything to do with their decision not to pursue it.

Incidentally, when I gave my Spanish address to the ticket inspector he called the police as I was "refusing" to provide a proper address, they sent 3 officers from British Transport Police who confirmed that if I didn't provide a UK address I would be arrested! I asked if this was a good use of resources when there are people getting mugged on trains and I think the officers felt a bit embarassed about it by the end of it. They basically told me to give any old address and not worry that I didn't come up on the electoral roll there. The jobsworth ticket inspector was trying to justify it saying that the reason he didn't let me buy a ticket was because he recognised me from a previous occasion, which is rubbish because I have been living in Spain for 4 years and I can't remember the last time I took a train into London.

It seems the British Rail inspectors are the new traffic wardens!

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...It seems the British Rail inspectors are the new traffic wardens!
British Rail as was, no longer exists + hasn't done so since 1993...;)

...:)

The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

Blessed is he who in the name of charity and goodwill shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children.

And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers.

And you will know my name is the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon thee.

(Jules Winnfield)

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