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rickyquicky

penalty fare on southeastern trains.

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Hi im new here and would greatly appreciate any advice.

 

I'll try to keep it as concise as possible:

 

I travel from my local station to london mon-fri and purchase a monthly train ticket. About 2 months ago I misplaced my pass but luckily had my photocard, reciept for the ticket, and ID available.

 

I explained what I had to my local station and they said "thats fine, go through".

 

when i arrived in london i walked up to an inspector, showed what I had and that I had been let through my local station. The inspector told me that this was not valid and i would be liable for a penalty fare which i now dispute.

 

I had beyond any doubt proof of purchase, and proof of ID and my photocard and had been let through at my local station. Should I pay a penalty fare?

 

Thanks in advance, Ricky.

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Its too late to appeal against the PF as you have a 21 day window in which to do so.

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sorry, I should have said. I have already appealed and I recieved a letter back saying that you must have a "valid ticket to travel" and that they would not accept my appeal 10 days ago.

 

I will not accept that I am liable to pay a penalty fare considering that evidence of a purchased ticket, a photocard, and ID were all presented to the guard (and photocopies sent with my appeal) and there was no more that could be reasonably expected for me to do.

 

also, a guard at my home station let me through and said it was fine.

 

my main concern is that they are saying it doesnt matter if you dont have bought a ticket and can prove it, its having the actual pass thing itself that permits you to travel.

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I will not accept that I am liable to pay a penalty fare .............my main concern is that they are saying it doesnt matter if you dont have bought a ticket and can prove it, its having the actual pass thing itself that permits you to travel.

 

 

Unfortunately, I'm afraid this is absolutely correct.

 

If the rail company wished to proceed further there are Byelaw offences that may be considered.

 

Where pre-purchase facilities are available, the traveller has a strict liability obligation to produce a valid ticket on demand by authorised rail staff or, in some cases a police officer.

 

Failure to comply is in breach of National Railway Byelaw 17 if within a controlled ticket area or, Byelaw 18 if in any other part of the railway. (On the DLR and other parts of TfL the specific Byelaw may have a different number, but the wording of the obligation remains the same.)

 

The offence is 'fail to carry' a valid ticket.

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thanks for your replies.

 

thats what I have an issue with - the fact they are saying its an offence to 'fail to carry a ticket'.

 

Because I could clearly prove I had purchased the right to travel, but had simply lost my ticket that day, AND was let through by a guard at my 'home' station I dont see how they can give me a £20 penalty fare.

 

So am I wasting my time then? Or do my circumstances give me any form of argument? If I have paid for and can prove it for a service surely I am entitled to use it?

 

I will pay the fine, but its the principal of the matter, I pay to use the trains every month, yet lose my ticket 1 day and am fined the same as a 'fare-dodger'

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Sorry - but i find this difficult to believe - SouthWest Trains has a policy for this type of thing i.e if you missplace your ticket you can get refunds for any penalty or tickets bought (much fairer).

 

Lost or stolen Season Tickets or photocards

 

  1. Should you lose your Season Ticket or have it stolen, report this immediately to the ticket office where it was issued. If you or we cannot recover the lost or stolen ticket we will then consider an application for a duplicate ticket, if the original was issued for a period of one month or more. No duplicates are issued in respect of lost or stolen Weekly Season Tickets. We may ask you or others for information. There is an administration charge when a duplicate Season Ticket is issued (see later)
  2. Only one replacement will normally be allowed in respect of any lost season ticket. However, a second replacement will usually be allowed if:-

    1. the original season ticket is returned to the Train company which sold it within one month of it having been notified of the loss; or
    2. the first or second request for a duplicate arose as a result of theft, robbery, fire or other exceptional circumstances the facts of which have been reported to the police, the fire service or another appropriate body.
    3. No more than two duplicate season tickets will be issued in any twelve month period in any circumstances.

      [*]A refund (no administration charge) will be made on tickets purchased for your journey while you are waiting for the duplicate to be issued, if these tickets are handed in.

      [*]If you lose or have your photocard stolen we can issue a new one, for which a further photograph is required. If this necessitates your Season Ticket being reissued an administration charge will be made.

      Is is not the same on South Eastern?


Veester

 

"Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful." -- Joshua J. Marine‏ ;)

 

Better than the truth itself is truthful living.

 

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It probably is the same as south eastern.

 

I was not informed of the lost ticket procedure. I arrived at my train station, told them I didnt know where my ticket was, but that I had my reciept, my photocard, and ID all on me and they just said 'thats fine' and he opened the barrier. It wasnt until I arrived and explained again that I was told it was not acceptable. Is that not basically entrapment? I was advised it was fine, and then when its too late im told its not?

 

At the end of the day what defines a 'ticket'? Surely an official, original reciept could be classed as a 'ticket'? How can they justify a fine even though I have paid for my travel and could prove it without any doubt whatsoever?

 

Also, in the T&C's you pasted it has no mention of penalty fares, just that if you lose your ticket you are supposed to buy another one and then you get a refund, not that you get a refund on penalty fares.

Edited by rickyquicky
left out information

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Hi,

i work as a inspector on the railways..

 

what should of happened is the ticket office should had giving you authority to travel and stamp the letter of authority with a stamp from the booking office.

this would of help.

a fail to carry report should of been taken by the revenue staff in london and the passenger is to send a copy of their season ticket within 14 days to the rail company the revenue staff works for.

 

you should write to the rail company.

thanks

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Thanks for your reply, I don't know why they didn't apply this to my case, the inspector at Cannon Street station must have been a jobsworth.

 

In my next letter to the appeals department I will mention why I was not give a stamp as a permit to travel.

 

Unfortunately it seems like there is a different rule for different people, each day. For example, after speaking to various rail staff I have been told:

 

- that a valid reciept with ID is ok to travel

 

- that you have to buy a new ticket

 

- that you just pay each individual day and then claim them back

 

- that you get a stamp as a permit to travel.

 

With rules this loose how can they possibly enforce any of their penalties when different staff are giving different information?

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The Byelaw that would be used is 18(2) which is 'Fail To Hand Over A Valid Ticket For Inspection And Verification'.

So even proof of purchase would not preclude a conviction, but it would probably mean either a conditional or absolute discharge.

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It probably is the same as south eastern.

 

I was not informed of the lost ticket procedure. I arrived at my train station, told them I didnt know where my ticket was, but that I had my reciept, my photocard, and ID all on me and they just said 'thats fine' and he opened the barrier. It wasnt until I arrived and explained again that I was told it was not acceptable. Is that not basically entrapment? I was advised it was fine, and then when its too late im told its not?

 

At the end of the day what defines a 'ticket'? Surely an official, original reciept could be classed as a 'ticket'? How can they justify a fine even though I have paid for my travel and could prove it without any doubt whatsoever?

 

Also, in the T&C's you pasted it has no mention of penalty fares, just that if you lose your ticket you are supposed to buy another one and then you get a refund, not that you get a refund on penalty fares.

 

 

You state that you were not advised of the lost ticket procedure, but when you purchase you first season ticket you complete an application and are given a copy of the terms & conditions.

 

I appreciate that may have been some time ago and that many people do not bother to read them

 

If you can show the Rail Company that you were allowed to pass through the barrier, then condition 18.(3) (iii) applies and your appeal against the penalty should be upheld.

 

In your letter, you should give as clear a description of the member of staff as possible and the time at which you were allowed to pass

 

You ask what defines a ticket? Well the answer to that one is very clear. Only a valid rail ticket can be accepted for travel.

 

No, a receipt does not constitute ‘a ticket’ nor authority to travel. This is in part, to prevent the unscrupulous from allowing a friend to travel on a receipt & photocard in order to avoid a fare.

 

It is a National condition that the actual ticket must be available for inspection at the time of travel.

 

You refer to the season T&Cs allowing for a refund on the ticket that you have to buy if you leave a season ticket at home etc., but state that this does not mention penalty fares.

 

If you comply with the penalty fares rules and make an appeal within 21 days of issue that is covered.

 

If you had paid the penalty and your appeal is upheld, you will get a refund.

 

If you had not paid and the appeal is upheld, the penalty liability will be cancelled.

 

Following on from SRPOs excellent advice this is the actual Byelaw:

 

18. Ticketless travel in non-compulsory ticket areas

 

(1) In any area not designated as a compulsory ticket area, no person shall enter any train for the purpose of travelling on the railway unless he has with him a valid ticket entitling him to travel.

 

(2) A person shall hand over his ticket for inspection and verification of validity when asked to do so by an authorised person.

 

(3) No person shall be in breach of Byelaw 18(1) or 18(2) if:

(i) there were no facilities in working order for the issue or validation of any ticket at the time when, and the station where, he began his journey; or

(ii) there was a notice at the station where he began his journey permitting journeys to be started without a valid ticket; or

(iii) an authorised person gave him permission to travel without a valid ticket.

For avoidance of doubt, here is a link to the complete National Railways Byelaws document:

 

http://www.southeasternrailway.co.uk/app/webroot/files/cache/Railway%20Byelaws.pdf

 

Copies should be available at all stations if you want one and also, the Conditions of Issue & Use of Season Tickets.

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I don't know if this is any help:

Penalty Fares Policy

 

 

4.29 When a penalty fare cannot be charged. The instructions must make clear to authorised collectors when they can charge a penalty fare and when they can't. [snip]...

  • Season ticket left at home.We expect allowances to be made for season-ticket holders who, for one reason or another, fail to carry their season ticket or photocard. The system used by most operators is that a penalty fare notice will be issued, but no payment will be taken. On two occasions for each person in any 12-month period, the penalty fare will [my emphasis] be cancelled when the passenger appeals. Some operators have procedures for cancelling penalty fares notices without having to go through the appeals process and we want to encourage this. The instructions given to authorised collectors must explain what the authorised collector and the season-ticket holder must do in this situation.

Other, more knowledgeable posters will be able to clarify whether this completely invalidates the penalty fare in any case, for failure to comply with DfT rules.

 

I have seen many instances on other forums where people have been issued penalty fares in circumstances where this is not permitted (e.g. when a passenger has had no opportunity whatsoever to buy a ticket, or when a passenger is travelling with a walk-up ticket that is merely invalid due to a time or routeing restriction).

 

People report that they have subsequently appealed (in time), but that their appeal has been rejected, with an automatically generated letter, which completely ignores all the points that they have raised, and that they have subsequently been threatened with prosecution for non-payment.

 

I hope that other posters will share my concern over this.

Firstly, I thought the appeal system was meant to be independent, and not simply a means of sending out computer-generated rejection letters?

Secondly, prosecuting under railway byelaws over non-payment of an unlawfully charged penalty fare must surely constitute an abuse of process?

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Some operators have procedures for cancelling penalty fares notices without having to go through the appeals process and we want to encourage this.

 

Secondly, prosecuting under railway byelaws over non-payment of an unlawfully charged penalty fare must surely constitute an abuse of process?

 

 

The first point that I have highlighted fom your post mirrors the comment that I made re following penalty fare procedures and I'm sorry if that wasn't clearer.

 

If (on the first two occasions in any year) the traveller produced the valid season ticket at their local station booking office within 21 days, the penalty fare notice would be automatically cancelled thus not having to go through the written appeal procedure.

 

The second point is about any action for non-payment where a penalty fare is not paid or successfully appealed and in this scenario, a traveller would not be prosecuted for the unpaid penalty fare.

 

The charge would allege the unpaid single fare for the journey that the traveller made and the Penalty Fares (Railways) Rules specifically allow for that. The penalty notice must be cancelled and action is then taken on the basis of an unpaid single rail fare.

 

In my experience, I don't know of any case where a rail company has tried to do this where a season ticket is concerned and where there is evidence that the traveller held a valid season ticket, I personally wouldn't do so.

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Thanks OldCodJA

Edited by jkdd77

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I will pay the fine, but its the principal of the matter, I pay to use the trains every month, yet lose my ticket 1 day and am fined the same as a 'fare-dodger'

I hate it when people assume Penalty Fares are for fare dodgers. Fare Dodgers (most of the time...) are reported under the Byelaws. Penalty fares are used to deter people and to dictate some sort of standard on the railway, for want of a better term.

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I hate it when people assume Penalty Fares are for fare dodgers. Fare Dodgers (most of the time...) are reported under the Byelaws. Penalty fares are used to deter people and to dictate some sort of standard on the railway, for want of a better term.

 

You are mainly right Stigy, but today, many 'fare dodgers' are issued penalty fare notices and are happy to accept them. This is where it has gone wrong.

 

Penalty Fares legislation was originally introduced as an Act in it's own right in 1989, partly as an attempt to deal with the growing problem of 'opportunist' fare evasion and partly to re-educate travellers in respect the strict liability requirement to hold a ticket in accordance with Railway Byelaws.

 

As an NSE RPI at the time of the first implementation, I carried an official summary of the original Act around with me to explain the process to travellers.

 

This was only really envisaged to be successful in dealing with relatively small fares and commuter traffic whereby the minimum penalty would be equal to four or five times the unpaid single fare and therefore might be seen as a realistic deterrent. The introduction of barriers at most stations in the London area, which protect the minimum fare was a further management tool introduced to address more of the problems.

 

Real 'fare dodgers', that is those intentionally avoiding payment of a fare, should be and usually are, dealt with in accordance with Section 5 of The Regulation of Railways Act (1889)

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You are mainly right Stigy, but today, many 'fare dodgers' are issued penalty fare notices and are happy to accept them. This is where it has gone wrong.

 

Penalty Fares legislation was originally introduced as an Act in it's own right in 1989, partly as an attempt to deal with the growing problem of 'opportunist' fare evasion and partly to re-educate travellers in respect the strict liability requirement to hold a ticket in accordance with Railway Byelaws.

 

As an NSE RPI at the time of the first implementation, I carried an official summary of the original Act around with me to explain the process to travellers.

 

This was only really envisaged to be successful in dealing with relatively small fares and commuter traffic whereby the minimum penalty would be equal to four or five times the unpaid single fare and therefore might be seen as a realistic deterrent. The introduction of barriers at most stations in the London area, which protect the minimum fare was a further management tool introduced to address more of the problems.

 

Real 'fare dodgers', that is those intentionally avoiding payment of a fare, should be and usually are, dealt with in accordance with Section 5 of The Regulation of Railways Act (1889)

I agree with all of that, but I see on many occassions, people being issued a Penalty Fare for the fifth or sixth time, as well as people who had no money with which to purchase a ticket in the first place, this is where it all goes wrong in my opinion. There should be a limit to the amount of Panalty Fares people can get before being reported for an offence, afterall, surely after PF number three, the person in question should know all about the rules!

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I agree with all of that, but I see on many occassions, people being issued a Penalty Fare for the fifth or sixth time, as well as people who had no money with which to purchase a ticket in the first place, this is where it all goes wrong in my opinion. There should be a limit to the amount of Panalty Fares people can get before being reported for an offence, afterall, surely after PF number three, the person in question should know all about the rules!

 

 

Exactly my point.

 

We read posts day after day making the claim that inspectors & guards are 'little hitlers' or being 'too hard in enforcing the rules', but it is the growth in opportunist fare evasion that may drive such a thinking.

 

In any enforcement role, staff will tire of hearing the same worn-out and discredited excuses day after day and some cyncism becomes inevitable.

 

I am not saying everyone is a fiddler and I'n not condoning the actions of enforcement staff where some clearly go OTT, but in the merry-go-round world of checking tickets on the same old routes & trains it does happen. That's human nature. Traffic wardens, car-park attendants, tax inspectors all get a bad press, I wonder why?

 

Far too many people are only too happy to pay a penalty fare if caught in the knowledge that they are only caught perhaps once or twice a week and so not paying in advance remains a profitable exercise.

 

The majority of honest, fare-paying, law-abiding travellers are only too pleased to see transgressors brought to book, but the growth in ticket-less travel makes it very hard for revenue staff to seperate 'fare evasionr' from the 'innocent mistake', particularly where something like Oyster is concerned.

 

For my part, I'd much prefer a system where everyone gets one penalty fare, provided that the name and address of the traveller is confirmed in line with current rules. It is now a requirement that the name and address may be sought at the time of issue of a penalty fare whether paid or not.

 

Giving false details may now quite rightly result in an immediate report for prosecution instead of the issue of a PF. There is evidence of not having previously paid and combined with the false details, this supports breach of both Section 5.3.A and 5.3.C of the Regulation of Railways Act (1889)

 

A second offence could be punished by a penalty fare and a written warning and the third offence should result in the immediate issue of a Summons.

 

How many warnings do people need???

Edited by Old-CodJA

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I hate it when people assume Penalty Fares are for fare dodgers. Fare Dodgers (most of the time...) are reported under the Byelaws. Penalty fares are used to deter people and to dictate some sort of standard on the railway, for want of a better term.

 

a tramp with no intention to pay gets fined 20 pounds for not having a ticket.

 

commuters like myself usually pay up-front (to the delight of the rail company) for a sub-standard service, that in london at least can be dangerously over-crowded. A simple mistake such as a lost ticket = a penalty fare the same as anyone elses.

 

the reason people assume penalty fares are for 'dodgers' are because they are the only people that deserve them.

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a tramp with no intention to pay gets fined 20 pounds for not having a ticket.

 

commuters like myself usually pay up-front (to the delight of the rail company) for a sub-standard service, that in london at least can be dangerously over-crowded. A simple mistake such as a lost ticket = a penalty fare the same as anyone elses.

 

the reason people assume penalty fares are for 'dodgers' are because they are the only people that deserve them.

You're missing the point here. Penalty Fares are meant not for fare evaders, that's what court is for. If you don't want to be Penalty Fared, don't make silly 'mistakes'. In my experience, even city business types can be fare evaders, be it using their Oyster prepay to tap in at say Waterloo, and travel not only on a service where prepay isn't valid, but go well out of zone, too! Or commuters who's monthly season ticket has expired, so they think that doctoring the date is ok.

 

If the system is being used properly, ANY fare evader should be summoned to court.

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im not missing the point, what im saying is that its not acceptable to say 'if you dont want to be penalty fared, dont make silly mistakes'.

 

fare evaders/people who doctor tickets etc should get a fine or go to court, if i misplace my ticket one day after having very kindly paid up-front to use a sub-standard service then i should not put up with the hassle even if i can prove without doubt i have paid for my travel.

 

if the rail company decide that a fine is acceptable just because they want to see an orange ticket - that is their problem. i had a reciept, photocard, and the card used to pay that had the same card number on the reciept, i had paid for my travel up-front and as far as i am concerned i am entitled to travel.

 

its a bit rich coming from rail companies about 'not making silly mistakes', seeing as today im 25 minutes late for work due to 'signalling problems' which seems to be an everyday occurence at london bridge. unfortunately things happen and its all about being reasonable.

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Contract law should never be enforced through the criminal law.

 

Railway companies should be able to impose penalty fairs and collect as a debt under the civil system. Even the Financial Services Authority, when it imposes fines on individuals or large organisations, is only allowed to collect them "as a debt"

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Deleted.

Edited by SRPO

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im not missing the point, what im saying is that its not acceptable to say 'if you dont want to be penalty fared, dont make silly mistakes'.

 

fare evaders/people who doctor tickets etc should get a fine or go to court, if i misplace my ticket one day after having very kindly paid up-front to use a sub-standard service then i should not put up with the hassle even if i can prove without doubt i have paid for my travel.

 

if the rail company decide that a fine is acceptable just because they want to see an orange ticket - that is their problem. i had a reciept, photocard, and the card used to pay that had the same card number on the reciept, i had paid for my travel up-front and as far as i am concerned i am entitled to travel.

 

its a bit rich coming from rail companies about 'not making silly mistakes', seeing as today im 25 minutes late for work due to 'signalling problems' which seems to be an everyday occurence at london bridge. unfortunately things happen and its all about being reasonable.

Unfortunately signals are maintained bt Network Rail, and not a specific rail company.

 

I would have thought that as far as a penalty fare goes, if you could prove on appeal, that you had a ticket but forgot it, you would be reimburst had you paid the PF in full, or NFA if it's outstanding. On the flipside though, a Byelaw offence has been committed as soon as you board a train without a ticket, regardless of the situation, so in theory, if said TOC wishes to do so, they can report you for prosecution. The Byelaws are the Bylaws unfortunatley!

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Unfortunately signals are maintained bt Network Rail, and not a specific rail company.

 

I would have thought that as far as a penalty fare goes, if you could prove on appeal, that you had a ticket but forgot it, you would be reimburst had you paid the PF in full, or NFA if it's outstanding. On the flipside though, a Byelaw offence has been committed as soon as you board a train without a ticket, regardless of the situation, so in theory, if said TOC wishes to do so, they can report you for prosecution. The Byelaws are the Bylaws unfortunatley!

 

Exactly so, and the prosecution often proceeds for seemingly good reason.

 

Far too often in past history it has been shown that Mr A travels without a ticket, gets caught, is issued a PF and a few days later he sends in Mr B's used ticket (not stamped or nipped) as claimed 'evidence' that he had one, but 'forgot' it

 

Is it therefore any wonder that a hard line is often taken?

 

The company rejects the ticket that is produced later and enforces the Byelaw, which makes clear that the offence is 'failed to show' at the time of travel.

 

I'm not pretending it is always justified, just quoting one good example of why the broad 'tar' brush is often applied.

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style="text-align:center;"> Please note that this topic has not had any new posts for the last 3831 days.

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