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illraiseyoumine

Penalty Fare of £64 for being on the wrong route

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Hi, everyone. I was referred here by a really lovely and helpful person on MSE :) Just to set the situation, I'm 17, my parents are away, I have no money at the moment and it was 6:20am.

 

Yesterday morning I was travelling from Salisbury to Brighton via Clapham instead of Southampton, as it said on the ticket. There are reasons as to why I thought this was OK. I was issued with an Unpaid Fare Notice for £64.20. I have checked the SW Trains website, and that is the cost of a ticket from Salisbury to Brighton via Clapham Junction. But I had already paid £30.60 for a ticket from Salisbury to Brighton via Southampton.

 

It says on the back of my notice:

"This notice is not a Penalty Fare Notice. You have been issued with this Unpaid fare notice as you have not been able to pay your fare or produce a valid rail ticket in accordance with Stagecoach South Western Trains Limited Policy and Produces and/or National Rail Conditions of Carriage. It is also considered that this incident does not fall within the scope of the Railways (Penalty Fares) Regulations 1994.

 

So according to the National Rail Conditions of Carriage:

13 (e) If you make your journey by a route other than those referred to in (a) and[(b) above, you will be liable to pay an excess fare. This excess fare will be the difference between the price paid for the ticket you hold and the price of the lowest priced ticket(s) available for immediate travel that would have entitled you to travel by that route."

 

 

Final question: Does anyone have any solid evidence that if an unpaid fare form is filled in wrong, it is void?

 

 

Thanks for reading!! :D

Edited by illraiseyoumine

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You are correct, for being off route only the excess fare should be collected, a penalty fare should not be charged.

However you state you didnt have any money, how would you have paid the excess fare?

Without a valid ticket or the means to pay you could be prosecuted for fare evasion.

  • Haha 1

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You are correct, for being off route only the excess fare should be collected, a penalty fare should not be charged.

However you state you didnt have any money, how would you have paid the excess fare?

Without a valid ticket or the means to pay you could be prosecuted for fare evasion.

So you're saying that if I can't pay the excess right there and then, I would have received the £20 fine plus the excess to be paid later?

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My ticket actually says Unpaid Fare Notice on it.

Does this make a difference?

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My previous advice on the other forum was given on the basis that you were given a PF, not an UFN.

 

If you do travel "off-route" on a restricted walk-up ticket, you need to be able to pay the excess fare on demand, and failure to do so puts you in hot water.

 

I believe that you were entitled to a credit of the fare already paid- so the £30.20 (how exactly were you charged this- a SDS via Southampton looks to be £28.30, and the corresponding SDR is £30.60?) should be deducted from the 'Any Permitted' SDS to give a final figure of £34.

 

By my calculations, the excess fare ought to be SDS Any Permitted £64.20-SDS Route Southampton £28.30 = £35.90.

 

However, I presume that the extra c. £30 charged on top must constitute an adminstration fee, in which case, you would probably be best advised to pay it, rather than risk prosecution.

 

If it isn't explictly set out as a separate administration fee, you may be able to pay the £34 only (or possibly even nothing at all, if this possible 'overcharging' invalidates the UPN). Other, more experienced posters, will be able to advise on this.

 

Your age is a complicating factor- technically, if you are under 18, your parents are liable for the unpaid fare (but if payment is not made by someone, be it you or your parents, you will probably be prosecuted- unless you can wriggle out on one basis or another).

 

Who was the UFN addressed to- you or your parents? This could make a difference, as I believe it ought to have been addressed to your parents.

 

If you are genuinely unable to pay, you could ask SWT to allow you to pay in instalments.

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Hello, yes I thought it might be. Can't believe I didn't notice!

 

If you do travel "off-route" on a restricted walk-up ticket, you need to be able to pay the excess fare on demand, and failure to do so puts you in hot water.

How do you know this? In the NRCOC document, it doesn't mention you have to pay on demand.

 

I believe that you were entitled to a credit of the fare already paid- so the £30.20 (how exactly were you charged this- a SDS via Southampton looks to be £28.30, and the corresponding SDR is £30.60?) should be deducted from the 'Any Permitted' SDS to give a final figure of £34.

 

I bought the ticket in advance, online. It cost £30.60.

 

 

 

However, I presume that the extra c. £30 charged on top must constitute an adminstration fee, in which case, you would probably be best advised to pay it, rather than risk prosecution.

http://img22.imageshack.us/img22/4694/trainfine11111111.jpg Here is the fine. It doesn't mention administration.

 

It is made out to my mother, but only because that was the name I wrote when he asked me for my name (for two reasons: firstly, I got confused because he mentioned parent/guardian name so I put my mum's...then after he asked me again for my mum and dad's name I was too scared to tell him I had made a mistake. And she bought the tickets. ) Also he spelt my surname wrong, despite me writing "Findlay" but everything happened so fast that he had gone by the time I looked at the fine.

 

If you are genuinely unable to pay, you could ask SWT to allow you to pay in instalments.

A few friends have offered so it won't be a problem. :)

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I can't quote chapter and verse on the 'payment on demand' rule, (section 5 of the Regulation of Railways Act 1889 springs to mind, but I'm not entirely sure whether it applies to your specific case). However, I am pretty certain that it is true- others can advise on this.

 

It sounds like you paid an unnecessary £1.90 booking fee on top of your SDS- you could have avoided this by booking online on certain websites, or indeed by buying at the station on the day.

 

With no reference whatsoever to any administration fee being included in the £64.20 charge, you do appear to have been overcharged. Although I have little or no faith in the independence of IRCAS, I believe that you should nonetheless write to them, stating that the UFN is for the incorrect amount, quoting NRCOC 13e, and enclosing £35.90 in payment as the correct excess fare (the booking fee doesn't count, I'm afraid).

 

In future, it would be best to ensure that you have the correct ticket before travelling. :-)

 

I know the fares system in this country is extremely complicated, but ultimately, it is the passengers legal responsibility to make sure that they buy the right ticket for their needs.

Edited by jkdd77

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I can't quote chapter and verse on the 'payment on demand' rule, (section 5 of the Regulation of Railways Act 1889 springs to mind, but I'm not entirely sure whether it applies to your specific case). However, I am pretty certain that it is true- others can advise on this.

 

It sounds like you paid an unnecessary £1.90 booking fee on top of your SDS- you could have avoided this by booking online on certain websites, or indeed by buying at the station on the day.

 

With no reference whatsoever to any administration fee, you do appear to have been overcharged. Although I have little or no faith in the independence of IRCAS, I believe that you should nonetheless write to them, stating that the UFN is for the incorrect amount, quoting NRCOC 13e, and enclosing £35.90 in payment as the correct excess fare (the booking fee doesn't count, I'm afraid).

 

In future, it would be best to ensure that you have the correct ticket before travelling. :-)

 

I know the fares system in this country is extremely complicated, but ultimately, it is the passengers legal responsibility to make sure that they buy the right ticket for their needs.

 

Okay. Thank you. So I should file an appeal? And then pay £35.90 whilst the appeal is in process?

The reason we booked in advance was because my mother was going to America, and she was paying for it, so we decided it would be easy to have the tickets beforehand. Obviously not!

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To be honest, my advice is to wait for a day or two before writing to the appeals body, in order to see what other advice you get in this thread.

 

I have only a limited knowledge of these matters, but other posters have extensive knowledge of the relevant regulations, having worked in the rail industry in many cases.

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£64.20 is the fare due for the journey you took, the amount you paid hasnt been taken into account.

This doesnt invalidate the UFN, as you have commited an offence under Byelaw 18(2) 'Failing To Hand Over A Valid Ticket'.

Just write to IRCAS asap & explain what ticket you held (send a photocopy) and that you had no means to pay the excess hence the reason for the UFN.

They should then deduct the correct amount due.

It happens alot when people buy online, they always choose the cheapest option.

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