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Was late producing ticket - now they want to take me to court - help!


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I left my season ticket behind one day and was stopped and issued with a penalty fare ticket. I was told if I produce my ticket I wouldn't have to pay the fine. He didn't mention I had 21 days to do so and I sent it in late.

 

Revenue Protection then refused my appeal and fined me £60. I wrote saying it was unfair and now they've sent me a summons to court!

 

Given that I had paid the fare so am not avoiding paying for my travel it seems grossly unfair. Less like revenue protection and more like extortion.

 

Any ideas? Should I go to court? Or is that madness?

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It was wrong of the Revenue Protection Staff to say you wouldn't have to pay the PF if you produced your season ticket in the first place, as unfortunately you had already commited a byelaw offence (18.1) for failing to be able to produce a ticket for your journey on demand. Although it may seem unfair to you, these time limits of appeal are in place in order to remain consistant in all cases of appeal. How long did you think you had to produce your ticket? Surely the normal thing to do would be produce it as soon as you located it? At least that way IRCAS or IPSS (think that's what the latter is...) could reject your appeal but still only make you liable for the Penalty Fare!

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It was wrong of the Revenue Protection Staff to say you wouldn't have to pay the PF if you produced your season ticket in the first place, as unfortunately you had already commited a byelaw offence (18.1) for failing to be able to produce a ticket for your journey on demand. Although it may seem unfair to you, these time limits of appeal are in place in order to remain consistant in all cases of appeal. How long did you think you had to produce your ticket? Surely the normal thing to do would be produce it as soon as you located it? At least that way IRCAS or IPSS (think that's what the latter is...) could reject your appeal but still only make you liable for the Penalty Fare!

 

Thanks for the response. To be honest I forgot about it, which is why I sent proof of my ticket in late. It is still proof of purchase, whether it's within their entirely arbitrary time limit or not. It strikes me that Revenue Protection should be about protecting revenue not generating income from fares that have already been paid. I'm guilty of forgetfulness but I feel I am being mugged here.

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Thanks for the response. To be honest I forgot about it, which is why I sent proof of my ticket in late. It is still proof of purchase, whether it's within their entirely arbitrary time limit or not. It strikes me that Revenue Protection should be about protecting revenue not generating income from fares that have already been paid. I'm guilty of forgetfulness but I feel I am being mugged here.
What would you have done had the RPI/A just charged you the full single fare for your rail journey and not chosen to PF you? Probably wouldn't have liked it much, as no doubt in your opinion you should have been given the benefit of the doubt. The point I'm trying to make here is that what ever amount you were charged, to you it would have looked like you were being mugged. Unfortunately people do try and play the system like this, and the RPA/I was just playing it safe with the Penalty Fare. Had he/she had any doubt as to whether you intended to defraud the company, then they would have gone straight down the unfortunate road that you seem to have gone down now.

 

21 days is 21 days, and it's the same with most appeals processes I'm afraid.

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To be honest, I would have accepted a single fare but wasn't given that option. It would have been £3.10. I still had to buy a ticket for the rest of my journey so the railway is already up on the deal. I appreciate it's my own stupid fault, but it is absurd to have to pay so much for, well, nothing. It seems like opportunistic money making from honest passengers to me.

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To be honest, I would have accepted a single fare but wasn't given that option. It would have been £3.10. I still had to buy a ticket for the rest of my journey so the railway is already up on the deal. I appreciate it's my own stupid fault, but it is absurd to have to pay so much for, well, nothing. It seems like opportunistic money making from honest passengers to me.

Unfortunately I can't really offer any advice that you'll like the sound of, and I'm pretty sure it'll be the same with the other members. Presumably it's the TOC that sent you the summons to court? What did the summons say? Whatever happens now, it's likely to cost you I'm afraid. What train company is this, out of interest?

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The summons came directly from the Magistrates Court. It states I was unable to produce a season ticket and did not respond to their letters, though it does include a copy of my letter, which was sent after the 21 day limit. I guess it would have been Southeastern Trains as it was at Waterloo East. Am expecting a child within days yet am expected to fork out £128.10 for a £3.10 fare I had already paid. My fault and they are within their legal rights but that doesn't mean it's morally right. I wonder what revenue they are protecting when there is no revenue missing.

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They are probably just trying to recoup their costs from administering a system of checking tickets that should have been shown on the day but due to your actions wasnt.

Personally I dont think it will proceed at court IF you have later produced a valid ticket for the journey concerned.

(Lots of people produce a ticket either not theirs or purchased after being stopped in the mis-guided belief that will be ok).

Even if it did, a bench is likely to give you an absolute discharge with either no or very small costs awarded.

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The summons came directly from the Magistrates Court. It states I was unable to produce a season ticket and did not respond to their letters, though it does include a copy of my letter, which was sent after the 21 day limit. I guess it would have been Southeastern Trains as it was at Waterloo East. Am expecting a child within days yet am expected to fork out £128.10 for a £3.10 fare I had already paid. My fault and they are within their legal rights but that doesn't mean it's morally right. I wonder what revenue they are protecting when there is no revenue missing.
What I was trying to say was actually who was the TOC and did they speak to you via the mail at all? So just how long has this been going on for? If you've been summonsed to court it must have been dragging out for some time? There's one of two things you can do now, you can either try and settle the matter out of court, or go to court and plead either guilty or not guilty. Where did the £128.10 come from? Is that how much you'll have to pay to keep the matter out of court?
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It was wrong of the Revenue Protection Staff to say you wouldn't have to pay the PF if you produced your season ticket in the first place, as unfortunately you had already commited a byelaw offence (18.1) for failing to be able to produce a ticket for your journey on demand. Although it may seem unfair to you, these time limits of appeal are in place in order to remain consistant in all cases of appeal. How long did you think you had to produce your ticket? Surely the normal thing to do would be produce it as soon as you located it? At least that way IRCAS or IPSS (think that's what the latter is...) could reject your appeal but still only make you liable for the Penalty Fare!

Some TOC's do have a policy where you will be issued a nil paid PF if you are a season ticket holder and have 21 days to provide a photocopy of your season, only 2 such occasions are allowed in any 12 month period though.

Views expressed in this forum by me are my own personal opinion and you take it on face value! I make any comments to the best of my knowledge but you take my advice at your own risk.

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Some TOC's do have a policy where you will be issued a nil paid PF if you are a season ticket holder and have 21 days to provide a photocopy of your season, only 2 such occasions are allowed in any 12 month period though.

Well, you learn something new every day I guess!

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Indeed they do; and from the OP's point of view, what makes it worse is that some TOC's will refund any subsitute tickets bought during the validity of the Season.

 

So would have cost him NOTHING in the long run.

 

To Vincenzoo:

 

What reason box was ticked on the PF? 'Fail to carry Season Ticket'?

 

What period was it valid for- your Season I mean?

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Sorry, but what does TOC stand for?

 

To Grotesque: Yes, the Notice said 'Failure to carry season ticket (not weekly).

 

Though it was in fact, a weekly.

 

Will write a statement in mitigation to the clerk of the Court, including a bank statement proving that the ticket was mine, and see where it takes me.

 

Thanks for all your comments, everyone.

 

To Stigy: The £128.10 comes from the outstanding fare 'avoided' and the sum of £125 which is claimed as a contribution towards the prosecution costs.

 

It's bonkers if it goes to court.

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Sorry, but what does TOC stand for?

 

To Grotesque: Yes, the Notice said 'Failure to carry season ticket (not weekly).

 

Though it was in fact, a weekly.

 

Will write a statement in mitigation to the clerk of the Court, including a bank statement proving that the ticket was mine, and see where it takes me.

 

Thanks for all your comments, everyone.

 

To Stigy: The £128.10 comes from the outstanding fare 'avoided' and the sum of £125 which is claimed as a contribution towards the prosecution costs.

 

It's bonkers if it goes to court.

TOC = Train Operating Company

 

Shouldn't the outstanding fare be the single for the journey you had made? I know that the PF was initially £20, then subsequently incurred the £60 on top of that, but the amount they are taking you to court for shouldn't be that of a weekly ticket, surely? Or am I completely missing the point? The season ticket box being ticked was probably the most appropriate.

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For further reading, look at the case of Eastern Counties Railways v Woodard. An annual season ticket holder is required to show a ticket the same as any other passenger.

 

Passengers must carry their ticket, and must show it on demand. The Inspector will have heard about cases where 'boyfriend' uses 'girlfriend's ticket' to get out of the station, 'girlfriend' says 'I have left my ticket at home'. It happens. Maybe not in this case, but that is why railways will take a 'hard line' with failure to show train tickets.

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