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Penalty Fares Regulations May 2002

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© Copyright Rail Settlement Plan Limited.

Issue December 2009

Policy

Penalty Fares

May 2002

 

 

 

Contents Page

 

1 Introduction 2

2 Background 3

3 The SRA’s role 5

4 How we will decide whether to approve a penalty fares scheme 5

• Is a penalty fares scheme appropriate?

• Basic conditions

• Penalty fares trains

• Penalty fares stations

• Compulsory ticket areas

• Ticket facilities

• Unstaffed stations

• Publicity

• Warning notices

• Authorised collectors

• Selecting and training authorised collectors

• Instructions given to authorised collectors

• Checking that ticket facilities are available and warning signs are displayed

• Selling tickets on penalty fares trains

• Arrangements between operators

• Appeals

• The Independent Penalty Fares Appeals Service (IPFAS)

5 Guidelines for operators who want us to approve a scheme 15

6 Changing, suspending or withdrawing a scheme 20

7 When the SRA may prevent an operator charging penalty fares 21

Appendices

Appendix A The Penalty Fares Rules 2002 23

Appendix B The Railways (Penalty Fares) Regulations 1994 34

Appendix C Wording of section 130 of the Railways Act 1993 40

(as amended by the Transport Act 2000)

Appendix D Penalty fares scheme template 43

 

 

1 Introduction

 

The need to protect revenue

 

1.1 Each year, the UK rail network carries 750 million passengers and earns over £3 billion from

the sale of tickets. Even if only a small percentage of these passengers travel without paying,

the rail network will lose a considerable amount of money. Reducing the number of people

who travel without a ticket is not only in the interests of the operator, but also in the interests

of most fare-paying passengers. Few of us want to pay more for our tickets because some

people avoid paying, and the loss of income due to people travelling without tickets reduces

the money available to invest in a better rail service.

What are ‘penalty fares’?

 

1.2 Train operators can reduce the number of people who travel without a ticket in a number of

ways. On long-distance trains, it is often possible for the on-board staff to check every

passenger’s ticket. On rural routes, trains stop more often, but as they usually have fewer

coaches and carry a smaller number of passengers, on-board ticket checks can also be

effective. However, on urban and suburban routes, where station stops are frequent and the

trains are often busy, it is not always possible to check every passenger’s ticket between every

station. In the past, tickets have been inspected by staff at ticket barriers, but it is very

expensive to provide staff at every ticket barrier and also inconvenient for passengers. An

alternative is to operate a ‘penalty fares’ scheme.

 

1.3 A penalty fares scheme works on the same principle as a ‘pay and display’ car park, where

motorists may have to pay a penalty if they do not buy a ticket when they park. Where penalty

fares apply, rail passengers must buy their tickets before they start their journey wherever

there are facilities for them to do so. If a passenger gets on a train without a ticket at a station

where ticket facilities are available, they will have to pay a penalty fare if asked to do so by a

ticket inspector who has been appointed as an ‘authorised collector’. The penalty is £10 or

twice the full single fare from the station where the passenger got on the train to the next

station at which the train stops, whichever is the greater. If the passenger wants to travel

beyond the next station, they must also pay the relevant fare from that station to their final

destination.

What is the role of the SRA?

 

1.4 To protect fare-paying passengers, all penalty fares schemes must follow a set of regulations

made by the Secretary of State and a set of rules made by the Strategic Rail Authority (SRA).

Under the rules, any operator who wants to charge penalty fares on all or part of their network

must send us details of their scheme and get our approval. We will make sure that they follow

the rules, regulations and the contents of their scheme.

The purpose of this document

 

1.5 This document explains our policy on penalty fares, and sets out how we will decide whether

or not to approve a particular penalty fares scheme. It is written to help train operators’ staff

design and operate a penalty fares scheme, and for members of the public and other people

who want to know how we protect the interests of rail users where penalty fares are charged.

You should read this policy statement with the SRA’s Penalty Fares Rules 2002, which can

be found in appendix A.

 

 

2 Background

 

Origins

 

2.1 A penalty fares system was first developed in the late 1980s by the Network SouthEast sector of British Rail (BR), as a way to protect revenue in its particular circumstances. As well as

reducing the expense of inspecting tickets at ticket barriers, BR also wanted to reduce the

number of cases that were referred to the courts. Before penalty fares were introduced, the

only way to deter people from travelling without a ticket was to prosecute them under the

Regulation of Railways Act 1889. This was time-consuming, costly and often ineffective. For

a prosecution to be successful, it had to be proved that the passenger intended to avoid paying.

This was often difficult as most passengers without tickets were willing to pay if they were

challenged, but did not pay if they were not challenged.

 

2.2 The British Rail (Penalty Fares) Act 1989 allowed BR to name particular train services or areas

at stations in which people without a valid ticket would have to pay a penalty. Nine Network

SouthEast divisions introduced penalty fares schemes under this act between 1990 and 1994,

and each scheme was approved by the Secretary of State for Transport as required by the

legislation. The system included a right of appeal to an organisation within BR which was

independent of the management of individual penalty fares schemes. For people who regularly

travelled without a ticket, BR kept the right to prosecute them in the courts as before.

The Railways Act 1993 and Transport Act 2000

 

2.3 When the railways were restructured for privatisation, section 130 of the Railways Act 1993

(‘the Act’) became the new legal basis for charging penalty fares. The Railways Act allows the

Secretary of State to make regulations in connection with penalty fares, and the regulations

allowed the Regulator to make rules. Section 130 of the Railways Act is still the legal basis for

charging penalty fares, but in February 2001 the Transport Act 2000 transferred responsibility

for making rules to the Strategic Rail Authority. There is a copy of section 130 in appendix C.

The Railways (Penalty Fares) Regulations 1994

 

2.4 The Secretary of State has made regulations, as allowed by the Act, known as the Railways

(Penalty Fares) Regulations 1994. These came into force on 1 April 1994 and set out (amongst

other things):

• the amount of the penalty fare (currently £10 or twice the full single fare from the station

where the passenger started their journey to the next station at which the train stops,

whichever is the greater);

• that operators may recover unpaid penalty fares as a civil debt;

• that passengers may be charged a penalty fare or prosecuted for a given offence, but not

both; and

• that it is an offence for a passenger to refuse to give his or her name and address if an

authorised collector asks them to do so. The regulations set an appropriate level of fine for

this offence.

The regulations allow us to make rules about charging penalty fares on matters other than

these. There is a copy of the regulations in appendix B.

 

The Penalty Fares Rules 2002

 

2.5 We have made rules about charging penalty fares, as we are authorised to do by the Act and the

regulations. The current rules are the Penalty Fares Rules 2002 (the ‘Rules’), which came into

force on 1 May 2002. They replace the Penalty Fares Rules 1997 which were introduced by the

Rail Regulator on 28 April 1997.

 

2.6 Under the rules, any operator who wants to charge penalty fares must send us details of their

scheme and get our approval. The rules set out the circumstances in which passengers may or

may not be charged a penalty fare, and they make a number of requirements about how

penalty fares are charged. The rules allow us to stop operators charging penalty fares, either

completely or in part, if the operator fails to follow any of the rules or regulations, or if we

believe that penalty fares are being charged in a way which does not provide sufficient

protection for passengers. There is a copy of the Penalty Fares Rules 2002 in appendix A.

Penalty fares schemes

 

2.7 At the time of writing, the following train companies have a penalty fares scheme which we

have approved on all or part of their network.

Connex South Eastern (inner suburban area only)

SouthCentral (inner suburban area only)

South West Trains (inner suburban area only)

Thameslink (Bedford to Redhill only)

First Great Eastern (most routes other than paytrain lines)

c2c Ltd (all routes)

Arriva Trains Merseyside (most stations, but this scheme is currently suspended)

Thames Trains (West Drayton to Paddington and branches only)

Central Trains (Birmingham area only)

Nexus (Tyne & Wear Metro) (all routes)

Chiltern Railways (all routes)

West Anglia Great Northern (all routes except passengers to and from Stansted Airport)

Arriva Trains Northern (Leeds area only)

Penalty fares on the London Underground

 

2.8 London Underground Limited (LUL) also has a penalty fares scheme. However, the basis for

this scheme is the London Regional Transport (Penalty Fares) Act 1992 and the Greater

London Authority Act 1999. We have no authority over the Underground penalty fares

scheme, which is not covered by this policy or by the Penalty Fares Rules.

 

 

3 The SRA’s role

 

3.1 We believe that train operators should be responsible for protecting their own revenue, as they

have a direct incentive to make sure that their procedures are effective. Each train operator

must devise its own revenue protection strategy, and decide for themselves whether this

should include a penalty fares scheme. We do not intend to either promote or discourage the

operation of penalty fares schemes.

 

3.2 A penalty fares scheme reverses the normal ‘burden of proof ’ which would apply if a person

was prosecuted for not paying their fare. In that case, the train operator would have to prove

beyond reasonable doubt that the defendant intended to avoid paying their fare. Under a

penalty fares scheme, anyone found without a valid ticket must normally pay a penalty, if they

have previously been given the opportunity to buy a ticket and have passed the penalty fares

warning signs. In this case, the passenger would have to show that they had a valid reason for

not having a ticket. For this reason, we see our main role as making sure that the interests of

honest passengers are protected, both in the way existing schemes are run and in the contents

of any new schemes which we approve.

 

3.3 In protecting passengers’ interests, it is very important that passengers know about penalty

fares schemes and how they work. We believe that this will be easier to achieve if different

operators’ schemes are made more consistent. The amount of the penalty, the circumstances

in which passengers are and are not liable to a penalty fare, and the way in which appeals are

decided, have been consistent across all schemes for some time. However, other aspects of

penalty fares schemes are different for different operators. We recognise that penalty fares

schemes may need to be adapted to suit local circumstances, but we will encourage greater

consistency between schemes.

 

3.4 We acknowledge that ticketless travel has a negative effect on fare levels and investment, and

so has a negative effect on most passengers. Although our main aim is to protect honest

passengers, we recognise that train operators need to protect their revenue if they are to

provide an effective rail service.

 

4 How we will decide whether to approve a penalty fares

scheme

 

Is a penalty fares scheme appropriate?

 

4.1 When considering a penalty fares scheme, we will first consider whether penalty fares are

appropriate, given the type of train service provided and the other ways in which that operator

could protect its revenue. A penalty fares scheme is most suited to urban or suburban train

services where most stations have ticket facilities, and where busy trains and short intervals

between stations make it impossible to check every passenger’s ticket between every stop. We

may question the need for a penalty fares scheme to cover long-distance services, where a

conductor is able to check every passenger, or rural services operated as ‘paytrains’, where

most stations are unstaffed and it is normal practice to buy tickets on board the train. Also,

automatic ticket gates are being used at more stations to control entry to the platforms. A

penalty fares scheme might not be necessary if all, or almost all, of the stations concerned had

these gates.

 

 

Basic conditions

 

4.2 As long as we think that a scheme is appropriate in principle, we will assess penalty fares

schemes according to the following basic conditions.

 

a) Passengers must be fully informed before they get on a penalty fares train or enter a

compulsory ticket area that they need to buy a ticket or permit to travel before starting

their journey, and that they may have to pay a penalty if they do not.

 

b) Passengers must be given a sufficient opportunity to buy a ticket or permit to travel

before they get on a penalty fares train or enter a compulsory ticket area.

 

c) Passengers must not be made to pay a penalty fare if they were not given the

opportunity to buy a ticket or permit to travel before they got on a penalty fares train or

entered a compulsory ticket area.

The following paragraphs describe the features which we think a penalty fares scheme must

have in order to meet these basic conditions. We have come to this conclusion through

consultation with passenger groups and train companies, and through experience of how

penalty fares schemes operate, including industry best practice.

 

 

Penalty fares trains

 

4.3 ‘Penalty fares trains’ are the train services for which penalty fares may be charged. A train

operator will normally name as penalty fares trains all the trains which it runs within a

particular geographical area or on a particular route or routes. A train service does not have to

be a penalty fares train for the whole of its journey. It will be a penalty fares train while it is

within the specified area or travelling over the specified section of route, and will not be a

penalty fares train on the part of its journey outside this area or section of route. In deciding

which trains should be penalty fares trains, an operator should take account of the geography

of the train service, the ticket facilities available at the stations which will be served and

whether the area covered can be easily explained to passengers.

Penalty fares stations

 

4.4 Passengers on a penalty fares train may only be charged a penalty fare if they got on that train

at a station which has been named as a ‘penalty fares station’ by the relevant penalty fares

scheme. At these stations, penalty fares warning notices must be displayed and sufficient

ticket facilities provided.

 

4.5 Operators must normally name each of the stations served by penalty fares trains as a penalty

fares station. For example, if all trains within an area bounded by stations x, y and z have been

named as penalty fares trains, all stations within that area, including x, y and z, should

normally be named as penalty fares stations. However, an operator may not want to include

certain stations for a number of reasons. For example, if the station:

• has no ticket facilities as it is unstaffed, and not enough passengers use the station to justify

a ticket or ‘permit to travel’ machine (PERTIS);

• has no ticket facilities as it is unstaffed, and the amount of vandalism means that it is not

practical to maintain an operational ticket or ‘permit to travel’ machine; or

• serves a port or airport and is used by a large number of foreign visitors and people who do

not often travel by train, making it undesirable to charge penalty fares to passengers from

this station.

Operators must make sure that if these stations are not made penalty fares stations, this does

not cause confusion or make the scheme difficult to explain to passengers.

Compulsory ticket areas

 

4.6 The Penalty Fares Rules allow an operator to create compulsory ticket areas (CTAs) at

stations. A CTA is an area at a station, usually the platforms and any footbridge, subway or

circulating area linking the platforms, in which everyone must have a valid ticket or platform

ticket, even if they have not travelled yet or are not going to travel.

 

4.7 CTAs increase the risk to honest passengers because people who have not travelled, or who do

not intend to travel, may also be charged a penalty fare if they do not have a platform ticket or

other authority allowing them to enter the CTA. This could include people who are meeting

passengers or seeing passengers off, or people who are simply using the station facilities.

Operators do not need to create a CTA to charge penalty fares to passengers who have got off

a train. Penalty fares may be charged to someone leaving a train, and the rules make it clear

that ‘a person leaving a train’ includes someone who is present at or leaving a station having

left a train arriving at that station. CTAs are only necessary at larger and busier stations, where

revenue protection can only be carried out effectively if it is no longer necessary for

authorised collectors to prove who has and has not got off a train.

 

4.8 A CTA should normally only be created if all the train operators using that station (or the

particular part of the station covered by the CTA) have a penalty fares scheme. CTAs should

not normally be created at stations (or parts of stations) that are served by trains which are not

part of any operator’s penalty fares scheme.

 

4.9 Warning notices must be placed at each entrance to the CTA, in line with rule 4. CTAs can

cause confusion if there are no barriers at the entrance to the platforms because people think

that they are free to walk onto the platforms without a ticket. So it is very important that a

CTA is clearly marked so that people know they must have a ticket or platform ticket before

they enter that area.

 

4.10 At stations with a CTA, operators must make arrangements for people who are not travelling

to be allowed into the part of the station covered by the CTA, if they have a good reason. This

includes people who are meeting passengers, seeing passengers off or helping them with

luggage, people helping passengers with disabilities, and people such as railway enthusiasts.

The arrangements might include making platform tickets available at the ticket office or from

a machine. People who are helping passengers with disabilities should not be charged to enter

a CTA.

Ticket facilities

 

4.11 One of the SRA’s three basic conditions for approving a penalty fares scheme is that

passengers must be given a sufficient opportunity to buy a ticket or permit to travel before

they get on a penalty fares train or enter a compulsory ticket area. Every penalty fares station

must have sufficient facilities for selling tickets.

 

4.12 Where penalty fares apply, passengers must allow enough time to buy a ticket, including time

to queue, if necessary. Under normal circumstances, passengers may still be charged a penalty

fare if they join a train without a ticket, even if there was a queue at the ticket office or ticket

machine. However, we expect operators to provide enough ticket windows, ticket machines

and staff at staffed stations to meet the queuing standards set out in the Ticketing and

Settlement Agreement and their Passenger’s Charter under normal circumstances. This

standard is normally five minutes at peak times and three minutes at other times. If queues at a

particular station regularly fail to meet these standards at certain times or days of the week,

the operator must either take action to sort out the problem before a penalty fares scheme is

introduced or make sure that passengers are not charged penalty fares when these queuing

standards are not met. This might include providing extra staff or ticket machines. A penalty

fares scheme must include arrangements for telling authorised collectors when long queues

build up at ticket offices (see paragraph 4.33).

 

4.13 At staffed stations, operators must provide a second way of selling tickets in addition to the

ticket office. This might be a ‘permit to travel’ machine or one or more self-service ticket

machines. This is necessary because the ticket office may not be open at all times when trains

are running, and there may be times when the ticket office is closed because of staff sickness

or for other reasons. There may also be a need to provide back-up at busy times when queues

might build up. Arrangements must be in place for the machines to be checked regularly by

station staff and any faults put right quickly. Arrangements must be in place for any ‘permit to

travel’ machine to be switched on when the ticket office is closed, temporarily unstaffed, or

when long queues build up.

 

4.14 In exceptional circumstances, an operator may not need to provide a second way of selling

tickets, if the ticket office is open at all times when trains are running and suitable

arrangements have been made to deal with problems such as staff sickness, for example,

through a system of stand-by staff who can be sent to any ticket office which does not open

when it should.

 

Unstaffed stations

 

4.15 We do not recommend that large numbers of unstaffed stations are included in a penalty fares

scheme. However, unstaffed stations can be penalty fares stations as long as they have at least

one self-service ticket machine or one ‘permit to travel’ machine. Suitable processes must be

in place to make sure that the machines are checked regularly and any faults put right quickly.

A system must be in place which allows authorised collectors to confirm that these machines

are working properly, and this must be effective. The instructions given to authorised

collectors must tell them that if they are not sure whether the machines are working properly,

they must give passengers the benefit of the doubt.

 

Publicity

 

4.16 A penalty fares scheme will only be effective in reducing the number of people who travel

without a ticket if passengers know about the scheme. The best way to prevent honest

passengers having to pay a penalty is also to make sure that they know about the scheme.

Operators must think carefully about how they will publicise their scheme, both before and

after it is introduced, and must set aside enough money for this purpose.

 

4.17 Under rule 3, notices must be displayed at every penalty fares station, for at least three weeks

before a new penalty fares scheme is introduced, to tell passengers about the scheme. Less

than three weeks may not be enough warning for less regular travellers, but much longer

periods should be avoided because the effect may wear off before the scheme is introduced.

The format and content of the notices must be in line with rule 4.3.

 

4.18 As well as displaying the notices required by the rules, we expect operators to publicise a new

penalty fares scheme in other ways. This should include posters, announcements on trains and

stations, and perhaps advertisements in newspapers and on local radio or television.

 

4.19 We expect operators to produce leaflets to explain their scheme to passengers. The leaflets

must explain how the scheme works and must include a route map showing the routes on

which penalty fares trains run, and the stations which are penalty fares stations or which have

a CTA. The leaflets should normally be made available three weeks before the scheme is

introduced at every staffed penalty fares station and by post from the operator’s customer

services department. Operators must produce enough leaflets (and must print more leaflets

when necessary) to make sure that copies are always available from each staffed penalty fares

station and from customer services for as long as the scheme continues. The leaflets may be

used as the summary of the scheme which, under rule 8.6, the operator may be asked to send

to a passenger who is charged a penalty fare.

 

4.20 Leaflets in large print or on audio tape must be available from the operator’s customer services

department for people who have poor eyesight. In areas where a large number of people do

not speak English as their first language, or when the penalty fares scheme will cover stations

serving ports and airports, operators may need to produce leaflets and notices in other

languages.

 

Warning notices

 

4.21 Penalty fares warning notices must be displayed at every entrance to a CTA and at every

penalty fares station so that at least one notice can be easily seen by anyone joining a penalty

fares train (rule 4 of the Penalty Fares Rules). The best way to do this is to place a warning

notice at every entrance to the station platforms. The notices must be prominent, easy to read,

and easy to distinguish from other notices and the general surroundings. The notices must

give the name of the operator, the circumstances in which a penalty fare may be charged and

the amount of a penalty fare. To make sure that warning notices are consistent between

different operators, they must be in line with a code of practice approved by the SRA. The

Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) has produced a code of practice which

we have approved for this purpose

 

4.22 The warning notices must be in place when the scheme is introduced, and must stay in place

for as long as the scheme continues. If the notices at a particular station are covered up,

damaged or removed for any reason, passengers who join a train at that station cannot be

charged a penalty fare (rule 7). For this reason, the notices must be checked regularly and

operators should include a check in their routine station audits.

 

4.23 As well as the fixed notices required by the rules, penalty fares warnings should be shown in

the departure information for each penalty fares train shown on customer information

screens and indicator boards at stations. For example, ‘Please buy your ticket before

boarding as penalty fares apply to this train’. This is especially important at larger stations,

where penalty fares apply to certain trains but not others.

 

4.24 Another best practice is to display warning notices on trains, although this may not be

possible if rolling stock is also used on routes where penalty fares do not apply.

Authorised collectors

 

4.25 Penalty fares may only be charged by staff who have been appointed as ‘authorised collectors’

(rule 5 of the Penalty Fare Rules). Under rule 5, authorised collectors must carry formal

identification, which should include a photograph and identify the authorised collector by

either name or number. To make sure that the form of identification is consistent between

different operators, it must follow a code of practice approved by the SRA. ATOC has

produced a code of practice which we have approved for this purpose.

 

4.26 Authorised collectors and other staff who sell tickets on trains often receive commission on

the value of the tickets they sell. Some operators also pay staff a small amount of commission

(typically 5%) on the value of the penalty fares charged. We have no objection to this, as long

as the percentage is small and the relevant instructions about the use of discretion and the

circumstances in which penalty fares may or may not be charged are strictly followed.

 

 

Selecting and training authorised collectors

 

4.27 Schemes sent to us for approval must explain the arrangements for selecting and training

authorised collectors. Schemes must also explain the arrangements for giving authorised

collectors ‘refresher’ training and regular briefing. Authorised collectors have the power to

charge a penalty fare to passengers who do not have a valid ticket, but they also have the

discretion not to charge a penalty in certain circumstances. Selection procedures must make

sure that the people appointed as authorised collectors can handle this discretion, and the

training must make sure that they know how to use it.

Authorised collectors must be properly trained in the Penalty Fares Rules and the relevant

penalty fares scheme or schemes, ticket types and restrictions, excess fare instructions, the

National Routeing Guide and the National Rail Conditions of Carriage. We also expect

training to be given in customer care and how to avoid conflicts.

Each trainee must be assessed after training, and they may only be appointed as an authorised

collector (and given the formal identification referred to in rule 5) when their knowledge and

ability is judged to be satisfactory. As well as initial training, authorised collectors will need

refresher training at sufficient intervals to keep their knowledge up to date. A system of

routine briefing is also needed to make sure that they are aware of day-to-day issues and

events as they arise. We will need to be sure that these arrangements are satisfactory.

 

 

Instructions given to authorised collectors

 

4.28 Operators sending us a scheme for approval must enclose a copy of the written instructions

and information which will be given to each authorised collector, containing guidance and

rules about their appearance, behaviour and use of discretion (rule 3 of the Penalty Fares

Rules). The instructions must give authorised collectors the information they need about

penalty fares trains and stations, ticket facilities and ticket office opening hours.

 

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. In particular, the

11

instructions must remind authorised collectors of situations where passengers are not liable

to a penalty fare under the Penalty Fares Rules, for example in circumstances where the

National Rail Conditions of Carriage allow the passenger to pay an excess fare. The

instructions must cover the following instances.

• Interchange. A passenger who changes onto a penalty fares train at a penalty fares station

may normally be charged a penalty fare if ticket facilities were available at the interchange

station and warning notices were displayed where they could be seen by anyone changing

onto the penalty fares train. However, under condition 7 of the National Rail Conditions of

Carriage, the full normal range of tickets must be made available to any passenger who

started their journey at a station where no ticket facilities were available. In these

circumstances, a passenger should not be expected to buy a ticket at the interchange station

if they do not have enough time to do so without missing their connection. If it is not

possible to check whether or not ticket facilities were available at the station where the

passenger started their journey (which may be a station run by a different train company), a

penalty fare should not be charged.

• Ticket restrictions. Many types of ticket cannot be used at certain times of day, on certain

days of the week or on certain trains. These ticket restrictions can be complicated, and even

familiar tickets such as cheap day returns can have different restrictions on different routes.

If a passenger travels on a train on which their ticket is not valid, it is more likely that the

restrictions were not properly explained to them than that they are deliberately trying to

avoid paying the right fare. We believe that it is up to the train operators to make sure that

each passenger understands the restrictions which apply to the ticket which they are sold.

Under rule 7, a passenger may not be charged a penalty fare if he or she has a ticket for the

journey which they are making that is not valid on that train only because of a ticket

restriction. In these cases, the passenger only needs to pay the excess fare, in line with the

National Rail Conditions of Carriage.

• Ticket routing. A passenger who has a ticket for the journey they are making, but who is

using a route on which their ticket is not valid, may not be charged a penalty fare. The

National Rail Conditions of Carriage allow the passenger to pay an excess fare to travel on a

different route from that shown on their ticket.

• 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 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.

• Passengers travelling in first class accommodation with a standard class ticket. Under the

Penalty Fares Rules 2002, passengers who have standard class tickets but who travel in first

class accommodation may be charged a penalty fare. This applies equally to season ticket

holders and holders of tickets other than season-tickets. However, a penalty fare may not be

charged if permission to occupy first class accommodation has been given by a member of

staff or by a notice.

 

4.30 Using discretion. Authorised collectors must be given the discretion not to charge a penalty

fare in a particular instance, even where the passenger is liable to pay a penalty fare under the

Penalty Fares Rules. Operators must think carefully about the guidelines they give to

authorised collectors about how they should use this discretion. We expect authorised

collectors to use discretion towards:

• passengers who have mobility problems and passengers who are frail, elderly or heavily

pregnant, who may not be able to reach the ticket office easily at the station where they

joined the train, particularly if this would involve a footbridge, steps or a long walk (frail,

elderly, or heavily pregnant passengers may not be able to stand in a ticket queue for very

long);

• passengers who are not aware of the scheme because they are blind or partially sighted, are a

foreign visitor who lives abroad, do not speak English very well, or have learning difficulties;

• passengers who are travelling from stations where the only ticket facilities available are

ticket machines or a ‘permit to travel’ machine, and who have enough money (or a credit or

debit card) to buy a ticket but not in the form needed to use the ticket or ‘permit to travel’

machine;

• passengers who are travelling from stations where the only ticket facilities available are

ticket machines and who claim that the machines were accepting coins only, or the exact fare

only, and the passenger did not have the necessary coins (unless the authorised collector can

confirm that the machines were in fact working normally);

• passengers who are travelling from a station where the authorised collector has been told

that long ticket office queues have built up, or where fewer ticket windows are open than

normal;

• passengers with standard class tickets who are elderly or pregnant and who are travelling in

first class accommodation because no standard class seats are available; and

• all passengers when the train service is severely disrupted.

4.31 Minimum payment. The instructions must remind authorised collectors that passengers do

not have to pay all of the penalty fare immediately. Authorised collectors may require the

passenger to make a minimum payment that is equal to the normal fare payable for the

journey which the passenger is making. However, passengers have 21 days in which to pay the

rest of the penalty fare. The instructions must give authorised collectors the discretion not to

require this minimum payment, but to allow passengers 21 days in which to pay all of the

penalty fare. It may be appropriate to use this discretion towards season-ticket holders who

have failed to carry their ticket (see paragraph 4.29), as well as towards people who are at risk.

 

4.32 People at risk. Authorised collectors must take special care with children and other vulnerable

passengers, such as people who are elderly, frail or heavily pregnant. This is particularly

important at night or on last trains. In particular, children or other people at risk must not be

left without enough money to return home, for example, if they need a bus fare or money for

a phone call when they reach their destination. In the case of children, if an authorised

collector decides to charge a penalty fare, no payment should normally be taken on the spot.

Instead, the authorised collector should tell the child to hand the penalty fare notice to his or her parents or guardian when they return home. In such cases, authorised collectors must also

be given the discretion to make the penalty fare notice valid for the child to travel to their final

destination.

 

 

Checking that ticket facilities are available and warning signs are displayed

 

4.33 Under rule 7, a person cannot be charged a penalty fare if there were no ticket facilities

available at the station where they joined the train, or if the warning notices required by rule 4

were not properly displayed. If a passenger says that they could not buy a ticket or that there

were no warning signs, an authorised collector must be able to check that the warning signs

are in place and not covered up or damaged, and whether ticket machines are working

properly or the ticket office is open. Authorised collectors also need to know when long

queues build up at a ticket office so that they can use their discretion towards passengers

travelling from that station. This is usually done by giving each authorised collector a mobile

phone and a pager to keep them in contact with a central control centre. Arrangements must

be made for station staff to contact the control centre if a ticket office closes early or if long

queues build up, and to advise the control centre of any ticket or ‘permit to travel’ machines

that are not working. Operators must explain how ‘permit to travel’ and ticket machines at

unstaffed stations will be monitored.

 

 

Selling tickets on penalty fares trains

 

4.34 The basic principle of any penalty fares scheme is that passengers must buy their tickets

before they get on their train. If passengers find that they can buy their ticket on the train

from the conductor or guard, it undermines this message. For this reason, we will not allow

tickets to be sold on penalty fares trains unless either:

a) the on-train staff are trained as, and act as, authorised collectors, so they can charge a

penalty fare to any passenger who is liable for one; or

b) the on-train staff issue a printed penalty fares warning, as well as a ticket, to any passenger

who is liable to a penalty fare, and draw the passenger’s attention to the warning.

In the case of (b), on-train staff must be given suitable training (and, when necessary,

refresher training) in how the penalty fares scheme works, and how to issue these penalty

fares warnings. A system must also be in place to make sure that on-train staff use the

warnings properly. Where the warnings are issued using a portable ticket machine, such as

‘SPORTIS’, machine print-outs might be used to check that staff are issuing them. Any

system must make sure that each individual conductor or guard is regularly monitored.

 

 

Arrangements between operators

 

4.35 The operator of a penalty fares scheme may give the authorised collectors of another train

company permission to collect penalty fares on its behalf. In line with rule 5, the identification

which each of these authorised collectors carries must show that they are authorised to collect

penalty fares on behalf of that operator. These authorised collectors must be given suitable

training about the penalty fares scheme, including the relevant instructions and discretion

guidelines which may be slightly different from those of the penalty fares scheme run by the

operator which employs them. When a passenger is charged a penalty fare, it must always be

made clear which operator’s penalty fares scheme applies.

 

4.36 Passengers travelling on the trains of another train operator cannot be charged a penalty fare if

that operator does not have a penalty fares scheme, or if the authorised collector has not been

authorised to collect penalty fares on behalf of that operator. The training and written

instructions given to authorised collectors must make this clear.

Appeals

 

4.37 A passenger may want to appeal against a penalty fare if they think that it has been charged

incorrectly or unfairly, so an effective and independent appeals process is an essential part of

any penalty fares scheme. However, we do not have the resources to deal with appeals

ourselves, and we do not think it is appropriate for us to do so. Instead, under rule 9, every

penalty fares scheme must include a process for handling and deciding appeals in line with a

code of practice which we have approved.

 

4.38 We consider that an appeals procedure will need to have the following features if we are to

approve it as part of a penalty fares scheme.

• Independence. The organisation deciding the appeals must be, and must be seen to be,

independent of the day-to-day commercial management of individual operators. The cost of

this organisation should be met by the operators, as it is part of the cost of using penalty

fares as a way of protecting revenue. However, the funding of the appeals organisation

should be independent of whether it accepts or turns down the appeals it processes.

• Clear criteria for accepting or turning down an appeal.We believe that appeals should be

accepted in the following situations.

– If an operator has failed to meet the requirements of its scheme, the rules or the

regulations. For example, if warning notices were not properly displayed in line with

rule 4, or the passenger could not buy a ticket because there were no ticket facilities

available at the station where they joined the train.

– Where appropriate discretion has not been used. For example, if the authorised

collector has not used his or her discretion in line with the guidelines which he or she has

been given.

In both cases, the staff who handle appeals must be given clear and specific criteria to decide

whether a particular appeal should be accepted or turned down.

• A consistent approach. It is important for both passengers and operators to know that any

appeal will be dealt with consistently. We believe that the best way to achieve this is to have a

single appeals organisation. Appeals are unlikely to be dealt with consistently if each

operator handles its own appeals.

• Appropriately trained staff. Staff who deal with appeals must have appropriate experience

and training.

• Access to the information needed to decide each appeal. The appeals staff will need to

assess whether the operator has failed to meet the requirements of its scheme, the rules and

the regulations. To do this, operators must keep records of, for example, the actual opening

hours of ticket offices, when ticket machines have broken down, and so on, and to give this

information to the appeals organisation when it is needed. Appeals staff will also need to assess whether an authorised collector has used his or her discretion in an appropriate way.

To do this, arrangements will need to be made for authorised collectors and other staff to

give their version of events to the appeals organisation when necessary.

Appeals must also take account of people’s rights under the Human Rights Act 1998 and the

European Convention on Human Rights. The appeal procedures must be compatible with

these rights.

 

 

The Independent Penalty Fares Appeals Service (IPFAS)

 

4.39 Every penalty fares scheme which has so far been approved has arranged for appeals to be dealt

with by the Independent Penalty Fares Appeals Service (IPFAS), in line with the IPFAS code

of practice. We have approved this code of practice for the purposes of rule 9.

 

4.40 IPFAS is managed by Connex SouthEastern Ltd, but as a separate unit whose management

does not report to the commercial director. When the Regulator asked for opinions from the

public and the rail industry a few years ago, most people agreed that appeals must be dealt with

independently and consistently, but there was little agreement on what the practical

arrangements should be. Some people questioned the need to change what was already in

place. Without a practical alternative offering any clear advantages, we believe that the current

arrangements are satisfactory, as long as IPFAS:

• remains a separate unit, with its own accounts and a line management that does not report to

the commercial director;

• continues to decide appeals in line with a set of specific criteria which we have approved;

• continues to be funded independently of the outcome of the appeals it processes, for

example, by receiving a set fee for each appeal, no matter whether that appeal is accepted or

turned down; and

• continues to receive enough funding to carry out its functions, while costs are fairly

distributed between operators using the service. To make sure that this is the case, we have

agreed the charging arrangements between IPFAS and the operators who use the service.

 

4.41 We recognise that there may come a time when operators may want to change these

arrangements. However, existing penalty fares schemes will need to be changed to reflect the

new arrangements. We will need to be sure that the new arrangements are in place and are

satisfactory before we approve any changes.

 

 

5 Guidelines for operators who want us to approve a scheme

 

Informal discussion

 

5.1 We strongly recommend that any operator who is considering introducing a penalty fares

scheme should first discuss its plans with us informally. Operators should also discuss their

plans informally with the relevant Rail Passengers Committee (RPC), any relevant Passenger

Transport Executive (PTE), and any other train or station operator (including, if appropriate,

London Underground) who will be affected. It is also good practice to advise the local British

Transport Police. This will allow everyone to understand how the proposed scheme will work, and any possible problems can be sorted out at this stage. We are happy to provide guidance on

draft penalty fares schemes, and we strongly recommend that a draft of the scheme is sent to

us informally before the formal notice is sent.

 

 

Formal notice

 

5.2 When informal discussions have been completed, and the operator is confident that there are

no serious objections, a formal notice should be sent to us in line with rule 3 of the Penalty

Fares Rules. Under rule 3, a formal notice must be sent to us at least three months before the

date when the penalty fares scheme will be introduced. This is normally enough for us to

approve the scheme and for the operator to give passengers the necessary three weeks’ notice,

as long as the scheme has been thoroughly discussed in draft form beforehand. If any major

issues have still not been sorted out when the formal notice is sent, more time might be

needed.

 

5.3 The notice must give the reasons for wanting to introduce a penalty fares scheme, which

should include a brief description of the expected benefits and the reasons for selecting

penalty fares over other possible ways of protecting revenue. The notice must give the date on

which the operator wants to start charging penalty fares.

 

5.4 The operator must send copies of the notice to the relevant RPC and any PTE whose stations

or trains are covered by the scheme.

 

© Copyright Rail Settlement Plan Limited.

Issue December 2009

Edited by MARTIN3030

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It is important to remember that Penalty Fares rules DOES NOT APPLY TO ALL RAIL OPERATORS

 

However, the National Railway Byelaws (2005) DOES apply to all national rail operators.

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Have a happy and prosperous 2013 by avoiiding Payday loans. If you are sent a private message directing you for advice or support with your issues to another website,this is your choice.Before you decide,consider the users here who have already offered help and support.

Advice offered by Martin3030 is not supported by any legal training or qualification.Members are advised to use the services of fully insured legal professionals when needed.

 

 

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Martin this is Crown Copyright but may be reproduced for non commercial use in any medium.

 

© Crown copyright 2009

Copyright in the typographical arrangement rests with the Crown.

This publication, excluding logos, may be reproduced free of charge in any format or medium for non-commercial research, private study or for internal circulation within an organisation. This is subject to it being reproduced accurately and not used in a misleading context. The copyright source of the material must be acknowledged and the title of the publication specified.

For any other use of this material, apply for a Click-Use Licence at http://www.opsi.gov.uk/click-use/index.htm, or by e-mail licensing@opsi.x.gsi.gov.uk

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It is important to remember that Penalty Fares rules DOES NOT APPLY TO ALL RAIL OPERATORS

 

However, the National Railway Byelaws (2005) DOES apply to all national rail operators.

 

Do the Penalty Fares rules May 2002 apply to Southern?

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The key thing that must be remembered is that the Penalty Fares Rules are the same for every operator that has a penalty fare scheme, but that does not mean that a penalty fare notice must always be issued.

 

If a breach of Byelaw or statutory legislation is identified, there is nothing that says a penalty fare notice must be issued. Instead, the rail staff concerned may choose to submit a written report

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