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Help and Advice - Summons to Magistrates Unpaid Ticket.


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Hi all,

 

I was a bit shocked this morn to find a summons to court in the mail... im a bit worried and very concerned as to how to deal with it.

 

I have only just seen these letters as i have been away at university, and unable to respond to the original letters from feb onwards.

 

The issue has arrsien from an unpaid ticket in feb.

 

im guessing its too late to challenge the proposed fine.... but is it also too late to settle out of court?

 

any help and advice anyone can offer ill be much obliged

 

thanks

 

Regards

 

Rich

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Thanks for the quick reply.

 

so here is the story.

 

I booked a train ticked for early feb, and wrote down the east Midlands trains booking ref instead of the collection ref in the email. This delayed me at the ticket office as my as i sorted this out, and so i caght the next train. This is how i received the unpaid fair ticket.

 

now being a student in my final year i have been completely distracted with my final year course load, and dint deal with the unpaid fine. Stupid yes i know!

 

and so, i am here a few months down the line with a handfull of letters from them and nowa court summons, after finishing the degree and coming back home to my home address, and now i a bit of a mess!

 

the summons says under by law 18(1) if they means much to anyone?

 

is there any more information needed? and ill try to fill you in,

 

 

thanks so far

 

richard

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That would be Railway Bylaw 18, which covers travelling without a valid ticket. You must have been warned about this on the train by the conductor (were you given an option to pay the excess fare at the time?) and he or she must have taken your details. Now it's gone as far as a summons, you must act quickly. You can still offer to settle it out of court but you'll need to make a sensible offer, in a decent letter briefly explaining the circumstances but offering an abject apology for allowing it to get this far.

 

It helps that you did at least have a booking - if it was an Advance ticket, did you travel on the booked train or another one?

 

I would suggest that the full single fare minus what you paid for your booking would be reasonable.

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I booked a train ticked for early feb, and wrote down the east Midlands trains booking ref instead of the collection ref in the email. This delayed me at the ticket office as my as i sorted this out, and so i caght the next train. This is how i received the unpaid fair ticket.

 

now being a student in my final year i have been completely distracted with my final year course load, and dint deal with the unpaid fine. Stupid yes i know!

 

and so, i am here a few months down the line with a handfull of letters from them and nowa court summons, after finishing the degree and coming back home to my home address, and now i a bit of a mess!

 

the summons says under by law 18(1) if they means much to anyone?

 

is there any more information needed? and ill try to fill you in,

 

 

 

The terms & conditions of these special price, reduced fare tickets make absolutely clear that if they are not used on the train for which they are booked, then they have no value and a new ticket must be bought. Before anyone jumps to the inevitable conclusion, I am not saying this is always morally justified, I am just pointing out what terms the purchaser accepted when buying the ticket.

 

 

 

You can still offer to settle it out of court but you'll need to make a sensible offer, in a decent letter briefly explaining the circumstances but offering an abject apology for allowing it to get this far.

 

It helps that you did at least have a booking - if it was an Advance ticket, did you travel on the booked train or another one?

 

I would suggest that the full single fare minus what you paid for your booking would be reasonable.

 

 

 

If the OP decides not to go to Court and fight the charge on the basis that s/he had bought a ticket, albeit not for the train used, that suggestion could be worth a try, but is almost certain to be rejected by the TOC. After all, they will point out that they have had the cost of writing several letters to the OP in an effort to help him/her to settle this, which they didn't need to do. They could have gone straight to issue a summons when the OP didn't answer the Notice.

 

I am sorry if it seems uncharitable, but the staff that deal with these matters have heard all the excuses time and again, but whether studying hard or not, between February and July there has been ample time to respond to this. These staff are unlikely to believe that you have not had a half-hour free time in over 4 months and that you have not had contact with home, especially as the Easter break fell in that time. This isn't meant to be overly critical of the OP, but I hope it does illustrate the sort of commonsense thinking that I would expect to prevail in that office.

 

I suggest that an apology, and offer of the outstanding sum plus a contribution to the TOCs admin charges will be likely to get a better result.

Edited by Old-CodJA
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