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penalty for not carrying network railcard


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Hi,

Myself and my travelling companion were recently charge a penalty of £42 each as I forgot to carry my network railcard. I paid on the spot, after the inspector assured me if I had a valid network railcard I could appeal.

I subsequently appealed with evidence of my Network Railcard. The appeal was rejected outright for the reason that the ticket fare I was travelling on required that I travel with my Network Railcard.

I then challenged that rejection on the basis that the appeal process clearly states that you can appeal in writing and produce supporting evidence including Railcards. However there seems to be absolutely no consideration given to subsequently producing a Railcard, which I think is exceptionally unfair when a fairly simply mistake was made but absolutely no wrong doing was made in regards to the fares paid or evasion etc.

 

IPFAS have already rejected my letter twice. Is there anything further I can do, or am I just wasting my time.

 

 

PS - the penalty notice issued to my companion incorrectly states the reason as "No Ticket" - where as my notice correctly states "No supporting evidence". Would I have any success re-appealing the first notice on a technicality as it contains the incorrect penalty reason?

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They are exactly right to refuse your appeals. Sorry!

 

You commit a criminal offence by failing to have a valid ticket, so a Penalty Fare is a generous and cheaper alternative to prosecution.

 

When you travel on the railway and/or buy a ticket you enter into a contract. A simple and brief description of that contract is on the back of every rail ticket. Full copies of the contract are available when you purchase your ticket. Unfortunately, a term of that contract is that you are liable for ensuring you have the correct documentation available at all times. If you breach it you are liable for both civil (Conditions of Carriage) and criminal (Byelaws) action.

 

There are also large yellow warning signs at the entrance to all Penalty Fare stations that are generally in a fairly noticeable place. These signs usually state that failing to produce a railcard will result in a Penalty Fare.

 

Furthermore, the Train Operator will have your signature on the railcard application form agreeing to abide by the relevant terms and conditions. Your signature should also appear on your railcard, whereby you further demonstrate acceptance of the terms. (If you haven't signed your railcard, it isn't valid anyway, regardless of expiry).

 

 

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.

 

Requirement to hold a ticket

Before you travel you must have a ticket or other authority to travel which is valid for the

train(s) you intend to use and for the journey you intend to make.... if you don't you will be liable to pay the full single fare or full return fare or, if appropriate, a Penalty

Fare

 

You must carry the Network Railcard with you on your journey and when asked by rail staff, you must show a valid ticket and valid Network Railcard. If you fail to do so, you and, where applicable, each member of your group will be required to pay the full price Standard Single fare for your journey as if no ticket was purchased before starting your journey and in some cases a Penalty Fare.

 

If a person fails to produce a valid ticket or other authority in

line with rule 6.3 or 6.4, the authorised collector may charge

that person a penalty fare, in line with the Regulations and

these rules.

Edited by firstclassx
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I don't mean to sound argumentative but I hear this all the time at work and I totally agree with Firstclassx.

 

Look at it from this point of view, If you have a discount coupon for a supermarket and forget to take it with you then you can't have the discount for that so why should it apply for rail tickets. Regardless of whether you have the card or not if everyone said they had just forgotten it and were given tickets with discount then TOCs would lose out on a lot of revenue.

 

Again not being argumentative but it does say on the back of the card and the T&Cs that it needs to be carried at all times while using it. In relation the inspectors comments, everyone is entitled to appeal their penalty fare for whatever reason they wish but it doesn't guarantee you'll be successful

Edited by markl1987
made a type-o
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They are exactly right to refuse your appeals. Sorry!

You commit a criminal offence by failing to have a valid ticket, so a Penalty Fare is a generous and cheaper alternative to prosecution.

I think that is taking it a bit far. IPFAS own letter says - "Rest assured that you have not been accused of deliberately intending to avoid the fare, a Penalty Fare is not a fine, it is an enhanced fare the the train company is allowed to charge until the Penalty Fares Rules 2002 ....".

So I think you are being somewhat dramatic by suggesting it is a criminal offence.

 

Regardless of whether you have the card or not if everyone said they had just forgotten it and were given tickets with discount then TOCs would lose out on a lot of revenue.

 

I understand that the penalty had to be issued as I didn't have the card on me, however I don't accept that there is no appeal process that allows you to produce evidence that you were entitled to the fare you purchased. They don't consider the railcard as evidence in the appeal, even though their own website states you can send in railcards as evidence of supporting documentation. I don't see this as train companies losing out on revenue at all as if you dont have the railcard you cant appeal - and they can easily tell if you are a repeat forgetter offender. So, you may not agree with me, but I'll contain to believe it is just unfair on someone who makes an honest once off mistake.

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I think that is taking it a bit far. IPFAS own letter says - "Rest assured that you have not been accused of deliberately intending to avoid the fare, a Penalty Fare is not a fine, it is an enhanced fare the the train company is allowed to charge until the Penalty Fares Rules 2002 ....".

So I think you are being somewhat dramatic by suggesting it is a criminal offence.

 

 

 

I understand that the penalty had to be issued as I didn't have the card on me, however I don't accept that there is no appeal process that allows you to produce evidence that you were entitled to the fare you purchased. They don't consider the railcard as evidence in the appeal, even though their own website states you can send in railcards as evidence of supporting documentation. I don't see this as train companies losing out on revenue at all as if you dont have the railcard you cant appeal - and they can easily tell if you are a repeat forgetter offender. So, you may not agree with me, but I'll contain to believe it is just unfair on someone who makes an honest once off mistake.

 

A Penalty Fare can only ever be issued when you have committed a criminal offence. If you are liable for a Penalty Fare, you have to have first breached either Byelaw 17 or 18, which creates criminal offences. Therefore, you committed a criminal offence, but the TOC has chosen to dispose of the offence by a Penalty Fare. No "intent" is needed. You committed a black and white criminal offence.

 

A Penalty Fare is a higher priced fare in lieu of being prosecuted. I think you've got a fair deal paying £42 each for a Penalty Fare, rather than the three figure sums seen to settle a prosecution for similar offences. It was, after all, your mistake. You breached the contract, the Byelaws etc.

 

Why should they consider the railcard now? You needed it at the time as per the conditions that you sign to confirm you agree to, and will abide by.

 

Should you have to suffer no loss for causing the companies involved to have to deal with you on the train, admin staff back office processing the Penalty Fare and then cost in processing your appeal? £40 is a fair price for the administrative tasks involved IMO.

 

If I forgot to take a £10 voucher to Tescos, when I find it when I get home, should I demand a £10 refund by sending them a copy of it?

 

I am sorry that it clearly isn't the advice you wish to hear. However, compared to most on this forum, you've avoided a costly prosecution for a mistake you were 100% responsible for. Chalk it up, you definitely won't do it again! If you push it too far, you may cause them to retract the offer of a Penalty Fare and commence a Byelaw 18 prosecution.

Edited by firstclassx
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I think that is taking it a bit far. IPFAS own letter says - "Rest assured that you have not been accused of deliberately intending to avoid the fare, a Penalty Fare is not a fine, it is an enhanced fare the the train company is allowed to charge until the Penalty Fares Rules 2002 ....".

So I think you are being somewhat dramatic by suggesting it is a criminal offence.

You did commit a Criminal Offence, you were just given a Penalty Fare which is a civil remedy for said offence. They could have reported you for consideration of prosecution. Bear in mind that just because you provide evidence of your railcard doesn't mean you're home free....What if you lent it to a mate on the date in question? The TOC doesn't know you from Adam afterall. Also, your 21-days is ticking by each day, so bear in mind the amount will rise and eventually be cancelled as fistclass has said.

Edited by Stigy
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I think as has already been pointed out that the issue of the penalty fare is quicker and cheaper than dragging you to court for the matter, the railway byelaws are a criminal offence and are 'strict liability' which means they dont have to prove anything.

 

Its also worth pointing out that penalty fares are issued to give people an opportunity to appeal the decision if not happy, your appeal was not up-held which is entirely correct in this circumstance, my advice is to put this down to experience and move on.

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and are 'strict liability' which means they dont have to prove anything.

 

Sorry to nitpick...

 

Only that the offence of Strict Liability occurred....:)

 

No intent need be proved.

Edited by Stigy
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My apologies but, What a load of bull.

 

You did not commit any criminal offence, that's giant horsesh*t. A Penalty Fare is a debt due, or to stretch it - trespass, therefore they are civil matters & a civil debt. The rail company would argue you had breached the Conditions of Carriage (which aren't on any document you've probably signed, but would have been directed to - try that it any other business - HA). It's a breach of contract - CIVIL LAW!

 

Obviously if you were a persistent offender, or fraudulently using their services this would turn into a criminal matter. Let me make this really clear - Fare Evasion is CRIMINAL & they will notify their prosecutions dept- if you are issued with a Penalty Fare the matter has been dealt with & it is CIVIL. You cannot be accused simultaneously of a criminal & a civil offence for the same thing! Law 201. Even the Railways Act 1889 s5 makes these distinctions.

 

There is no criminal offence until proven in a court of law. Try getting a criminal conviction without a mens rea!

 

Just imagine the case law that would exist if they were employing this as a criminal act. Magistrates, judges & juries are not going to drag an old lady into court & convict her because she forgot her OAP pass, so it's civil so it catches & fines even those that actually had the right to travel, & the "offence" cost the company not a penny in lost revenue - a victimless crime! To all intents and purposes RyanAir does this up front, where everything is a variation of contract!

 

The rail companies are not being generous in issuing penalty fares. They issue penalty fares at up to 10 times the rate of prosecutions because they have little chance of winning a criminal prosecution in most cases, & even less chance of recovering costs. Magistrates know that people are forgetful, machinery breaks etc, & would see these as civil matters!

 

The only thing discount cards should have on them is -"failure to carry this is gonna cost you £40,50,80 etc".

 

A pretty simple idea isn't it?

 

Yesterday, I had the same issue on a TFL bus. I also have an incorrect coding, & the additional fact that the system literally would not let me pay more with my oystercard. Get this too a judge & I'd win as it's a glaring technicality... however...

 

A first appeal should not cost you any money. They will reject it.

Sometimes there will be a 2nd appeal process - you will get a demand for the full whack. They will reject it.

Then you will be allowed to appeal to the Independent Adjudicator. At this point they might be asking for twice the full Penalty Fare!

 

All of this is a long drawn out process. You will feel your indignation flagging. You will wish you had paid the first amount!

 

Any appeal to an IA must be on a point of law. Being issued an incorrect PF is grounds for appeal, & quite often a win. An incorrectly issued PF has no legal standing. The fact that you & your companion were issued different codes for an identical offence is evidence that one of you would have a decent chance of winning. Any appeal should be on those grounds. You'll need to spend a few hours trawling for information to try & find any success stories. Probably £42 worth of hours:roll:, but hey, you could be the first to even challenge on this basis!

Edited by TFL is HELL
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TFL is HELL did you come here for advice or just to kick up a stink because you aren't happy at your penalty fare on the bus yesterday because you wearn't using your your card within the rules?

 

People put a lot of their own time, effort and knowledge into helping others on this site and there are a huge amount of people that have benefitted from their advice.

 

Personally I think you are out of order for your comments, regardless of whatever you think it should say on the card or the penalty for not having it etc there are rules and regulations that are set, if you don't abide by them then you have to deal with the consequences

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My apologies but, What a load of bull.

 

You did not commit any criminal offence, that's giant horsesh*t. A Penalty Fare is a debt due, or to stretch it - trespass, therefore they are civil matters & a civil debt. The rail company would argue you had breached the Conditions of Carriage (which aren't on any document you've probably signed, but would have been directed to - try that it any other business - HA). It's a breach of contract - CIVIL LAW!

 

Obviously if you were a persistent offender, or fraudulently using their services this would turn into a criminal matter. Let me make this really clear - Fare Evasion is CRIMINAL & they will notify their prosecutions dept- if you are issued with a Penalty Fare the matter has been dealt with & it is CIVIL. You cannot be accused simultaneously of a criminal & a civil offence for the same thing! Law 201. Even the Railways Act 1889 s5 makes these distinctions.

 

There is no criminal offence until proven in a court of law. Try getting a criminal conviction without a mens rea!

 

Just imagine the case law that would exist if they were employing this as a criminal act. Magistrates, judges & juries are not going to drag an old lady into court & convict her because she forgot her OAP pass, so it's civil so it catches & fines even those that actually had the right to travel, & the "offence" cost the company not a penny in lost revenue - a victimless crime! To all intents and purposes RyanAir does this up front, where everything is a variation of contract!

 

The rail companies are not being generous in issuing penalty fares. They issue penalty fares at up to 10 times the rate of prosecutions because they have little chance of winning a criminal prosecution in most cases, & even less chance of recovering costs. Magistrates know that people are forgetful, machinery breaks etc, & would see these as civil matters!

 

The only thing discount cards should have on them is -"failure to carry this is gonna cost you £40,50,80 etc".

 

A pretty simple idea isn't it?

 

Yesterday, I had the same issue on a TFL bus. I also have an incorrect coding, & the additional fact that the system literally would not let me pay more with my oystercard. Get this too a judge & I'd win as it's a glaring technicality... however...

 

A first appeal should not cost you any money. They will reject it.

Sometimes there will be a 2nd appeal process - you will get a demand for the full whack. They will reject it.

Then you will be allowed to appeal to the Independent Adjudicator. At this point they might be asking for twice the full Penalty Fare!

 

All of this is a long drawn out process. You will feel your indignation flagging. You will wish you had paid the first amount!

 

Any appeal to an IA must be on a point of law. Being issued an incorrect PF is grounds for appeal, & quite often a win. An incorrectly issued PF has no legal standing. The fact that you & your companion were issued different codes for an identical offence is evidence that one of you would have a decent chance of winning. Any appeal should be on those grounds. You'll need to spend a few hours trawling for information to try & find any success stories. Probably £42 worth of hours:roll:, but hey, you could be the first to even challenge on this basis!

 

Please, stop.

 

You are so, so wrong.

 

An idiot could prosecute a strict liability offence and win!

 

No "mens rea" needed :D Good to see old fashioned armchair lawyers though. Hope you don't charge much.

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Please, stop.

 

You are so, so wrong.

 

An idiot could prosecute a strict liability offence and win!

 

No "mens rea" needed :D Good to see old fashioned armchair lawyers though. Hope you don't charge much.

 

Thanks for confirming Firstclassx, Got particularly annoyed at the attitude in this post considering how much advice you give on here to everyone, let alone how much you have helped me out with your comments

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Please, stop.

 

You are so, so wrong.

 

An idiot could prosecute a strict liability offence and win!

 

No "mens rea" needed :D Good to see old fashioned armchair lawyers though. Hope you don't charge much.

 

Well said.....cant really add much, just to reiterate, when PF case goes to court, it's not for the PF any longer. The PF is cancelled, and the original matter of the byelaw offence is charged. CRIMINAL.

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  • 1 year later...

Hello, I find this really interesting as a similar thing has just happened to me. I appealed but never received anything back as far as I'm aware and my parents have just contacted me telling me that I've received a final notice for the fine. I have been moving around the country for a few months now and don't currently have my own address either so mail is difficult but I do check emails.

 

When I got my fine I was literally just popping back out of my house to go and see my mum so i left everything but my travelcard behind - even my purse, it wasn't a long journey.

 

I understand that in the contract it states that we are liable to being fined for not carrying the railcard, and I am willing to pay (only because we are bullied into paying), but it seems unfair that I never received a reply to my appeal (in which I sent them the receipt and both parts of my railcard). I can see now that it must have been rejected like yours, and perhaps in my hundreds of emails i get sent to me it was my mistake for deleting it or something - i don't know.

 

What kind of 'first world democracy' do we live in? If human mistakes are met with corporate thievery. It takes me 7 hours to make £40, and now the fine has gone up to £120. That's now 21 hours of work.

 

The issue here I guess, is not that we are entitled to a fair appeal, but that really the law and 'justice' only serves money.

And this is able to continue because not enough people stand and fight. We only ever have strength in numbers if we want to stand up to this kind of secret dictatorship. Things like 'law', 'justice', 'criminal acts' and 'human rights' are all made up things that don't really exist.

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If you had paid at the first opportunity then you would not have had this issue.

 

 

Not sure how this is all bullying/secret dictatorship/thievery/conspiracy etc.

 

 

Well you state that you may have deleted the e-mail by mistake so why not contact them again?

 

 

You are entitled to a fair appeal - ask to be dealt with at court and I'm sure that they will oblige.

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Hello, I find this really interesting as a similar thing has just happened to me. I appealed but never received anything back as far as I'm aware and my parents have just contacted me telling me that I've received a final notice for the fine. I have been moving around the country for a few months now and don't currently have my own address either so mail is difficult but I do check emails.

 

When I got my fine I was literally just popping back out of my house to go and see my mum so i left everything but my travelcard behind - even my purse, it wasn't a long journey.

 

I understand that in the contract it states that we are liable to being fined for not carrying the railcard, and I am willing to pay (only because we are bullied into paying), but it seems unfair that I never received a reply to my appeal (in which I sent them the receipt and both parts of my railcard). I can see now that it must have been rejected like yours, and perhaps in my hundreds of emails i get sent to me it was my mistake for deleting it or something - i don't know.

 

What kind of 'first world democracy' do we live in? If human mistakes are met with corporate thievery. It takes me 7 hours to make £40, and now the fine has gone up to £120. That's now 21 hours of work.

 

The issue here I guess, is not that we are entitled to a fair appeal, but that really the law and 'justice' only serves money.

And this is able to continue because not enough people stand and fight. We only ever have strength in numbers if we want to stand up to this kind of secret dictatorship. Things like 'law', 'justice', 'criminal acts' and 'human rights' are all made up things that don't really exist.

 

 

you need to start a new thread

 

 

of your own

 

 

dx

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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I didn't pay up front because I didn't see myself in the wrong. Usually if I get fined and i'm in the wrong (e.g. going over the time of a parking ticket) I have absolutely no qualms with paying up. In this case, the company is losing absolutely nothing, so why am I being condemned? I made a human error, which I could (and did) prove.

However the whole system apparently rebukes and punishes harmless human errors, which then leads me to believe that this is about nothing but how much money they can get.

I haven't been back to my parents' home to pick up the letter yet, which is why I haven't contacted them, but will today.

According to this thread, a court case is not going to help me at all.

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I didn't pay up front because I didn't see myself in the wrong. Usually if I get fined and i'm in the wrong (e.g. going over the time of a parking ticket) I have absolutely no qualms with paying up. In this case, the company is losing absolutely nothing, so why am I being condemned? I made a human error, which I could (and did) prove.

However the whole system apparently rebukes and punishes harmless human errors, which then leads me to believe that this is about nothing but how much money they can get.

I haven't been back to my parents' home to pick up the letter yet, which is why I haven't contacted them, but will today.

According to this thread, a court case is not going to help me at all.

 

You are right : if taken to court under Bylaw 18, you face conviction.

 

One of the major issues here is the discrepancy in viewpoints.

 

You don't see yourself as having done wrong.

The TOC see many people who buy discounted tickets they aren't entitled to discount on : and do usually enforce the "must carry the railcard for the discount to be valid" rule.

 

You don't see yourself as having done wrong so haven't made arrangements to ensure you receive snail mail from the TOC in good time, & have potentially lost any email from them.

They likely see someone who breached the T's & C's of the railcard, and hasn't responded to their communications.

 

My suggestion : by all means campaign for a better system.

However, do so seperately from your individual case.

If it goes to court, even if they agree with your campaign points, the measure the Magistrates MUST use to determine guilt is the law.

Agreeing with you may mean you get a reduced penalty from the court, but it won't stop them having to find you guilty if the TOC bring a Bylaw 18 / "strict liability" prosecution.

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I didn't pay up front because I didn't see myself in the wrong. Usually if I get fined and i'm in the wrong (e.g. going over the time of a parking ticket) I have absolutely no qualms with paying up.

 

Unfortunately for you, in this case you were in the wrong. The conditions of use of Railcard discounted tickets make absolutely clear that if you cannot produce the actual Railcard at the time of travel then you will be treated as if no ticket is held. You accepted those conditions when you applied for and got a Railcard.

 

In this case, the company is losing absolutely nothing, so why am I being condemned? .

 

An Appeal Court judgment in the case of Browning & Floyd (1946) made perfectly clear that in some cases the Rail Company may not have lost any money, but that the traveller in question did not hold a valid ticket for his journey and the elements of an offence was therefore made out. The Appeal was rejected.

 

I made a human error, which I could (and did) prove..

 

Unfortunately we all have to accept that our initial actions do sometimes have unintended consequences.

 

A Court will determine guilt on the basis of law taking account of your actions & words. Lord Denning famously summed up what may be considered in determining 'intent' by saying that the Court is not required to look into the mind of an accused person, the Court merely needs to see what that person did by their actions in committing the alleged offence.

 

EG: Did you show a valid ticket when asked? - No

Did you pay the fare due when asked? - No (A Penalty Fare is a formal way of getting rid of the allegation of an offence by administrative process.)

You appealed the liability and under the rules, the appeal was correctly declined. (However unfair you may feel that to be, there is no breach of rule here.)

Having been given an opportunity to pay at a later date, did you do so? - No

 

 

However the whole system apparently rebukes and punishes harmless human errors, which then leads me to believe that this is about nothing but how much money they can get.

 

This kind of comment, if replicated in your letter to the TOC is unlikely to have any effect other than make it more likely that anyone assessing the file will have little sympathy. If the notice remains unpaid, or not successfully appealed, the penalty fare (or unpaid fare notice) will be cancelled and a Summons can be issued for prosecution of an offence. The rules specifically allow for this. (This also applies to Unpaid Fare Notices.)

 

I haven't been back to my parents' home to pick up the letter yet, which is why I haven't contacted them, but will today. According to this thread, a court case is not going to help me at all.

 

I agree, allowing yourself to be summonsed to Court for this is not going to help you at all. You will be well advised to contact them immediately, if the time in which you were allowed to pay has been exceeded they do not have to agree and may already have applied for a Summons. This will have incurred additional costs for the TOC.

 

The fact that you are moving around the country is of no concern to the company. You have given a permanent address at which you can be contacted (your parents) and at which a Summons can be served.

 

If you adopt a more conciliatory tone in your next letter you may find that they are willing to resolve the matter administratively and if you are very lucky (or if you are still in time) they may allow you to pay the amount stipulated by the Penalty Fare notice. There is no guarantee of that.

 

I'm sorry if that isn't what you wanted to here and I agree, sometimes life can be harsh and that perhaps there could be a better system in some respects, but railing against perceived 'secret dictatorships' and the like isn't really going to help you at all.

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