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The line i use has all unmanned stations. On each station there are permit to travel machines and signs warning on fines if you don't have a ticket.

 

Last night on my regular journey of 3 stops approx 12mins i got my permit to travel as usual boarded the train and sat down and waited for the guard to come round selling tickets just the same as any week and the same as the several others who got on at the same time did.

 

As i boarded i noticed 2 revenue officers in the carriage - no problem always get a permit.

 

Normally when they come round they'll check your permit and tell you to get a ticket when the guard appears.

 

Not this time. This time the officer ordered all those that had just boarded to leave their seats and walk down the other end of the train where the guard is waiting.

 

Is this now a standard procedure? I wasn't too happy still having some vague notion of being a customer and expecting a bit of customer service rather than just being viewed as a potential fare dodger as this guy did. I told him i wasn't happy but he just talked to me like i was trying to avoid paying.

 

If this is the case it'll be interesting when the station is busier and, say, 20 people board and start walking up and down looking for the guard. Feeling pretty angry about this as the guy was just talking to me like i was a criminal when i had and always have every intention of paying my fare.

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Hello and welcome to CAG. I hope the forum experts will be along soon, but as it's the weekend and leading up to Christmas, things are quieter here.

 

It's unfortunate about the RPI's attitude. I know that if you have no ticket, you're meant to find someone to buy a ticket from, but I'm not sure what applies to permits to travel.

 

My best, HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Permit to Travel allows you to start your journey on the provision you seek to change up to a full ticket at the earliest opportunity. In this instance, seeking the guard as soon you board and not sitting down and waiting for him to come to you.

 

I think that maybe your route has a problem with fare evasion with people using the Permit to Travel to avoid paying full fares for there journey. Yes, maybe his attitude might have been wrong and could have been handled better but he could just be a little over assertive and not his intention to make honest fare payers feel like criminal!

 

Bear in mind, having a permit to travel doesn't automatically mean you are not liable to receive a penalty fare. As a passenger on my route found out a few weeks back!

Edited by dreadpiratesteve

Still on the lookout for buried treasure!

 

Any advice I give here is based on my own experiences throughout my life, career and training and should not be taken as accurate. If in doubt, speak to someone more qualified - a Solicitor, Citizens Advice to name but two possible avenues!

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Thanks for the replies and the welcome.

 

I can honestly say that in all the time that has elapsed since the stations on my line (Medway Valley line for the record) closed i have not seen one single person get on a train and go looking for the guard and that must be 20 years now. Everyone takes a seat and waits for them to come down the carriage. None of 5 stations on the line have tickets on sale so everyone who boards must be ticketless. Surely its impractical that all passengers go looking for the guard especially with only a couple minutes between each station. I guess everyone, myself included, assumed that when the ticket office closed they were replaced with a 'mobile' ticket seller walking up and down the train.

 

Previously on journies I've had revenue officers look at my permit to travel and then tell me the guard will be along in a minute to sell me a ticket so i don't really see whats changed other than the guard had decided that he didn't want to walk down the train. Also its not always an easy line to get a ticket on.The permit to travel machines work only about 50% of the time and on journies without revenue officers aboard the guards quite often dont even leave their cab so you couldn't approach them if you tried.

 

One thing the revenue officer said that really annoyed me was " you wouldn't use a bus and expect not to pay" implying that i wasn't expecting to pay on the train. Actually i was, i was just also expecting to spend my journey sitting down rather then walking about and then queueing up in front of the guard. I am a customer afterall!

 

I've contacted Southeastern for their opinion and i'll see where i go from there.

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The Medway Valley is quite notorious for fare evasion and anti-social behaviour and it could be possible that you encountered Railway Enforcement Officers (similar to BTP) rather than Revenue Protection. Which could explain the harsh tone.

 

It is part of the National Rail Conditions of Carriage and highlighted in the Penalty Fare rules, that boarding a train due to a lack of ticket facilities that you must seek out the guard on the train. Also, it is a condition on the Permit to Travel that you must exchange it to a full ticket as soon as possible.

 

As you complied with the request, and paid for your ticket, hopefully you'll get a response from Southeastern as to the "low customer service".


Still on the lookout for buried treasure!

 

Any advice I give here is based on my own experiences throughout my life, career and training and should not be taken as accurate. If in doubt, speak to someone more qualified - a Solicitor, Citizens Advice to name but two possible avenues!

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Thanks for the replies and the welcome.

 

I can honestly say that in all the time that has elapsed since the stations on my line (Medway Valley line for the record) closed i have not seen one single person get on a train and go looking for the guard and that must be 20 years now. Everyone takes a seat and waits for them to come down the carriage. None of 5 stations on the line have tickets on sale so everyone who boards must be ticketless. Surely its impractical that all passengers go looking for the guard especially with only a couple minutes between each station. I guess everyone, myself included, assumed that when the ticket office closed they were replaced with a 'mobile' ticket seller walking up and down the train.

 

Previously on journies I've had revenue officers look at my permit to travel and then tell me the guard will be along in a minute to sell me a ticket so i don't really see whats changed other than the guard had decided that he didn't want to walk down the train. Also its not always an easy line to get a ticket on.The permit to travel machines work only about 50% of the time and on journies without revenue officers aboard the guards quite often dont even leave their cab so you couldn't approach them if you tried.

 

One thing the revenue officer said that really annoyed me was " you wouldn't use a bus and expect not to pay" implying that i wasn't expecting to pay on the train. Actually i was, i was just also expecting to spend my journey sitting down rather then walking about and then queueing up in front of the guard. I am a customer afterall!

 

I've contacted Southeastern for their opinion and i'll see where i go from there.

 

 

This appears to be an attempt by SouthEastern to re-educate and to ensure that travellers do meet their obligation to exchange a permit to travel at the earliest opportunity.

 

As dreadpiratesteve has commented, it is the travellers responsibility to seek someone to pay at the earliest opportunity where pre-purchase facilities are not available before boarding.

 

The judgment in the Appeal Court case (Corbyn 1978) made clear that their Lordships considered that any traveller who only intended to pay if someone asked them, might be considered to be intending not to pay if not asked and that was ruled contrary to the relevant legislation. (Section 5 of The Regulation of Railways Act [1889])

 

Don't be surprised if you also find that REOs and RPIs step-up exit checks ( in company with BTP who may be present to maintain public order and do not have authority to overrule rail staff dealing with ticketing issues ) at stations and resume the practice of reporting those who have not found the guard or revenue staff and have not paid paid before attempting to leave the railway.

 

We all know that ticketing facilities do need improvement at many locations, however being in possession of a permit to travel does not always guarantee immunity from prosecution in those circumstances.

 

These sort of exercises also serve as information gathering operations too. It may be that revenue staff will be deployed to target regular travellers who only pay if asked. (It was common practice in BR days and is commonly employed by TOCs revenue protection teams.)

 

If a traveller is using the rail service to travel into London (or other location where ticketing facilities are available) for work every day and does not hold a minimum of a weekly ticket, which provides substantial savings on daily fares and has no train time restrictions, questions may be asked as to whether there is evidence of 'pre-meditated', although opportunist, fare evasion.

 

It doesn't matter which end a weekly or longer period season ticket is issued at the start. It is normal for the majority of travellers on lines like the Medway route to understand that and for them to hold seasons.

Edited by Old-CodJA

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If thats how the Medway Valley line is viewed then that probably explains the attitude of the Revenue Officer towards me although I don't think it excuses it - I hardly see myself as being stereotypically an anti-social fare dodging type being mid-40s and an IT manager by trade!

 

If they do intend to rigourously enforce these rules then they do seriously need to educate the passengers first. As I said I have never seen anyone seek out a guard for a ticket. The six or seven people who got on at the same time as me all sat down within 10-15 feet of two very brightly dressed, very obvious Revenue Officers indeed most of them entered through the doors the officers were standing at - hardly the actions of people trying to evade paying. I think they will also need to improve ticket facilities - all those that board at each station on the line heading towards the guard at once is surely not practical.

 

As i said I have no problem with paying my fares or indeed with enforcement of anti-evasion measures my problem was with the attitude of the Officer who it appears just saw me as **** because of the station I boarded at.

 

Anyway, thank you for your input. I will do my best to be a good, law-abiding citizen from now on and try and work out where the guard is before I board!! Although I do intend to raise my concerns with how the line is run with SouthEastern & my local MP who I know has shown an interest in this issue before.

 

Thanks all.

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If a traveller is using the rail service to travel into London (or other location where ticketing facilities are available) for work every day and does not hold a minimum of a weekly ticket, which provides substantial savings on daily fares and has no train time restrictions, questions may be asked as to whether there is evidence of 'pre-meditated', although opportunist, fare evasion.

 

It doesn't matter which end a weekly or longer period season ticket is issued at the start. It is normal for the majority of travellers on lines like the Medway route to understand that and for them to hold seasons.

 

Just for the record that isn't my situation. I go from Snodland to Maidstone(return) once or occasionally twice a week in the evening. Twenty or so years ago I worked in the City of London and always had season tickets for the exact reason mention - its cheaper.

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I hardly see myself as being stereotypically an anti-social fare dodging type being mid-40s and an IT manager by trade!

 

Perhaps you can help those of us that have been engaged in the business for a very long time, by describing 'a stereotypical anti-social fare dodging type' please?

 

I will do my best to be a good, law-abiding citizen from now on and try and work out where the guard is before I board!!

 

I might be able to help you with that one.

 

He or she will be the one in uniform looking out at the platform, checking that the doors are clear before closing them and the train moves off.

Edited by Old-CodJA

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Do you know what I knew that first line wasn't right when I wrote it. Just feeling a bit precious after the incident. I'm sure people from all walks of life try to avoid paying.

 

The second line was meant as a light hearted sign off to incident that actually shook me up quite a bit. I apologise unreservedly if I offended you.

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Do you know what I knew that first line wasn't right when I wrote it. Just feeling a bit precious after the incident. I'm sure people from all walks of life try to avoid paying.

 

The second line was meant as a light hearted sign off to incident that actually shook me up quite a bit. I apologise unreservedly if I offended you.

 

 

OK, me too smilie.png

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No problem. Have a good Christmas.

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Thank you, and to you and yours

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It's nice to see everyone getting on. :-D

 

HB

  • Confused 1

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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On the point of a stereotypical fare dodger, men in suits are usually some of the worst in my opinion, by that i'm not at all saying that you are, just that a lot of my "clients" fall into that category!


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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I am afraid RPI I must concur.

In my 15 years of past experience it was indeed rare to find what most of those outside of' the trade' would call 'a typical fare dodger' (i.e. dog on bit of string, dirty clothing mid-20's male who enjoyed smoking herbal tobacco hiding in the loo) and most of those who seemed to have a 'system' to avoid paying the proper fare were in conventional clothing, didn't hide in the loo, and usually had some sort of valid ticket for some parts of the journey (typically a season ticket to get past a barrier at the joining stations and another season/ticket to get past the destination barrier.

They avoided the fare by making every effort to avoid the ticketing staff by moving coaches around typical ticketing checking patterns or if forced to purchased short fares based on their experience in how ticketing was carried out after the point the ticket they were considering now buying covered.

 

These are by far the worst type of thief the railway now suffers, the ironic thing is many fellow passengers who see them and their antics every day of the week don't report them for one reason or another despite the fact it is these very peoples actions that inconveniences them all and, it could be argued, raises their fares year on year.

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To find the guard I always look for the single light flashing which indicates the correct carriage to purchase valid tickets

Perhaps you can help those of us that have been engaged in the business for a very long time, by describing 'a stereotypical anti-social fare dodging type' please?

 

 

 

I might be able to help you with that one.

 

He or she will be the one in uniform looking out at the platform, checking that the doors are clear before closing them and the train moves off.

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To find the guard I always look for the single light flashing which indicates the correct carriage to purchase valid tickets

 

 

A good tip on your line, but not applicable on all trains or TOC routes

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