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Fined after incorrect advice from GreaterAnglia staff


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Hi,

 

I have just been fined £64.10 for travelling on a train with an invalid ticket.

 

Due to an emergency,

it became important for me to travel home from LiverpoolStreet ASAP.

 

When a train was called heading to my station,

I asked the member of staff at the barrier if my ticket would be valid for this train (3 hours earlier than mine).

He told me yes, so I boarded the train, and sat in an unreserved seat.

 

When the conductor came over, I showed him my ticket, and he issued a fine as the ticket was invalid.

 

Whilst I do not dispute that my ticket may have been invalid,

I have appealed via IRCAS, as thanks to a member of GA staff, I had no doubt that my ticket would be fine.

 

I really can't afford to pay the £64.10,

and was wondering if anyone could comment on my chances of having this unfair penalty revoked?

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I'd say your chance of getting this revoked is pretty high.

 

From the times I have had to appeal ive always found the IRCAS to be fair.

 

Firstly did you note description of barrier staff in your appeal or name ?

and did you make it clear to the issuer of the fine of your reasons.

 

If so on the latter thats a complete jobs worth tbh.

But I see no reason that they shouldn't revoke.

 

If they don't then simply write another letter to them and to Greater Anglia,

advising you will not be paying,

your reasons and details of the emergency

and ask that this letter be held on file if they ever wish to pursue recovery in court £61.40 theres no chance !

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I'd say your chance of getting this revoked is pretty high. From the times I have had to appeal ive always found the IRCAS to be fair.

 

Firstly did you note description of barrier staff in your appeal or name ? and did you make it clear to the issuer of the fine of your reasons. If so on the latter thats a complete jobs worth tbh. But I see no reason that they shouldn't revoke.

 

If they don't then simply write another letter to them and to Greater Anglia, advising you will not be paying, your reasons and details of the emergency and ask that this letter be held on file if they ever wish to pursue recovery in court £61.40 theres no chance !

 

If the ticket you held was an advance ticket valid only for the later service, then you held no valid ticket.

You are liable for the standard fare (is that the £61.40) as an Unpaid fare, (rather than it being a 'fine').

 

I would hope common sense will prevail and your appeal will be met sympathetically, but in the end : if you had a heavily discounted ticket for a later service - did you hold a valid ticket?

 

You might have been better getting the member of gate staff to speak to the on-train staff, or seek out the on-train staff at Liverpool Street so they could speak with the gate staff if needed.

 

I'm just wondering how often the on train staff hear "the gate staff gave me permission" against how often permission was given (as it was for you....)

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If the ticket you held was an advance ticket valid only for the later service, then you held no valid ticket.

You are liable for the standard fare (is that the £61.40) as an Unpaid fare, (rather than it being a 'fine').

 

I would hope common sense will prevail and your appeal will be met sympathetically, but in the end : if you had a heavily discounted ticket for a later service - did you hold a valid ticket?

 

You might have been better getting the member of gate staff to speak to the on-train staff, or seek out the on-train staff at Liverpool Street so they could speak with the gate staff if needed.

 

I'm just wondering how often the on train staff hear "the gate staff gave me permission" against how often permission was given (as it was for you....)

 

You ever tried to get gate staff to leave their post. It doesn't happen.

Despite the valid ticket argument to which we already know that he didn't technically have a valid ticket sympathetically it needs to be judged in his favour.

And on advance tickets you often find the timed part is for a particular section of the journey ie ipswich to london the Ipswich to Colchester part is timed the rest isn't and you are free to break your journey at this point. ( this is on GA terms )

Also you can take any train on the untimed part. So op should look at tickets and see if he was on a timed section of his ticket or not. If not the fine is invalid unless he was fined within the timed section.

 

Would be helpful is OP clarifies this also.

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You ever tried to get gate staff to leave their post. It doesn't happen.

Despite the valid ticket argument to which we already know that he didn't technically have a valid ticket sympathetically it needs to be judged in his favour.

And on advance tickets you often find the timed part is for a particular section of the journey ie ipswich to london the Ipswich to Colchester part is timed the rest isn't and you are free to break your journey at this point. ( this is on GA terms )

Also you can take any train on the untimed part. So op should look at tickets and see if he was on a timed section of his ticket or not. If not the fine is invalid unless he was fined within the timed section.

 

Would be helpful is OP clarifies this also.

 

Train was from Liverpool Street to Norwich.

 

As far as I am aware, as there was only one leg for my journey, the whole thing was timed to the later train? :???:

 

If they find that my appeal contains insufficient information, are they likely to ask for more, or simply deny it and suggest I re-appeal?

Never dealt with this before, how quickly do they reply? How much information is given if you are denied the appeal?

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Train was from Liverpool Street to Norwich.

 

As far as I am aware, as there was only one leg for my journey, the whole thing was timed to the later train? :???:

 

If they find that my appeal contains insufficient information, are they likely to ask for more, or simply deny it and suggest I re-appeal?

Never dealt with this before, how quickly do they reply? How much information is given if you are denied the appeal?

From what I remember whilst it may be one leg you may find more information on the ticket itself.

You may have one that says for example Liverpool street to Norwich then another part with the reservation for seat. It's the stations this part states which is crucial.

 

They normally take a couple of weeks however any information you include with the appeal is all they take, so they won't say its insufficient more likely they will deny it.

Within the letter they will state the reason why and also give you further details of the next step normally pay up or write to the ombudsman.

However if you feel your information is insufficient write again asking for it to be taken into consideration with the rest of your information.

As bazza rightly pointed out. Gate staff said was ok is I'm sure a common excuse however in your defence a member of staff for the operating company agreed your travel so therefore that should be good enough. Worth pointing out your asking of the staff would of been captured on CCTV as Liverpool streets gates are fully covered by CCTV.

Which providing your account is correct they would be able to see. As would greater Anglia if your appeal is unsuccessful.

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WTF?

Yes, IF a member of the TOC staff said it was pol they have authorised the travel, provided they actually then corroborate this of course.

Otherwise the OP would have an advance ticket with pretty clear instructions it could only be used on date x and time x train, anything else would fairly obviously NOT be valid.

 

Jobsworth? oh please!

 

One persons Jobsworth is another's - person doing their damn job rather than just going with the flow.

Gate staff do not have ANY discretion IME.

 

By all means get the opinion (and name) of ticketing staff/on train managers but not anyone who clearly hasn't the authority to allow you travel.

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