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sarahgarden

First Great Western - Penalty Fare / Court Action HELP

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I took a train from Paddington to Castle Cary back in June, and

 

 

realised upon arriving that I had forgotten to bring my Young Person's rail card.

 

 

This was a genuine mistake, and I hold a valid rail card.

 

 

I was asked to pay for a brand new fare on the spot, which was £100.

 

 

As I couldn't afford to pay at the time, I was later sent a letter asking me to pay a penalty of £152.

 

My original ticket cost about £23 as it was both an advance fare and reduced further by the rail card.

 

I have sent two letters admitting my mistake and providing evidence of my valid in date rail card,

but they've rebuffed my attempts to reason.

I understand that it is my responsibility to be able to present it at the time and this was a fault on my part.

 

However, what I don't understand is how not showing my rail card invalidates the 'Advance' part of my ticket.

 

 

I feel that the penalty is grossly unfair and I am genuinely unable to afford it.

I'm being put into the same category as somebody who never purchased a ticket in the first place, which seems absurd.

 

What, if anything, can I do next?

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No valid ticket = no ticket is the manner in which you will be regarded if you do not have a valid ticket (including any railcard validating the ticket) I am afraid, you must have the railcard and show it when requested by any authorised person at the same time as the ticket at any point of the journey.

 

The fairness or unfairness doesn't take into account the ability to pay it I am afraid, all travellers in a similar situation should be treated the same- by any company.

 

I am assuming the full standard single fare was £100, so i do not understand where the £152 comes into it as it should be the same -I note you have stated 'penalty fare' but to be honest we didn't have these when I left, so I'll assume thats the correct rate.

 

 

If this is the case then paying the £152 is the sensible option since it's highly unlikely IME that FGW will offer anything less than this as a settlement if it has to go further I am afraid.

The TOC has rebuffed your 'attempts to reason' as excuses for not carrying your railcard are not accepted, this isn't unreasonable -they should treat anyone giving pretty much any reason the same.

 

It does make this very clear indeed in the conditions you signed for on your application for this railcard, it states' failure to carry your railcard will render tickets bought with it invalid' or words to that effect.

It doesn't allow for those who have mislaid their railcard but have one however.

 

FGW might allow you time to pay the full fare outstanding, if you contact them telling them you are having difficulty in paying it all in one go?

 

I notice you say 'court action' however and have to say quite honestly that its not worth you going to court over £152 as its likely the court fees alone would be more than that, let alone the full fare and the TOCs costs on top.

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Hi sarah

 

Welcome to CAG

 

You still need to deal with the Penalty Fare of £152, if you don't can have serious consequences.

 

Write a Formal Letter of Complaint, mark it as such. Explain what's happened (forgot purchased/vaild Young Persons Rail Card - asked to pay Penalty Fare - £100 - no funds), how they have let you down (received letter to pay Penalty Fare - £152, sent proof of valid Young Persons Rail Card, explain that you can't afford the Penalty Fare, explain that the rail company aren't sympathetic to your plight) and what you want them to do (cancel the Penalty Fare).

 

On the letter write, CC : XXXXXXXX XXXXXXXX MP, XXXXXXXXXXXXXX, XXXXXXXXXXXXX, (address)

 

Email a copy of the letter to your MP. http://findyourmp.parliament.uk/

 

Send it to:-

 

Mr Mark Hopwood

Managing Director

First Great Western

Mark.Hopwood@firstgroup.com


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I sadly notice the OP has not logged in since 2 minutes after starting this thread

please return and let us know what you are doing

 

 

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