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Travel on a train without a valid ticket summons


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Dear forum users,

 

I hope I can gain some useful advise here as I can't afford proper legal advice.

 

Story goes:

 

I took a train from Llandaff to Cardiff Central (3 stops £3.60) for the local beer festival.

Spirits were high and my mind wasn't on the ball.

The ticket office was closed at Llandaff so usual run of business is buy on the train or at Cardiff Central.

This train the conductor went back into his cabin and so I could not buy a ticket.

 

When I got to Cardiff Central I asked where can we get a ticket bacause there was no ticket office open. Was directed to unpaid fairs desk.

 

This is where I did things wrong big time.

I claimed I came from Cathays. 1 stop after Llandaff. 60p cheaper.

 

 

My normal run to work is Llandaff>Cathays.

I claimed ticket office was closed.

 

 

They called the station, station said they been open all day.

During call I realised I wasn't thinking straight and said I came from Llandaff, but still ticket office was closed.

I offered to pay the full fair but the officer said it was pointless as I was going to have to pay twice. So I didn't.

This was all taken down in a statement and I had to sign it.

 

Letter came few weeks later,

I responded giving my story of events,

apologised firmly stating that I had every intentiont to buy a ticket

but put my hands up for confusing Llandaff and Cathays stop.

I also offered to pay the full fair and wished not to waste anymore of their time.

 

 

I'm a regular user of the service and always pay. I still have a Llandaff>Cathays rtn ticket for that day.

 

I hold my hands up, I've done wrong

 

 

I've been informed I must respond to the threat of court proceedings within two weeks before it progresses.

I've no criminal record and I don't want to get one because of a stupid fib and 60p.

 

Am I being paradoid or is what I did that serious?

 

Any adivse on how to proceed would be much appreciated.

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This is the National Rail Enquiries information about facilities that are available at Llandaf station:

 

Llandaf station

 

Ticket Office? clear.gifYes

Opening hours Monday - Friday 06:40 - 11:40

Saturday 08:40 - 14:40

Sunday Closed

Height adjusted ticket office counter -clear.gifHeight adjusted ticket counter is available at this station

Induction loop - This office has an induction loop

Ticket machines? clear.gifYes

Accessible ticket machines - There are accessible ticket machines at this station

 

However, from a TOCs point of view and that of any Court, none of this is relevant if on arrival at their destination a traveller has not declared and paid their fare and offers a fare from a closer station to avoid paying the correct fare that is due, no matter how little the difference might be.

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Thanks for the response, so are you saying it's written in stone and my ass is grass?

 

There should be a way of appealing to the humanity in these companies. Can anyone suggest the best way in doing this?

 

I'm already convinced my MP needs lobbying. The heavy handed wording of communications from the collectin agency and the real threat of criminal conviction on a case like this seems terribly unreasonable and unjust.

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Humanity ? TOCs ?. Ha

 

It maybe unreasonable, but not necessarily unjust, you did try to avoid payment (or partial payment), railway laws and byelaws are very draconian, true BUT they are the laws in force.

 

By the sounds of it, you had a reason to travel without a ticket but decided to lie at the other end for the sake of 60p.

 

Im sure our rail experts can guide you through the best outcome here and how to avoid a criminal conviction if possible. Sometimes the TOC make make an offer for you to pay a sum to avoid prosecution, Im sure someone can fill you in about this.

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If I had pre-planned evasion for a journey that was going to put the company out hundreds of pounds then it would be just to make a conviction. However I didn't preplan anything. I really wanted the Llandaff station office to be open I just screwed up when I misclaimed my origin. My mind was on the beerfest and the fact my usual journy to cardiff central is from Cathays as I work there. So I feel the prospect of a criminal record for this lack of concetration is very unjust.

 

Anyway as you say I hope some rail expert migh be able to advise on the best course of action.

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You can feel what you like, not a lot point trying to justify it here though.

 

Plenty of people have been prosecuted for similar or stealing lost cost items from a store Im afraid.

 

What was the reply from the TOC ?

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TOC Letter #1:

[ATTACH=CONFIG]60598[/ATTACH]

 

My Reply:

 

Thank you for your correspondence regarding an event that took place on the 6 Nov 2015 where I did not have a valid ticket for my journey between LLandaff and Cardiff Central. I should like to submit to you my evidence on the matter.

Firstly I would like to put into context why this situation came about. I was travelling with a friend who is not from Cardiff and was simply following my lead in this matter, but both he and I were intending to visit the Great Welsh Beer festival, so our spirits and eagerness to reach the event were high. As I work in Cardiff I’m a regular commuter on the Arriva train service between Llandaff and Cathays. This is my usual stop. In fact I still have my return ticket for that day in my possession. Anyhow leaving Llandaff the ticket office was closed, and so which is normal under these circumstances I would buy a ticket on the train, however a conductor did not travel the train for this to happen. This meant I took the train with every intent of buying a ticket at Cardiff Central. When I reached Cardiff Central we were directed to the unpaid fairs desk. At this point I lost my mind. I mean this in the ‘what on earth was I thinking’ sense rather than the ‘I went mad and caused an outrage’ sense. For some reason I decided I did not originate from Llandaff but I came from Cathays. This I insisted on which prompted the revenue enforcement officer to take over the discussion from the desk clerk. He asked me was I clear and did I come from Cathays, at which I agreed, but almost as fast as I agreed I regained my senses and realised I was wrong and that I had in fact come from Llandaff. However it seems I was too late to renade on my statement and my offer to pay for the extra fair was declined, therefore a statement was taken which I had to sign. I would hope that the revenue enforcement officer would agree that I was not disrespectful and that I cooperated fully while he carried out his duty.

I would like to stress the shame I felt from that event and I feel that my eagerness of getting out of the station and on the beerfest prevented me from thinking straight. I really do not know why I would feel it a good idea to miss inform on my origin of travel, especially as it was just 1 extra stop. I think was 60p extra. I must have been nuts.

Nevertheless I hope you can take this into consideration when you decide on the case. I am happy to pay my correct fair, and I hope not to waste any more of your time with this case. I am a regular user of the service and enjoy it very much.

To be honest re-reading that I could have been a bit more savvy in my response. But this is all new to me

 

TOC Letter #2:

[ATTACH=CONFIG]60597[/ATTACH]

 

I am composing another letter in response to this. My angle will try to convince them I was not intending to avoid costs. Due to circumstances I mixed up my place of work with the origin of travel. It would seem they need to prove that I deliberatbly wanted to claim a shorter journey (true?). This I believe I am not guilty of. I am guilty of not haveing a ticket. I did try to buy a ticket, I did also try to correct my mistake there and then, and I did offer to buy a ticket at the correct fare. I was also advised NOT to buy a ticket post signing of statment.

 

Would a request for an out of court settlement be advised? Would it be seen as admission of guilt?

 

I'd appriciate experienced users to comment please. Many thanks.

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I believe correspondence could be marked Without Prejudice meaning its not an admission or to be used in court.

 

Hmm, I'm don't think my corraspondents implicate me anymore. I wonder if they were marked without prejudice is there anyting stopping me submitting them as evidence, in good faith to the court, should it come to that?

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