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Penalty Fare Issued when no opportunity to buy a train ticket was given

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Hi all,

 

Just give you a quick run down of the operation of the local station and route to hopefully clear up any confusion before any advice can be given.

 

Our local station is an unmanned station, as are all the stations on the branch line, apart from the two terminals, in this case Strood and Paddock Wood, and the middle main station being Maidstone West. All the stations have a machine placed at each entrance in which to purchase a Permit to Travel ticket which can then be exchanged for a travel ticket by either the issuing ticket office at Strood, Maidstone West or Paddock Wood, or by buying a ticket from the conductor/guard on board the train.

 

However, in the last month, the types of trains used have changed from a 3 coach class 377 with a driver and conductor/guard, to a 2 coach class 466 driver only. The Permit to Travel machine at our local station always appears to be broken, either it is jammed with coins where it won't accept anything, or the coins just slip through to the rejected coin collector, although there is a time displayed on the machine to indicate that it is turned on.

 

Over the last two weeks, my daughter has twice been issued with a £20 penalty fare by Revenue Protection as she wasn't in possession of a valid permit to travel or travel ticket, although she wasn't able to purchase one in the first place. Revenue Protection were at the first station she would have been able to purchase a ticket from, and before the ticket office, therefore stopping her from purchasing a ticket as she has done on numerous occasions before. She did state that the Permit to Travel machine wasn't working, but they said it was, even though they weren't at the station.

 

She paid the first Penalty instantly, but she want's to appeal this second and any subsequent penalties that she may occur if the opportunity to purchase a Permit to Travel isn't available.

 

Hoping that some of you good guys and girls on here can offer some advice and ammunition so she can win her appeal.

 

Many thanks,

 

Bloke 199

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they should be able to check when the permit to travel machine was / was not working

from its log

 

 

simply issuing penalties because they say it was working without providing proof is wrong.


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

 

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Take pictures/video of the faulty machine and send it to them.

To be on the safe side, do this for a few days.

In light of this they should cancel the pf.

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Another option is to buy your ticket in advance online. Plus you save money and don't need any but you just have to put in the reference number to get your tickets.

 

Logs will show a faulty machine. Appeal on that point.


If I have been of any help, please click on my star and leave a note to let me know, thank you.

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Unfortunately if the machine spits out any coins inserted it will not show in the log.

Differently if the machine is out of service it will log it

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Take pictures/video of the faulty machine and send it to them.

To be on the safe side, do this for a few days.

In light of this they should cancel the pf.

 

 

 

Not true.

The only evidence of this nature that will definitely cancel a PF Notice is if it can be shown categorically that the machine was not operating at the material time on the day and date in question.

 

 

They might consider 'likelihood' if no other evidence is available,

but if the TOC have already checked and state the machine was operational,

it seems their log has been examined.

What may be shown as evident on other days is not conclusive in relation to the material time.

 

 

As has already been stated, the TOC should be able to show from the computerised log

whether or not the machine was operational at the material time.

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Hi everyone,

 

Many thanks so far for the comments and a little information about how the Permit to Travel machines are logged.

 

I contacted SouthernEastern Trains Customer Services earlier today about how a ticket could be purchased in the situation that my daughter was in,

 

 

they suggested getting a ticket at Maidstone West (duh), or alternatively, buy a ticket online from their website, then pick it up from Maidstone West ticket office (again, duh), as you can only do this 2 hours in advance, and as if my daughter is going to go to the station 2 hours before she is due to, just to check if the Permit to Travel machine is working.

 

We are going to appeal this Penalty Fare Notice on the basis that there is no alternative way to purchase a ticket before travelling if the Permit to Travel machine is not excepting any coins,

 

 

either because it is bunged up, or because all coins are being rejected, and that there are no longer any conductors on the trains, since they have been made driver only.

 

I will draft a letter and post it on here for an assessment before we send the appeal.

 

Many thanks so far.

 

Cheers,

 

Bloke199

 

Hi all,

 

Here is a draft letter that I have created for my daughter to sign,

 

 

if any of you think there is to much or to little information shown, please let us know, we are aiming to post this on Monday 22nd February, with a certificate of posting as is standard advice on this site !!!

 

IPFAS

PO Box 30

PORTSMOUTH

PO1 1ER

 

Miss Xxxxxxxx Xxxx

XX Xxxxxx Xxxx

Halling

ROCHESTER

ME2 XXX

 

19 February, 2016

 

Dear Sir or Madam,

 

Appeal against Penalty Fare No. SE XXXXXXX

 

I would like to appeal against the above Penalty Fare that was issued to me on completion of my journey by Revenue Protection at Maidstone West station on Tuesday 16th February, 2016 on the following basis:

 

The Permit to Travel machine was not in working order due to it not accepting any coinage that I had on my persons;

 

 

and that there is no alternative way to purchase a ticket if the Permit to Travel machine is not working, until I reach my destination of Maidstone West since there are no conductors on the trains anymore as they have been changed to Driver Only.

 

The particulars of my journey was to travel on the 15.42 service from Halling to Maidstone West, which arrives at Maidstone West at 15.57 on Tuesday 16th February, 2016, the fare of which is £4.40 single. I rarely get a return at this time of day as my work duty finishes after the last return train to Halling at 23.03.

 

If my appeal is successful, and as I have already paid £5 towards the penalty, I would therefore request that a cheque is issued for the overpayment of 60p (£5 paid less £4.40 single fare), and that it should be posted to the above address.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Miss Xxxxxxx Xxxxx

 

Enc: Copy of Penalty Fare Notice No. XXXXXXXX

 

Any further advice will greatly received.

 

A donation will also be made to this great site.

 

Cheers,

 

Bloke199

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Also you don't have to pay the full penalty fare just offer to pay the single fare to your destination,

the law is clear that you cannot be issued a PF if there were no facilities to buy z ticket,

 

 

this applies whether of not there was a permit machine,

a permit machine is not a ticket machine,

these are well known to be very temperamental,

 

 

my local station had one and rarely did it work, as mentioned very often coins just pass through.

 

Tocs love trying it on and issuing pfs when they shouldn't,

if you get turned down again,

contact Transport focus,

they can be very helpful,

 

 

also have a search for the reports they complied called Ticket to Ride?

These deal with his passangers are treated unfairly.

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Also you don't have to pay the full penalty fare just offer to pay the single fare to your destination,

the law is clear that you cannot be issued a PF if there were no facilities to buy z ticket,

 

this applies whether of not there was a permit machine,

a permit machine is not a ticket machine,

 

 

Sorry Andydd,

 

This is completely wrong and very bad advice. The Permit to Travel machine, where provided, IS the essential pre-purchase opportunity and it is use of this that prevents the issue of a Penalty Fare Notice.

Many people have failed to use them, refused to pay ,or accept a Penalty Notice and then to their cost been successfully prosecuted.

 

Permit to travel machines can be used as a ticket machine, you simply put in the coinage to the total of the correct single fare and the machine issues a receipt showing that the fare is paid

 

Obviously, if the Permit to Travel machine is not working you cannot get a permit, but remember all of those machines are computer monitored so the TOC's can show whether or not they are available for the traveller's use at the material time.

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Ok I bow to your greater knowledge but I'm not convinced it's 100% accurate. What if the passanger only has z credit card ?, should he expect to pay a PF just because He has no change on him ?

 

Computer monitored ? I simply do not believe that at all ! Whilst a modern Tvm would be monitored, all the permit to travel machines I've seen in my area are ancient decrepit machines that have been there for at least 20 - 30 years to my knowledge, maybe longer, they certainly predate any sort of network monitoring, They have no modern computer GUI inside (most modern Tvm clearly use sort of Windows PE system) and I do not believe that they have any type of network connection at all, they simply are very basic mechanical machines with no sort of inside PC. I suggest that it also would not be able to detect if coins have been used that fail and fall through. The fact my local station has only recently had full machines installed was no doubt due to the cost of not only the machines themselves but also the network connectivity needed.

 

If you have any info that points to permit to travel machines being linked to some sort of network it would be interesting to see it.

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I see this post deals with similar issues http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?237528-Penalty-Fare-for-not-having-permit-to-travel

 

The end result being the OP was successful as the TOC could not show the permit machine was working, further backing up my view they are not monitored electronically/by a network, simply checked manually perhaps.

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I see this post deals with similar issues http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?237528-Penalty-Fare-for-not-having-permit-to-travel

 

The end result being the OP was successful as the TOC could not show the permit machine was working, further backing up my view they are not monitored electronically/by a network, simply checked manually perhaps.

 

 

 

 

 

Yes Andydd, sorry, I recall contributing to that quoted post and in this case, looking at where the PTT machines are I accept that I should have said 'monitored for availability'. My apology, the PTT in that region would be unlikely to be network linked.

 

I have recently been discussing more modern machines where a PTT are an integral part of a computerised unit, but there are none in that part of the country where this incident took place.

 

Nonetheless it is wrong to suggest that it is not a requirement to use the PTT machine and neither is it correct that a fare cannot be paid via one.

 

Of course the regular users of a route where only the older PTT machines are available could not seek to use as an excuse 'They didn't know the rules' and as an example, the OP made very clear in their first post exactly what their regular practice is.

 

It is acceptable to appeal the PF for the reasons outlined by the OP, but as is made clear in that post, the TOC have claimed that the PTT was working and therefore will be able to produce evidence of the checks being made. For that reason they appear to have rejected the appeal.

 

The OP could take the matter up with Transport Focus as you suggest, but it is worth bearing in mind that they are NOT a transport ombudsman as they would like people to think and many make the mistake of believing that they are. TF have no powers of veto over the TOC

 

TF might be able to persuade the TOC to look at it again, but this will rely on the OP being able to provide conclusive proof that the PTT machine was not working at the material time rather than any circumstantial suggestion that it 'often appears to be broken'.

 

I hope the OP is successful, but from what they have told us so far it seems that they may have difficulty proving their case and this could end up in an unwanted prosecution.

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Hi again,

 

Many thanks for the contribution to this thread particularly by Andydd and CodJA.

 

The permit to travel machine has been at our station for many a year, a least 15. It invariably is not working, and as there is only one entrance to our station, it is the only one available, where as on many of the other stations, there are two, one for each entrance, so if one is not working, you can at least use the other one.

 

It is only in the last month that it has become an issue, because if you couldn't get a Permit to Travel, you were able to find the conductor on the train and buy your ticket from them, but as the trains have been changed to driver only now, there is no opportunity to purchase a ticket until she reaches her destination.

 

SouthEastern Trains suggestion of buying a ticket in advance is fine if you know what journeys she is going to make, but she also gets asked to do shifts when she might have a day off, or asked to start her shifts a couple of hours earlier. The pre- brought tickets will not be valid on an earlier train, and she would have to go through this whole process of Permit to Travel machine not working again. What happens if my wife and I decide to go shopping on a Saturday afternoon ??

 

I have since inquired about the opening of the ticket office at Maidstone West, and it is only open Monday - Saturday, 6.15 to 12.30. Your stuffed if want to travel after lunchtime during the week, and all day Sunday !!!

 

We will send the appeal letter tomorrow morning, if we are successful, then great and maybe SouthEastern can get something sorted about the machine at our local station, if not, then she'll have to pay the remaining penalty fare of £15, but we will contact our MP about this shambles and Southeasterns solutions (but I won't hold my breath), either way, I will let you know.

 

Cheers anyway,

 

Bloke199

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Hi All,

 

Just an update to our saga, we sent the appeal letter on Monday, and received a reply back on Wednesday morning stating that the appeal had been successful and that a cheque will be returned to the value of 60p.

 

We won the appeal on the basis that SouthEastern trains couldn't provide any information to the appeals section about the condition of the Permit to Travel machine at the time my daughter needed to travel to work.

 

A small donation will be made shortly, as I doubt this will be the last time we will need to appeal about the Permit to Travel machine at our station.

 

Cheers muchly

 

Bloke199

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Which is exactly the same as the other thread I linked to above, it's clear that the permit to travel machines are all now very ancient, very often do not work and people are reluctant to put money in (especially large amounts), k note this subject I'd quite heavily discussed on the rail forums web site too (which is frequented by many very knowledgable on the train industry). It's a shame/pity that some TOCs feel they can have closed ticket offices, no tvms, ancient/Not working permit machines and still issue PFs to passengers.

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Hi All,

 

Just an update to our saga, we sent the appeal letter on Monday, and received a reply back on Wednesday morning stating that the appeal had been successful and that a cheque will be returned to the value of 60p.

 

We won the appeal on the basis that SouthEastern trains couldn't provide any information to the appeals section about the condition of the Permit to Travel machine at the time my daughter needed to travel to work.

 

A small donation will be made shortly, as I doubt this will be the last time we will need to appeal about the Permit to Travel machine at our station.

 

Cheers muchly

 

Bloke199

 

 

 

 

Well done, pleased that you got a satisfactory conclusion

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