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I was given a TFL Overground Penalty Fare Notice last Monday for quite a silly reason which goes:

 

I'm tapping in at Clapton, on my way to Liverpool Street.

 

 

It's 9AM Monday morning, and as expected rather busy.

The Oyster machine tells me I haven't got enough money

- negative balance

- I'm waiting for the machine to free up.

 

 

By now there's 2 minutes till the train comes,

I'm on my way to a funeral and don't really have time to wait around.

 

 

With around a minute to go,

the machine is finally free,

I see i have a negative balance of 40p and put in 40p to take it to 0 as that's all I have in coins and I don't want to break a note.

 

 

I finish up and by now the trains already in the station,

I tap in,

run down the stairs and catch the train.

 

 

When I get off at Liverpool Street,

the barriers don't let me through;

the guard has a look at my card on his machine and says I still have a negative balance and he's going to have to charge me a Penalty.

 

 

I tell him everything,

but he completely disregards it,

almost as if I'm not even talking and hands me the notice.

 

 

I check the online account a few hours later,

and somehow the 40p I put in hasn't been registered and that's why I was charged.

 

 

I've talked to a station guard and he says there's nothing more I can do about it and I should just pay the 40 quid and get on with it, surely there must be a appeal on the basis of check CCTV etc?

 

 

The other thing I've noticed is on the ticket it says I travelled on the Liverpool Street - Chesunt line

when it was the Liverpool Street - Chingford line -

could I get off based on a technicality here?

 

 

The Chesunt line dosen't even pass through Clapton.

Is there a point in appealing or should I just pay the money?

 

Thanks in advance for any help.

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I wouldn't labour over these points.

 

Even if the 40p went on : you'd not have had enough balance to pay your fare.

 

In a hurry to get to a funeral?

Top up your Oyster the day before or get to the station earlier,

especially if travelling when the machines / ticket office are likely to have queues.

 

Although you feel the penalty notice is unfair,

it doesn't mean the staff thought you were a 'fare dodger',

where the shouldn't issue a Penalry Fare,

but instead a report for prosecution.....

 

If they don't accept your appeal, you may well have to pay the penalty fare :

after all you didn't have a valid ticket / enough balance on your Oyster.

 

The other thing I've noticed is on the ticket it says I travelled on the Liverpool Street - Chesunt line when it was the Liverpool Street - Chingford line - could I get off based on a technicality here? The Chesunt line dosen't even pass through Clapton. Is there a point in appealing or should I just pay the money?

 

Thanks in advance for any help.

 

This seems to be a more promising approach than

"they should have just let me off, as I was going to a funeral and there was a queue"....

 

I'm minded of the story

(I think this was recalled by OCJ, an 'industry expert') of someone who tried this approach when prosecuted, and the judge commented along the lines of

"Well, if I have to wait & queue to pay for my ticket, you should have to, too!"

 

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?350293-Will-i-be-prosecuted-What-will-the-outcome-be-(rail-penalty-fares)

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The other thing I've noticed is on the ticket it says I travelled on the Liverpool Street - Chesunt line

when it was the Liverpool Street - Chingford line - could I get off based on a technicality here? .

 

Exceedingly unlikely.

 

All that is necessary is for the prosecutor to identify the 'typing error' and ask to amend the application to read 'Chingford' instead of 'Cheshunt'

 

All Court staff are fully conversant with the modernisation of admin processes and with 'drop-down' menus pre-filling forms as they are created these days it is very easy to see how such an error occurs. Typing in 'CH...' will have pre-filled the first alphabetical location in the drop-down list unless spotted and corrected.

  • Haha 1

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