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DeepeeWales

Prosecution threat-TOC was Arriva Trains Wales - without valid ticket BUT no machines

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Evening,

hope you can help.

 

My 19yo student son got a very irregular, zero-hours contract P/T job in the summer.

He doesn't drive so relied on train to get him to/from work.

Often his employer would phone in the morning & ask him to come straight into work

 

We live in a small SE Wales town,

there is no ticket office,

station staff or even any ticket machine.

 

Unless we pre-book tickets days in advance it's impossible to board a train with a ticket & we therefore rely on ticket inspectors coming round in order to buy a valid return ticket.

 

My son always bought a ticket accordingly, always had the right change etc available. This is important as he knows he needs a ticket to get through the barrier at his destination (Cardiff Central).

 

On one day no inspector came round to sell him a ticket,

my son had a cursory walk down the carriage to find staff,

finding no one

 

he decided to get off the train at the first opportunity (at Newport) and go and purchase a return ticket for his full journey there,

knowing he had time to catch the next onward train to Cardiff.

 

He explained things and the male on the barriers wouldn't allow him to buy a ticket, instead proceeded to interview my son.

 

He then allowed my son to buy a ticket (£6.35 return fare with student rail card) & told my son "there should be no further action".

 

Couple of weeks later my son receives a stern letter from 'Transport Investigations Ltd acting in Arriva Trains Wales behalf.

 

That letter had erroneous details (his journey details totally wrong)

he wrote back clarifying & also stating that

 

(a) he couldn't buy a ticket before boarding as no ticket machine etc exists at our local station,

 

(b) he didn't know in advance that he'd need to travel as only got called that day by his employer,

 

© that he's tried to find a ticket inspector then got off at first station, breaking his journey at some inconvenience, to buy a ticket and

 

(d) having then bought a ticket he was told he'd face NFA.

 

Today, 7wks after his journey he's received a second letter from TIL demanding £69.50 or prosecution for failing to show a valid ticket when asked.

 

This all sounds very unfair almost aggressive IMO.

Surely if there are no facilities to buy a ticket when boarding a train and one makes excellent attempts to buy one at the first opportunity

(looking for an on board inspector)

then getting off at the next stop to buy a ticket

then every opportunity to abuse by the law has been shown?

 

He's young & possibly a bit naive

- I'd have personally told the 'gentleman' at Newport station exactly where he could stick his interview note book

- but equally fallen foul by being too honest when it would have been less hassle to have stayed on the train and bought his return ticket at Cardiff,

something i myself have done on dozens of occasions when travelling to work on the same route and no one came round to sell me a ticket.

 

Sorry to gave waffled on,

does anyone have any advice on how to proceed please?

 

What actual offence has been committed if my son couldn't possibly buy a ticket (no facilities) but then made every effort to subsequently buy one and did indeed buy a valid ticket?

 

Many thanks

Dee

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Does the letter simply say pay up

Or

Is it asking for his side of the story?

 

Sadly in all Truth they are correct

If your station has no machines etc then you must seek out onboard staff and purchase travel

He's mistake was to leave the train.

 

Moved to the public transport forum


..

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The 'offence' is 'travelling without a valid ticket'. I agree he should have only got off at Cardiff Central.

On average how many times per week does he do the same journey? Which train-operating Co?

A letter to HO may produce a satisfactory resolution.

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The only thing i can see in their t&c is this:

"Please Note:

When starting your journey from a station with ticket purchasing facilities in operation, you must buy a valid ticket for your journey*before you board.*"

 

It doesn't say what to do if there are no ticket facilities at the start of the journey, so they should accept your son's effort to buy a ticket.

Write to Arriva instead of their contractor which probably is only interested in squeezing money out of passengers.

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Yes you are supposed to stay on the train and seek out the guard, if you boarded at a station without ticketing facilities. If you get to the destination station without having managed to get to the guard because the train was packed out with standing passengers or because the guard was not issuing tickets for whatever reason, then you should see a member of staff on the station platform. There are usually train operating customer services staff on the platform.

 

The mistake made in good faith was getting off the train at Newport.

 

Write to Arriva head office with a complaint about the way this is being hamdled.

 

My local station (GWR) does not have a ticket office off peak and a mostly broken ticket machine. At peak time, you can board without a ticket and buy one from the guard onboard without any problem. There is a sign up saying don't board without a ticket, but this is not applied by GWR. If you speak to staff they just say the sign is to scare youngsters from dodging fares. As long as you attempt to buy a ticket and not recommended at station barriers where you are looking to escape, then you should not have a problem.


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The 'offence' is 'travelling without a valid ticket'. I agree he should have only got off at Cardiff Central.

On average how many times per week does he do the same journey? Which train-operating Co?

A letter to HO may produce a satisfactory resolution.

 

If he got off at Newport, they can’t prosecute him for “travelling without a valid ticket to Cardiff”!, only to Newport .... and that can be batted away (see below)

If he has consistently stated that:

a) there were no operating ticket machines at his initial station

b) he tried to find staff on the train

c) he got off (early!) to seek out someone to buy a ticket from, and

d) made it clear he wasn’t trying their buy a “short” ticket from a station closer, but instead the full ticket from his joining station to Cardiff

 

Then he should be fine.

He can demonstrate that he never intended to avoid his fare (& thus a S5 RRA 1889 prosecution is a non-starter), and that he has a statutory defence to a Byelaw 18 prosecution.

Incidentally, be glad he did speak when interviewed, as if he had gone down your route of “I'd have personally told the 'gentleman' at Newport station exactly where he could stick his interview note book“, a S5 Charge (for failing to give details) might have followed, and it makes it look more like the person does have intent to avoid their fare!

 

Byelaw 18:

18. Ticketless travel in non-compulsory ticket areas

(1) In any area not designated as a compulsory ticket area, no person shall enter any train for the purpose of travelling on the railway unless he has with him a valid ticket entitling him to travel.

(2) A person shall hand over his ticket for inspection and verification of validity when asked to do so by an authorised person.

(3) No person shall be in breach of Byelaw 18(1) or 18(2) if:

(i) there were no facilities in working order for the issue or validation of any ticket at the time when, and the station where, he began his journey; or

 

(I’ve left the final “or” in to show that it isn’t “and” further requirements)

 

Expect them to go and check that there were no facilities (no ticket office, no ticket machine, or if there is a ticket machine that it was out of order).

Expect them to check if there was a member of staff (other than the driver!) on the train (and if there was, if they sold tickets to anyone else or were ‘hiding’ in their cab!).

 

I’d certainly write back explaining the situation again, that you believe it clearly shows there was no intent to avoid any of his fare, that he tried and couldn’t on the train, that he was in fact making extra effort to try to pay it (at an intermediate station that he knew was manned), and that the lack of facilities at the first station show a Byelaw 18 prosecution isn’t warranted.

What I’m unsure of is whether he should just do this, or if he should consider raising it with the local press too!

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stick to writing back to whom sent the letter

not elsewhere.... as bazza recommends above..


..

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The ltd company sending letters won't be interested in any excuse, just money.

 

A letter to TOC head office would get a more appropriate and sensible response in my experience.

 

By all means,

i would copy the ltd company in the communication so they know what's going on and they're not being ignored,

but surely they won't retract their request for money.

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Guys.

Many thanks for your replies & sound advice.

TOC was Arriva Trains Wales.

 

He's done this same journey a few times and usually been able to pay for his return ticket when he arrives at Cardiff

BUT the ticket staff there never apply his rail card discount which is unfair particularly as he's a self-funding student.

Hence on this one occasion he thought he'd get off early at Newport & hoped to buy a discounted full return.

 

It seems if you board a train at a small rural station with no ticket machine or other facilities the TOC will catch you by either charging a full fare and ignoring rail cards, or alternatively employing the likes of TIL to threaten prosecution.

 

We'll write to Arriva and ask them to consider all the facts & hopefully they'll see sense.

 

Regards

 

Dee

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Ariva Trains Wales

 

 

Mr Ian Bullock Managing Director

 

Email Ian.Bullock@arrivatw.co.uk

 

Website http://www.arrivatw.co.uk

Social Media T

 

Postal Address CF10 5DJM

 

See also Customer Services for Arriva Trains Wales

 

Related lists UK Companies


:mad2::-x:jaw::sad:

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Guys. Many thanks for your replies & sound advice. TOC was Arriva Trains Wales. He's done this same journey a few times and usually been able to pay for his return ticket when he arrives at Cardiff BUT the ticket staff there never apply his rail card discount which is unfair

 

........

 

It seems if you board a train at a small rural station with no ticket machine or other facilities the TOC will catch you by either charging a full fare and ignoring rail cards, or alternatively employing the likes of TIL to threaten prosecution.

 

We'll write to Arriva and ask them to consider all the facts & hopefully they'll see sense.

 

Regards

 

Dee

 

Should the trains have a guard / conductor / train manager?

Is all of Arriva Trains Wales or that particular services sometimes / usually / always ‘DOO’? (Driver only operation).

 

If there is a member of on train staff (other than the driver!): could he get on the carriage he can see them at when he boards?

If there isn’t a member of on train staff he can make a strong case for being allowed the railcard fare, the key determinant being that he is buying the ticket at his first realistic opportunity.

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There are no passenger services on Arriva Trains Wales that are driver only operated. Department for Transport agreement with the franchise holder confirm that the TOC has a Conductor Guard on all services.

 

Arriva Trains Wales Revenue Enforcement Policy

 

The ethos of Arriva Trains Wales is to collect the correct revenue that we are contractually due from all our passengers. We recognise however there is a small minority of passengers who will deliberately attempt to evade payment. This document sets out the process of how we will deal with these passengers and the steps we would put in place to help and protect passengers who are unaware of their responsibilities getting captured by the process.

 

The underlying principal of this process is to protect passengers who make an innocent mistake from those who are deliberate ticketless passengers. In the first instance the customer will be asked for payment with a reasonable administration charge. The process is intended to identify those who are constant offenders or those that have carried out acts of fraud. For those passengers who have attempted to defraud we have no option but to carry out court proceedings.

 

These processes will be in line with the ATOC Code of Practice ‘arrangements for travel ticket irregularities’ and the Passenger Focus publication ‘ticket to ride’.

 

Process Overview

 

All Passengers must have the correct ticket for the journey they are taking and it is their responsibility to have one, they must how ever be given an opportunity to purchase tickets before entering this process.

 

These opportunities are:

 

Before boarding any Train

 

• Booking office

• Ticket Vending Machine (TVM)

 

If no facilities were available before boarding

 

• On train

 

If there has not been an opportunity to purchase a ticket then the passenger should be sold the correct one. In the event of a passenger choosing not to purchase a ticket they will be interviewed. After a passenger, has been interviewed for travelling without a valid ticket, before any further action is taken the customer will be written to and given 21days to confirm the details of the information provided at the time. They will be offered the opportunity to provide clarification or any mitigating circumstances.

 

If the customer has not responded within 21 days then further action will be taken.

 

Once a full response has been received the case will be reviewed. All cases will be assessed on their own merit. There are three possible outcomes from any case

 

• Ceasing of Proceedings

• Administrative Settlement

• Prosecution

 

Customers can make genuine mistakes. If this is the first time a customer has been identified within this process they should not normally be taken to prosecution and may be offered an administrative settlement. The exception to this is if there is an attempted fraud or other aggravating circumstance.

 

Prosecution will be the last course of action. There are some areas where prosecution is unavoidable.

 

• Fraud

• Giving false personal details

• Knowingly claiming a short journey

• Repeat offender e.g. Travelling without a ticket on more than one occasion

 

Recording of Passengers Interviewed:

 

Detailed records of the customers that have been interviewed will be held in accordance with data protection laws.

 

Customers Contact

 

Transport Investigations Ltd will handle all correspondence with customers with regards to this policy.

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