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Fined £110 for accidentally getting on wrong train which didn't stop at my stop by South Western Railway **RESOLVED **


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Hi.  Welcome to CAG.

 

My first thought is how on earth you could have a problem getting off at London station B instead of London station A, as generally the fare is the same from a station outside of London to any station within London.

 

Indeed a quick search comes up with: Walton-on-Thames > Vauxhall £8.90; Walton-on-Thames > Waterloo £8.90.

 

So where does the £5.65 ticket come from?  Perhaps this is the problem?

 

 

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Well I've just tried to book on Southern Railways site Walton-on-Thames > Vauxhall, and the ticket in the basket is called Walton-on-Thames > London Terminals, so I think you have been incredibly unlucky.

 

Thanks for clearing up the railcard issue.

 

Did Southern Railway send you any letter inviting you to argue your case before they jumped in with both feet and demanded the £110?

 

 

We could do with some help from you.

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9 minutes ago, shouldireallypaythis said:

Apparently they have to prove you intentionally had the wrong ticket

Sadly not true.  Due to being a previous state monopoly the law makes this a "strict liability" offence - your ticket isn't valid, that's it, automatically guilty.

 

That said, all is not lost.

 

We had a case some time back where someone living & working in London had been sent by their employer to a different location which they presumed was within the Oyster card area.  But it wasn't, it was just outside.  So after being stopped they got all these threats of terrible court action and huge payments - although, er, the Oyster penalty fare they had automatically got was more than the correct fare they would have paid, which made it obvious they weren't fiddling.

 

In the end they wrote a polite but firm letter and had to pay 20 quid or something.

 

I'm knackered now but suggest we try this strategy of challenging the £110 tomorrow.  Have Southern given you any deadline to cough up?

 

 

We could do with some help from you.

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  • fkofilee changed the title to Fined £110 for accidentally getting on wrong train which didn't stop at my stop by South Western Railway
Posted (edited)

The vast majority of threads on this part of the forum are from fare dodgers who were caught and are trying to avoid a criminal conviction.

 

Your case is very different as there was no fare dodging whatsoever.  As it's the weekend there's plenty of time to get opinions from regulars who have a lot more experience than me here.  Plus as you came here immediately after receiving the letter we have time to challenge the prosecution team.  I would suggest something polite but assertive such as -

 

Dear South West Railway,

 

Ref. XXXXX

 

I was most disappointed to receive your letter of 25 May regarding what happened in London Waterloo station on 22 March with your decision to offer me the choice of paying nearly £110 or of having to appear in a criminal court.

 

I note you have done this without first asking for my side of the story, unlike other similar companies such as Transport for London.

 

On that day I had taken the train from Walton-on-Thames to London Vauxhall, purchasing the correct ticket.  I boarded the train to London Waterloo, intending to get off at Vauxhall.  Unfortunately, although the majority of the Waterloo services stop at Vauxhall, the train I took did not.

 

Now I obviously realise that fare dodging is a serious problem for SWR and presumably ticket inspectors hear all sorts of tall tales from fare dodgers.  However, the ticket inspector who I approached to ask for help said I would be sent a fine for going to the wrong station and was incredibly rude suggesting it was stupid of me to not check where I was going, despite the fact that I was clearly distressed and crying by this point. 

 

I would like you to consider two things.  Firstly, if you search for trains from Walton-on-Thames to Vauxhall on the SWR site, two of the three trains every hour to Waterloo on Sundays stop at Vauxhall, so mine was an easy mistake to make.

 

Secondly, the cost of a ticket from Walton-on-Thames to Vauxhall is exactly the same as the cost of a ticket from Walton-on-Thames to Waterloo, so it is obvious I was not fare dodging.  I had a ticket for the correct fare!  Indeed, if you purchase a ticket from Walton-on-Thames to Vauxhall on the site at a certain point the ticket morphs into Walton-on-Thames > London Terminals showing SWR are not bothered which central London station you alight at.

 

Does a banal mistake with no fare dodging involved which did not deprive SWR of a single penny in lost income really merit payment of nearly £110 or an appearance in criminal court?  The words hammer, nut and crack spring to mind.

 

I would respectfully ask you to reconsider such a drastic decision in my case.

 

Yours, 

Edited by FTMDave
Updated
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Bazza was absolutely right to double check.

 

However, Sundays, adult travelling with a 26-30 railcard:

   Walton-on-Thames > Vauxhall, £5.85;

   Walton-on-Thames > Waterloo, £5.85.

 

The same price.

 

That includes the one service an hour where you have to change.

 

Unless any of the regulars object, get your letter off tomorrow.  I've added a little bit in red.

We could do with some help from you.

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  • dx100uk changed the title to Fined £110 for accidentally getting on wrong train which didn't stop at my stop by South Western Railway **RESOLVED **

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