Forgotten rail card

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Public Transport & Cycling
12 replies 3.7K views
lisyloolisyloo Forumite
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edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Public Transport & Cycling
A short while Back we forgot our railcard so bought tickets without the discount. They did not get checked.

Can you buy tickets with the discount in the knowledge that even if a jobsworth gave you a fine you could appeal successfully?

Or is that not a defence and do we have to just take it on the chin and pay full price?
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  • wealdroamwealdroam Forumite
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    lisyloo wrote: »
    Can you buy tickets with the discount in the knowledge that even if a jobsworth gave you a fine you could appeal successfully?
    No.

    lisyloo wrote: »
    Or is that not a defence and do we have to just take it on the chin and pay full price?
    You have to pay full price when travelling without a railcard.
  • Owain_MoneysaverOwain_Moneysaver Forumite
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    lisyloo wrote: »
    Can you buy tickets with the discount in the knowledge that even if a jobsworth gave you a fine you could appeal successfully?

    No. If you buy tickets with the railcard discount i.e. with the intention of travelling with invalid tickets then you face a criminal prosecution for fraudulent travel, and there is no defence.

    And why would someone protecting the railway and decent fare-paying passengers be a "jobsworth"?
    A kind word lasts a minute, a skelped erse is sair for a day.
  • StompaStompa Forumite
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    lisyloo wrote: »
    A short while Back we forgot our railcard so bought tickets without the discount. They did not get checked.

    Can you buy tickets with the discount in the knowledge that even if a jobsworth gave you a fine you could appeal successfully?

    Or is that not a defence and do we have to just take it on the chin and pay full price?

    No, you can't routinely do what you suggest. However, the rules have recently changed so you may be able to get a refund for a 'first offence', see:

    https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/579850/action-plan-for-information-on-rail-fares-and-ticketing.pdf

    On page 8:

    What will we do for customers?
    Where a customer holding a valid Railcard forgets it at the time of travel, they will on the first occasion be able to claim back any additional expense, including the cost of any extra fare and any penalty fare issued.

    How will it happen?
    In a similar manner as for when a Season Ticket left at home, customers will be able to provide proof of their Railcard online, by post or at the ticket office of the train company that they travelled with in order to obtain a refund or cancellation of additional charge, including the cost of any extra fare and any penalty fare issued.

    Timescale
    February 2017


    Virgin certainly mention it on their website:

    https://www.virgintrainseastcoast.com/faq/tickets-booking/railcards/forgot-to-carry-my-railcard/
    Stompa
  • lisyloolisyloo Forumite
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    And why would someone protecting the railway and decent fare-paying passengers be a "jobsworth"?

    Thanks for all the advice.

    I simply meant someone who was applying the letter if the law and in that case my language was correct.
    I understand they would just be doing their job and have no issue with it, but the vast majority of individuals I meet are more sympathetic and understanding.

    Anyway thanks for the advice, Im glad I did the right thing.
  • Owain_MoneysaverOwain_Moneysaver Forumite
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    There's a difference between not having your railcard and buying a discounted ticket, and buying discounted tickets with a railcard but then forgetting the railcard when you travel.
    A kind word lasts a minute, a skelped erse is sair for a day.
  • lisyloolisyloo Forumite
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    do you mean there is a moral difference or do you mean there is a difference in the penalty?
  • Owain_MoneysaverOwain_Moneysaver Forumite
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    Both - if you know you don't have your railcard but buy discounted tickets anyway there is an intention to travel without a valid ticket.
    A kind word lasts a minute, a skelped erse is sair for a day.
  • lisyloolisyloo Forumite
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    Ok thanks but please clarify further - just for curiosity

    What's the penalty for travelling intentionally without a valid ticket?
    What's the penalty for unintentionally travelling without a valid ticket?

    Just curious as I bought the correct ticket.
  • London50London50 Forumite
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    lisyloo wrote: »
    Ok thanks but please clarify further - just for curiosity

    What's the penalty for travelling intentionally without a valid ticket?

    A rough estimate is...... Fare evasion is a criminal offence that could lead to a fine of up to £1000 and a criminal record.

    What's the penalty for unintentionally travelling without a valid ticket?

    A rough estimate is......The penalty fare is £100 +

    Just curious as I bought the correct ticket.

    All rail operators would have a low/high penalty so figures quoted are based on that but the criminal record is the main thing to think about
  • edited 30 April 2017 at 9:55PM
    Owain_MoneysaverOwain_Moneysaver Forumite
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    edited 30 April 2017 at 9:55PM
    In all cases it will depend on the circumstances of the case.

    In the unintentional case, for a first 'offence' the train companies may disregard it and even refund the additional fare charged as mentioned above.

    In a first or low-value intentional case the train companies may leave it at you paying the additional fare and any penalty fare that applies.

    If you don't pay, or for high-value or repeated offences it will go to court.
    Level 3 fine and/or 3 months (Regulation of Railways Act 1889 s.5(3) travelling on railway with intent to avoid payment)
    Other aggravating factors:
    Offender has avoided paying any of the fare
    Offender produces incorrect ticket or document to pass as legitimate fare paye
    https://www.sentencingcouncil.org.uk/offences/item/railway-fare-evasion-revised-2017/

    Man who dodged £2.50 rail fare is hit with £886 fine
    A kind word lasts a minute, a skelped erse is sair for a day.
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