Penalty Fares

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  • nyermen
    nyermen Posts: 1,098 Forumite
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    edited 5 January 2023 at 12:53PM
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    The availability of an app is treated the same way as the availability of paper tickets by post. The service is available and you may choose to use it but you aren't forced to.
    Thats something I wasn't clear on, thanks.  My local station has one machine that breaks regularly (including every monday for some reason that I forget the explanation).  It does show out of service and the date and time on it however, so i always snap a photo if needed.  
    Re the app - I've had problems buying tickets with the SWR app when i'm "moving" (eg. in a car even slowly with full signal), so I wonder if there's use of the location to prevent people buying tickets once on a train (eg if they see an inspector).

    Some long winded things I've found out...
    Anyone whos used really special stations (Farnborough North - FNN for example), will be aware that the rules / restrictions can be comparably very complicated.  You can actually buy tickets that are:
    - For both farnborough stations (Main and north) or only FNN / FNB;
    - Via certain routes but not others (mainly - not valid via reading (RDG) or guildford (GLD) or valid on all routes;
    - Are peak or off-peak (after 10am), use railcard (after 10:30am);
    - All off-peak via reading aren't valid on specific evening services (details not shown on apps / ticket machines, only a warning, you have to visit www.nre.co.uk/p7 for the list)

    I often have to tell the ticket staff at some stations what ticket I want - there are big price differences in some cases (reading-paddington is very expensive line).  A peak day return via all routes (ie. reading) is. £56.90 vs off peak with railcard, is £17.60 (but see evening restriction above with reading, still valid via WAT back to FNB.  Peak is £10 less a day if you just want via waterloo both ways.  Naturally, I've started getting to the office later and working later instead.  The saving is huge for 2-3 days a week.

    TLDR;
    Sorry for that waffle above, just wanted to say, as someone commuting for 20 years and well aware of many of the complexities, it is a mess imo.   And depending on the time of day, a ridiculously different price for the same route.
    Peter

    Debt free - finally finished paying off £20k + Interest.
  • JReacher1
    JReacher1 Posts: 4,652 Forumite
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    bap98189 said:
    What some travelers don't understand is that some stations don't have ticket offices or even machines. But these days you can buy a ticket on your smartphone. But not everyone has a smartphone and occasional users are used to buying a ticket from the guard. 
    The process has changed a lot in recent years 
    It also doesn't help that different areas of the country enfore penalty fares differently. I travel regularly from Cheshire to Manchester and have never seen a conductor issue a penalty fare. It is normal practice for people to get on the train and then buy a ticket, or indeed buy one at the barriers in Manchester. But travel down south and the rules are enforced to the letter. 
    Hmm I am not sure how you are getting away with this. They enforce the rules very stringently in Manchester now and if you arrive at a train station without either a valid ticket or a promise to pay you’ll get a penalty fare issued at the barrier. 
  • Kite2010
    Kite2010 Posts: 4,304 Forumite
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    bap98189 said:
    What some travelers don't understand is that some stations don't have ticket offices or even machines. But these days you can buy a ticket on your smartphone. But not everyone has a smartphone and occasional users are used to buying a ticket from the guard. 
    The process has changed a lot in recent years 
    It also doesn't help that different areas of the country enfore penalty fares differently. I travel regularly from Cheshire to Manchester and have never seen a conductor issue a penalty fare. It is normal practice for people to get on the train and then buy a ticket, or indeed buy one at the barriers in Manchester. But travel down south and the rules are enforced to the letter. 

    In general, the train staff on Northern are not authorised to issue penalty fares, some will sell tickets (even railcard discounted even if the passenger walked past an open ticket office and was simply trying to chance not paying).

    Depending which train operator you use in the South, chances are it is Driver Only with the on-board checking done by Revenue Protection who can issue penalty fares to those who think payment is optional.
  • yorkie2
    yorkie2 Posts: 1,595 Forumite
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    As a general rule, Guards are not authorised collectors for the purpose of Penalty Fares, so can only issue regular fares (however they might choose to refuse a Railcard discount and/or only issue an Anytime fare, when a cheaper fare may apply, if the customer chose to ignore an opportunity to pay at their origin station)

    Gateline staff may also not be authorised collectors.

    The same principles apply down south.
  • orient123
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    Swingeing new PFs have come into effect today. We need info on what to do if we get one. Can we have a MSE update. Not all TOCs use PFs, but you can get one for sleeping and missing your stop. There is no defence. The offence is travelling without a valid ticket…no intent to defraud is required.
  • martindow
    martindow Posts: 10,232 Forumite
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    The charge has increased, but I don't think the rules have changed.  Unless ticket machines are broken or there are none at the station you start from you need to have a valid ticket with you.  You don't get a PF if you have a ticket or a good reason why it was not possible to obtain one.
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