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  • FIRST POST
    adamson909
    Northern Rail Fixed Penalty Notice: Help Please
    • #1
    • 11th Apr 13, 7:36 PM
    Northern Rail Fixed Penalty Notice: Help Please 11th Apr 13 at 7:36 PM
    I have received a "Fixed Penalty Notice" for allegedly intending to avoid a fare. Although I believe I have a very strong argument against why I in fact didn't commit the offence I would rather just pay the 80 + 3.40 it requests.

    However the letter states the offence was committed on the 26th Oct 2012 and the letter has been received and dated on the 9th April 2013. The letter states "No proceeding will be taken for the offence before the expiration of the 14 days from the date of this notice" (they have given me 14 days to pay the fine).

    I have read elsewhere whilst reading about these notices that there is a 6 month time limit in which to "lay evidence" to the courts.

    My first question is that given the end of my 14 days to pay, the date will be 23rd April... Leaving 3 days for the company (Northern Fail) to "lay evidence" to the courts. Is it safe to ignore this fine then?

    Second question: If I am going to pay the fine (I am a student so 83 is quite painful but I am capable of paying it) would it be a stupid idea to send them 80 for the fine and only 3 (instead of 3.40)for the fare as I was not travelling return and the fare prices were lower when the offence took place?
    I know 40p is nothing but I despise Northern Rail and would do anything to at least gain a little victory over them!

    Thanks in advance if anyone replies!
Page 1
    • wealdroam
    • By wealdroam 11th Apr 13, 10:49 PM
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    wealdroam
    • #2
    • 11th Apr 13, 10:49 PM
    • #2
    • 11th Apr 13, 10:49 PM
    Did they actually state 'fine'?

    Only courts (and some other statutory bodies) can issue fines.

    They have given you 14 days to pay the out of court settlement fee before they even consider starting a prosecution.
  • adamson909
    • #3
    • 12th Apr 13, 12:05 AM
    • #3
    • 12th Apr 13, 12:05 AM
    No it doesn't actually say fine it says "Your matter is in the process of being prepared for disposal at the Magistrate' Court. This notice offers you the opportunity of discharging any liability to conviction for that offence by payment of a Fixed Penalty"
    So I am worried that they might contact the court before the 26th and therefore just within 6 months period (if that 6 month time limit is actually true).
  • geordie_taxi
    • #4
    • 12th Apr 13, 1:31 PM
    • #4
    • 12th Apr 13, 1:31 PM
    I have received a "Fixed Penalty Notice" for allegedly intending to avoid a fare.
    Originally posted by adamson909
    it is not a 'fine' but more of a bribe. u pay us this bribe and we wont prosecute. actually its good for both sides as u wont get a criminal record and the greedy train company makes more money than thru a prosecution. northern's fixed penalty notice has no legal backing but if u dont pay it then they prosecute u by the original byelaws or railway act law that as an Innocent passenger u fell foul off and the only appeals system is via the magistrates court aswell.

    the only other thing to say is as ur a student isnt there any law students in ur uni that cud give better advice on the 'laying of evidence'
    Fares Advisor & Oyster Specialist - Newdeal/ukRail Fares Workshop Accredited
    • HappyMJ
    • By HappyMJ 12th Apr 13, 1:51 PM
    • 20,595 Posts
    • 17,201 Thanks
    HappyMJ
    • #5
    • 12th Apr 13, 1:51 PM
    • #5
    • 12th Apr 13, 1:51 PM
    I have received a "Fixed Penalty Notice" for allegedly intending to avoid a fare. Although I believe I have a very strong argument against why I in fact didn't commit the offence I would rather just pay the 80 + 3.40 it requests.

    However the letter states the offence was committed on the 26th Oct 2012 and the letter has been received and dated on the 9th April 2013. The letter states "No proceeding will be taken for the offence before the expiration of the 14 days from the date of this notice" (they have given me 14 days to pay the fine).

    I have read elsewhere whilst reading about these notices that there is a 6 month time limit in which to "lay evidence" to the courts.

    My first question is that given the end of my 14 days to pay, the date will be 23rd April... Leaving 3 days for the company (Northern Fail) to "lay evidence" to the courts. Is it safe to ignore this fine then?

    Second question: If I am going to pay the fine (I am a student so 83 is quite painful but I am capable of paying it) would it be a stupid idea to send them 80 for the fine and only 3 (instead of 3.40)for the fare as I was not travelling return and the fare prices were lower when the offence took place?
    I know 40p is nothing but I despise Northern Rail and would do anything to at least gain a little victory over them!

    Thanks in advance if anyone replies!
    Originally posted by adamson909
    If you didn't commit the offence then why pay at all? It's an offer of a penalty you don't have to pay it.

    I'd allow the matter to go to court and then defend yourself. It's a risk..but it's a risk worth taking....in my opinion.

    Regular savers earn 6% interest (HSBC, First Direct, M&S) Loans cost 2.9% per year (Nationwide) = FREE money.
    • dzug1
    • By dzug1 12th Apr 13, 2:27 PM
    • 13,359 Posts
    • 6,125 Thanks
    dzug1
    • #6
    • 12th Apr 13, 2:27 PM
    • #6
    • 12th Apr 13, 2:27 PM
    I have received a "Fixed Penalty Notice" for allegedly intending to avoid a fare. Although I believe I have a very strong argument against why I in fact didn't commit the offence !
    Originally posted by adamson909
    Problem is that most people who believe they have such 'very strong arguments' have nothing of the sort when it comes down to it. What you actually did will weigh stronger than what you thought you intended to do
  • adamson909
    • #7
    • 13th Apr 13, 12:12 AM
    • #7
    • 13th Apr 13, 12:12 AM
    Hi thanks for the responses
    Yeah I know most people think they did nothing wrong which is why I said ill probably just pay it rather than argue my case. The fact is I most likely broke one of the rules about its my responsibility to find the ticket seller on the train. The basic outline was that I didn't buy the ticket on the train and when I got off I asked where I can buy a ticket but that was not acceptable and it was too late apparently.

    Anyway I didn't intend to argue my case but I know that at no point did I intend on not paying which is why it annoys me but as you say what people 'intended' is not good enough.

    What I was really asking was about the whole dates point and whether this 6 month deadline was true.

    I think i'm just going to pay the penalty to be honest just thought as they had taken 5 and a half months to send a letter to me they might have taken too long.
    • C_Mababejive
    • By C_Mababejive 13th Apr 13, 7:31 AM
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    C_Mababejive
    • #8
    • 13th Apr 13, 7:31 AM
    • #8
    • 13th Apr 13, 7:31 AM
    Did you or did you not commit the offence? How did they know where/who to write to?
    Feudal Britain needs land reform. 70% of the land is "owned" by 1 % of the population and at least 50% is unregistered (inherited by landed gentry). Thats why your slave box costs so much..
  • adamson909
    • #9
    • 13th Apr 13, 12:00 PM
    • #9
    • 13th Apr 13, 12:00 PM
    C_Mababejive I don't think you understand what I have been saying...
    I'm not a railway law expert so I don't know all the bye laws etc so whether I have committed and 'offence' is dubious.

    What I have been accused of was attempting to avoid paying a fare which I didn't... but by their rules because I didn't seek out the conductor on the train it was my fault when I thought buying a ticket at the station when I get off was OK which I have done on many times at other stations. You understand?

    Anyway you've missed my point twice as I haven't asked for advice on arguing my point at all, I asked if there is a time limit on which these cases time out the same way traffic fixed penalties do.

    And they knew who to write to because when I asked to buy a ticket I was taken away and asked to hand over my drivers license to take down my details.
    • Quentin
    • By Quentin 13th Apr 13, 12:08 PM
    • 40,482 Posts
    • 24,548 Thanks
    Quentin
    .....My first question is that given the end of my 14 days to pay, the date will be 23rd April... Leaving 3 days for the company (Northern Fail) to "lay evidence" to the courts. Is it safe to ignore this fine then?.....
    Originally posted by adamson909
    If you mean is it safe to ignore the letter, they will have the 3 days you mention to just file the necessary docs with the court.

    The court then have time (on top of the 6 months) to process the matter and issue the summons.

    So if you were thinking that if you heard nothing after the 3 days are up you are in the clear, then this is not quite the case!
    • C_Mababejive
    • By C_Mababejive 13th Apr 13, 1:03 PM
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    C_Mababejive
    #9 I am in agreement with you. I, like yourself,know nothing of railway law and i also would think it reasonable that if a ticket could not be purchased at my joining station,to get on the train and await the attendance of a ticket person from whom i could purchase a ticket...or failing that,to tender my payment at the arriving station.

    I would think that fair and reasonable and i think any could would think the same.

    If i had been challenged at the arriving station and they were not prepared to sell me a ticket, i would reiterate the above and leave assuming no one was seeking to restrain me.
    Feudal Britain needs land reform. 70% of the land is "owned" by 1 % of the population and at least 50% is unregistered (inherited by landed gentry). Thats why your slave box costs so much..
    • thegirlintheattic
    • By thegirlintheattic 13th Apr 13, 6:03 PM
    • 2,684 Posts
    • 3,509 Thanks
    thegirlintheattic
    #9 I am in agreement with you. I, like yourself,know nothing of railway law and i also would think it reasonable that if a ticket could not be purchased at my joining station,to get on the train and await the attendance of a ticket person from whom i could purchase a ticket...or failing that,to tender my payment at the arriving station.

    I would think that fair and reasonable and i think any could would think the same.

    If i had been challenged at the arriving station and they were not prepared to sell me a ticket, i would reiterate the above and leave assuming no one was seeking to restrain me.
    Originally posted by C_Mababejive
    Northern Rail, at least on my route, are cracking down on this. It was a well known thing that you get on at stop A without a ticket, get off at stop B before the conductor had managed to walk the length of the train. If revenue protection was waiting at stop B (a main town), you'd say you were just about to buy the ticket and they'd accept it and let you go. 9 times out of 10, people were getting a free journey.
    Save 200 a month : Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr
    • Stigy
    • By Stigy 13th Apr 13, 10:57 PM
    • 1,532 Posts
    • 638 Thanks
    Stigy
    They're cutting it fine with the 6-month limit, but 3-days is 3-days and they could still lay the information on time. It's unlikely, but possible. It's correct that the six months starts from the date of the alleged offence, and ends when the TOC lays the information, therefore you could be looking at a year or so in total, quite legitimately.

    It's an offence under the Regulation of Railways Act 1889 to travel, or attempt to travel on a train without buying a ticket, with the intention of avoiding payment. If you believe you are not guilty, you shouldn't pay the notice and request a court hearing instead. I always assumed these notices were like Penalty Fares, whereby if they remain unpaid, the notice is cancelled and procedings under Railway Byelaws are commenced (to court, like this could do). Difference with this is, it's not a Byelaw offence, therefore the burden of proof is far greater for the TOC. I'd say it's extremely unlikely they'd succeed in a Regulation of Railways Act conviction in this case. Are you sure that's what they are alleging?
    • C_Mababejive
    • By C_Mababejive 14th Apr 13, 1:57 PM
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    C_Mababejive
    If there is no ticket booth at your departure point then what are you to do? Is the expectation that you will have purchased a ticket on line? If someone attempts to tender payment at the destination then clearly,there is no intent to travel without payment. Maybe northern rail need to ensure their stations are correctly manned or at least that there are ticket machines for prepayment.
    Feudal Britain needs land reform. 70% of the land is "owned" by 1 % of the population and at least 50% is unregistered (inherited by landed gentry). Thats why your slave box costs so much..
  • geordie_taxi
    Maybe northern rail need to ensure their stations are correctly manned or at least that there are ticket machines for prepayment.
    Originally posted by C_Mababejive
    that costs money and lowers the profit margins of the greedy train company. it is far cheaper to put the responsibility on the passenger and blame them when honest mistakes are made or if they cant for whatever reason get a ticket the passenger is then unfairly victimised.

    northern 'fixed penalty notice' is nothing but a cheap shot of using unlawful legislation to extort monies out of people to maximise profits. the sooner somebody counter this with their own legal proceeding the better but alas that wud cost lots of money for fancy lawyers and the train companies know this.
    Fares Advisor & Oyster Specialist - Newdeal/ukRail Fares Workshop Accredited
    • Stigy
    • By Stigy 14th Apr 13, 6:46 PM
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    Stigy
    If there is no ticket booth at your departure point then what are you to do? Is the expectation that you will have purchased a ticket on line? If someone attempts to tender payment at the destination then clearly,there is no intent to travel without payment. Maybe northern rail need to ensure their stations are correctly manned or at least that there are ticket machines for prepayment.
    Originally posted by C_Mababejive
    The onus is on the traveller to seek out the Guard in such circumstances, or pay at their destination station. If there's evidence to suggest that the passenger would not have paid their fare at the end of their journey, that's when the TOC's staff can report the facts. Obviously none of us here were present when the OP was dealt with, but I'm assuming Northern thought there were sufficient grounds to suspect that the fare was at risk. Such circumstances, once challenged, might be if the passenger was seen to exit the station after having completed his journey, making no attempt to purchase a ticket, or if the passenger tailgates through a ticket barrier at their destination.
  • geordie_taxi
    The onus is on the traveller to seek out the Guard in such circumstances, or pay at their destination station.
    Originally posted by Stigy
    so wot happens if its a busy commuter train and u cant get to the guard or hes to busy maybe doing guard things or drinking tea reading his newspaper locked in the back

    and then when u get to ur end station its unbarriered with no ticket facilities and no staff
    Fares Advisor & Oyster Specialist - Newdeal/ukRail Fares Workshop Accredited
    • Stigy
    • By Stigy 14th Apr 13, 8:22 PM
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    • 638 Thanks
    Stigy
    so wot happens if its a busy commuter train and u cant get to the guard or hes to busy maybe doing guard things or drinking tea reading his newspaper locked in the back

    and then when u get to ur end station its unbarriered with no ticket facilities and no staff
    Originally posted by geordie_taxi
    #

    Usually such trains are very short, and the Guard makes it through to check tickets, especially as he knows there's unstaffed stations on his route. If he doesn't, it's often easy enough to approach him. You'll be able to see where he is when you board the train too.

    There's only so much you can do, and if the Guard really can't be seen (which I've never known myself).
    • wealdroam
    • By wealdroam 14th Apr 13, 8:23 PM
    • 18,662 Posts
    • 15,598 Thanks
    wealdroam
    so wot happens if its a busy commuter train and u cant get to the guard or hes to busy maybe doing guard things or drinking tea reading his newspaper locked in the back

    and then when u get to ur end station its unbarriered with no ticket facilities and no staff
    Originally posted by geordie_taxi
    Geordie_taxi, I am sure that even you can work out the answer to that question.
    • Jeff Bridges hair
    • By Jeff Bridges hair 14th Apr 13, 8:52 PM
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    Jeff Bridges hair
    The onus is on the traveller to seek out the Guard in such circumstances, or pay at their destination station. .
    Originally posted by Stigy

    This is not correct. There is nothing written that states you have to find the guard yourself should there be no ticket issuing facilities at your starting station.
    "If you no longer go for a gap, you are no longer a racing driver" - Ayrton Senna
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