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  • FIRST POST
    • Ybe
    • By Ybe 21st Apr 19, 8:17 AM
    • 19Posts
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    Ybe
    Penalty fare appeal
    • #1
    • 21st Apr 19, 8:17 AM
    Penalty fare appeal 21st Apr 19 at 8:17 AM
    I was travelling on a train from London Kings Cross to Cambridge. The calling points were Finsbury Park, Stevenage, Cambridge. I had a zone 1-4 travelcard and when I saw the ticket inspector just as we left Finsbury Park, I asked for an extension ticket to Cambridge. At that point, I was given a penalty fare for having no ticket. The value of the penalty fare was twice the single fare from Kings Cross to Stevenage. Do I have any grounds for an appeal under National rail conditions of carriage? I believe I had a valid ticket from Kings Cross to Finsbury Park (Zone 4). Would I get either a partial or full refund of the penalty fare?
Page 1
    • Hasbeen
    • By Hasbeen 21st Apr 19, 10:16 AM
    • 1,500 Posts
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    Hasbeen
    • #2
    • 21st Apr 19, 10:16 AM
    • #2
    • 21st Apr 19, 10:16 AM
    I was travelling on a train from London Kings Cross to Cambridge. The calling points were Finsbury Park, Stevenage, Cambridge. I had a zone 1-4 travelcard and when I saw the ticket inspector just as we left Finsbury Park, I asked for an extension ticket to Cambridge. At that point, I was given a penalty fare for having no ticket. The value of the penalty fare was twice the single fare from Kings Cross to Stevenage. Do I have any grounds for an appeal under National rail conditions of carriage? I believe I had a valid ticket from Kings Cross to Finsbury Park (Zone 4). Would I get either a partial or full refund of the penalty fare?
    Originally posted by Ybe
    I would say neither, you were travelling without a valid ticket and received a fixed penalty?

    But ask here: https://www.railforums.co.uk/forums/disputes-prosecutions.152/
    • giraffe69
    • By giraffe69 21st Apr 19, 10:21 AM
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    giraffe69
    • #3
    • 21st Apr 19, 10:21 AM
    • #3
    • 21st Apr 19, 10:21 AM
    Didn't you try to defraud the rail company? Having a valid ticket to stop 1 (Finsbury Park) and then no ticket but deigning to seek to buy one when you saw the ticket inspector seems about as clear a case of fare evasion as you can have. I think it is pay up time and be grateful it is only a penalty fare.
    Sometimes the rail companies make it hard to say what the right fare/ticket might be but this does not seem like one of those occasions.
    • Ybe
    • By Ybe 21st Apr 19, 11:04 AM
    • 19 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Ybe
    • #4
    • 21st Apr 19, 11:04 AM
    • #4
    • 21st Apr 19, 11:04 AM
    I have a zone 1-4 season ticket and I had intended to buy on board as I was running for the train. I approached the ticket inspector myself to buy a ticket. So if
    • Ybe
    • By Ybe 21st Apr 19, 11:06 AM
    • 19 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Ybe
    • #5
    • 21st Apr 19, 11:06 AM
    • #5
    • 21st Apr 19, 11:06 AM
    ... so if I’ve interpreted the conditions of carriage correctly, I had a valid ticket for the first part of the journey before I boarded the train and I voluntarily asked to purchase the extension. Where in the conditions of carriage does it say you can’t buy an extension on board?
    • Gravedigger
    • By Gravedigger 21st Apr 19, 11:14 AM
    • 104 Posts
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    Gravedigger
    • #6
    • 21st Apr 19, 11:14 AM
    • #6
    • 21st Apr 19, 11:14 AM
    At the Zone 4 boundary you should have got off the train and bought a ticket for the onward journey. It would have helped if you had bought the extension at commencement of your journey. Because you did NOT have a valid ticket for onward journey you fell foul of the byelaws. Tough, but there it is
    • Ybe
    • By Ybe 21st Apr 19, 11:21 AM
    • 19 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Ybe
    • #7
    • 21st Apr 19, 11:21 AM
    • #7
    • 21st Apr 19, 11:21 AM
    Fair enough. Then surely the penalty should be from zone 4 boundary to Stevenage and not kings cross to Stevenage.
    • stragglebod
    • By stragglebod 21st Apr 19, 11:32 AM
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    stragglebod
    • #8
    • 21st Apr 19, 11:32 AM
    • #8
    • 21st Apr 19, 11:32 AM
    Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't Finsbury Park in zone 2? So if the train hadn't yet gone past Oakleigh Park/Winchmore Hill (depending on route) you were still in your travelcard zones.


    Post on the railforums site that @Hasbeen linked to - someone there will know if attempting to buy an extension while you're still in your zone protects you even if the next station is outside it.
    • Nick_C
    • By Nick_C 21st Apr 19, 11:32 AM
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    Nick_C
    • #9
    • 21st Apr 19, 11:32 AM
    • #9
    • 21st Apr 19, 11:32 AM
    According to https://www.transportfocus.org.uk/advice-and-complaints/faq/what-can-happen-if-i-am-on-a-train-without-a-valid-ticket/ the penalty fare is twice the single fare to the next stop or £20, whichever is greater. It would probably make no difference whether the fare was calculated from Kings Cross or Finsbury Park.

    You should of course have searched out the guard as soon as you boarded the train at Kings Cross.

    Lesson learned. And consider yourself lucky that they are not prosecuting.
    • Nick_C
    • By Nick_C 21st Apr 19, 11:36 AM
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    Nick_C
    So if the train hadn't yet gone past Oakleigh Park/Winchmore Hill (depending on route) you were still in your travelcard zones.
    Originally posted by stragglebod
    The train wasn't stopping again until Stevenage though, so once the train left Finsbury Park, OP was travelling without a valid ticket.
    • stragglebod
    • By stragglebod 21st Apr 19, 12:13 PM
    • 661 Posts
    • 595 Thanks
    stragglebod
    The train wasn't stopping again until Stevenage though, so once the train left Finsbury Park, OP was travelling without a valid ticket.
    Originally posted by Nick_C
    Are you certain of that?

    You might be right, or you might not be.

    OP needs to ask someone who really knows, not somebody who cherry picks one phrase of my post,without the context of the rest of what I said.
    • Nick_C
    • By Nick_C 21st Apr 19, 2:00 PM
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    Nick_C
    Correct me if I'm wrong
    Originally posted by stragglebod
    Gladly

    Are you certain of that?
    Originally posted by stragglebod
    Yes

    http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/times_fares/ticket_types/187936.aspx

    ... rail passengers must buy their tickets before they start their journey wherever there are facilities such as an open ticket office or working Ticket Vending Machine, that enables them to do so.

    ...

    Penalty Fare Notices may be issued if a passenger,

    travels without a valid ticket;

    ...
    travels beyond the destination on their ticket.

    ...
    To avoid paying a Penalty Fare, you must purchase a valid ticket to your destination for the class of travel you wish to use before starting your journey.
    Once the train left Finsbury Park, the next station stop was Stevenage. OP did not have a valid ticket covering the journey from Finsbury Park to Stevenage.
    • Ybe
    • By Ybe 21st Apr 19, 5:12 PM
    • 19 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Ybe
    But there’s also this in the conditions of carriage.

    If you are using a Season Ticket, daily Zonal Ticket, or another area based Ticket such as a concessionary pass, ranger or rover in conjunction with another Ticket and the last station at which one Ticket is valid and the first station that the other Ticket is valid are the same, then the train does not need to call at that station for your combination to be valid.
    • Kite2010
    • By Kite2010 21st Apr 19, 7:26 PM
    • 4,167 Posts
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    Kite2010
    Just be thankful there was revenue staff on the train rather than at Cambridge, as if there was RPIs on the Cambridge gateline it would have been more expensive than buying a boundary zone 4 - Cambridge ticket from the ticket office at Kings Cross
    • Nick_C
    • By Nick_C 21st Apr 19, 8:52 PM
    • 5,127 Posts
    • 7,970 Thanks
    Nick_C
    But there’s also this in the conditions of carriage.

    If you are using a Season Ticket, daily Zonal Ticket, or another area based Ticket such as a concessionary pass, ranger or rover in conjunction with another Ticket and the last station at which one Ticket is valid and the first station that the other Ticket is valid are the same, then the train does not need to call at that station for your combination to be valid.
    Originally posted by Ybe
    Indeed, that is in the Conditions of Carriage, and it's a very useful condition.

    Normally, when travelling on split tickets, the train must stop at the station where you have split your ticket. So if you could save money on a Kings Cross to Cambridge ticket by splitting it at Oakleigh Park, the tickets would only be valid if the train you were on stopped at Oakleigh Park.

    The exception to this is for people who have season tickets. If you have a season ticket that covers London Zones 1 to 4, then you can travel to Cambridge with your season ticket and a ticket from Oakleigh Park to Cambridge, even though the train doesn't stop at Oakleigh Park.

    This would have helped you if you had bought a ticket before getting on the train. Instead of buying a ticket to Cambridge from Finsbury Park, you could have bought a ticket from Oakley Park.

    However, when the train left Finsbury Park, the next stop was Stevenage. You did not have a ticket for this part of your journey. This is why you had to pay a penalty fare.
    • Ybe
    • By Ybe 21st Apr 19, 9:13 PM
    • 19 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Ybe
    I agree but I think my argument also has validity as below.

    The penalty fare was from Kings Cross to Stevenage. I had boarded the train at Kings Cross with a valid ticket up to Finsbury Park (purchased before boarding as itís a season ticket). So if following the conditions of carriage to the letter without applying any common sense or judgement, the penalty fare should only be applied from Finsbury Park to Stevenage. There is a difference.
    • Ybe
    • By Ybe 22nd Apr 19, 5:46 AM
    • 19 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Ybe
    Also some mention that train operators can prosecute but I thought railway penalty fares are like council parking fines and a civil matter unless of course you refuse to pay the penalty after unsuccessful appeal and they take you to court over it, or you deliberately tried to defraud the train company.
    • Nick_C
    • By Nick_C 22nd Apr 19, 7:28 AM
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    Nick_C
    Penalty Fares are civil debts. They are used as an alternative to prosecution.

    The Strategic Rail Authority made the Railway Bye Laws. They were approved by the Secretary of State.

    You can be prosecuted for traveling without a ticket. Prosecutions are in the Magistrates Court and the penalty is a level 3 fine (and a criminal record).

    Re the level of the penalty fare, I agree its unfair that it was calculated from King's Cross instead of Finsbury Park, but that is what the regulations prescribe.

    Amount of penalty fare
    9.—(1) Where a penalty fare is charged under regulation 5(1) to a person travelling by, present on, or leaving a train, the amount of that penalty fare is £20 or twice the full single fare applicable, whichever is greater.

    (2) In paragraph (1), “the full single fare applicable” is the full single fare for the journey in question from the boarding station to—

    (a)the next station at which the train is due to make a scheduled call; or
    (b)the station at which the person leaves the train if, at the time the penalty fare is charged—
    (i)the person is leaving the train; or
    (ii)the train is stationary at a station and there is sufficient opportunity for the person charged to leave the train at that station.
    (3) In paragraph (2), “the boarding station” means—

    (a)the station at which the person boarded the train; or
    (b)where the station mentioned in sub-paragraph (a) is not known to the collector, the station at which the train last made a scheduled call.
    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2018/366/made
    • Ybe
    • By Ybe 22nd Apr 19, 5:10 PM
    • 19 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Ybe
    Apparently under that very regulation quoted, the inspector charged me the wrong amount for the penalty fare and hence invalidated it.
    • Ybe
    • By Ybe 22nd Apr 19, 5:11 PM
    • 19 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Ybe
    And so I would have grounds for appeal.
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