10.4 Introduction to Penalty Fares
A Penalty Fare (PF) is a higher than normal fare chargeable to a passenger who has made an error with respect to purchasing a ticket. It is not a fine.
The amount of a Penalty Fare on National Rail is the higher of £20 or double the anytime/anytime day single fare from the first penalty fares station where the passenger joined a PF train, or where the ticket held ceased to be valid, if overriding. This would include route- or TOC-specific fares if applicable to the journey made.
A passenger receiving a PF is required to make a payment on the spot of the anytime/anytime day single fare, although authorised collectors have discretion to accept a lower or nil payment and are expected to do so for vulnerable passengers and for season ticket holders who have forgotten their ticket. If the passenger does not wish to dispute the PF, they can make full payment there and then, or within 21 days. Such a full payment will normally be the end of the matter. An unpaid PF is in theory recoverable as a civil debt. In practice, however, a passenger who fails to pay a PF will normally be cancelled and the passenger prosecuted.
A Penalty Fare on London Overground (as well as DLR, London Underground, Tramlink, and London buses) is £80, discounted to £40 if paid in full within 14 days.
The Penalty Fare notice will explain how it can be paid. Normally this can be done over the phone or by cheque in the post, and in many cases it can also be paid online. Arrangements can be made to pay in cash at a station.
Last edited by island; 13th January 2013 at 13:10.
Reason: amended for clarity, suggestions courtesy of cjp