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Old 17th March 2013, 10:26   #1
thebrad
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Default Northern Rail Fixed Penalty Notice - Advice please

Hi all,

Today I received an £80 fixed penalty plus the £2.30 fare for the part of the journey I did not have a valid ticket for. Basically, I had a valid weekly traincard (still have it), fell asleep on the train, missed my stop, and ended up 2 stops down the line, in my village, but my car was parked at the station where I had the ticket from (as it's cheaper to get a weekly train ticket from here).

I was stopped by the revenue protection officers at the station on leaving the train (no guard came around to check tickets on board) and was given no option to purchase an additional ticket for the part of the journey I didn't have a valid ticket for as they didn't have the facilities to issue tickets and the ticket office was closed. (I didn't mention the falling asleep and missing my stop, as was in a bit of a daze and felt quite embarrassed to be honest! After thinking back, maybe if I had, they might have been more lenient?!)

They obviosuly didn't mention I would be facing a fine, they just said that because I had a valid ticket, I would only need to pay the difference by cheque in the post, so I thought fair enough!

The penalty notice states that I travelled 'without paying the fare and with the intent of avoiding that fare' which I clearly didn't, and even offered to pay for my honest mistake there and then!

With the letter saying about court proceedings, additional fees and possible criminal records involved if I don't pay the £80, I'm contemplating just paying it, but believe it too be a tad harsh?!

The fixed penalty notice doesn't give any detail about appealing against it, just states 'Whilst we hope that you will satisfactory conclude this matter, failure to respond to this reasonable request within 14 days will result in legal action being taken...'

I regularly use the train to commute to work and I'm definitely not a fare dodger!

Any advice on this matter would be truly appreciated! Thanks!
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Old 17th March 2013, 11:59   #2
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How can you be sure no one came through checking tickets if you were asleep during the journey?

Have I read correct that the station you ended up at is the closest station to where you live?

Does the station normally have Revenue staff at the exit or was it a one off operation?
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Old 17th March 2013, 12:14   #3
thebrad
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I couldn't be sure on that, I was never asked to show my ticket whilst on board either way.

The station I ended up at yes, it closest to where I live, I then had to get a lift to pick my car up that station in which I had got on at in the morning.

To my knowledge, and from speaking to people who regularly use the station where I ended up at, there isn't normally people checking tickets when you get off, it was a bit of a one off operation over xmas apparently! Just my luck!
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Old 17th March 2013, 13:01   #4
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If i were cynical i would be a little suspicious of your post, that you ended up in the place where you live anyway? did you not ask to go back to the stop where your car was?
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Old 17th March 2013, 13:13   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RPI:1399900
If i were cynical i would be a little suspicious of your post, that you ended up in the place where you live anyway? did you not ask to go back to the stop where your car was?
I have to say that isn't how I read the OP but I do think the OP is a bit vague (maybe actually stating stations may help) and as pointed out above, has a couple of contradictions in it
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Old 17th March 2013, 13:38   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thebrad View Post
They obviosuly didn't mention I would be facing a fine, they just said that because I had a valid ticket, I would only need to pay the difference by cheque in the post, so I thought fair enough!

The penalty notice states that I travelled 'without paying the fare and with the intent of avoiding that fare' which I clearly didn't, and even offered to pay for my honest mistake there and then!
Was it the second time you've been caught without a ticket?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TfGM
Northern has introduced a new initiative to attempt to reduce ticketless travel and encourage customers to ‘Buy before they board’. ‘Failure to Purchase’ forms are issued during special exercises on key lines of route. The forms are only issued once posters and leaflets have been handed out and displayed in advance. Once a passenger is issued with a form they are reminded of their responsibility to pay and advised that if they receive a further warning they will receive an £80 fixed penalty. The first of these exercises took place during the first two weeks of October on services from Glossop / Hadfield arriving into Piccadilly.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crossover View Post
(maybe actually stating stations may help)
Indeed. With 'traincard' being mentioned and considering the routes that the £80 scheme is used on I'd make an educated guess at it being the Calder Vale line and the ticket being valid to Littleborough but the passenger living at one of the West Yorks. stations beyond there but that may not actually be the case.
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Last edited by jcollins; 17th March 2013 at 13:38. Reason: Double post prevention system
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Old 17th March 2013, 13:45   #7
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I drive 3 miles to save £15 a week on a weekly ticket, I didn't wait for the next train, just went home and got a lift to get my car, all in all I'm just contemplating paying it, less hassle and I'll just have to learn the hard way from falling asleep on the way home from work! Was kust that after doing a bit of research online, thought I might have some sort of arguement against it with having a ticket, not having chance to pay and the genuine mistake of missing my actual stop!
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Old 17th March 2013, 14:42   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thebrad View Post
said that because I had a valid ticket, I would only need to pay the difference by cheque in the post, so I thought fair enough!
I feel this does cross the line, as if someone is to be reported for a travel irregularity, they should at least be told. Telling them something which is untrue isn't right.

Whilst I know they get a lot of grief from passengers, this regular practice of telling a lie to avert a volatile situation is really not on.
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Old 17th March 2013, 16:09   #9
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thebrad - are you able to advise us which stations are involved?

It is difficult to say whether being upfront about falling asleep would have helped to be honest, as I suspect they get it quite a lot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 185 View Post
I feel this does cross the line, as if someone is to be reported for a travel irregularity, they should at least be told. Telling them something which is untrue isn't right.

Whilst I know they get a lot of grief from passengers, this regular practice of telling a lie to avert a volatile situation is really not on.
I agree - from the threads that we've had on here, it seems to be fairly common practice - I doubt it being mentioned on a number of occasions by different posters is just coincidence!
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Old 17th March 2013, 17:57   #10
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Travelling back from Manchester on the Buxton line, weekly gmpte traincard I was using, still have have the card as proof of purchase from Disley, park there as decent & free parking and in the long run saves a lot rather than paying the extra from Whaley Bridge (the station I got off at and place I live) is out of the gmpte zone.

I suppose reading this, you could say there was no proof I had got on at Disley that morning? Unless CCTV is available to prove, but this why I'm thinking it could be too much hassle and I might as well just pay the fine?!

Per previous reply, this is the first time this kind of incident has happened.
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Old 18th March 2013, 13:04   #11
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(Just to clarify, it is geographically valid to Disley - some rail staff are still not aware of this. Traincard has an easement which allows it to be used to both the New Mills stops, Derbyshire and Disley, Cheshire.)

See footnote under map:
http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/manage...-Traincard.pdf
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Old 18th March 2013, 13:48   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 185 View Post
(Just to clarify, it is geographically valid to Disley - some rail staff are still not aware of this. Traincard has an easement which allows it to be used to both the New Mills stops, Derbyshire and Disley, Cheshire.)

See footnote under map:
http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/manage...-Traincard.pdf
I would say actually that 95% of Guards know that 185 (well I am one of them that do) lol
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Old 18th March 2013, 14:46   #13
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Originally Posted by ANorthernGuard View Post
I would say actually that 95% of Guards know that 185 (well I am one of them that do) lol
May apply to guards, but with both G4S into the mix and many, many new faces at Picc depot, that figure drops quite a bit. I knew you'd know the validity
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Old 18th March 2013, 14:53   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 185 View Post
May apply to guards, but with both G4S into the mix and many, many new faces at Picc depot, that figure drops quite a bit. I knew you'd know the validity
I'd be in trouble if I didn't, I do both routes lol
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Old 18th March 2013, 15:06   #15
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Im guessing there is a difference between penalty fares and fixed penaltys, as both stations are none penalty fare stations if that means anything?! It's just annoying, because the notice reads as if I boarded the train in New Mills with intent to avoid the fare and not pay, which is not the case... There was no option for me to pay the extra part of the journey (which I had no intention of making when initially boarded), unless I'd somehow have found the guard before leaving and paid, which there was no time to do so?! I'm thinkin a letter along with the cheque is going to be the only option really, as dont want things to get more complicated!
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