£100 tram fare - metrolink help!

Discussion in 'Other Public Transport' started by NAM_killer, 12 Apr 2012.

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  1. jcollins

    jcollins Veteran Member

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    On the tram is a bit late, the tram may leave before you have time to alight and purchase a ticket after noticing it. Although, not a valid excuse to get to Bury from Piccadilly without a ticket but an excuse for alighting at Piccadilly Gardens with no ticket and then purchasing one before continuing to Bury.
     
  2. Wath Yard

    Wath Yard Member

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    The fine notices are prominently displayed. He passed a ticket machine, which he noticed and recalls the position of, but decided to try his luck. He thought he might get a free trip and ended up with a very expensive one. It really couldn't be a fairer cop.
     
  3. Ferret

    Ferret Established Member

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    It seems to be prominently displayed at the stations on the Metrolink I've used too!;)

     
  4. jcollins

    jcollins Veteran Member

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    I wasn't trying to suggest that it's not advertised but pointing out that there's a possibility if a poster at Piccadilly had fallen down or got hidden (for instance some maintenance equipment had been put in front of it) then it may not have been obvious to a one-off user.
     
  5. Ferret

    Ferret Established Member

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    Clutching at straws though?

     
  6. NAM_killer

    NAM_killer Member

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    Woah, there have been a torrent of replies!

    I'll clear up the main things here.

    Sheffield tram service (until now) has been then only tram service I have used.

    I am from Congleton. You can buy a ticket onboard or after the journey on all trains running through Congleton.
    The reason I am so used to paying on the train is because the ticket office is almost always closed in Congleton.

    No, I did not see the ticket machine and 'try to get a free journey', the tram was waiting at the stop and without hesitation, I jumped on. I would like to add here that I am both used to buses (pay on board) and trains where I pay on board so why on Earth would the thought pop in to my mind that I might have to pay before?
    To clarify as well, if I am standing in front of the tram doors before boarding, the ticket machine is in no way close to being visible. Only if I turn to 4 or 5 o'clock would I be able to see it. It truly is in an awkward place unless you know what you are doing.

    I had the money to pay for a ticket otherwise I would not have boarded.

    Yes I saw the ticket machine, this was once the doors had closed so I must have literally got on as it was about to leave.

    I had considered getting off at another station to buy a ticket but two things stopped me:
    1. I was assuring myself that I would be able to purchase one on the tram and if not, I would be honest with the guys at the other end and tell them where I boarded to buy one there. Honesty is usually key but apparently this is a simple case of some people ruining it for the rest of us. The 'some people I refer to as the dishonest ones causing this distrust from the company.
    2. I was in a hurry to make an interview and as I had never used the trams in Manchester before, I did not want to risk being late. Trains from Manchester to Congleton come once an hour and if trams are in any way similar, I would be screwed.

    Finally, if I had walked past a ticket machine, I would have bought one. It really is as simple as that. If any of this has come across a bit rude, I apologize. As you can imagine it is stressful enough without being blatantly accused of lying as well.

    You guys have been fantastic, thanks again :)
     
    Last edited: 13 Apr 2012
  7. bb21

    bb21 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I agree with this statement, however there are at least four ticket machines on the platform at Piccadilly AFAIK and it would be rather silly to position them anywhere else than against the wall, don't you agree?

    You can't just assume that you can purchase the ticket on the tram, especially after you notice that the tram does not have conductors.

    To be honest, if this really is the case then I think you ought to have planned for the day a bit better, including finding out information such as service frequency, routes, etc.

    I know you might not think this is what happened, but that was exactly what you did, although maybe unintentionally.

    I echo the comments from many above me that you would be best off paying the £50 and have it over and done with. The chance of an appeal succeeding is almost NIL here and could only make things worse if you fail to pay within 14 days.

    It has been a very expensive lesson and I wish you luck in the future.
     
  8. WatcherZero

    WatcherZero Established Member

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    If it was another stop it would be understandable, but at the bottom of the escalator at Piccadilly is a sign taking up half the wall telling you to buuy before boarding. Its impossible not to see it going down as its directly opposite at eye level as you descend.

    edit:

    Sign on left, advertising board on right has been removed since this photo taken

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: 13 Apr 2012
  9. NAM_killer

    NAM_killer Member

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    An expensive lesson indeed. Like I said I'll just have to pay it, it is a shame that the honest customers get screwed because of the dishonest ones but hey, nothing can be done now I guess!

    Thanks again for your advice

    Other than showing me a sign that I now know was there and didn't see, I don't see your reason for posting that... Thanks anyway I'll keep an eye out for it next time I guess.
     
  10. gnolife

    gnolife Established Member

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    [pedant]With the exception of Altrincham[/pedant]
     
  11. blue sabre

    blue sabre Member

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    So had you got all the way to Bury without seeing a ticket inspector you would have bought a ticket on alighting? You wouldn't have seen it as a free ride and got on with your day?
     
  12. NAM_killer

    NAM_killer Member

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    I would have bought it from the machine when I arrived.

    Better to be safe than sorry, you never know what could happen on the return journey and also if there could be ones stationed upstairs.

    The same thing has happened before on a train to Manchester Piccadilly from Congleton and I could have easily walked past the 'ticket inspector' but instead I walked up to one with the ticket machine to buy a ticket. At least northern rail appreciate honesty. I guess I can understand why the tram guys don't though considering how many people must try to dodge the fares.
     
  13. WestCoast

    WestCoast Established Member

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    I'm afraid it's not down to the discretion of the inspectors, it's down to the Conditions of Carriage of each operator. Northern Rail doesn't have penalty fares and you are technically allowed to board a train without a ticket (providing you have the intention to buy one), so guards and inspectors will sell you a ticket if you don't have one or report you for prosecution (providing they have the ability to do so) if they feel strongly that you are explicitly trying to dodge fares.

    Metrolink, which isn't a rail operator, states that all passengers MUST have a valid ticket before getting on a tram. Simple as that. If the inspectors catch someone without a ticket after they passed a ticket machine, they will issue a "Standard Fare" (and they won't take any excuses). They are instructed to do this.
     
    Last edited: 14 Apr 2012
  14. NAM_killer

    NAM_killer Member

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    Ah fair enough, thanks for the info :)
     
  15. 185

    185 Established Member

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    I was just going to mention the sign, which is infact the biggest on the entire Metrolink network. Beaten to it by Mr Watcher :)

    £50 isn't bad compared to some place. Tenerife is €400

    Correct ticket should have been (origin) to Bury MTLK, a ticket sold at every UK Station and on every conductor's ticket machine.

    (That's a matchday, as the PSR by the fire exit has an ol' Almex machine)
     
  16. martinsh

    martinsh Established Member

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    He posted that so I didn't have to ! Took a photo of it today - it really is most blatant, I don't see how anyone could possibly miss it !

    There are also at least two notices on the platform - though it is possible to miss those if a you go straight onto a waiting tram.
     
  17. krisk

    krisk Member

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    Well I am going to suggest you appeal in a politely written letter. Me and my ex went to a beer festival in Bury and on the return leg had mislaid one of our MetroLink day tickets. On arrival at Market Street we were met by inspectors whom demanded £10 fine or £20 if they write to you etc

    We maintained it was a lost ticket, we had one but not the other so we were not lying. However the aggressive attitude of the staff was not needed

    We wrote to Metrolink and explained what had happened. They sent a lovely letter back saying thanks for getting in touch, we understand what had happened, thanks for explaining, apologies if the staff member had been aggressive, on this occasion we will not pursue the money and we look forward to you travelling with us in the future.

    That came out of the blue but it shows that an honest response can reap rewards.
     
  18. jcollins

    jcollins Veteran Member

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    If you're going for an interview you really should be better prepared. You should find out the frequency and journey time BEFORE you make the journey to ensure you turn up well before your interview time, subject to no major delays.

    The £10 fine suggests this was when Secro was operating the Metrolink. It is now operated by RATP.
     
  19. krisk

    krisk Member

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    Yep, must be nearly ten years back but the rules were the same then

    I would write and see what they say, especially if you offer to pay the fare and maybe offer to make a small charitable donation too
     
  20. Samtron2000

    Samtron2000 Member

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    The 'Standard Fare' has changed since Sercos days. They introduced an incremental fine that targeted repeat offenders, which increased every time they were caught. It is now however, a straight forward £100 fine, reduced by 50% if payment received within 14 days.

    With regards to the OP's case, an appeal is unlikey to succeed as the pictures above demonstrate, he has passed numerous signs at Piccadilly, plus platforms signs at the next 13 stops before being caught. I can't see a plead of ignorance being believed!!

    Guilty as charged M'Lord!!!
     
  21. krisk

    krisk Member

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    Likewise I passed posters at Bury saying you must have a ticket but at some point I must have waylaid one of them so when asked to produce them both I couldn't.

    Personally I would write and explain your situation and see what they say but yes I would also take it as a lesson learned to find out first.
     
  22. WatcherZero

    WatcherZero Established Member

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    They are more leniant if your address hasnt come up before. When they do a joint operation with police theyve also started finger printing to check if a false name/address is being given.
     
  23. krisk

    krisk Member

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    Like I say it is worth a go if it is genuine and you are prepared to pay for what you used and you are honest then it may just work.
     
  24. snail

    snail Established Member

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    What you (and the OP) need to consider though is that 'having a go' may cost £50. If the appeal is rejected the full Standard Fare will be payable.

    I can understand how someone in a rush may not read the posters on at Piccadilly. What I find harder to understand is not noticing any of the very prominent posters at pretty much every stop en route.

    Having said that, I inadvertently blagged a free ride on the Paris metro the other week by getting the ticket guy to open the gate so I could get luggage through but then realising there was nowhere to validate my ticket. It is easily done on unfamiliar transit systems but you have to be prepared to pay up if caught, however innocent the act.
     
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