£80 fixed penalty notice from Northern

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Chris842

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Hi,

I recently wrote another thread, which is here: http://www.railforums.co.uk/showthread.php?t=127977

In short, I boarded a train that day, passing a ticket office, intending to get a ticket on the train. Noone was selling them on the train that day, so I queued at the destination station, Manchester Piccadilly, to buy one, and they took my details. It was the second time it happened. The previous time was about 3/4 months earlier.

People said in that thread that that was probably the last I'd hear about it, but I've now had this letter. Now the guard at the time said I'd be able to appeal, and my girlfriend says I can, but I cant see any mention of an appeal in the letter, so can anyone advise please?



FIXED PENALTY NOTICE

This office acts an an agent on behalf of Northern Rail; we have evidence that indicates that on 11 Mar 2016 you were reported by an authorised member of staff and it is alleged that you have committed an offence under Railway Byelaw 18.1.

The circumstances alleged to constitute the offence are as follows: you travelled from Hattersley to Manchester Piccadilly without paying the fare for your journey prior to boarding........ Your matter is in process of being prepared for disposal at the Magistrates Court.

Our records show that you have paid the outstanding fare of £4.20 however you have also been issued a previous Failed To Purchase Notice. As stated, any further offences of a similar nature incur a Fixed Penalty of £80. This letter offers you the opportunity of discharging any liability to conviction for that offence by payment of a Fixed Penalty of £80 in addition to the outstanding fare.

No proceedings will be taken for this offence before the expiration of 14 days from the date of this letter. You will not be liable to conviction for the offence if you pay the Fixed Penalty during this period. In addition to the Fixed Penalty the payment of the fare avoided of £4.20 brings the total amount payable to £80.

Whilst we hope that you will satisfactorily conclude this matter, failure to respond to this reasonable request within 14 days from the date of this letter will result in legal action being taken. I must inform you that should legal proceedings be invoked, in addition to any fines imposed by the Court there will be an application for £150 as a contribution to our costs.


The rest just says I can pay online or by post, and I cut the wording down a bit as its quite long. As you can see, there is no mention of appeal, so is this something I can appeal or not? If so, how would I appeal?

I have left this late as I only got paid the other day and couldnt afford it until then. The date of the letter is Friday March 11. This is the date it happened on so they got it written and said very fast. I received it the following tuesday.




On a seperate note, I feel really really annoyed this morning and I think that is what got me to write this, which I had been putting off. I have until tomorow to pay the fine.

Reason I'm annoyed this morning is, I was on a train this morning, for the first time since the incident (I've cycled the rest of the time). And there were two chavvy girls on the train (not kids, they were about 30). One of them said something like "I've only paid once this year, haha". And then something like "do you go up and over too?". They were talking about the trains and not something else. Up and over quite obviously meant they were going to go up a bridge at Piccadilly which takes you to other platforms, which is also a way to avoid the ticket guards.

I'm annoyed that I have to pay a fine for naiviety. I didnt try to dodge a fare, I queued up at Piccadilly that day, intending to buy a ticket. Whereas people like that get away with it.

I told the ticket guards about them when I got off. And to be fair, I saw him have a look around to see if they'd come down another platform with no ticket guards But I bet they got away with it.

Sorry for going off on one but I needed to get that out. To finish, the questions I'd like to ask are: Can I appeal this? If so, how do you I appeal? And if so... is there any point in appealing if I can?

Thanks
 
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Why would you want to appeal when you have admitted walking past a open ticket office and not purchasing a ticket?

Just pay it and dont do it again.

Yes its annoying when people get away without paying but that doesnt mean you dont have to pay either.
 

Bletchleyite

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Indeed, the best advice is to pay before the deadline - I would suggest telephoning to make sure it is cleared.

And do not do it again. A third time you are likely to be prosecuted.
 

Islineclear3_1

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I see people jump the barriers/fences all the time, yes it's annoying but it doesn't provide you with a get-out clause/excuse. It is up to the authorities to catch these people

As others have said, just pay up and chalk it down to experience
 

Llanigraham

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You have no grounds to Appeal.
Pay the £80 plus the fare.
Ignore what other people say on the train.
Don't do it again.
Move on.
 

Chris842

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Okay, looks like I'll just have to pay then.

What more annoying isnt what I said about those two girls though. Its the fact that I didnt intend to dodge a fare. I fully intended to get my ticket on the train or at Piccadilly. I know they always have guards there so knew I couldnt anyway, even if I'd wanted to.
 

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Okay, looks like I'll just have to pay then.

What more annoying isnt what I said about those two girls though. Its the fact that I didnt intend to dodge a fare. I fully intended to get my ticket on the train or at Piccadilly. I know they always have guards there so knew I couldnt anyway, even if I'd wanted to.

You are supposed to get your ticket before you board the train not during or after. Start doing that and you wont get any more of these penalty charges.
 

Greenback

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If you don't modify your behaviour and make sure that you get your ticket before boarding the train, you're only likely to get into more trouble, and that might conceivably include prosecution.
 

Llanigraham

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What more annoying isnt what I said about those two girls though. Its the fact that I didnt intend to dodge a fare. I fully intended to get my ticket on the train or at Piccadilly. I know they always have guards there so knew I couldnt anyway, even if I'd wanted to.

But you did, by totally ignoring the ticket office where you should have bought your ticket.
 

exile

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Irrelevant and you know that and you know the rules or you should do with fares advisor underneath your name.

It may be irrelevant to any possible prosecution under Bylaw 18 or the advisability of paying the penalty but it's an acknowledgement that passengers who have no intention to avoid payment may feel aggrieved about being hit with a penalty fare, given the inconsistency shown by Northern who most of the time behave as if not buying a ticket is perfectly OK.
 

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It may be irrelevant to any possible prosecution under Bylaw 18 or the advisability of paying the penalty but it's an acknowledgement that passengers who have no intention to avoid payment may feel aggrieved about being hit with a penalty fare, given the inconsistency shown by Northern who most of the time behave as if not buying a ticket is perfectly OK.

Quite, although northern dont do penalty fares, however as everyone who frequents here knows Northern have put notices up at stations informing passengers about the need to purchase before they board(usual caveats) and have tried hard to get passengers to do this and if their employees dont follow this and quite happy to sell on board even from staffed stations then thats between their employees and them. But this is all a distraction and muddying of the waters in the OPs case.

And seeing how the OP has already been caught doing this beforehand you would've thought they would learn there lesson by that instance.
 

Stigy

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Is that dodging? On a railway where it's commonplace to buy on-board, and guards make announcements stating that this is OK?

It's neither here nor there anyway as Byelaw 18 is strict liability and that's what the notice refers to. I'd imagine if there was clear evidence of fare evasion Northern would have summonsed to Court?
 

crehld

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It seems quite clear that LexyBoy was highlighting why there is such a common mistaken belief among the general public that it's OK not to buy at a ticket office and to buy on board instead, and how such actions may not be perceived as fare evasion by those who appear to have sanction for those same actions by rail staff. Of course byelaw 18 is strict liability. But there is reason why so many appear to be under the misperception that bypassing an open ticket office is OK, and it is a reason wholly created by the rail industry itself.

The OP asked if they had grounds for appeal. They have been given advice that there are not and to pay ASAP, and to take away the lesson to always buy before boarding. I see no point in further discussion.
 

ainsworth74

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Agreed. The OP has their answer. If they wish to raise further questions or require additional assistance they are welcome to get in contact via PM with any member of the Staff Team and we will re-open the thread for that purpose.

Otherwise the OP would be wise to pay the penalty and ensure in future that they do not bypass an open ticket office even if they are running late as that is not reason not to buy a ticket.
 
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