2018 Penalty Fare

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GTRPF2018

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19 Apr 2021
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I'm trying to resolve a penalty fare from 2018 and hoping someone here can give some good advice on how to do so. The short version is that in 2018 I tried to get from City Thameslink Station to Luton Airport by tapping in and using the oyster system without realizing that Luton Airport wasn't covered. TFL gave me an automated penalty for not tapping out and Thameslink gave me a penalty fare on the day which I thought I paid. Turns out I only paid for a ticket from them, not the penalty fare itself. Fast-forward to 2021 and I find a stash of old letters I hadn't opened with a notice of the penalty fare and notice that they have started legal proceedings but nothing beyond this point (i.e. no court summons that I can see or other information about the court outcome).

I'm trying to resolve this and have resigned myself to paying whatever fee/fine is coming my way (despite the fact I think this penalty is disputable). My problem is no one seems to know who I need to contact to do this. I've called the number on the letters (no longer in service), gone to the Revenue Protection Support Services website (my case details are not recognised), called Revenue Protection Support Services, called Thameslink Customer Service (was emailed back that its out of their hands when it goes to court and I should call the number on the letters) and called/emailed GTR's Prosecution team (got back an automated response saying they only deal with season tickets and railcard issues).

Does anyone have any idea on who I should be talking to??? I've never had such a hard time trying to pay money to a company!
 
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Fawkes Cat

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Welcome to the forum.

I am inclined to say that if some years have passed since the last contact, then the other side has dropped the matter and you can safely let it be. But if you feel that you should pursue the matter further then I'd suggest

- try to work out if the intention was to prosecute you (criminal courts) or pursue you for the unpaid penalty fare (civil courts). If it's the civil court, then have a look at your credit history: had the matter gone to court (and the railway's view been upheld) then I'd expect to see a county court judgement against you, which may give you enough information to pay what is owed. If it's gone to the criminal court, then I'm at something of a loss: you seem to have concluded that a guilty plea would be appropriate so our usual advice when someone is prosecuted without their knowledge to have the conviction set aside and reheard doesn't really seem to help.
- if the issue is making the payment, then write a cheque for the appropriate amount: send it to Thameslink's registered office (3rd Floor, 41-51 Grey Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 6EE) with a covering letter including all appropriate references, apologising for the delay and telling them that you hope that this will conclude the matter. Send the letter by the 'signed for' service so you know when it has got there. I think in effect this puts the onus onto Thameslink to take any further steps - and if the outcome is that you have reminded them and they seek to restart action against you, then you are in a perfect position to demonstrate that you have attempted to settle matters without being immediately prompted. Note that in these particular circumstances I am specifically suggesting a cheque rather than just making a transfer into Thameslink's bank accounts: I would expect their accounting procedure to require an explanation of why a cheque has been received so that it's actually assigned to the right heading - and that will make them think about if they actually want the money. At best, they will have written it off and not want to go through the hassle of recovering a bad debt, so they'll just tear the cheque up without cashing it.
 

gray1404

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Given the length of time that has passed since and the train company has not issued legal proceedings in Court (threats of such don't count). They may now be "out of time" to take any further action. If you are sure that you were not convicted in your absence then I would simply leave this matter well alone.
 

Islineclear3_1

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Given the length of time that has passed since and the train company has not issued legal proceedings in Court (threats of such don't count). They may now be "out of time" to take any further action. If you are sure that you were not convicted in your absence then I would simply leave this matter well alone.
I suspect this might be the case but nobody knows unless the OP has opened all the letters and replied here.

But I agree with @Fawkes Cat; it would be prudent for the OP to check his credit history as he would not want any surprises if, for example he was to apply for credit such as a mortgage or loan.
 

js1000

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14 Jun 2014
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My honest advice, good deeds rarely go unpunished. If nothing has happened since 2018 and they haven't chased it up then chances are nothing ever will. Check CCJs if it's been claimed as a civil debt but if not move on.

(My original post was deleted for some reason. Whoever deleted it didn't have the common courtesy to even message me. No way to run a forum. Hopefully they will have the basic decorum to message me and explain. Respect works both ways afterall.)
 

MikeWh

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Crayford
(My original post was deleted for some reason. Whoever deleted it didn't have the common courtesy to even message me. No way to run a forum. Hopefully they will have the basic decorum to message me and explain. Respect works both ways afterall.)
I tried to message you but it appears your account is set up to reject messages. Perhaps it's because I'm only a moderator. Sadly I messaged an administrator to ask why and they didn't reply to me.

The reason the post was deleted was because you were conflating the two separate penalties. The TfL incomplete journey charge was never going to escalate to anything further. The thread is discussing the completely separate penalty fare issued by Thameslink, who are nothing to do with TfL despite now appearing on the tube map.
 
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