Adlington ( Lancs ) to Manchester Victoria

Discussion in 'Disputes & Prosecutions' started by Karl60, 12 Sep 2017.

  1. Karl60

    Karl60 Member

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    Yesterday my daughter travelled this route. She arrived at the station with a few mins to spare but the ticket office is on the other platform and you have to leave the station go along the road, re-enter, buy a ticket and then do the reverse proceedure to get your train. You have always been able to buy a ticket from the conductor on the train, and on the occasions that he does not walk through the carriage you buy one at Victoria. She decided to buy one on the train rather than risk missing it. During the journey there was an anouncement that no tickets were being sold on that train. As soon as she got to Victoria she went to the desk for Passengers travelling without tickets ( there is a special labelled desk for this purpose! ) She was questioned about why she didn't buy a ticket before she got on the train, they wouldn't let her buy a ticket but instead issued her with a Failure to Pay notice, for more than the fare she would have paid anyway.

    If anyone has any ideas of how to challenge this I would greatly appreciate it.
     
  2. gray1404

    gray1404 Established Member

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    Your daughter committed an offence by not buying a ticket before boarding when there were facilities at her stating station. She needs to pay up on this occasion to avoid it being taken further. My understanding is that a failure to pay notice is for the Anytime Day single fare for the journey made. How old is your daughter and how much is it for?

    To be honest, she was lucky to receive this.
     
  3. DanTrainMan185

    DanTrainMan185 Established Member

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    If the ticket office at Adlington was open then that is technically classed as the first available opportunity to purchase a ticket, despite your aforementioned rather awkward approach to it.

    Having said that, it is only open Monday to Saturday from 0635-1310.

    What time did your daughter travel? Presumably it must have been between the above times as you said she avoided going to the ticket office.

    Northern may see this as not allowing enough time to purchase a ticket as you said she had a few minutes to spare, although if your account on exiting the station, walking along the road and entering the other side is anything to go buy you may have a case.

    Falls back down to the whole how long is a reasonable amount of time to purchase a ticket although if you say it is possible to purchase on the train or on arrival at Victoria that is also another grey area.
     
  4. Karl60

    Karl60 Member

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    It was around 11.30am, the ticket office was open, it is just such a faff to get to and hardly anyone buys a ticket from is when going towards Manchester. When I am travelling I always buy a ticket on the train. It is such a common thing to do there was an anouncement part way through her journey that there would be not tickets sold on the train on that particular journey!
     
  5. rdwarr

    rdwarr Member

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    I know these things are sometimes wrong but, according to National Rail, the ticket office is on Platform 1 which is the one that the trains to Manchester depart from.
     
  6. MidnightFlyer

    MidnightFlyer Veteran Member

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    Unless I am mistaken that is incorrect; the booking office is on the Preston-bound platform.
     
  7. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    Is there a disability involved which would have prevented your daughter from accessing the ticket office?
     
  8. Karl60

    Karl60 Member

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    The ticket office is definitely on the Northbound platform.

    No she doesn't have a disability.
     
  9. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    Then, unfortunately, she doesn't really have an excuse. Open ticket office, you have to use it.
     
  10. island

    island Established Member

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    It’s a criminal offence to join a train without a ticket at a station with an open booking office. The office being inconveniently located, the train being soon, or the fact everyone normally does it don’t excuse this.

    Your daughter should pay the notice promptly before the matter escalates further as she could end up with a criminal record.
     
  11. telstarbox

    telstarbox Established Member

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  12. 6Gman

    6Gman Established Member

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    A quick look on Google Maps suggests that "walking along the road" is simply crossing an overbridge - pavement in place, no road to cross. No different to using a footbridge really.
     
  13. 30907

    30907 Established Member

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    Measuring by eye, less than 200m extra for someone coming from the Up side.
     
  14. gray1404

    gray1404 Established Member

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    Am I right in saying that when a notice of this type is issued by Northern it is for the full Anytime Single fare, with no railcard discounts? Or is an additional amount added to them?

    If so, given the circumstances and the open ticket office, this is not a bad outcome at all. Although, if they are only the cost of an Anytime Single why cannot this not be paid at the time of issue?
     
  15. DanTrainMan185

    DanTrainMan185 Established Member

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    In that case then I imagine the OP's daughter hasn't got a leg to stand on then.
     
  16. bb21

    bb21 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    This is a reminder to please stay closely on topic in the Disputes area, as people coming for help should not have to wade through irrelevant posts to find the important answers. Thank you.
     
  17. furlong

    furlong Established Member

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    Do you have any actual evidence of this, such as tickets previously purchased on board without any warning that you could get into serious trouble if you ever did it again? In effect I think you might then be trying to argue that this is common custom and practice at this station with this train company and that this amounts to implied authorisation to board without a ticket and purchase one on board or at your (gated) destination. Are there any posters at the station instructing you not to do this?
     
  18. furlong

    furlong Established Member

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    While this is NOT a genuine Penalty Fares scheme, the similarities might lead someone considering the matter to take into account the SRA's rules for genuine schemes:

    and which also says tickets can only be sold on board if appropriate warnings are given.
     
  19. Karl60

    Karl60 Member

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    Hi Furlong.

    That is exactly what I am arguing, that it has become custom and practice. There was a number of people given these notices when my daughter tried to pay at the destination There are certainly no notices at Adlington station that say you should not purchase tickets on board. In fact there was an anouncement on this train, part way through her journey, saying that tickets were not being sold on this train. Do tickets make clear where they have been bought if we see if we can find some old ones?
     
  20. island

    island Established Member

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    Depends on what you mean by "someone considering the matter".

    If you mean "a passenger, a member of the public, or a journalist", then I agree.

    If you mean "a court, a magistrate, or a solicitor", I do not. Northern does not operate a Penalty Fares Scheme and rules or publicity around Penalty Fares Schemes are utterly irrelevant to them.
     
  21. island

    island Established Member

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    They would normally be for £80 plus the single fare.
     
  22. Fare-Cop

    Fare-Cop Member

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    Exactly right, this is what the specific Byelaw instructs us all to do:


    National Railway Byelaw 18. (2005)

    (1) In any area not designated as a compulsory ticket area, no person shall enter any train for the purpose of travelling on the railway unless he has with him a valid ticket entitling him to travel

    (2) A person shall hand over his ticket for inspection and verification of validity when asked to do so by an authorised person.

    (3) No person shall be in breach of Byelaw 18(1) or 18(2) if:


    (i) there were no facilities in working order for the issue or validation of any ticket at the time when, and the station where, he began his journey; or
    (ii) there was a notice at the station where he began his journey permitting journeys to be started without a valid ticket; or
    (iii) an authorised person gave him permission to travel without a valid ticket.



    and the following extract was published on the governments' own web pages:


    GUIDANCE FOR RAIL TRAVELLERS:
    This extract is taken from information to the public posted on the government’s own website at:

    Direct.gov.uk


    Your responsibilities when you travel by rail
    Along with your rights, you have certain responsibilities when you travel on the railways.

    Have a valid ticket

    Make sure you have enough time to buy your ticket. Don't get on a train without a ticket, even if there's a long queue at the ticket office. If you do, you may be asked to pay the full 'anytime' fare or a penalty fare.

    You must have the right ticket for your journey. Make sure your ticket:
    • shows the correct details for your journey
    • can be used on the routes, trains and during the time you intend to travel
    • isn't damaged or changed
    • is kept safe - if you lose it or it's stolen, you can't travel
    Show your ticket when asked. If you bought your ticket with a Railcard, you must show this too.

    Boarding and changing trains
    You're responsible for boarding the right train and travelling in the right part.
    Make sure you that you:
    • get off the train and change at the right station
    • leave enough time to change trains
    • keep your luggage with you at all times
    • sit or stand in first class only if your ticket allows

    The train company isn't responsible for any delay or loss if you haven't followed this guidance.


    It has always been the case that you must use the ticket office or other facilities to buy a ticket before you board if facilities are provided.

    It seems that TOCs in many areas are now addressing the issue of 'opportunist' ticketless travel and cracking down by enforcing the rules more robustly

    .
     
    Last edited: 17 Sep 2017
  23. Parham Wood

    Parham Wood Member

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    It would appear this is another consequence of guards selling tickets on trains to passengers that should have bought a ticket from the station where they boarded. It creates the impression that boarding without a ticket from these stations is acceptable. Let us not go into the debate about whether there were signs at the station etc.. People do not read these, do not understand them or think penalties are a "may" or "might" but will not apply to them if they buy a ticket on the train/destination. If tickets are sold on the train regulary then suddently not sold it is almost a form of entrapment. It is a shame there is nobody with a big stick to bring these TOCs into line. If they can make announcements on the train about no tickets being sold perhaps they should be announcing that tickets are only sold from stations where there is no means to buy them and that where there is they must be bought before boarding otherwise etc etc. At least for a few months for the message to sink in. My advice on this occassion is to pay up and learn from experience.
     
  24. gray1404

    gray1404 Established Member

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    Totally different to an unpaid fares notice. Its like a Northern Penalty Fake but issued on the spot.
     
  25. Fare-Cop

    Fare-Cop Member

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    I agree with much of what you say, many simply expect to be able to do as they wish and pay if asked to do so on train. That is particularly clear from the vast numbers of people who, when spoken to by inspectors, argue "It's up to the guard to come and sell me a ticket".

    No it isn't. The Byelaw makes that perfectly clear and the Appeal Court judgment in Corbyn [1978] in relation to criminally avoiding a fare, underlines exactly where the responsibility to pay the correct fare lies.

    That said, I also agree that too many stations have no, or limited facilities for the increased patronage on many services.

    I do find this a bit hard to accept though; you say

    "If they can make announcements on the train about no tickets being sold perhaps they should be announcing that tickets are only sold from stations where there is no means to buy them and that where there is they must be bought before boarding otherwise etc etc. At least for a few months for the message to sink in."

    If we look through the posts on this and other forums over the past four or five years it is clear that many TOCs have been ramping up the pressure, putting up posters and issuing press releases and taking people to Court very regularly throughout the past 5 years.

    The press, media and all of these forums have been going over the same ground, the same offences and arguments through all that time, so how long do they need to go on issuing warnings before people take notice, use the many apps and other means of purchasing before travelling, or get there a bit earlier and actually buy before boarding when the facilities are available for them to do so?


    .
     
    Last edited: 17 Sep 2017
  26. Karl60

    Karl60 Member

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    Just to clarify a few things:
    There are no signs at the station saying you have to buy a ticket before you board.
    It is common for passengers to buy tickets on the train, and no warnings are given that you should not do this.
    The exit station is gated so you cannot get out without having a ticket.
    There was an anouncement on the train that particular day saying no tickets would be sold on that train.
     
  27. gray1404

    gray1404 Established Member

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    I'm sorry but non of this is relevant in this case. The fact is your daughter boarded at a station with an open ticket office. She therefore should have used that ticket office to buy a ticket before boarding the train. The fact there were only a couple of minutes before the train was due is not a valid excuse. I am afraid there is no real advise you can be given here. Your daughter needs to pay the amount requested on the notice as soon as possible to prevent further action, including court action and possibly ending up with a criminal record, being taken against her.

    Also take note that Northern may proceed straight to prosecution if a person is issued with 2 or more failure to pay notices within a 12 month period. In other words, make sure your daughter buys her tickets before boarding in future (no more paying on the train unless the ticket office is closed.)
     
  28. mikeg

    mikeg Member

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    The first point is unfortunately no excuse as it is a defence relying upon ignorance of the law, which is not generally a defence at all. As Fare-Cop has said, there would be an excuse if the was a sign saying it is okay to purchase tickets on the train.

    The second point is again not relevant - just because other people do it doesn't make it okay. I agree more warnings should be given though.

    The third point - There is also no law that depends on your exit station, it is the origin station that counts (unless the exit station is your first opportunity to pay of course). I don't use Manchester Victoria much so can't comment - is it really gated 24/7? A lot of stations are only gated during certain times, so you still get chancers. The last point makes an observation of a strategy that is sometimes employed during revenue stings - unless there's RPIs on the train it is necessary to not sell tickets, so that passengers who broke the law can by caught by the appropriate, PACE-trained person.

    I agree with you in one respect - it is very harsh treatment and I disagree with Northern's revenue protection strategy. They were actually denied a penalty fare scheme because their retail facilities didn't meet appropriate standards across the whole network, so instead they report people and issue these 'failure to pay' notices, which are out of court settlements. It does seem a bit bullying to some and many passengers mockingly refer to these notices as 'penalty fakes' due to the method in which they imitate the penalty fare system the previous franchisee wasn't allowed.

    That said, I live in a town (Thirsk) with a station that is very similar, you have to climb steps, go down steps to platform 1, go back up steps and go down steps to platform 2 if you want to go North. The ticket office and card only TVM are located on platform 1. Most people seem to manage this no problem. You do get some people paying on the train and like in Adlington it's a bit sporadic as to whether they get a warning. You also get people who outright chance it... the number of times I've seen someone do the pocket dance before asking for a single to Northallerton, often to be given a stern warning but not really seeing the problem. Though I have seen two people reported for prosecution for just this. But overall most manage to buy a ticket. Suppose what I'm trying to say is that it's not exactly an onerous task and if it's required then it's what you do.
     
  29. jcollins

    jcollins Veteran Member

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  30. island

    island Established Member

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    And if the sign isn't, there is still no excuse, as far as the law is concerned.
     

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