confusion over penalty fare

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caz

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Hi I was travelling on the c2c line from westcliff to barking recently and stupidly bought a ticket at the self service machine that was only to benfleet instead of barking by mistake, when stopped at barking I was told I would recieve a letter with a penalty fare withing 7 working days however I recieved nothing until one month later today when I get a letter from "Summons application" informing me I have to settle an even bigger fine!! I do not understand where this has come from, I was quite willing to pay the inital penalty fare of £20 an have no idea why I wasnt fined on the spot or recieved the letter I was supposed to! Can anyone advise what to do? I have only 21 days before further action is taken, very very very concerned!!!
 
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DaveNewcastle

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Its not clear what the letter you have received is actually saying. It puzzles me that you refer to it as a Summons Application and at the same time a demand for payment of a Fine. It doesn't seem right to me that both would be the purpose of the same Letter.

However, the situation you describe appears less surprising to me than it does to you.
You are perhaps right to describe buying the wrong ticket as 'stupid', however, the real Offence occurred when you chose to travel on a journey for which the ticket didn't authorise you to travel. Your mistake should have been corrected, you shouldn't have travelled to Barking without a ticket for that journey - that is 'stupid' bit, and now you have apparently an opportunity to pay some sort of charge to make amends.

I suggest you pay it as soon as possible, because what you have done is to commit a Criminal Offence, and (without knowing what terms the letter offers you, I can't be clear) you are presumably the subject of an Investigation into that Offence with a view to gathering Evidence to support a Prosecution in Court.
I think you'll agree that any payment is better than a Prosecution!

Hopefully you'll be more careful in future to travel on the journey that your ticket authorises you to take, and not another journey for which you haven't paid. I guess the letter also warned you of the maximum Fine that a Court can impose for such an Offence? That might also remind you of the importance of having the correct ticket for your future journeys.

Please do let us know if the letter offers any other route to a resolution of the matter, and, purely out of curiosity, what amount is the "bigger fine" the Company has proposed?
[I expect somebody else will be along shortly to tell you that only a Court can impose a Fine. But I guess you are just using that word colloquially and that the letter does not imply that you have been Fined by the Company].
 

RJ

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Hi I was travelling on the c2c line from westcliff to barking recently and stupidly bought a ticket at the self service machine that was only to benfleet instead of barking by mistake, when stopped at barking I was told I would recieve a letter with a penalty fare withing 7 working days however I recieved nothing until one month later today when I get a letter from "Summons application" informing me I have to settle an even bigger fine!! I do not understand where this has come from, I was quite willing to pay the inital penalty fare of £20 an have no idea why I wasnt fined on the spot or recieved the letter I was supposed to! Can anyone advise what to do? I have only 21 days before further action is taken, very very very concerned!!!

Hi,

Given that you passed up the opportunity to purchase a valid ticket for the whole of your journey, instead buying a ticket for a couple of stops down the line, you've left yourself open to being prosecuted. Train Operating Companies seem to be more keen on pursuing prosecutions as a £20 Penalty Fare does not appear to be enough of a deterrent for people who choose not to buy a valid ticket when appropriate.

I suggest you pay the out of court settlement that they're offering (somewhere in the region of £85?) and be done with it. The alternative is to decline their offer and go to court, but I would only advise that if you can prove that you held a valid ticket for your entire journey at the time of inspection.
 

DaveNewcastle

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. . . . but I would only advise that if you can prove that you held a valid ticket for your entire journey at the time of inspection.
Indeed. And caz has already suggested on here that (s)he did not hold a ticket for the actual journey.
What we don't know is what caz might have said to the Officer when challenged, and which is now documented Evidence. It was most probably either some sort of admission or a lie. caz hasn't told us, but whatever was said will surely have been recorded and is now on file as Evidence.
 

Monty

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Hi I was travelling on the c2c line from westcliff to barking recently and stupidly bought a ticket at the self service machine that was only to benfleet instead of barking by mistake, when stopped at barking I was told I would recieve a letter with a penalty fare withing 7 working days however I recieved nothing until one month later today when I get a letter from "Summons application" informing me I have to settle an even bigger fine!! I do not understand where this has come from, I was quite willing to pay the inital penalty fare of £20 an have no idea why I wasnt fined on the spot or recieved the letter I was supposed to! Can anyone advise what to do? I have only 21 days before further action is taken, very very very concerned!!!

Hi Caz, welcome to the forums. assuming this was a genuine mistake when the inspector had finished speaking with you, did he issue with a notice or any other type of documentation? Or did he say something along the lines of "The facts of the matter will be reported"?

Very strange about being informed of receiving a penalty fare in the post, as it's issued on the spot and MG11s/Byelaw reports normally take much longer to process.

I would contact C2C's prosecutions department and try and straighten this whole thing out, make it clear to them you wish to pay the penaltyfare/admin fees. Explain that the inspector informed you that you were being issued a penalty fare but recieved no notices at the time of questioning (please confirm if this the case or not as it affects your situation significantly).

Also may I ask if you have been issued with a penalty fare before? The reason I ask is many TOCs will simply report passengers with previous PFNs to their name under Byelaw 18. It may be that the inspector intended on issuing you with a Penalty Fare but then decided to report you instead if this is the case. If he has done this he really should be informing you "that it's no long a penalty fare matter and the facts would be reported".

Could elaborate further on the events of that day in greater detail? The more infomation you give to us the better we can help you. PM me if you wish, I do not want to get your hopes up but if the inspector has not followed prodecure correctly I see no need why you should part with any more than the fare owed.
 
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