Court Summons next month

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20052534

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Hi,

I have been reading some posts about court summons. Mine is next month and both Transport Investigations Ltd and the rail company the incident occurred with have given their final words on the matter and are not budging for an out of court settlement. The incident occurred early September. I wanted to travel to Sheffield where I would meet a friend who drives, spend a day there and then travel further by car. I fell asleep as it was an early train and did not sleep the night before my journey. Here is the incident in simpler terms which was sent in my most recent letter:

On 15th October 2015, I received a letter from Transport Investigations Limited (TIL) asking me to provide “any mitigation” and “written representations” because TIL’s Prosecutions Team was considering whether a Summons should be issued.

I was given 21 days to do this and I responded on 24th October. In that letter, I explained that:
- I had intended to disembark at Sheffield
- I had a ticket which entitled me to travel to Sheffield
- After a sleepless night, I had fallen asleep on the train and I was woken up by the ticket inspector. I had slept for so long that I was nearly at Cheltenham Spa.
- I was told by the ticket inspector to get off at Cheltenham Spa and return to Sheffield.
- The ticket inspector issued me with a ticket so that I could travel through the gates at the next train station and he told me that I could pay the fare straight away by calling a number. I would later call this number but was not able to do this.
- I could not afford a ticket from Cheltenham back to Sheffield.
- I tried to use my phone to see if I could afford a ticket from Cheltenham to Bristol and I also tried to make contact with my friend in Bath to see if he could collect me from Bristol.
- Unable to buy the ticket online, I asked the inspector for a ticket from Cheltenham to Bristol. This is exactly the journey that I would have taken if I had got off the train at Cheltenham
- The inspector told me that he presumed that I was fare dodging
- I then realised that, unusually, I had some cash with me. I found the ticket inspector there and then and attempted to pay for the ticket. He wouldn’t allow me to do so.
- The Inspector classified this incident as an “unpaid fares notice” and – again – told me that I could pay the fare after I had concluded my journey.
- The ticket inspector told me that he felt his behaviour towards me might have been seen as harassing by other rail users.

Since the day the incident occurred, I have made numerous attempts to pay the ticket by calling the rail company, who then passed me over to IRCAS, who then passed me back over to the rail company and so on, until I received the letter from TIL.

Sorry for the long post, but I am in desperate need of advice, which the local CAB group have not been able to provide me with. Many Thanks!
 
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bb21

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Where did you travel from?

I think whoever the guard is would find it at least a little suspicious that you overslept the whole way from Sheffield to Cheltenham - about two hours later - without waking up in between at all and not asking any questions as to your whereabouts. Did you look tired when you were woken up? If you were that tired to have slept through the whole two hours then most people would expect you to have looked exhausted.

I am also a little confused as to your claim about an Unpaid Fares Notice. Is that what it says on the slip/coupon he gave you? If it were indeed an Unpaid Fares Notice then the expectation is that you pay it within the time scale given and if you genuinely repeatedly offered to pay it within that time yet they refused, I would expect further actions to fail. What other avenues have you explored apart from ringing them to pay your outstanding fare? There is usually an address where you can send the payment in post which should be listed on an Unpaid Fares Notice.

While I can only take your words as to what happened on that day, oversleeping for such a long distance, coupled with the fact that you then asked for a ticket to Bristol, makes it appear particularly suspicious that your journey was actually to Bristol and not Sheffield, so I can understand the guard actually filling in an MG11 witness statement (in preparation for a potential prosecution) rather than offering you a further opportunity to pay the fare, since you couldn't on the spot. Did you receive a zero-fare ticket on the spot to allow you to complete your journey (to Cheltenham/Bristol)?

What do you mean by "The ticket inspector issued me with a ticket so that I could travel through the gates at the next train station"? Which station is that?
 

Clip

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Hi,



On 15th October 2015, I received a letter from Transport Investigations Limited (TIL) asking me to provide “any mitigation” and “written representations” because TIL’s Prosecutions Team was considering whether a Summons should be issued.


!

Wow, this was back in October and now you are going to court because they dont believe what you say is a hard one. Not insurmountable though.

Since the day the incident occurred, I have made numerous attempts to pay the ticket by calling the rail company, who then passed me over to IRCAS, who then passed me back over to the rail company and so on, until I received the letter from TIL.

Sorry for the long post, but I am in desperate need of advice, which the local CAB group have not been able to provide me with. Many Thanks

I wont comment on how far you travelled and what you said as people on this forum say i am harsh however have you written to Crosscountry or just relied on phone calls?


Where on earth did you start your journey? As that is monumental of an oversleep - and I do the same but not for nigh on 200 miles.

But apart from that, if you cant sort via phone or letter then when you go to court ask Crosscountry's prosecutor about the ability to pay a large amount of money to them so you dont go in the dock. I think thats your only hope if they dont accept a payment before that happens.

I dont mean to be rude but you need £500 upwards in my opinion as October was ages ago
 

DaleCooper

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As I read it the problem is with asking for a ticket from Cheltenham to Bristol, why didn't you ask for a ticket from Sheffield to Bristol? It may have appeared to the inspector that you were trying to avoid paying for the Sheffield to Cheltenham leg of the journey.
 

20052534

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Hi All. I travelled from Leeds intending to go to Sheffield.

I was woken up just after Birmingham. I would say I looked ridiculously tired yes, I was shocked when the guard woke me and asked for my ticket as I had already shown my ticket and it had been punched, then when he told me I had gone passed Sheffield I nearly fell out of my seat!!!

When the ticket inspector/train guard (not sure the correct job title) heard what I had to say he advised that I get off at Cheltenham which would have been the next stop, and wrote down 2 journey times from Cheltenham back to Sheffield where I would have met my friend. In this time, I checked the cost of the ticket he was proposing, which again, would have been extortionate (I’m a student, just came back from the U.S. for the summer and had very little money anyways). I then checked the price of a ticket from Cheltenham to Bristol because I have a friend who lives in Bath who would have been able to either take me back to Sheffield for a cheaper price, or allow me to go back to his and wait for the friend who would have met me in Sheffield to travel down the country and then go further. The train that would have gotten me to Bristol from Cheltenham would have been the same train I was currently on, and when trying to buy the ticket, I was unable to do so due to the terrible internet connection we get on trains.

The guard then walked passed almost immediately, but to a point where he didn’t see me, as he walked passed I flagged him and said “excuse me sir, would you be able to give me a ticket from Cheltenham to Bristol” and explained all of the above. It was a very naïve decision, seeing how he was okay with me for falling asleep, I thought he might have understood my reasons for going to Bristol, rather than back to Sheffield for the price the ticket would have been. It was then when he accepted, then gave me the sum for the ‘intended journey’ he saw it as – and I cannot blame him, putting it all together it does look suspicious, but it is the gods’ honest truth. And now here comes the usual crap that I read, but, I have never told a lie to get out of any kind of transport, I have paid my Journeys in full, to and from Plymouth for the last 3 years!

I was given a ticket which said "Leeds to Bristol Temple Meads" with "£0.00" on it. And "next station" meaning Bristol to which I would depart. I was then told that I would get a letter from the rail company informing me of what will happen next, and that I could pay for this 'ticket' by calling a number on a 'no ticket?' card he gave to me... The reason he gave me this card is because I then tracked him down as I was about to depart the train to see if I could pay for the ticket he was asking for with the sum of £97.60, which would have left me with pennies to last me until my student loan went through. He gave me this 'no ticket?' card because he "didn't want myself or other passengers in the cabin to think I was harassing you".

I had also received an email on the day of the incident after a phone call with a CrossCountry team member, who I explained everything that had gone on, and he was under the impression just as I was that it was some form of fine or ticket which would be made payable. In the email, he even stated that "vouchers may be offered to you as a gesture of good-will".
 

bb21

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Who department did you ring? Any reason why you didn't pay your outstanding fare then over the phone?
 

20052534

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Who department did you ring? Any reason why you didn't pay your outstanding fare then over the phone?

The CrossCountry number provided on the 'no ticket?' card. I believe it was customer relations who then passed me through the the person who I explained the who situation too, and having told him what I've told you all, he too was under the impression it was was form of payable ticket. I was unable to pay anything there an then over the phone as they required a 'reference number' which I was not given.

The ticket inspector told me after I said 'I can't afford that much right now, but will be able to at a later date" he said "it is important you do, or attempt to early as if you don't, it could go to trial at Cheltenham Magistrates court". He then handed over the ticket that had the journey on it along with '£0.00' and stamped something on the back of it but it has smeared away.
 
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najaB

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Hi All. I travelled from Leeds intending to go to Sheffield.
So, using Anytime single ticket prices:
  • You travelled from Leeds with a ticket for Sheffield = £15.30.
  • You actually travelled from Leeds to Cheltenham Spa = £89.60
  • At Cheltenham you attempted to purchase a Cheltenham - Bristol ticket = £18.70
  • For the record a Leeds - Bristol ticket = £153.00
So you proposed to pay £15.30 for a journey that should have cost £89.60 (to Cheltenham), or £34 for a journey that should have cost £153.00 (to Bristol).

I can see why CrossCountry are very interested in this one, and I'm struggling to see why a prosecution wouldn't be successful. I also would like an answer to bb21's question as to why the fare is still outstanding.

Edit: Those prices are based on the current fares, but since this was in October the fares probably changed.
 
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Elwyn

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I assume the friend that you intended to meet in Sheffield must have been surprised when you didn’t arrive. Did that person not then ring you to ask where you were? I assume not, since you say you remained asleep. Some might think that odd, perhaps? Is that person able to provide a statement or attend court as a witness to say they expected you off the train at Sheffield that day?
 

20052534

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So, using Anytime single ticket prices:
  • You travelled from Leeds with a ticket for Sheffield = £15.30.
  • You actually travelled from Leeds to Cheltenham Spa = £89.60
  • At Cheltenham you attempted to purchase a Cheltenham - Bristol ticket = £18.70
  • For the record a Leeds - Bristol ticket = £153.00
So you proposed to pay £15.30 for a journey that should have cost £89.60 (to Cheltenham), or £34 for a journey that should have cost £153.00 (to Bristol).

I can see why CrossCountry are very interested in this one, and I'm struggling to see why a prosecution wouldn't be successful. I also would like an answer to bb21's question as to why the fare is still outstanding.

Edit: Those prices are based on the current fares, but since this was in October the fares probably changed.

My original ticket to Sheffield at the time cost £6.85 with a valid railcard, when he asked me if I had any other tickets I showed him my railcard thinking that's what he asked of me, I then asked where I was and how far I had travelled. Before the train arrived at Cheltenham I tried purchasing a ticket to Bristol (from Cheltenham) being naïve and thinking he'd understand my decision. Unsuccessful as I was, I remained on the carriage and flagged down the ticket inspector to purchase a ticket. Had I not have done this - he would have continued walking passed me. The ticket I tried to purchase while on the train before it arrived at Cheltenham would have been around £5.60, but as najaB pointed out, these will have changed given the time period.

To answer bb21's post - I have tried to pay CrossCountry, calling, emailing, writing - and the same through TIL but they have not given me a way of doing so. I received no letters from CrossCoutry explaining what would happen next, as this is what the inspector told me would happen, and it also says on the 'no ticket?' card that this is what would happen, even if it was not issued as an U-PFN. I also never received any letters from IRCAS as told I would by CrossCountry advisers, and as it says in said 'no ticket?' card.

I assume the friend that you intended to meet in Sheffield must have been surprised when you didn’t arrive. Did that person not then ring you to ask where you were? I assume not, since you say you remained asleep. Some might think that odd, perhaps? Is that person able to provide a statement or attend court as a witness to say they expected you off the train at Sheffield that day?

I would have met him once I had gotten there, maybe an hour later seeing how early it was. He did attempt at calling me, yes, but I did not wake up. He is able to appear as a witness yes.

The hearing is scheduled for 11/04/16 but very early that day, and I am yet to send off my plea form and financial circumstances form as I have been advised by Transport Focus not to just yet as they may budge last minute according to them. Would my witness have to personally appear in court to give the statement, given how early it is, it would be difficult for him to get there.
 

talldave

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Hi All. I travelled from Leeds intending to go to Sheffield.

I was woken up just after Birmingham. I would say I looked ridiculously tired yes, I was shocked when the guard woke me and asked for my ticket as I had already shown my ticket and it had been punched, then when he told me I had gone passed Sheffield I nearly fell out of my seat!!!

When the ticket inspector/train guard (not sure the correct job title) heard what I had to say he advised that I get off at Cheltenham which would have been the next stop, and wrote down 2 journey times from Cheltenham back to Sheffield where I would have met my friend. In this time, I checked the cost of the ticket he was proposing, which again, would have been extortionate (I’m a student, just came back from the U.S. for the summer and had very little money anyways). I then checked the price of a ticket from Cheltenham to Bristol because I have a friend who lives in Bath who would have been able to either take me back to Sheffield for a cheaper price, or allow me to go back to his and wait for the friend who would have met me in Sheffield to travel down the country and then go further. The train that would have gotten me to Bristol from Cheltenham would have been the same train I was currently on, and when trying to buy the ticket, I was unable to do so due to the terrible internet connection we get on trains.

The guard then walked passed almost immediately, but to a point where he didn’t see me, as he walked passed I flagged him and said “excuse me sir, would you be able to give me a ticket from Cheltenham to Bristol” and explained all of the above. It was a very naïve decision, seeing how he was okay with me for falling asleep, I thought he might have understood my reasons for going to Bristol, rather than back to Sheffield for the price the ticket would have been. It was then when he accepted, then gave me the sum for the ‘intended journey’ he saw it as – and I cannot blame him, putting it all together it does look suspicious, but it is the gods’ honest truth. And now here comes the usual crap that I read, but, I have never told a lie to get out of any kind of transport, I have paid my Journeys in full, to and from Plymouth for the last 3 years!

I was given a ticket which said "Leeds to Bristol Temple Meads" with "£0.00" on it. And "next station" meaning Bristol to which I would depart. I was then told that I would get a letter from the rail company informing me of what will happen next, and that I could pay for this 'ticket' by calling a number on a 'no ticket?' card he gave to me... The reason he gave me this card is because I then tracked him down as I was about to depart the train to see if I could pay for the ticket he was asking for with the sum of £97.60, which would have left me with pennies to last me until my student loan went through. He gave me this 'no ticket?' card because he "didn't want myself or other passengers in the cabin to think I was harassing you".

I had also received an email on the day of the incident after a phone call with a CrossCountry team member, who I explained everything that had gone on, and he was under the impression just as I was that it was some form of fine or ticket which would be made payable. In the email, he even stated that "vouchers may be offered to you as a gesture of good-will".
Waffle, waffle, waffle, zzzzzzzzzzz. If you'd asked for a ticket from Sheffield to <insert name of random station your friends might have been prepared to come and meet you from>,
the story would be very different. You seem to casually overlook your 2 hours of free travel.

I have no idea where you ended up, but the fare from Sheffield to there is surely what needed paying?
 

20052534

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Waffle, waffle, waffle, zzzzzzzzzzz. If you'd asked for a ticket from Sheffield to <insert name of random station your friends might have been prepared to come and meet you from>,
the story would be very different. You seem to casually overlook your 2 hours of free travel.

I have no idea where you ended up, but the fare from Sheffield to there is surely what needed paying?

That is what the inspector took it as, that is why he asked for the sum of £97.60 for the journey I had taken. I said I could not afford that sum, but would be able to at a later date. It is then we he told me to call a certain number which I did, and pay for it, which I also tried to do, many times.

The charge that is stated on the summons form states "Contrary to S.5 (3) (b) of the Regulation of Railways Act 1889 as amended by section 84 (2) of the Transport Act 1962 and section 18 of the British Railways Act 1970" - does anyone know if this is subject to a criminal record?

As stated before, I have made attempt to pay the ticket etc. The cost application is the sum of £112.80 & prosecution costs of £125.00. If a plead guilty will I just have to pay this and that's the end of it?
 

najaB

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The charge that is stated on the summons form states "Contrary to S.5 (3) (b) of the Regulation of Railways Act 1889 as amended by section 84 (2) of the Transport Act 1962 and section 18 of the British Railways Act 1970" - does anyone know if this is subject to a criminal record?
Yes, a guilty plea (or verdict) would result in a criminal record. This would be spent after 12 months.

It is then we he told me to call a certain number which I did, and pay for it, which I also tried to do, many times.
What evidence can you provide showing that you attempted to pay the outstanding fare?
 
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20052534

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Yes, a guilty plea (or verdict) would result in a criminal record. This would be spent after 12 months.

I thought that because its not 'Strict liability' that it would not mean a criminal record? or so ive read.



What evidence can you provide showing that you attempted to pay the outstanding fare?

I have tried to gain call history from my phone provider but they cannot hold anything beyond 30 days apparently. However I do have emails to CrossCountry stating that I would like to pay the fare. And I have written this in every letter ive sent to TIL.
 

6Gman

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Hi All. I travelled from Leeds intending to go to Sheffield.

I was woken up just after Birmingham. I would say I looked ridiculously tired yes, I was shocked when the guard woke me and asked for my ticket as I had already shown my ticket and it had been punched, then when he told me I had gone passed Sheffield I nearly fell out of my seat!!!

I think the railway may be a little suspicious of a claim that you slept through the station stops at Sheffield, (Chesterfield?), Derby and Birmingham New Street.

If I read your story (which I find a little difficult to follow) correctly you were offered the chance simply to pay for the journey you actually took (Leeds to Cheltenham) but for some reason did not do so.
 

6Gman

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That is what the inspector took it as, that is why he asked for the sum of £97.60 for the journey I had taken. I said I could not afford that sum, but would be able to at a later date. It is then we he told me to call a certain number which I did, and pay for it, which I also tried to do, many times.

You say you tried to call the number - why did this fail?
 

island

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I think the question here is indeed what evidence can you provide showing you attempted to pay the outstanding fare. The paperwork you will have received from CrossCountry had an address and reference number on it – you could have posted a cheque to it. Did you do that?

I would encourage you to think carefully and really rack your brain on how much effort you put into paying the amount due and how much into hoping this would all "go away".
 

20052534

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I think the railway may be a little suspicious of a claim that you slept through the station stops at Sheffield, (Chesterfield?), Derby and Birmingham New Street.

If I read your story (which I find a little difficult to follow) correctly you were offered the chance simply to pay for the journey you actually took (Leeds to Cheltenham) but for some reason did not do so.

Have you never been on a train and slept if your destination is a good distance away? I have. Just this time I forgot to put an alarm on my phone to wake me up before my stop.

But yes, I was offered the chance to pay the ticket and as I've mentioned before, I could not afford to pay it there and then. I had around £100 to my name to last me until my student loan went through which would have been maybe 3/4 weeks later.

You say you tried to call the number - why did this fail?

See post #8

I think the question here is indeed what evidence can you provide showing you attempted to pay the outstanding fare. The paperwork you will have received from CrossCountry had an address and reference number on it – you could have posted a cheque to it. Did you do that?

I would encourage you to think carefully and really rack your brain on how much effort you put into paying the amount due and how much into hoping this would all "go away".

As mentioned before. I was not sent anything from CrossCountry so I could not pay. I tried ridiculously to pay for it, calling everyday, topping up my phone so much and not getting anywhere just being passed over to IRCAS (CrossCountry couldn't locate anything without a reference number - that's why I could not pay anything - and so have me IRCAS' number).

You say you tried to call the number - why did this fail?

Please read post #8
 

najaB

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As mentioned before. I was not sent anything from CrossCountry so I could not pay. I tried ridiculously to pay for it, calling everyday, topping up my phone so much and not getting anywhere just being passed over to IRCAS (CrossCountry couldn't locate anything without a reference number - that's why I could not pay anything - and so have me IRCAS' number).
This is very odd. For it to have gotten as far as a summons being issued, either CrossCountry, IRCAS or both must have your details on file. Why either or both weren't able to find them when you attempted payment is puzzling to say the least.

Does anyone know what a CrossCountry UFN looks like?
 

20052534

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This is very odd. For it to have gotten as far as a summons being issued, either CrossCountry, IRCAS or both must have your details on file. Why either or both weren't able to find them when you attempted payment is puzzling to say the least.

Does anyone know what a CrossCountry UFN looks like?

I gave the ticket inspector my details correctly and honestly - nothing came in the post from either company, even after calling both numerous times. It was then, a month later that I received the letter from TIL.
 

najaB

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...nothing came in the post from either company, even after calling both numerous times. It was then, a month later that I received the letter from TIL.
If nothing came in the post then you have an avenue for a defence against the charges that have been brought against you. However I'd be very careful before heading down that route as it is clear that they have your correct name and address and there is a difference between post not being received and received but not opened.
 

20052534

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If nothing came in the post then you have an avenue for a defence against the charges that have been brought against you. However I'd be very careful before heading down that route as it is clear that they have your correct name and address and there is a difference between post not being received and received but not opened.

I am right in saying that CrossCountry should have sent me something through the post, yes?

I have been looking into witness statements - it might have been that the inspector submitted an MG11... If so, would this change the fact that I should have received some form of letter through the post?
 

20052534

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I would have expected so, yes.

Is there any way of knowing if it was an MG11, if all I was given was a zero fare ticket? And from what the inspector told me, I was under the impression I would receive a UPFN - would you agree?
 

najaB

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Is there any way of knowing if it was an MG11, if all I was given was a zero fare ticket? And from what the inspector told me, I was under the impression I would receive a UPFN - would you agree?
An UPFN is given to you at the time and details exactly what fare is due and how to pay it. You said that the 'ticket' you were given was zero-fare, and presuming there was nothing else with the fare due written on it, it sounds like it was an MG11 he filled out.
 

20052534

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An UPFN is given to you at the time and details exactly what fare is due and how to pay it. You said that the 'ticket' you were given was zero-fare, and presuming there was nothing else with the fare due written on it, it sounds like it was an MG11 he filled out.

The ticket he gave me was a zero-fare one yes - the inspector states this in his witness statement. Something he kept as evidence was a ticket of the journey with the price of £112.80 hand written on it the actual ticket itself. I did not get a copy of this.
 

najaB

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The ticket he gave me was a zero-fare one yes - the inspector states this in his witness statement. Something he kept as evidence was a ticket of the journey with the price of £112.80 hand written on it the actual ticket itself. I did not get a copy of this.
Whoa, whoa, slow down there. This is the first mention of £122.80 - where did that come from? Ah, wait - that sounds about right for a not via London Leeds to Bristol ticket.
 
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20052534

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Whoa, whoa, slow down there. This is the first mention of £122.80 - where did that come from? Ah, wait - that sounds about right for a not via London Leeds to Bristol ticket.

The application cost mentioned in post #13 would cover the ticket cost from Leeds to Bristol of £112.80 I should think... But the ticket he asked me to pay for at the time was for Sheffield to Bristol given that I had a valid ticket for Leeds to Sheffield
 

najaB

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The application cost mentioned in post #13 would cover the ticket cost from Leeds to Bristol of £112.80 I should think... But the ticket he asked me to pay for at the time was for Sheffield to Bristol given that I had a valid ticket for Leeds to Sheffield
Then it doesn't sound like a UPFN was issued.

We return then to the puzzling fact that you say you received no correspondence from either CrossCountry or TIL despite their having your correct postal address.
 
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