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Do you have the right to pay cash on board a train when boarding without a ticket from a station with facilities to accept cash?

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reb0118

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As the title says. Currently (& hopefully temporarily) certain TOCs are unable to accept cash for on board sales. What rights do passengers have when boarding at staffed stations without tickets to purchase on board using cash?

Should they be refused travel, should they be reported for ticketless travel, or should they be allowed to travel without further let or hindrance?
 
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skyhigh

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As the title says. Currently (& hopefully temporarily) certain TOCs are unable to accept cash for on board sales. What rights do passengers have when boarding at staffed stations without tickets to purchase on board using cash?

Should they be refused travel, should they be reported for ticketless travel, or should they be allowed to travel without further let or hindrance?
Which TOCs aren't accepting cash on board?
 

Haywain

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What rights do passengers have when boarding at staffed stations without tickets to purchase on board using cash?
Whilst this started on the Scotrail thread, isn't the cash part of the question irrelevant here?
 

robbeech

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They’ve boarded without a ticket at a station where facilities (that accept their chosen payment method) existed.
They should be treated accordingly, either by penalty fare where applicable, or prosecution under the byelaws or RoRA.
 

scrapy

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They’ve boarded without a ticket at a station where facilities (that accept their chosen payment method) existed.
They should be treated accordingly, either by penalty fare where applicable, or prosecution under the byelaws or RoRA.
You can't be penalty fared on ScotRail and there is limited provision for prosecution in Scotland.
 

Snow1964

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If the ticket issuing facilities are open then should buy before boarding.

If they are closed, or all the ticket vending machines are not accepting cash then my advice would be take a picture of closed ticket window or machine message showing no cash and try and pay on train.

Cannot then be assumed to be travelling ticketless, so if on board employee won’t sell ticket for cash, they can give you an unable to issue ticket docket to take to exit station (basically proof you tried to pay for journey, but railway hasn’t been able to do so due to lack of or closed facilities)

Not aware of anything published that says it is mandatory to buy tickets using a debit or credit card, which implies cash (or more strictly legal tender) is acceptable
 
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robbeech

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You can't be penalty fared on ScotRail and there is limited provision for prosecution in Scotland.
I’m aware of this. The thread isn’t specifically about ScotRail though I realise it came about from one that was.
The “where applicable” ought to be sufficient here.
 

Failed Unit

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Whilst this started on the Scotrail thread, isn't the cash part of the question irrelevant here?
Nope. I joined a EMR train at an unstaffed station. The guard went through the train but couldn’t sell tickets for people with credit cards. They asked me to buy at the destination. I used the app to buy an e-ticket when I got a strong enough signal. Ironically i could have done the journey for free as no revenue protection was in place at Cleethorpes or any train on my return.

Are the guards no losing income because they can’t sell tickets?
 

skyhigh

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The guard went through the train but couldn’t sell tickets for people with credit cards.
I imagine that was the case because of a fault with their ticket equipment rather than a deliberate policy.

Regarding Scotrail, is it definitely a case of cash won't be accepted onboard, or just that card is preferred (and if you have nothing else they will take cash)?
 

robbeech

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Are the guards no losing income because they can’t sell tickets?
Not every operator gives commission to its guards for ticket sales, but many of them do. An out of order handheld ticket machine for a guard in those cases could indeed reduce their income, but not as much as the introduction of ticket machines at many more stations, and introduction of penalty fare systems on more of the network. i'm fairly sure (and some guards will agree) that one main reason for inconsistency with being able to buy on board is that the guard would sooner take the commission than prosecute.
 

scotrail158713

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Regarding Scotrail, is it definitely a case of cash won't be accepted onboard, or just that card is preferred (and if you have nothing else they will take cash)?
Definitely no cash. I had cash last week and had to queue at Waverley for a ticket after trying to buy onboard.
 

robbeech

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I imagine that was the case because of a fault with their ticket equipment rather than a deliberate policy.

Regarding Scotrail, is it definitely a case of cash won't be accepted onboard, or just that card is preferred (and if you have nothing else they will take cash)?
They're making a pretty big deal about not accepting cash at all so i assume it's that. Of course we might see a few cases where a guard will accept cash for a single journey and not issue a ticket. I've had that before, not with Scotrail though.
 

Haywain

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Nope. I joined a EMR train at an unstaffed station.
This experience is irrelevant given that the thread title specifically states "...when boarding without a ticket from a stations with facilities...". This would clearly exclude unstaffed stations without TVMs.

 

island

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As the title says. Currently (& hopefully temporarily) certain TOCs are unable to accept cash for on board sales. What rights do passengers have when boarding at staffed stations without tickets to purchase on board using cash?

Should they be refused travel, should they be reported for ticketless travel, or should they be allowed to travel without further let or hindrance?
The passenger should be refused travel or dealt with in line with the relevant TOC’s ticketless travel policy.
 

Failed Unit

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The passenger should be refused travel or dealt with in line with the relevant TOC’s ticketless travel policy
As we are talking about Scotrail here, this would be a little harsh.

The ticket offices in Scotland have other duties to do, such as clearing snow (granted not likely now) - but I have turned up a many stations with a notice on the ticket office window stating they are doing other duties. I assume the train crew are warned. I am not aware of any TVM in that accepts cash (I suspect someone may say Edinburgh, Glasgow etc - but the medium - smaller stations had the cash option removed)

Knowing the railway works on a guilty until proven innocent policy - having to take picture of the ticket office before boarding seems a little excessive. Although I am sure many people knowing that Scotrail's current policy are probably taking this to their advantage knowing they traincrew don't take cash, Polmont - Linlithgow as an example now is a free ride.
 

island

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As we are talking about Scotrail here, this would be a little harsh.

The ticket offices in Scotland have other duties to do, such as clearing snow (granted not likely now) - but I have turned up a many stations with a notice on the ticket office window stating they are doing other duties. I assume the train crew are warned. I am not aware of any TVM in that accepts cash (I suspect someone may say Edinburgh, Glasgow etc - but the medium - smaller stations had the cash option removed)

Knowing the railway works on a guilty until proven innocent policy - having to take picture of the ticket office before boarding seems a little excessive. Although I am sure many people knowing that Scotrail's current policy are probably taking this to their advantage knowing they traincrew don't take cash, Polmont - Linlithgow as an example now is a free ride.
This thread is predicated on there having been an open ticket office and opportunity to pay before joining the train.
 

Failed Unit

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This thread is predicated on there having been an open ticket office and opportunity to pay before joining the train.
But as we know station x is open between 0630 - 1200. You try to buy the ticket at 0959 but they are clearing snow from the platform. Your attempts to buy onboard will be met with the you are lying to me the ticket office is open from 0630 - 1200 here is your PF. So I think my example is relevant to this discussion.
 

island

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But as we know station x is open between 0630 - 1200. You try to buy the ticket at 0959 but they are clearing snow from the platform. Your attempts to buy onboard will be met with the you are lying to me the ticket office is open from 0630 - 1200 here is your PF.
There are no PFs in Scotland.
 

Failed Unit

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There are no PFs in Scotland.
I am not going to discuss this any further - but pre-covid you certainly got guards on Scotrail refusing to accept rail-cards because the person at the ticket office was clearing snow off the platform. So I am sure staff still penalize passengers when they can't purchase the ticket the desire because the staff at a booking office are doing other duties during the opening time. To me a PF is not getting sold the ticket you were entitled had someone being present at the ticket office.... Which happens a lot when. You were saying that "The passenger should be refused travel or dealt with in line with the relevant TOC’s ticketless travel policy." - I am highlighting the passenger needs to be protected from the "guilty until proven innocent culture that existing by some on the railway"
 

Tazi Hupefi

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Reading the passenger contract, the National Rail Conditions of Travel, I can see no right to use cash (or indeed any specific means of payment).

I think it is a fairly simple case of a private business being able to mandate what it will or will not regard as valid forms of payment. You either agree to it, and travel, or don't, and travel another way.

Unlike some other countries, there is no explicit right to use cash, except in very limited circumstances involving repayment of a debt, and even then, is regulated in terms of denomination(s) of coinage.

Whether there is a contractual obligation on ScotRail to accept cash, e.g. as a franchise holder or as part of an industry scheme, I do not know - but the customer (the end passenger) would have no recourse under this arrangement, even if ScotRail breached a contract or undertaking with a third party, as it would not be unlawful and the passenger would not be a party to the contractual arrangements, (as far as I know the only passenger binding contract is the Conditions of Travel). The industry or franchise holder would have the right to sue ScotRail for the breach, not the passenger - assuming any franchise obligation exists in the first place. Add in the fact that it's the Scottish legal system, I'd say it would be an uphill battle for any passenger!

From a Consumer Rights perspective, as long as this change is publicised, and ScotRail aren't making any misleading claims, e.g. that you can pay by cash, and then dumping you off the train when you try to use it - it's all perfectly above board. It's common for many businesses to be "card only" these days.

Whether it is right, as a society, to permit this, is debatable, and clearly some countries have chosen to protect cash.
 

tspaul26

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Reading the passenger contract, the National Rail Conditions of Travel, I can see no right to use cash (or indeed any specific means of payment).

I think it is a fairly simple case of a private business being able to mandate what it will or will not regard as valid forms of payment. You either agree to it, and travel, or don't, and travel another way.

Unlike some other countries, there is no explicit right to use cash, except in very limited circumstances involving repayment of a debt, and even then, is regulated in terms of denomination(s) of coinage.

Whether there is a contractual obligation on ScotRail to accept cash, e.g. as a franchise holder or as part of an industry scheme, I do not know - but the customer (the end passenger) would have no recourse under this arrangement, even if ScotRail breached a contract or undertaking with a third party, as it would not be unlawful and the passenger would not be a party to the contractual arrangements, (as far as I know the only passenger binding contract is the Conditions of Travel). The industry or franchise holder would have the right to sue ScotRail for the breach, not the passenger - assuming any franchise obligation exists in the first place. Add in the fact that it's the Scottish legal system, I'd say it would be an uphill battle for any passenger!

From a Consumer Rights perspective, as long as this change is publicised, and ScotRail aren't making any misleading claims, e.g. that you can pay by cash, and then dumping you off the train when you try to use it - it's all perfectly above board. It's common for many businesses to be "card only" these days.

Whether it is right, as a society, to permit this, is debatable, and clearly some countries have chosen to protect cash.
National Rail Enquiries is fairly definitive on the point and intimates that cash is an acceptable method of payment subject to the limitations stipulated: Payment Methods

In any event, Scots contract law is different such that an individual passenger could in many cases enforce the terms of any industry arrangements directly despite not being party thereto.
 

gnolife

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From a Consumer Rights perspective, as long as this change is publicised, and ScotRail aren't making any misleading claims, e.g. that you can pay by cash, and then dumping you off the train when you try to use it - it's all perfectly above board. It's common for many businesses to be "card only" these days.
There's absolutely no publication of it on stations, or anywhere I can find on their website
 

Tazi Hupefi

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There's absolutely no publication of it on stations, or anywhere I can find on their website
In that case, to make a consumer rights claim, you then need to prove that there was a realistic expectation to use cash in the first place (created by ScotRail), and that you have been significantly disadvantaged by not being able to use cash. A legal argument will likely not succeed / certainly not go down very well if you wanting to use cash was just to prove a point or you had an acceptable means of payment and deliberately chose not to utilise it.

There is no right to use cash, similarly there is no right to be conveyed by train. It’s still (for now) a private business, so the argument is a very narrow one based on lack of publicity resulting in an adverse consequence, rather than whether they can refuse cash or not.

National Rail Enquiries is fairly definitive on the point and intimates that cash is an acceptable method of payment subject to the limitations stipulated: Payment Methods

In any event, Scots contract law is different such that an individual passenger could in many cases enforce the terms of any industry arrangements directly despite not being party thereto.
The site is persuasive and could create such an expectation, however clearly this does not apply if facilities existed at a station, and attempting to buy on board.

However, there is no contractual term imposed by that site. Nor is there even the ability to enter into a contract with that site. So again, it comes down to Consumer Rights, which still doesn’t force ScotRail to accept cash, it just gives you a chance of compensation if you suffer an adverse consequence as a result of them refusing to accept cash contrary to the publications. That sort of claim is almost certainly doomed to be a nominal £1 judgement, unless you experience real, substantive losses, for example, after being booted off the train, you had to get, and pay for, a bus instead.

You could potentially explore consequential loss in rare circumstances, although a court would likely conclude that it is no longer unreasonable to expect people to have an electronic or alternative means of payment, especially if there is (for example) an important meeting with a new customer relying on you being able to travel. However what is reasonable for one person, may not be for another, so the entirety of the unique circumstances need to considered.

It’s certainly not great customer service with that website still showing cash as being accepted, not even “may be accepted”.
 
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tspaul26

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However, there is no contractual term imposed by that site. Nor is there even the ability to enter into a contract with that site. So again, it comes down to Consumer Rights, which still doesn’t force ScotRail to accept cash, it just gives you a chance of compensation if you suffer an adverse consequence as a result of them refusing to accept cash contrary to the publications. That sort of claim is almost certainly doomed to be a nominal £1 judgement, unless you experience real, substantive losses, for example, after being booted off the train, you had to get, and pay for, a bus instead.
It is not a question of contractual terms, but of a binding unilateral obligation.

Without prejudice to that:
  1. Damages are not the default remedy in Scots law. It is conceivable that ScotRail could be forced to accept cash payment.
  2. NRCOT specifically refer passengers to the NRES website such that it is arguable that the webpage in question either (a) is incorporated into the contract for travel or (b) codifies an established course of dealing so as to permit implication of such terms.
  3. As previously mentioned, it is quite likely that an individual passenger would be able to enforce the terms of any industry arrangements to require the acceptance of cash payment directly despite not being party to those contracts.

With the greatest respect, you do rather seem to be approaching the matter with a very ‘English’ mindset.
 

Tazi Hupefi

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It is not a question of contractual terms, but of a binding unilateral obligation.

Without prejudice to that:
  1. Damages are not the default remedy in Scots law. It is conceivable that ScotRail could be forced to accept cash payment.
  2. NRCOT specifically refer passengers to the NRES website such that it is arguable that the webpage in question either (a) is incorporated into the contract for travel or (b) codifies an established course of dealing so as to permit implication of such terms.
  3. As previously mentioned, it is quite likely that an individual passenger would be able to enforce the terms of any industry arrangements to require the acceptance of cash payment directly despite not being party to those contracts.

With the greatest respect, you do rather seem to be approaching the matter with a very ‘English’ mindset.
You have absolutely no chance of a Scottish court forcing a private company to accept cash! In any event; who’s going to bring proceedings? You only have the rights you’re prepared to enforce! Until then, your rights are only theoretical.

*Or any court for that matter!
 

tspaul26

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You have absolutely no chance of a Scottish court forcing a private company to accept cash! In any event; who’s going to bring proceedings? You only have the rights you’re prepared to enforce! Until then, your rights are only theoretical.

*Or any court for that matter!
The same applies for any incorporeal right or obligation.

Nevertheless, in circumstances where an official railway publication states that cash payment is accepted, the NRCOT cross-refer to that publication and the wider industry contractual arrangements require ScotRail to accept cash payment, it is my view that ScotRail is under a legal obligation to accept cash payment and that the Scots courts would enforce that obligation if the matter were litigated.

We are, though, in the realm of angels and pinheads here.
 
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