Have I broken the law

Discussion in 'Disputes & Prosecutions' started by urlando, 16 Aug 2015.

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  1. urlando

    urlando Member

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    I recently boarded a train at Clitheroe station with a ticket valid up until Bolton as I'm a student at Bolton university and had a lecture there.

    Whilst making the journey, I decided to continue past Bolton to Salford Crescent to meet up with friends.

    As soon as I arrived at Salford Crescent there was a ticket inspector and I approached him and asked to pay for a ticket extension. She refused to do this and took down my details and issued a fine.

    I've been reading the extension of tickets rules here and cannot work out whether or not I've broken the rules as I the ticket inspector on board the train was locked away in the unused drivers cabin for the journey between Bolton and Salford Crescent, I therefore had no opportunity to purchase a ticket extension. (Salford Crescent is the next stop after Bolton)

    The case is further complicated by the fact that I did not have the return portion of my ticket as I left it in the machine at Clitheroe as I was in a rush to get on the train. The ticket does however have my card details on it, which I can prove belong to me. It is however possible that the Revenue Protection Officer believed that I'd luckily managed to find a ticket on the train and come up with the "changed my mind" situation as a cover story.

    My question is... Have I broken a law and should I just pay the fine?
     
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  3. Agent_c

    Agent_c Member

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    You should have put the ticketing situation right before arrival at Bolton, when your ticket became no longer valid.
     
  4. bb21

    bb21 Forum Staff Staff Member Global Moderator

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    When did you leave Clitheroe? What day of the week was it?

    Given that there were ticketing facilities at Bolton, AIUI you should have disembarked there, paid the additional fare for the additional validity that you required, before proceeding past the station. Without paying the additional fare, your contract with the train company finished at Bolton, and were therefore travelling without a valid ticket between Bolton and Salford Crescent.

    Had you approached the guard onboard and sought a resolution, you would probably have been asked to pay only an excess fare which is the difference between the fare to Bolton and the fare to Salford Crescent, but you failed to do so.

    As is, my interpretation of the situation is that you intentionally travelled beyond the destination of the fare you paid for and therefore were in the wrong, contrary to relevant railway legislation.
     
  5. 455driver

    455driver Veteran Member

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    You effectively short fared so yes you have broken the (ticketing) laws.
     
  6. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    I concur.

    The only question is what do the OP's actions indicate with respect to intent. Did they attempt to purchase the required excess on board the train? Was there an opportunity to alight at Bolton and continue their journey on the next train? Would they have purchased a ticket at Salford Crescent if the revenue officers hadn't been there? These are the questions that any prosecutions department will be seeking answers for when deciding if to take the matter further.
     
  7. Hadders

    Hadders Fares Advisor

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    What exactly were you issued with by the inspector?

    I suspect you were asked to give your details and they will write to you asking for your version of events before deciding how to proceed. They could take no further action, issue one of their £80 fixed penalty notices, or prosecute you via the courts.
     
  8. Quakkerillo

    Quakkerillo Member

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    If you wish to avoid getting off, buy the extension, and reboard a later train, then you should just try to actively find the guard. Even if he's 'locked in the cab', nothing stops you giving a knock at the door, or at a stop, to ask him, as he should be visible then.
    It's not that much of a hassle, but it does prevent quite some issues, as proven here.
     
  9. Greenback

    Greenback Emeritus Moderator

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    Yes, you are in t he wrong and you should pay the penalty.
     
  10. Mag_seven

    Mag_seven Established Member

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    At what point did you decide to continue to Salford Crescent? Was it as you were approaching Bolton or before? Was the guard inspecting tickets right up to arrival at Bolton? It seems very convenient that he remained "locked in the cab" on the very section that you needed to purchase a ticket for. Does Salford Crescent have barriers? If not I suspect it could be a magnate for people who "short fare", hence the checks on the day in question.
     
    Last edited: 16 Aug 2015
  11. urlando

    urlando Member

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    The reason that I didn't alight at Bolton to buy another ticket is because I would have had to wait an hour for another train. I understand that the rules are the rules and the amount of time I'd have to wait to continue my journey - probably makes 0 difference at all.

    The claim made against me is:

    On [DATE] at Salford Crescent station having paid the fare for a certain distance, knowingly and willfully proceeded by tain beyond that distance without previously paying the additional fare of £4.10 for the additional distance and therefore with the intention to avoid payment thereof.

    Contrary to S.5(3)(b) of the regulation of Railways Act 1889 as Ammended by section 84 (2) of the Transport Act 1962 and Section 18 of the British Railways Act 1977.



    That claim to me does seem accurate except for the part "with the intention to avoid payment thereof" - I did actually seek to make this payment, not avoid it. It worries me that they would make such a claim as they could never truly know my intentions unless I explicitly state them.
     
  12. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    Intent is inferred from action. You could have bought a ticket to Salford Crescent - you didn't. You could have bought an excess from the guard - you didn't. You could have alighted at Bolton and bought the ticket you required - you didn't.

    Having passed up three opportunities to pay the correct fare, why should the railway company (and more importantly the court) believe that you had any intention to use the fourth?
     
  13. Mag_seven

    Mag_seven Established Member

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    There are no hour long gaps during the day between services from Bolton to Salford Crescent (unless of course you misread the timetable). I am assuming it was the middle of the day as you did state you were originally on the way to a lecture.
     
  14. PermitToTravel

    PermitToTravel Established Member

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    Salford Crescent is not barriered although does frequently have tickets manually checked in my experience.

    While trains from Clitheroe to Salford are one-per-hour, trains from Bolton to Salford are considerably more frequent.
     
  15. 30907

    30907 Established Member

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    Though with the tunnel works there is one long gap late afternoon so the OP could have hit that. I'd be very surprised though that he had no opportunity to pay before Bolton given that most stations are unstaffed.
     
  16. Starmill

    Starmill Events Co-ordinator

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    I would have thought that the ticket issuing facilities at Bolton and on the train aren't the relevant ones - the ones at Clitheroe are.

    It's a point of note that the machine at Clitheroe doesn't sell Bolton to Salford Crescent tickets.

    Condition 3 is also likey to be relevant here. And we're all in agreement that more than one ticket can be used for a journey.

    Was the ticket office at Clitheroe open?
     
    Last edited: 16 Aug 2015
  17. DasLunatic

    DasLunatic Member

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    True, but we won't know until Urlando tells us what train he travelled on. For all we know, the next train could have been five minutes later or five hours later.
     
  18. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    According to the OP, they chose to go to Salford Crescent after departing Clitheroe.
     
  19. bb21

    bb21 Forum Staff Staff Member Global Moderator

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    I don't see how Condition 3 comes into play here.
     
  20. DaveNewcastle

    DaveNewcastle Established Member Fares Advisor

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    . . . and nor do I.
     
  21. clagmonster

    clagmonster Established Member

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    The one way Condition 3 could come into play is if both of the following apply:
    1) the booking office at Clitheroe was closed
    2) the ticket held for the Clitheroe - Bolton segment of the journey was a season, hence the additional fare could only be paid to the booking clerk or the guard

    Could Urlando please state if these do apply.


    Also, may I ask what prompted you to decide to continue to Salford Crescent. If it was a text message or email received, I would advise you to keep it saved. It will not affect your guilt or otherwise of any offence, but proof that the decision was made after departure from Clitheroe could help you in mitigation. Someone else will be able to confirm if, and how much, it will help mitigate and potentially reduce a sentence.
     
    Last edited: 17 Aug 2015
  22. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    Already stated by the OP:
    ...another straw goes un-clutched.
     
  23. Starmill

    Starmill Events Co-ordinator

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    As you helpfully pointed out upthread, one's actions give the only clue as to one's intentions where they're not explicitly stated.

    Unless somebody thinks a Clitheroe - Bolton ticket and a Bolton - Salford Crescent ticket aren't valid from Clitheroe to Salford Crescent on a train that stopped at Bolton?

    My view on this case depends entirely on the openness or otherwise of the ticket office at Clitheroe when the OP was there.
     
  24. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    Your Condition 3 argument is based on the OP knowing on arrival at Clitheroe that they intended to travel to Salford Crescent, but that they only had a ticket valid as far as Bolton (the OP has already stated this wasn't the case, but let's go with it for arguments sake) and additionally that there was no opportunity to purchase the necessary Bolton-Salford Crescent ticket at Clitheroe.

    Why didn't the OP purchase a ticket on the train before arriving at Bolton? That's an almost hour-long journey passing several unstaffed stations. It beggars belief that the guard would have been in the rear cab all that time.

    I'm sorry, but it appears to me that another straw is going to go ungrasped.
     
  25. Starmill

    Starmill Events Co-ordinator

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    I'm not the OP and I'm not going to answer for them. But I will add that if you find it hard to believe that a Northern guard didn't check tickets on an hour long journey you probably don't travel with Northern very often!
     
  26. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    I probably make about 20 to 30 journeys with Northern a year and I can't remember a time that there wasn't a ticket check. But besides that, there were several unstaffed stations along that route so if the guard was in the rear cab all that time there are bigger issues than not checking tickets.
     
  27. bb21

    bb21 Forum Staff Staff Member Global Moderator

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    I don't think whether the guard appeared between Clitheroe and Bolton is relevant. The original contract the OP had with the train company expired at Bolton, and rebooking at Bolton is necessary to avoid travelling without a valid ticket.

    Condition 3 is only relevant if the origin station was unable to issue an appropriate ticket for the journey, thereby necessitating the payment of a part fare, which is not the case here. This is therefore a red-herring imo.
     
  28. 34D

    34D Established Member

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    The guy could have bought his ticket mid morning, gone off to do something in clitheroe town centre, then arrived to catch a train approx 3pm. If his plans had changed, the ticket office had already closed, and the tvm unable to issue the excess or different origin ticket needed, then clause 3 (and indeed 19) could be relevant.
     
  29. bb21

    bb21 Forum Staff Staff Member Global Moderator

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    There is no ticket machine at Clitheroe. Had the ticket office been open, the full range of fares would have been on offer. I fail to see how Condition 3 would be in play at all here.

    Condition 19 would have been applicable if a combination of tickets were held. The OP did not have all the tickets required with him for his journey between Clitheroe and Salford Crescent.

    The OP's contract finished at Bolton. If he wished to vary his contract by paying an excess fare then this needed to be done before reaching Bolton. Over-distance excess fares are not covered by the NRCoC that I can see, so does not form part of the contract between the passenger and the train company and is not an entitlement.
     
  30. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    Could everyone keep their straw clutching consistent with the facts as stated by the OP.

    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    Hmm... was that the sound of a plot thickening?
     
    Last edited: 17 Aug 2015
  31. island

    island Established Member

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    If the OP did not have the return portion of his ticket then he did not have a valid ticket at all.
     
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