Hypothetical: rail companies not accepting cash

Table 52

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I notice this morning that South West Trains have said they’re closing ticket offices at smaller stations, but those that remain open will be contactless payment only. Additionally ticket machines will no longer accept cash.

I’ve seen on this forum before that only having cash and being unable to use it might be a valid reason for boarding without a ticket. What would happen with the current setup if a person only has cash? Would they be denied travel?
 
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Kilopylae

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In GWRland it's not uncommon at smaller stations to find that T.V.M.s only accept card. In these cases boarding the train and paying in cash is entirely permitted. I've never seen a guard on the train reject cash - I imagine if the worst comes to the worst they could simply sell the ticket "for free" and then take the cash themselves, sorting it out once they get back to the office.
 

Typhoon

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I think “contactless” in this instance extends to chip & pin, as there’s still no contact with the staff member.
You are right, from what they have written.
Closed the majority of our ticket offices. Waterloo, Clapham Junction, Richmond, Wimbledon, Surbiton, Woking, Guildford, Portsmouth, Basingstoke, Salisbury, Southampton Central and Bournemouth ticket office will remain open but will only accept card payment
https://www.southwesternrailway.com/travelling-with-us/coronavirus-travel-information
 

221129

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In GWRland it's not uncommon at smaller stations to find that T.V.M.s only accept card. In these cases boarding the train and paying in cash is entirely permitted. I've never seen a guard on the train reject cash - I imagine if the worst comes to the worst they could simply sell the ticket "for free" and then take the cash themselves, sorting it out once they get back to the office.
But nowhere is taking cash at the moment.
 

robbeech

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If a railway wide no cash rule is implemented then it needs to do so officially through the proper channels or it opens itself up to un-necessary legal issues.
 

AGF

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I think you’d be completely justified to travel so long as you were willing to pay in cash when challenged, there cannot be any legal argument that you deliberately sought to travel for free on the basis that the option to buy the ticket through your desired method of cash wasn’t made available to you.
 

Bletchleyite

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I think you’d be completely justified to travel so long as you were willing to pay in cash when challenged, there cannot be any legal argument that you deliberately sought to travel for free on the basis that the option to buy the ticket through your desired method of cash wasn’t made available to you.
I would however say that if you can pay by card/phone you should in this instance. It's not an excuse for fare-dodging.
 

fishquinn

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I would however say that if you can pay by card/phone you should in this instance. It's not an excuse for fare-dodging.
I respectfully disagree. This doesn't at all change the fact that you are totally entitled to pay cash whether you have a card or not. The retailer can choose to accept cash if they'd like to but if they decide against it then you're more than entitled to join the train and pay with cash at the first available opportunity if one presents itself. No different to boarding at a station with a card only TVM except that it's likely you'll get the journey 'for free'.
 

Bletchleyite

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I respectfully disagree. This doesn't at all change the fact that you are totally entitled to pay cash whether you have a card or not.
At the moment it's not about what you are entitled to do, but what you can do to reduce risk of spreading Coronavirus.

But that aside, TBH at the moment I'd make it free but only available to people who can prove they are key workers.
 

robbeech

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We could just all try and do our bit rather than try to screw the railway over on technicalities when lives are at stake?
I'd welcome a TEMPORARY ruling to suggest that if you CAN pay by card then you MUST do that. (A change from if you WISH TO pay by card......) I absolutely wouldn't welcome a ruling that says that cash is not accepted and if you cannot pay by card then you cannot travel. Some of these journeys will be essential and it is often the MOST VULNERABLE people in the current situation that are least likely to be able to pay on a card.
 

fishquinn

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At the moment it's not about what you are entitled to do, but what you can do to reduce risk of spreading Coronavirus.

But that aside, TBH at the moment I'd make it free but only available to people who can prove they are key workers.
I agree, and I'd argue that 'not paying' with cash is less likely to spread it than paying with card (wouldn't ever endorse not paying of course, and I currently have no reason to travel so won't be).

I'd say there'd need to be a different definition of key worker for free rail travel like that. If you opened it to key workers with the current definitions then someone who lives in a village and works at the village food shop 3 days a week would be able to go to the seaside for free of a weekend with no reason to do so, just because they're a key worker.
 

Bletchleyite

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I'd say there'd need to be a different definition of key worker for free rail travel like that. If you opened it to key workers with the current definitions then someone who lives in a village and works at the village food shop 3 days a week would be able to go to the seaside for free of a weekend with no reason to do so, just because they're a key worker.
Sorry, I was sort of implying (but not making clear) that such journeys would be to/from work only.
 

fishquinn

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Sorry, I was sort of implying (but not making clear) that such journeys would be to/from work only.
In that case I agree that it would be a reasonable way forward, as long as other essential non work travel could also be accommodated (can't think of examples right now but that's probably because I'm tired after a morning of work myself :lol:)
 

Greenboy

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In normal circumstances it seems to be accepted that if there are no facilities to buy a ticket with cash that's the TOCs 'bad' and as long as you have the cash to pay it's not a problem. In the current situation I'm pretty sure it won't be a problem. Is anybody even checking tickets in view of the social distancing requirement?
 

AGF

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In normal circumstances it seems to be accepted that if there are no facilities to buy a ticket with cash that's the TOCs 'bad' and as long as you have the cash to pay it's not a problem. In the current situation I'm pretty sure it won't be a problem. Is anybody even checking tickets in view of the social distancing requirement?
Not on the trains I’ve been on since the outbreak.
 

island

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I think anyone who can pay by card should do so. Nothing to do with laws, terms, conditions, or anything other than common sense and decency.
 

ComUtoR

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What TOCs are still taking cash at the moment please?
I've just gone through my work emails and nothing states that we are not accepting cash. There has been advice and posters for people to pay contactless where possible. TVMs are still taking cash and people are still using them. Ticket offices, gatelines and excess fare windows are all still currently manned.
 

Greenboy

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I think anyone who can pay by card should do so. Nothing to do with laws, terms, conditions, or anything other than common sense and decency.
Well surely that's up to them and if they want to pay cash they should be able to do so? Obviously it's exceptional circumstances at the moment but supermarkets are still taking cash although I don't suppose anybody is too fussed about revenue at the moment.
 

Haywain

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I've just gone through my work emails and nothing states that we are not accepting cash. There has been advice and posters for people to pay contactless where possible. TVMs are still taking cash and people are still using them. Ticket offices, gatelines and excess fare windows are all still currently manned.
But a number of TOCs have, for the time being, decided against taking cash. Some may but it is not all.
 

FenMan

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I think anyone who can pay by card should do so. Nothing to do with laws, terms, conditions, or anything other than common sense and decency.
What if the traveller doesn't want prying eyes to see a transaction appearing on a bank or credit card statement? There are many reasons why this could be relevant.
 

yorkie

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Cash is an accepted payment method; if no-one is prepared to take the cash then you can still travel.

They could issue an unpaid fares notice (UFN) for the debt to be settled later, in theory.
 

Bletchleyite

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What if the traveller doesn't want prying eyes to see a transaction appearing on a bank or credit card statement? There are many reasons why this could be relevant.
This is, as often happens on this forum, getting very, very niche.

To me, because of the issues with transmission, it is the same application as the advice regarding going out.

Unless you have a VERY good reason pay by card. If you at all can (that is, have in your possession a computer with printer or mobile device capable of producing such a ticket), buy an e-ticket, then you require no physical contact with anything other than the train itself. If you're concerned about the battery carry a charger.

By doing this you might actually save someone's life. It sounds tenuous, but one transmission could result in many deaths. The first person to bring it into the UK (most probably unwittingly) will be responsible (in a practical sense) for many, many thousands.

"I like paying by cash because I like the traditional way it works" is not even a SLIGHTLY good reason, and is the one that (paraphrased) keeps coming up. In normal circumstances I find it tenuous. In these circumstances I find it unacceptable and selfish.
 

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