LNER travel irregularity- no ticket onboard

Discussion in 'Disputes & Prosecutions' started by Skodakid, 24 Nov 2018.

  1. Skodakid

    Skodakid Member

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    I understand there are numerous similar threads however I thought it could be useful to post what the outcome is of my fiasco.

    I walked to my local station - Whittlesea, in order to travel to Peterborough station and then on to London Kings Cross.
    During the 11 minute train journey from Whittlesey to Peterborough no conductor walked through the train so I arrived without a ticket.

    When I arrived at Peterborough the next train to Kings Cross was imminent so I boarded it-
    I did this knowing that I would be charged on the train top rate full single fare to Kings Cross.
    Over the years several times I’ve boarded the train to Kings Cross without purchasing a ticket safe in the knowledge I’d get charged full single rate- but this has been preferable to missing a connection and being late to meetings in London.

    Once on the train a revenue protection officer asked to see my ticket. I replied immediately that I wanted a single to Kings Cross and understood it would be full single rate. She asked how I’d boarded the train with barriers at Peterborough and I explained my connecting train was from Whittlesea and had no conductor. I told her that I had the funds to pay and expected to pay top single rate as I had done on occasions in the past.
    But she replied that because I had no ticket I would be issued with a ticket irregularity.
    I repeated that I’d bought tickets onboard the identical route previously and had the funds to pay- to no avail.

    On the LNER website the page below states that if you travel without a ticket you will be charged full single fare.

    [​IMG]


    I just find it odd that having previously paid full single fare on the train and their own website states it is procedure, that LNER are now giving out travel irregularity tickets to passengers expecting to exactly pay that.

    I understand this would all be irrelevant if I’d bought a ticket beforehand- but the last time I’d exited the platforms to the ticket office and bought tickets to Kings Cross I was given a complimentary coffee and cake coupon and told to wait in the Great Northern Hotel for 50 minutes because of delays and it completely ruined my itinerary for the day.

    Having read other threads here I have no idea what to expect from LNER however I don’t see how they can expect a clear black or white win if it went to court considering their own website simply states you will be charged full single if you travel without a ticket- as I’ve done in the past.

    It’s really appalling- the lack of clarity.

    Guess I’ll have to wait and see how things pan out......
    I must say this forum is very good and more informative than the rail company websites!
     
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  3. ForTheLoveOf

    ForTheLoveOf Established Member

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    What LNER's website says hardly matters: the law operates independently of whether or not they say that.

    Far more significant is the fact that, according to National Rail Enquiries, Whittlesea has no facilities whatsoever to buy a ticket, not even a ticket machine. Was this still the case when you joined (i.e. has nothing changed in the mean time since that page was last updated)? If so, the process followed by LNER is very wrong indeed.
     
  4. robbeech

    robbeech Established Member

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    Unless the train you boarded to London was TIMED to depart in less than the minimum connection time at Peterborough of course and the following service would have allowed you enough time to visit the ticket office in Peterborough in which case they would put forward the argument that you did not make an attempt to purchase a ticket at your first opportunity.

    It would help if you gave us the times (and dates) of the services you caught.
     
  5. Mag_seven

    Mag_seven Established Member

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    Given that there are no ticket issuing facilities where you boarded you should be entitled to the full range of discounted fares e.g. Railcard Discounts etc.

    EDIT: It turns out that contrary to NRE there is one machine at Whittlesea.

    Are you sure that is correct - I'm sure it has been stated on previous threads that you should not be expected to delay your journey at a changing point to purchase a ticket irrespective of any connection allowances?
     
    Last edited: 24 Nov 2018
  6. marcouk2

    marcouk2 Member

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    If there is sufficient time before your connection then it can't be disregarded as a opportunity to purchase but if it would cause a missed valid connection then you can purchase later.
     
  7. robbeech

    robbeech Established Member

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    Correct. If you have chance to purchase a ticket at an intermediate station you should. As you rightly say you should NOT delay your journey in order to do so. However this should only stand with valid connections. If a connection is TIMED to be under the minimum connection time then it shouldn’t count.

    For example (making up a timetable) you arrived in Peterborough and had a train leaving 3 minutes after but the next one was 33 minutes later then it would be considered enough time to purchase a ticket as the official connectionleaves enough time.
     
  8. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Agreed.
    I think this is just the opinion of some people but isn't documented anywhere. I don't agree with this limitation.
     
  9. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    I am of a similar view, but I don't think it's been clarified if MCTs are taken into consideration when deciding whether or not an opportunity to purchase existed.
     
  10. Skodakid

    Skodakid Member

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    Thankyou for the swift replies.
    Whittlesea is a very small and old fashioned station with a manned level crossing over the nearby road.
    There is no ‘station’ as such -just one platform on either side/direction.
    Walking from my house to the station in order to catch the train to Peterborough there is only one ticket machine-
    the other side of the tracks!
    In order to buy a ticket I would have had to trespass over the tracks because if the manned gates are
    shut- which they invariably are- there is no access across the tracks.
    Further to this- if you arrive early and cross the tracks to the ticket machine when the gates are open you can then be stranded
    the wrong side of the tracks to catch your train if the manned gates are suddenly shut. It’s a rubbish set up.
     
  11. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Also does the ticket machine accept all payment methods?
     
  12. robbeech

    robbeech Established Member

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    It does make the argument a little more difficult though. Does the ticket machine accept cash and cards or just cards? Did you want to pay by cash or card?
    I appreciate the difficulty in obtaining a ticket but it can be difficult to get this point across. I’d also suggest that with a manned crossing you’re more likely to be able to cross back over via it if the member of staff sees you. This is less likely at an automated one particularly a cctv one.
     
  13. robbeech

    robbeech Established Member

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    It’s worth noting that at least Monday to Friday many of the connections at Peterborough from trains from your origin are only 9 or 10 minutes. I wouldn’t consider this sufficient time to buy a ticket and change trains. In reality it might be doable if there is no queue and you are fairly swift.
     
  14. Mag_seven

    Mag_seven Established Member

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    Ah, so it looks like the NR page on Whittlesea needs updated as it states there are no machines:

    IMG_20181124_165926.jpg
     
  15. Skodakid

    Skodakid Member

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    I don’t know what payment method the machine takes- they only installed it about a week ago -

    For safety reasons they shut the manned gates long before the train arrives- so walking from my direction to the station
    it’s basically impossible to purchase a ticket unless the conductor walks through the train enroute to Peterborough -
    which they didn’t on this occasion.
    The Whittlesea train was scheduled to arrive into Peterborough at 13;39 but arrived a few minutes late as usual-
    The Peterborough to Kings Cross train departed at 13;50
     
  16. Harpers Tate

    Harpers Tate Established Member

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    The situation as regards which platform, siting of the (one and only machine) and level crossing access is similar to a station near me. The arrangements at this station as regards people needing to cross the line twice (there and back) in order to purchase and then travel in a given direction (the less busy direction) were discussed in a Transport Forum with a member of Northern's (in this case) management team. They were adamant that they would not enforce any kind of penalty for customers who failed to do so. And they undertook to place a sign to this effect (or, at least, not remove or obscure the existing "pay on board" direction that pre-dates the machine).
     
  17. gray1404

    gray1404 Established Member

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    What was your date of travel and was this new machine installed on that day? It might be worth going back to the station to see what payment methods the machine accepts and if it accepts the one you wanted to pay by, if its even in service yet and if the machine offers for sale the ticket you wanted to buy. I'd also have a look around the station to see if there is any signage up still saying you can buy on board.
     
  18. gray1404

    gray1404 Established Member

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    From the timings you have given I.e. The short connection at Peterborough and the fact your first train arrived late, it is arguable that you didn't have enough time to buy a ticket when changing trains. If we know your date of travel we can look up the actual times your trains ran at. However, much of this hinges on exactly what ticket buying facilities were available at your starting station and how you wished to pay.
     
  19. gingerheid

    gingerheid Member

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    No, if LNER make a representation and the customer relies on that representation then the representation is part of the terms of their contract with the customer.
     
  20. Lemmy99uk

    Lemmy99uk Member

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    I am curious as to why you did not ask for a single from Whittlesea to London when you were first approached.

    The fact that the Train Manager had to queery how you got through the ticket barriers before you mentioned where you boarded might have been enough to raise their suspicions and therefore treat you as a potential fare evader.
     
  21. Skodakid

    Skodakid Member

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    I have just been and looked- the ticket machine at Whittlesea only accepts cards- no coins or notes.

    I wanted to pay cash - but alas I was the other side of the tracks anyway.

    When I articulated to the revenue inspector that I couldn’t buy a ticket on the train from Whittlesey and had rushed to board that KX train she just kept repeating ‘there are ticket facilities at Peterborough, there are ticket facilities at Peterborough ‘- it felt like I was talking to a brick wall.
     
  22. gray1404

    gray1404 Established Member

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    So you board at a station that didn't have ticket facilities to enable you to buy a ticket. This is because you wanted to pay cash but the machine at your starting station only accepts cards. No conductor came through your first train selling tickets. At Peterborough, due to the delay to your first train and the short connection you would have to have delayed your journey and missed your train.

    Therefore when you saw the member of staff on board the LNER train, under these circumstances, you should have been offered the full range of tickets including any discounts. This is not what has happened though. You declared your starting station to the member of staff did you and I assume you had the cash in your hand?

    As we don't have your date of travel, and we need to be sure that you most certainly didn't have enough time to buy a ticket at Peterborough could you please either 1. Advise of your date of travel or 2. Advise if the LNER train departed Peterborough on time (you said that your first train was a couple of minutes late).
     
    Last edited: 24 Nov 2018
  23. Skodakid

    Skodakid Member

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    To be honest I don’t recall exactly even if she mentioned the barriers - but she obviously asked why I didn’t have a ticket to which I replied I’d just arrived from Whittlesea and couldn’t buy one
     
  24. gray1404

    gray1404 Established Member

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    I would say that is enough information to declare a legitimate reason for now buying a ticket and thus become entitled to buy one on board. I.e. Travelled from X station, unable to buy one at the station (lack of facilities) and insufficient time at Peterborough.

    Sounds like the LNER staff member incorrectly thinks someone should miss their connecting train to buy a ticket and delay their journey. (this is assuming the LNER was running on time and there wasn't enough time to buy a ticket. But given you say you had to rush for the London train, it would appear it was.)
     
  25. ForTheLoveOf

    ForTheLoveOf Established Member

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    Whilst that applies insofar as civil law and the contract is concerned, it does not affect something like a Byelaw prosecution, which has no 'reasonable behaviour' defence.
     
  26. gray1404

    gray1404 Established Member

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    I'd suggest taking a photo of the ticket machine showing it doesn't accept cash. Daylight hours would provide better lighting. Also, get screen shots of the Network Rail train running data for the trains you travelled on. Then you have some evidence that you didn't have enough time at Peterborough to buy a ticket.
     
  27. Skodakid

    Skodakid Member

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    Thanks everyone- I’ll await their letter and will report back with future outcome.....
     
  28. eastdyke

    eastdyke Established Member

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    As an aside, LNER staff will have little knowledge of, and apparently not much interest in, ticketing from Whittlesea which is a GA managed station.

    Just curious, when you have managed to buy on board the train from Whittlesea which ticket do you generally buy?
     
  29. ForTheLoveOf

    ForTheLoveOf Established Member

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    If their response is anything other than asking for the appropriate (Railcard discounted or Off-Peak fare if applicable) fare to be paid, and an apology for taking your details for no legitimate reason whatsover, I would be extremely concerned.
     
  30. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    Minimum connection time at Peterborough is eight minutes.
     
  31. robbeech

    robbeech Established Member

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    Exactly. So I wouldn’t consider it acceptable to purchase a ticket in that change time.
     

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