Northern TVMs not set up to issue 'Promise to Pay'?

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Puffing Devil

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For clarity: After going through the ticket buying process the last instruction is 'insert cash or present card'. I'm sorry if I gave the impression this was a choice between the two. Obviously you can't insert cash. It will not issue a PTP. This differs from all of the other TVMs I use at other (unmanned) Northern stations.

On the previous occasions when I have picked up a PTP from other stations the conductor collected the PTPs from me on the train as part of ticket issuing. This leads me to believe that they need to physically account for discounted tickets issued. If so I can understand the situation they are in.

I do resent the implication of being branded a liar by staff contradicting my experience on the platform by saying that a PTP was available when it very definitely isn't.

This sounds like the behaviour of a machine outside a Penalty Fare zone - is that the case?
 
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rs101

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Because that is how you obtain a PtP slip.
And if there's no visible signage to tell the customer they need to do that, how on earth would they know? Expecting someone who only has cash to just know they need go through the payment process on a machine which obviously doesn't handle cash is completely unacceptable.
 

toffeedanish

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It is the behaviour of TVM outside of a Penalty Fare Zone. However, Hebden Bridge is in a Penalty Fare Zone.

There is the usual Penalty Fare signage around the station. There is nothing noticeable near or on the machines.

I can see a case for no PTP being available because the station is, for the most part, manned, encouraging use of the ticket office. It is not always manned though, and even when it is sometimes the ticket office window is closed.

Again, my issue has been on-train staff not selling discounted tickets because they require a PTP from me, which they don't believe that I cannot obtain.
 

robbeech

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I’m yet to work out whether staff at Notthern are officially taught these incorrect rules or whether someone makes them up and it spreads.
 

CyrusWuff

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I suspect Northern's argument would be that a "Promise to Pay" coupon is equivalent to a "Permit to Travel" that would be issued in other PF areas. (Assuming there's a working PERTIS at the relevant station!)

If that's the line they want to take, however, they should actively promote it as an option, including how you go about obtaining one.

But that's far too sensible so chances of it happening are slim...
 

ForTheLoveOf

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I suspect Northern's argument would be that a "Promise to Pay" coupon is equivalent to a "Permit to Travel" that would be issued in other PF areas. (Assuming there's a working PERTIS at the relevant station!)

If that's the line they want to take, however, they should actively promote it as an option, including how you go about obtaining one.

But that's far too sensible so chances of it happening are slim...
However, Permit to Travel machines only have effect insofar as they represent an opportunity to obtain an authority to travel, so they are a form of ticket if you like. A TVM that produces Promise to Pay Notices is not capable of being a facility for the "sale" of tickets (as "sale" necessarily implies that money changes hands) - and thus passengers from such stations simply cannot be issued with a Penalty Fare, as per the exception offered by Regulation 6(2)(a).
 

swt_passenger

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I suspect Northern's argument would be that a "Promise to Pay" coupon is equivalent to a "Permit to Travel" that would be issued in other PF areas. (Assuming there's a working PERTIS at the relevant station!)

If that's the line they want to take, however, they should actively promote it as an option, including how you go about obtaining one...
Permit to travel (PTT) machines are not so widely fitted now, and although they were originally a requirement of a typical PF scheme, this was eventually withdrawn in some areas. I think it coincided with the newer generation TVMs.

As has been discussed before, back in SWT’s day they completely withdrew the PTT machines at all stations with TVMs, only retaining them at a very small number of locations without TVMs. But then again nearly every SWR TVM actually takes cash.

Perhaps Northern should have tried accepting cash first...
 

najaB

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Perhaps Northern should have tried accepting cash first...
The vandalism issues that caused the withdrawal of many PERTIS machines would be even more prevalent with machines that could potentially hold hundreds of pounds in cash.
 

Deafdoggie

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I am used to the "paytrain" system as I usually board at unstaffed stations, but do sometimes leave from larger stations and get a ticket first. But I am unfamiliar with Penalty Fares, etc. So I contacted Northern, and asked them what I should I do, as Longport station has no ticket purchasing facilities at all. They replied that in Penalty Fare areas you must have a ticket before boarding. I replied that at Longport that is simply not possible. They replied that in Penalty Fare areas you must have a ticket before boarding. I do worry that they don't actually know anything themselves. I know it is only two trains a day, and never has there been any issue with the guards issuing any ticket, but really, the company ought to know.
 

Bantamzen

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I suspect Northern's argument would be that a "Promise to Pay" coupon is equivalent to a "Permit to Travel" that would be issued in other PF areas. (Assuming there's a working PERTIS at the relevant station!)

If that's the line they want to take, however, they should actively promote it as an option, including how you go about obtaining one.

But that's far too sensible so chances of it happening are slim...

This is what the screens usually look like. View media item 2966
Pretty obvious that you can use them without a payment card I'd say. Plus when FP is coming to a route they do use local media to inform people, and most people seem surprisingly to cope. Short of having one to one training sessions and a 150 page user guide I'm not sure how much more they could do.
 

robbeech

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I wonder what the MD/CEO would make of that email chain?

I would certainly suggest writing to them including this information and ask why their staff are unfamiliar with the rules and what they are prepared to do about it.
 

island

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There already is a rock solid defence to a Byelaws prosecution - the fact that there are no suitable ticketing facilities if you want to pay by cash and the TVM only takes card.

To suggest otherwise is just plain wrong.
The byelaws provide a defence to a passenger if “there were no facilities in working order for the issue or validation of any ticket at the time when, and the station where, he began his journey”, not if there were “no suitable ticketing facilities”. Quite a difference. I am not at all sure that a passenger making a simple single journey, with plenty of funds in his bank account, a working debit card, etc. has the right to ignore a vending machine that is in full working order but does not take cards simply because he stubbornly wants to pay by cash.

Obtaining a Promise to Pay, on the other hand, gives the defence that a notice on the station said passengers in possession of a Promise to Pay could board without a ticket.
 

rs101

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This is what the screens usually look like. View media item 2966
Pretty obvious that you can use them without a payment card I'd say. Plus when FP is coming to a route they do use local media to inform people, and most people seem surprisingly to cope. Short of having one to one training sessions and a 150 page user guide I'm not sure how much more they could do.

That may be what some machines look like, but the OP clearly said no P2P yellow icon was displayed.
 

Bantamzen

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That may be what some machines look like, but the OP clearly said no P2P yellow icon was displayed.

I am not disputing what the OP said, I am pointing out to others that correctly set up TVMs do make it clear that you do not need the use of a payment card to obtain a P2P.
 

ForTheLoveOf

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The byelaws provide a defence to a passenger if “there were no facilities in working order for the issue or validation of any ticket at the time when, and the station where, he began his journey”, not if there were “no suitable ticketing facilities”. Quite a difference. I am not at all sure that a passenger making a simple single journey, with plenty of funds in his bank account, a working debit card, etc. has the right to ignore a vending machine that is in full working order but does not take cards simply because he stubbornly wants to pay by cash.

Obtaining a Promise to Pay, on the other hand, gives the defence that a notice on the station said passengers in possession of a Promise to Pay could board without a ticket.
The suggestion that there are ticketing facilities even if you are unable to use your preferred (and valid) method of payment is certainly a new one here. I don't think we've heard of any case where that argument has been put forward by the TOC successfully.

The issue of a Promise to Pay isn't relevant for those stations which aren't in a Penalty Fares area, or where it is, but the machines won't issue a PtP.
 

robbeech

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With the frequency of which these machines fail and the attitude of some of the staff it’s only a matter of time before we see a case on here of someone penalty fared when they boarded with a broken machine and the guard had stayed in the rear cab, perhaps as they did not have the time to perform revenue duties).

Before the Lincoln to Sheffield line became a penalty fare area (and indeed before ticket machines were installed) I boarded a train at Kiveton Park and alighted at Meadowhall. The guard was unable to get through the train due to it being busy and I was threatened with prosecution at Meadowhall. Needless to say I politely informed them of where I boarded and was told I should have bought one at Sheffield. Once again I politely explained the rules which they arrogantly explained did not exist. I once again politely explained that I was being blocked from accessing the ticket office where I wished to purchase a ticket that would cover me for my onward travel and the travel I had already made. They still wanted to take details.
I’ve also been refused a two together discount on a ticket when boarding at Kiveton Park before the ticket machines were installed which is more related to what this thread describes initially.
 

js1000

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"Promise to Pay" notices have no official legal standing, and thus an alleged "requirement" to obtain such a notice is not enforceable. If you were entitled to buy a ticket onboard then you were entitled to do so without such a notice. If you weren't entitled to buy onboard, then having a notice doesn't change that - other than insofar as it may be Northern's unofficial policy to allow people who would ordinarily be liable to pay the full undiscounted fare, to obtain a discounted fare if they can produce a notice.

In order to determine whether or not you should have bought your ticket before travel - did the ticket machine at Hebden Bridge have facilities to sell you the tickets you wanted, using the payment method you intended to use? I have used Hebden Bridge before but in all cases already had my ticket before arriving at the station, and thus didn't have reason to use the ticket machines.
I can understand why Northern wanted to introduce Promise to Pay to reduce fare evasion/short-faring. The problem is they are a legal minefield to enforce and are dependent on if the passenger is willing to comply if they travelled from an unmanned station or where the ticket office was closed.

Also, I dislike some of the ambiguous terminology Northern use in regards to Promise to Pay. "No card? No problem!" emblazoned over your ticket machine isn't ideal.
 

Greenback

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I have never heard of P2P before, and I have to say that everything I've read make sit all sound pretty dubious to me. I can't see how anything to do with this scheme would be enforceable in a court of law myself, but it would be very interesting to see a test case brought (as long as I'm not the subject, naturally!) Seriously, though, for an irregular traveller or someone from outside the Northern area it looks unclear and confusing.
 

323235

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I believe you can still go through the process of trying to purchase a ticket when the button isnt showing and when you come to the end you select 'I dont have a payment card' and this should issue a P2P - there is a picture of one on the main Northern thread.

I would hesitate to follow the advice that these P2P are unenforceable as this is untried and tested advice - especially by those who propose it and wont test it our themselves- which could lead to the user getting themselves in a lot more bother that its worth - after all the scheme has been passed by the DfT I am assuming so I am assuming that they are happy with them giving you the opportunity to show that you intend to pay - a bit like a pertis does.

I am sure that I remember at least one case involving someone boarding at a south manchester station with a revenue block , that did not have one of the old style Northern voucher and they the case got thrown out, as it was deemed unenforcable for a voucher or lack of to be the basis of prosecution.

I have also reported several stations - Burnley M Road, Nelson and Todmorden as not having yellow warning screens / promise pay, despite being part of recently introduced Penalty Fare zones. Tod used to have the warning screens.
 

etr221

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What does a P2P 'notice' actually say? Does it just say 'I Promise to Buy (and pay for) a ticket when I can', or does it give all the ticket details (from, to, type, price, etc.) of what you would have bought, but couldn't pay for?

And if the latter, is it the view of Northern's legal department (if no one else) that it is a 'ticket' that has been 'issued' (within the meaning of the bye-laws/CoT) but not paid for - giving you the right to travel, but with the acknowledged obligation to pay.
 

ForTheLoveOf

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What does a P2P 'notice' actually say? Does it just say 'I Promise to Buy (and pay for) a ticket when I can', or does it give all the ticket details (from, to, type, price, etc.) of what you would have bought, but couldn't pay for?

And if the latter, is it the view of Northern's legal department (if no one else) that it is a 'ticket' that has been 'issued' (within the meaning of the bye-laws/CoT) but not paid for - giving you the right to travel, but with the acknowledged obligation to pay.
It looks like this, so all it does is explain how it should be used, and where/when it was issued.

I really don't think that is capable of constituting a ticket.
 

furlong

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I really don't think that is capable of constituting a ticket.
Have you read the byelaws? I think it is intended to be a ticket, notwithstanding the (incorrect?) use of the word 'notice' and the poor phraseology - in other words, Northern treats it as an 'authority to travel subject to conditions', even though there's nothing on the item itself to say that it provides authority to travel.

“ticket” includes
...
(iii) an authority to travel on a train provided by an Operator subject to a condition that payment of the correct fare for the person using that authority on which it is used is made during or at the end of that journey or otherwise as provided by the terms applicable to its use,
 
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