Separate names with a comma.
Discussion in 'Disputes & Prosecutions' started by ten7, 21 Apr 2019.
Or it could be the way, the government legal service worded it?
Even so, it may be worth spending a minute pointing out the specific problem in that last reply.
You could also quote this - and then ask the chief executive to respond if they still don't do what they promised:
Whichever, the person who approved the exact words must be traceable, surely?
It’s clear that the rail industry has decided to follow the wording of the guidelines and ignore regulation 9(6) part b. Unless part b can be fulfilled some other way by the train company.
Further question dodging waffle from LTW.
“Your emails raised the question as to whether or not there was more than one “anytime” ticket for the same route. As National Rail Enquiries showed two different fares - £15.10 and £20.60 London TravelWatch queried them. We were advised by National Rail Enquiries that the cheaper fare is for a specific train company and the more expensive allows travel with any train company using the route. Therefore, as there are three companies using the route from Kings Cross to Stevenage – Great Northern and Thameslink (as they are both part of the same company the same fare would apply) as well as LNER – the cheaper fare is for Great Northern and Thameslink and the more expensive is if you were travelling on LNER as it would give you access to both companies.
As I’ve said previously you’ve been charged the correct fare and there is nothing further London TravelWatch can say that will add value to this matter.”
What a load of incompetent waffle.
There are three companies operating trains between London and Stevenage:
Govia Thameslink Railway (who operate trains under the Thameslink and Great Northern brands)
Hull Trains (one train a week)
The Any Permitted fare is set by GTR and can be used on any operators service.
LNER offer cheaper tickets but they are only valid on their own trains.
Do you think transport focus would be better? They also cover this route.
Transport Focus are even worse in my experience.
In any case I don’t think you can choose TF or LTW. Journeys wholly within the area covered by London Travelwatch are covered by them, not Transport Focus.
GTR deflected it too when I wrote to them saying that the appeals process is independent from them and they can’t get involved as it could be seen as having influence over the appeals process.
At the end of the post linked below is what LTW state as the procedure.
It might be worth just putting the correspondence in an email to the chief executive saying they haven't answered the point, and if that doesn't work, doing the same with the Local Government Ombudsman - bearing mind what they say about the limitations of each:
If nothing else it would demonstrate that you've done what they suggested, and the chief executive would be taking responsibility for her answer.
Or you could try Twitter, putting the point to one or more organisations.
Someone on here might confirm whether this is a case where any ambiguity or disagreement should go in the passenger's favour (provided the passenger's suggested meaning is possible) because of consumer rights.
Consumer rights don't come into the issuance of statutory penalties such as Penalty Fares. They would if Penalty Fares were only established in the NRCoT, for example, like happens in many other countries and even other rail systems within this country, but that is not the way it works for National Rail services.
I think I've expressed my views on this particular matter previously. It is plainly obvious that the parts of Regulation 9 that specifically spell out that the date, time, route etc. of travel must be taken into account when determining the "full single fare applicable", are not there simply for fun or to take up space on legislation.gov.uk's hard drives! They were specifically added, when the new Regulations were written, to make a Penalty Fare either £20 or twice the usual fare.
I do feel the use of the word "full" is rather pointless and confusing, since it has so many possible meanings, but in this context the only meaning I think it has is that it excludes the possibility of Railcard discounts.
It always was rather illogical for a Penalty Fare to be issued for twice the Anytime (Day) Single even during the small hours of Saturday morning, for instance, and this addition corrects that. Of course, some people will say that twice is not a sufficient multiplier, but that is an entirely different issue...
If you are correct (and I think you are) that in the context of the regulation, the word "full" can only have one meaning, then the regulation is clear.
If the word "full" was not present, there would be doubt as to what was; “the single fare applicable”, where a railcard was held but the fact of a railcard being held isn't one of the things which are required to be taken into account when determining the single fare applicable.
Perhaps another word ("undiscounted") could have been used instead of "full", but would it have resolved very much? Would the writers of the guidelines have decided that an Off-Peak fare was in some way "discounted", and we would be exactly where we find ourselves presently? The problem here is their interpretation, not the regulation itself.
I'm not sure what you're trying to say in your last paragraph, but ultimately I can see no way in which it can credibly be suggested that an Anytime fare is always the "full single fare applicable" despite Regulation 9(6)'s express provisions. Such a situation, i.e. choosing the most expensive fare no matter what, might in certain circumstances also lead to the ludicrous situation where a Penalty Fare is issued on the basis of a fare whose route means that it isn't even valid on the service used!
One example might be on a C2C weekend service from Barking to Stratford, where the most expensive Anytime Day Single is routed "✠VIA WEST HAM", so it's not valid on that service's route via Forest Gate. I wonder what the Appeals Body or LTW would say to a Penalty Fare incorrectly issued in those circumstances!
It's unfortunate that neither the Appeals Service nor LTW have been unable to grasp this fundamental and rather simple concept, but I support the OP fully in recovering the incorrectly charged Penalty Fare.
In a nutshell; that the regulation itself is clear and that its interpretation is the guidelines is wrong.
I'm in complete agreement with what you say in #105 and support the OP fully.
I'd go further and say that, in relation to the OP's case, what the Appeals Service has decided is unlawful. The remedy for that is through a Judicial Review - which is a significant undertaking, but the body might feel ready to seek advice from counsel (which I doubt it has so far) and change its mind if it thought it would have to justify its decision at a JR.
More dodging of the question by London Travelwatch when I ask how 9(6) part b should be interpreted. How can LTW have made a decision on whether the penalty fare amount charged was correct if they cannot interpret this regulation?
At this point I would consider getting my MP involved, and I almost never say that.
Another avenue the OP might explore could be to phone or write to the DfT and query the intended purpose of section 9(6)(b), if not to sometimes make a fare other than the Anytime Single, the applicable one.
The explanatory memorandum laid before Parliament alongside the draft regulation doesn't explain it. Perhaps it was thought to be self-explanatory? In any event, the memorandum does give the name, address, phone and email of the contact at the DfT, who is given as the person to whom queries should be directed. While it was given primarily for the benefit of legislators to query while the instrument was under consideration by Parliament, it might be worth trying as a first point of contact. It's right at the end of the pdf linked to below.
EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM TO THE RAILWAYS (PENALTY FARES) REGULATIONS 2018
Not relevant to this case, but this document does seem to confirm that another change this forum spotted was intentional, namely the removal of the former ability of an authorised collector to demand a minimum payment towards a PF on the spot:
That provision fails if payment can be demanded on the spot and the passenger indicates an intention to appeal.
This is another area where the guidance attempts to retain the old regulations, but uses language carefully enough to be consistent - "may request" a minimum payment that the passenger has no obligation to pay.
This makes it all the more ludicrous that TOCs sometimes claim that refusing to pay the Penalty Fare (or to make a minimum payment towards it) is evidence of intent to avoid payment of the fare.
I think some serious investigation needs to be done by the DfT into why the system is being completely misinterpreted in reality.
I think it's clear why the regulation is being misinterpreted. It's because; a) instead of writing its own guidelines to its own regulation, the DfT has allowed the RDG to do it, and; b) the appeals body is testing cases against the TOC's application of the RDG's guidelines, rather than against the regulation itself.
We can assume that the OP is not alone in being overcharged.
It seems that in the guidelines, RDG has chosen to completely ignore 9(6) part b of the regulations. If this is the case, there may even be other parts of the regulations which RDG have chosen to ignore.
Response from LTW manager
The words ‘determined by reference to’ are misleading as they indicate that “(b)the day and time of the journey that person is making, has made or intends to make, as the case may be;” would have an impact on the amount of the penalty fare. In your case it doesn’t because the full single fare on a Sunday is £15.10, and the off peak fare is discounted so it does not apply as I explained above. There are examples where there full single fare on a weekend is different to the full single fare on a weekday which is probably why it is referenced. I think it is ambiguous and will see if I can have the wording made clear to prevent other passengers from believing that they have been charged too much, but a change of wording to clarify the term ‘full single fare’ will obviously not impact your penalty fare in any way.”
They really can't see incompetence when they're staring it in the mirror, can they?
What other meaning are they thinking the addition of clause (b) could possibly have? They've quite clearly got their blinkers on as soon as they see the otherwise undefined term "full"...
I'm puzzled. The London TravelWatch manager says a passage in legislation is misleading and will see if they "can have the wording made clear".
If they realise it's law they are talking about rather than a guideline from a consortium of railway companies, why would they write that?
It's a desperate attempt to justify an incompetent (or deliberate) misreading of the regulation.
The LTW manager saying that the regulation itself is misleading and that he will "see if I can have the wording made clear" only re-emphasizes the impression given that they are completely out of their depth and can make things up to suit.
Apart from the fact that the hilariously convoluted explanation of LTW's interpretation doesn't explain why the regulation references time (of day), are there any even any examples where an Anytime Single is not the undiscounted fare on some days of the week?
I disagree. I suspect they are traceable but they probably wouldn't want one tracing them and it might be very hard to do so.
I guess one could submit an FOI. Although I don't know what one would write and whether they could refuse it.
Actually, maybe its not so hard to trace them. I agree with the above. Of course all it might lead to is a cha yjng of the law. Although surely that would need to be done in Parliament.
Maybe the above in conjunction with your MP will help.
Does that mean they are thinking of paying for an independent Legal Opinion on the matter, which may be one of the easier ways of getting "the wording made clear"?
Let's not delude ourselves here. They have one set view on what "full fare" means, and nothing will change their view really. They are so deluded they don't even realise there is any alternative possible to their wildly incorrect view.