Penalty fare issued 15 seconds into journey as asking for ticket

Discussion in 'Disputes & Prosecutions' started by cumfy, 8 May 2015.

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  1. cumfy

    cumfy Member

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    I just caught the 1304 from Bradford on Avon to Bristol which was running about 3 minutes late.
    2 carriages, sat down straightaway halfway down first carriage and immediately saw train staff coming down the carriage he seemed to be walking past but I was geting my wallet out and managed to catch his attention and asked for a cheap day return to Oldfield Park, about 15 seconds after the train had set off from BOA.

    He spoke vey quietly and seemed to say somethng about a penalty fare.
    I had to clarify what he was saying and really took 2-3 attempts to clarify he was charging me a penalty fare.
    Baically he didnt dispute that I was running late and purchasing a ticket at the first opportunity.
    Tough. 20 quid thanks.

    Is it really supposed to work like this ?
    Whats the point of the stuff on nationalrail.co.uk saying buying on train at 1st opportunity is ok ?
     
  2. TheEdge

    TheEdge Established Member

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    Yes.

    It doesn't. The national rail page for Bradford on Avon lists both a ticket office and machines plus a warning that FGW charge penalty fares from there.
     
  3. First class

    First class Established Member

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    That's exactly what a Penalty Fare is for.

    You failed to use the ticket facilities prior to boarding, because you were running late (which isn't the railway's problem).

    A Penalty Fare is effectively just a higher priced ticket only sold when you have made an error.
     
  4. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    According to National Rail Enquiries, Bradford-on-Avon has a ticket office that is open until 13:40 Monday to Friday. This would have been your first opportunity to buy.
     
  5. CC 72100

    CC 72100 Established Member

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    Which page on NRE are you referring to?

    I've done a search for 'Purchasing tickets' and this is what I get in regards to buying on the train:

    http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/times_fares/ticket_types.aspx

    However, Bradford-on-Avon has both a ticket vending machine and a booking office. This is the 1st opportunity to buy: http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/stations_destinations/BOA.aspx

    FGW policy stance on therefore not using this opportunity to buy:
    https://www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk/train-times-and-tickets/buy-before-you-board---penalty-fares

    Bradford-on-Avon, as this map shows, is in the Penalty Fares scheme: https://www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk...buybeforeyouboard/penaltfares-map-b.pdf?la=en
     
  6. cumfy

    cumfy Member

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  7. First class

    First class Established Member

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    That page clearly says:

    You may be surprised to know that you actually committed a criminal offence which some TOCs would have prosecuted you (successfully) for.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 8 May 2015
  8. CC 72100

    CC 72100 Established Member

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  9. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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  10. CC 72100

    CC 72100 Established Member

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    It isn't. cumfy claims that it says nothing about penalty fares at Bradford-on-Avon. It does.
     
  11. Bevan Price

    Bevan Price Established Member

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    Because some dishonest people try to avoid payment, the TOCs regard everybody as a potential criminal, and surcharge even the honest people who, for various reasons, have been unable to purchase a ticket at the right time/location, or who have got the wrong ticket because they failed to understand the fiendishly complex ticketing system. Welcome to Rip-Off land.

    Oh, and the same would apply if you arrived early at a station, but the inadequate numbers of staff had been unable to sell a ticket to everybody in the queue before the train departed.
     
    Last edited: 8 May 2015
  12. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    cumfy as I see it, you walked past an open ticket office and a TVM and boarded a train in a penalty fare area and you got a penalty fare. Surprised much?
     
  13. TheEdge

    TheEdge Established Member

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  14. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    By his own admission, cumfey made no attempt to purchase a ticket before boarding a train on which penalty fares apply. I don't get why the result comes as a surprise.
     
  15. johnnychips

    johnnychips Established Member

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    I can't read cumfy's mind, but how about he didn't realise he couldn't buy a ticket on the train? While there is no doubt the PF was correctly issued, not everybody is a fare expert like on here, and if you don't frequently travel on a line you might not realise you can't do this.
     
  16. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    I don't pretend to be able to read minds either, but the PF was correctly issued. I have empathy for the sting in the wallet but I don't see that there any reason for indignation. Searching out and misquoting web pages after the fact isn't going to make it invalid.
     
  17. DaleCooper

    DaleCooper Established Member

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    Last edited: 8 May 2015
  18. CC 72100

    CC 72100 Established Member

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    I don't know Bradford-on-Avon station, but all of the FGW stations that I use frequently - even those which do not involve walking through a physical station building if it is closed/ TVM only - do have Yellow penalty fares posters up to warn people of 'what is expected of them'.
     
  19. EM2

    EM2 Established Member

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    The open ticket office and ticket machine should be a big clue.
     
  20. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    They're saying that because they can't check everyone's ticket they put a penalty in place to encourage people to buy tickets who otherwise might not.

    Think of it from a fare dodger's point of view: without penalty fares, if I don't buy a ticket and get caught I just pay the fare. With penalty fares, if I don't buy a ticket and get caught I feel the pain in my wallet.
     
  21. DaleCooper

    DaleCooper Established Member

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    Thanks, I didn't think to look at it from that angle.
     
  22. johnnychips

    johnnychips Established Member

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    Yes, I know what you mean, but I think there are some train companies where you can ignore them and pay on the train. You certainly could do this at Donny with NT and TPE in the past and still can with GC. And I know this was a PF zone, but how many people read the notices?

    I also wonder sometimes about "discretion". A lot of staff on this site say they can recognise someone who has made a genuine mistake and those who are trying it on. If guards show discretion - or perhaps they aren't allowed to? - and others see this happening they may assume it's OK.

    As I said, there is no doubt the PF is correct, but I can also see why the OP could have been surprised and annoyed.
     
  23. Haydn1971

    Haydn1971 Established Member

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    This exactly ! I've had a very small number of comments on Northern re getting a ticket before travel, yet on 99% of trips I've been sold one on the train - similarly, my old boss a very respectable sort, six figure salary was stumped at being selected for a finger wag on TPE going from Hull to Manchester - a journey he makes several times a month and has always bought a ticket on the train - operators can't have it both ways, you either can or you can't - stop profiteering on customers.
     
  24. Flamingo

    Flamingo Established Member

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    The OP was caught.

    I tell lots of people that "I was running for the train" is not an excuse that RPI's accept, usually to get a snide comment back. This just proves that it isn't an excuse they accept.

    If anybody feels this is unfair, they don't have to accept the PF, they can discover that a Magistrate won't accept it as an excuse either.

    NajaB summed it up best in his post!
     
  25. Haydn1971

    Haydn1971 Established Member

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    I'm not actually saying it's unfair, I'm saying it should be consistent !
     
  26. Flamingo

    Flamingo Established Member

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    Only RPI's can issue them. They are not on every train. The OP does have some sympathy from me, the odds of meeting one on my patch is about the same as winning the lottery.
     
  27. johnnychips

    johnnychips Established Member

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    Yes me too!
     
  28. edwin_m

    edwin_m Veteran Member

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    It seems to me the problem, on some TOCs at least, is that the regular conductors are happy to sell tickets on the train. This may be due to either or both of them getting commission on the tickets, or that they want to avoid a confrontation when they have no backup.

    Then when there happen to be RPIs on the train, passengers who are accustomed to buying a ticket suddenly find they are being "penalised".

    Perhaps it would be better described as an "on-board booking fee"?
     
  29. cumfy

    cumfy Member

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    So if I had let the RP pass as he was in fact doing would I not have been able to buy a ticket from the guard ?

    Oh and what happens if a passenger steadfastly claims they got on at the first non-PF station prior to their station ?
     
  30. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    Most likely if there was also a guard they would've summoned the RPI.
    Difficult to claim that if they're asking for a ticket from the PF station. But if the RPI wasn't able to prove the passenger's starting station they would have to get the benefit of the doubt.
     
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