Penalty Fare Notice - I did it - Should I appeal?

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OuluChris

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Hi,

I have a Zone 1 - 2 annual travel card for London.

Last week my partner dragged me off to Ikea in Croydon. We took the Overground to West Croydon (and paid for that section of out of zone travel with the pay as you go funds on my oyster card) and then took the tram from there to Ikea.

I had checked on TfL's website but obviously not carefully enough. I saw the section that said something like "bus passes can be used to travel on the tram" and assumed that since my travelcard is indeed a pass that allows me to travel on any London bus this would be okay!

Anyway, the inspectors got on, they were pleasant enough people, and acknowledged that lots of people make a similar mistake to the one I'd made. Nonetheless, they gave me a penalty notice. However, they did say that it would be worth explaining the circumstances in an appeal.

My question is: should I bother? I've since read (more carefully) the section about trams and I acknowledge that I was at fault. At the same time I could really do without having to cough up £40!

Thanks,


Chris
 
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najaB

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My question is: should I bother? I've since read (more carefully) the section about trams and I acknowledge that I was at fault. At the same time I could really do without having to cough up £40!
The only harm in appealing would be if you don't pay in time. So it's probably better to pay and then appeal - if successful then you'll get your money back, if not then you are no worse off than you would've been otherwise.
 

Deerfold

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I'm very surprised at this. The Terms and Conditions at http://content.tfl.gov.uk/tramlink-conditions-of-travel.pdf should apply.

They say:

Terms and Conditions said:
9.2 If you are within the compulsory ticket area on Tramlink without:
 a ticket that is valid and available for the journey you are making
 an Oyster card, Oyster photocard or other smartcard containing a valid season
ticket
 a validated Oyster card, Oyster photocard or other smartcard when you are paying
as you go, showing a record of the start of your journey
 a validated contactless payment card
you may be issued with a penalty fare or you may be prosecuted.

That suggests you only need to have touched in when using PAYG, whereas you were using your Travelcard at thsi point. (IANAL)
 

Romilly

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But as I understand it, a travelcard only covers the trams if the travelcard covers at least one of Zones 3, 4, 5 and 6. Unfortunately, the OP's travelcard only covered Zones 1 and 2.
 

Mike395

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TfL's page on trams says:

If you have a Travelcard on your Oyster card or a paper Day Travelcard that includes Zone 3, 4, 5 or 6, you can use it to travel on all trams.

I would argue that a lack of punctuation means that the statement is ambiguous regarding holding a Travelcard (for just Z1-2) on Oyster, but yes, do pay first and then appeal just in case. :)
 

furlong

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I would argue that a lack of punctuation means that the statement is ambiguous

Not even ambiguous to me - just simply incorrect information. Grounds for a refund (compensation for breach of contract), I'd have thought, if that was the reason for using that ticket for that journey. And they should correct that statement before they find themselves up against the consumer regulations.
 

Panda

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Well, reading this I am not at all surprised at the inspectors comment that many people make this mistake!
 

OuluChris

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Thanks for the assistance everybody. I've drafted a letter and shown it below. Any comments or suggestions will be gratefully received.

Dear Sirs,

This letter is an appeal against the penalty fare notice, reference number xxx-xxxxxx-xxxx, I received on Saturday 13 February 2016 (copy attached).

The TfL webpage for Bus and Trams states “If you have a Travelcard on your Oyster card or a paper Day Travelcard that includes Zone 3, 4, 5 or 6, you can use it to travel on all trams.”

As I do have an annual Travelcard on my Oyster card I naturally assumed, after reading the above statement, that I was entitled to travel on the tram.

I consider the form of words used in the statement taken from TfL’s website to be ambiguous at best and deliberately misleading at worst. I therefore consider this to be suitable grounds for a successful appeal.

I would also like to take this opportunity to suggest the wording be changed on TfL’s website especially in light of the inspectors comments to me that “many people make this mistake”

Yours sincerely,
 

najaB

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Thanks for the assistance everybody. I've drafted a letter and shown it below. Any comments or suggestions will be gratefully received.
Not sure how well "deliberately misleading at worst" will go down.
 

furlong

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The questions you should address are: if they reject my appeal, what will I do next? And in the light of the answer to that, is there a better way to phrase what you have written so it will help you later if that happens? (Don't make their excuses for them.) And try to be even more precise about the exact grounds for appeal - use words lifted directly from the scheme documentation itself where you can.

I therefore consider this to be suitable grounds for a successful appeal.

It's their view that counts, not yours.
 
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Harlesden

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How can this sentence possibly be regarded as anything but crystal clear.

QUOTE If you have a Travelcard on your Oyster card or a paper Day Travelcard that includes Zone 3, 4, 5 or 6, you can use it to travel on all trams. UNQUOTE

I don't see how anyone could deduce from that sentence that a Zones 1/2 TravelCard be valid for Trams.
Why should anyone expect TfL to change a condition of travel on their website that is totally clear and unambiguous
 

najaB

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How can this sentence possibly be regarded as anything but crystal clear.
It can be read either of two ways:
  • If you have [a Travelcard on your Oyster card] or [a paper Day Travelcard that includes Zone 3, 4, 5 or 6] you can use it to travel on all trams.
  • If you have [a Travelcard on your Oyster card or a paper Day Travelcard] that includes Zone 3, 4, 5 or 6 you can use it to travel on all trams.
 

scotsman

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It can be read either of two ways:
  • If you have [a Travelcard on your Oyster card] or [a paper Day Travelcard that includes Zone 3, 4, 5 or 6] you can use it to travel on all trams.
  • If you have [a Travelcard on your Oyster card or a paper Day Travelcard] that includes Zone 3, 4, 5 or 6 you can use it to travel on all trams.

Agreed. Know your **** or know you're ****. It's the difference between helping your Uncle Jack off a horse and your uncle jack off a horse. Ad infinitum...
 

sheff1

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Why should anyone expect TfL to change a condition of travel on their website that is totally clear and unambiguous

I don't think anyone would expect that. Unfortunately, the statement being discussed is neither clear nor unambiguous - for the reasons highlighted by other posters.
 

furlong

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It can be read either of two ways:
  • If you have [a Travelcard on your Oyster card] or [a paper Day Travelcard that includes Zone 3, 4, 5 or 6] you can use it to travel on all trams.
  • If you have [a Travelcard on your Oyster card or a paper Day Travelcard] that includes Zone 3, 4, 5 or 6 you can use it to travel on all trams.

Personally, I find it impossible to read that the second way as, the way I was brought up, "that" couples tightly to "a paper Day Travelcard". To obtain the second interpretation, I have to replace "that" by "either of which".
 
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rdwarr

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How can this sentence possibly be regarded as anything but crystal clear.

QUOTE If you have a Travelcard on your Oyster card or a paper Day Travelcard that includes Zone 3, 4, 5 or 6, you can use it to travel on all trams. UNQUOTE

I don't see how anyone could deduce from that sentence that a Zones 1/2 TravelCard be valid for Trams.
Why should anyone expect TfL to change a condition of travel on their website that is totally clear and unambiguous

Things are never that simple.

Let's apply some basic logic. Essentially we're saying "A or B allows C".
This is the same as "A allows C" or "B allows C".
In this case A is "If you have a Travelcard on your Oyster card" so we can deduce that trams are fine.

It probably looked unambiguous to the person who wrote it as well.
 

Hannes

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While I agree that quote reads as an Oyster with a travelcard is valid for travel on a tram, a few lines down it does also state:

Touch your contactless payment or Oyster card on the yellow card reader on the platform at the start of your journey before boarding a tram.

Which the OP failed to do. Surely TfL can just point to that and reject the claim?
 

Haywain

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While I agree that quote reads as an Oyster with a travelcard is valid for travel on a tram, a few lines down it does also state:

Which the OP failed to do. Surely TfL can just point to that and reject the claim?

Perhaps someone will be along to say that as it was a Travelcard it didn't need to be touched in. Personally, I have never seen ambiguity in the statement about Travelcards being valid on Tramlink, but perhaps that's because I don't go out of my way to find it.
 

island

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What's interesting is that if you're using pay as you go on Oyster, and have reached the Z1-2 cap, a tram (if you get to one somehow) won't charge you anything more.
 

OuluChris

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While I agree that quote reads as an Oyster with a travelcard is valid for travel on a tram, a few lines down it does also state:



Which the OP failed to do. Surely TfL can just point to that and reject the claim?

Yes that is also correct and is probably a perfectly good reason for the tram operator to reject my appeal.

(Dodgy defence coming up!): I thought the Oyster card readers would be on board like a bus. Of course afterwards the readers appeared to be everywhere and it was obvious where to touch in.

Anyway, thanks everyone for the advice. I appreciate it and if I do end up paying them a fine then I know I have nobody to blame for that other than myself.
 

gray1404

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My advise would be to still pay ASAP at this point. If you win your appeal they will refund you. But you don't pay and loose your appeal you may find your self having to pay much more.
 

MichaelAMW

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Personally, I find it impossible to read that the second way as, the way I was brought up, "that" couples tightly to "a paper Day Travelcard". To obtain the second interpretation, I have to replace "that" by "either of which".

You are precisely correct - and I agree with you for the same reason. The ambiguity comes from the fact that either product can include those zones. Change the two objects and it becomes apparent that only the immediate antecedent should be used.

"If you have a point-to-point ticket with a Maltese cross or a Travelcard that includes zone 1 then you can use it to cross between National Rail termini."
 
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Wolfie

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How can this sentence possibly be regarded as anything but crystal clear.

QUOTE If you have a Travelcard on your Oyster card or a paper Day Travelcard that includes Zone 3, 4, 5 or 6, you can use it to travel on all trams. UNQUOTE

I don't see how anyone could deduce from that sentence that a Zones 1/2 TravelCard be valid for Trams.
Why should anyone expect TfL to change a condition of travel on their website that is totally clear and unambiguous

andy

Working for Govt, and having been in meetings which spent half a day or more debating the correct placement of a comma in text scheduled to be incorporated into legislation, believe me it is very far from clear for exactly the reasons given immediately after your post.

Personally, I find it impossible to read that the second way as, the way I was brought up, "that" couples tightly to "a paper Day Travelcard". To obtain the second interpretation, I have to replace "that" by "either of which".

If I was writing the text this is what I would do also.
 
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OuluChris

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I got an answer today (almost two months after lodging my appeal) and thought I'd share it for general interest.

Begin quoted letter:

The travelcard scheme is a through ticketing system, which allows travel on the services of the transport operators participating in the scheme, within the appropriate zones as shown on the ticket. Any Travelcard that includes Zones 3, 4, 5 or 6 may be used for travel anywhere on Tramlink. A travelcard that includes only Zone 1 and/or 2 is not valid on Tramlink and the holder must purchase a valid ticket before boarding or be liable to a penalty fare. This information is displayed at all Tramlink tramstops and on notices inside the trams themselves. This also applies to Travelcards, which are held on Oyster cards.

Also with regard to the wording on the Tfl website, you need to address your concerns direct to Tfl not Tramlink.

Therefore, after giving full consideration to the reasons why a valid ticket was not produced on request, I regret to say that we can find no justification for waiving the Penalty Fare in this case.
 
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