Penalty fare notice, sent to wrong address

Karibbeankiss

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14 Jan 2020
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7
Location
London
Hi

Can anybody shed some light on how i could challenge this please? That is, if i can challenge it.

My offspring used the train last month without tapping in & was stopped by an inspector i presume? (Sorry i haven't used a train in a long time & have never had a penalty notice so don't quite know how this works)

Inspector took name and address (said correct address &door number was given) but the follow up letter and possibly the original PFN went to a neighbour's rather than ours so i was non the wiser until the neighbour posted this through the letterbox one afternoon.

Apparently the inspector asked why offspring didn't have a ticket. Offspring who is 17 btw with ASD explains barriers were open, so walked through without tapping. Inspector explains that shouldn't have been done and proceeds to ask for oyster, took address & name and says it was fine to go afterwards, no mention of a penalty being issued or a fine. There was money on the 16+ oyster for the train journey.

How do i approach the issue with wrong address. Oyster is registered to our correct address yet somehow it appears the PFN was addressed to an different door number.
 

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some bloke

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The address issue may not be the main one - I'm afraid there may be no way out of the higher charge. Was your son given the written information in 5(2) of the Regulations?

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2018/366/made

Unless I've misunderstood:

He's supposed to have been informed at the time that he must either pay or appeal within 21 days. There shouldn't be a need for them to send a reminder; the rules are that the only ways to avoid the higher charge were to pay or appeal within the time limit.
 
Last edited:

WesternLancer

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Joined
12 Apr 2019
Messages
1,915
Hi

Can anybody shed some light on how i could challenge this please? That is, if i can challenge it.

My offspring used the train last month without tapping in & was stopped by an inspector i presume? (Sorry i haven't used a train in a long time & have never had a penalty notice so don't quite know how this works)

Inspector took name and address (said correct address &door number was given) but the follow up letter and possibly the original PFN went to a neighbour's rather than ours so i was non the wiser until the neighbour posted this through the letterbox one afternoon.

Apparently the inspector asked why offspring didn't have a ticket. Offspring who is 17 btw with ASD explains barriers were open, so walked through without tapping. Inspector explains that shouldn't have been done and proceeds to ask for oyster, took address & name and says it was fine to go afterwards, no mention of a penalty being issued or a fine. There was money on the 16+ oyster for the train journey.

How do i approach the issue with wrong address. Oyster is registered to our correct address yet somehow it appears the PFN was addressed to an different door number.
Well, ref incorrect address I'd guess write to them (possibly recorded delivery) asking them to correct address. Might be worth at the same time asking them to consider you have only just got the post as a neighbour thought to bring it round and can they bear this in mind (it looks like it is addressed to you if it say parent or guardian - so this may well be the first you have heard of the matter, as indeed I think you state).
 

Karibbeankiss

Member
Joined
14 Jan 2020
Messages
7
Location
London
The address issue may not be the main one - I'm afraid there may be no way out of the higher charge. Was your son given the written information in 5(2) of the Regulations?

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2018/366/made

Unless I've misunderstood:

He's supposed to have been informed at the time that he must either pay or appeal within 21 days. There shouldn't be a need for them to send a reminder; the rules are that if TfL complied with the regulations in issuing the penalty fare, the only ways to avoid the higher charge were to pay or appeal within the time limit.
I asked if anything (paperwork) was given at the time. The reply was no. Name, address details were given, oyster shown and was told it was fine to go.

On that basis, i presumed by taking details the PFN had been sent by mail previously.
 

Karibbeankiss

Member
Joined
14 Jan 2020
Messages
7
Location
London
The address issue may not be the main one - I'm afraid there may be no way out of the higher charge. Was your son given the written information in 5(2) of the Regulations?

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2018/366/made

Unless I've misunderstood:

He's supposed to have been informed at the time that he must either pay or appeal within 21 days. There shouldn't be a need for them to send a reminder; the rules are that the only ways to avoid the higher charge were to pay or appeal within the time limit.
If a PFN was issued on the spot would there be anyway to get a copy of it? Or even the ticket inspectors notes if they keep a log.
 

some bloke

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12 Feb 2017
Messages
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It sounds like he/you need to tell them you were unaware of a penalty fare, and so could not have paid it.

If you need to respond by 20 January maybe it's best to email/phone.
 

some bloke

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12 Feb 2017
Messages
1,060
If a PFN was issued on the spot would there be anyway to get a copy of it? Or even the ticket inspectors notes if they keep a log.
Do you mean your son may have been given one and forgotten? If there are special considerations then it would seem worth telling Ircas (I'm not sure what you mean by ASD). We might expect them to clarify when you tell them your son is saying it's the first he's heard of it.
 

Spurs

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26 Jan 2015
Messages
81
Do you mean your son may have been given one and forgotten? If there are special considerations then it would seem worth telling Ircas (I'm not sure what you mean by ASD). We might expect them to clarify when you tell them your son is saying it's the first he's heard of it.
ASD = Autism Spectrum Disorder. Encompasses Autism and what once would've been referred to as Aspergers etc.
 

Karibbeankiss

Member
Joined
14 Jan 2020
Messages
7
Location
London
The address issue may not be the main one - I'm afraid there may be no way out of the higher charge. Was your son given the written information in 5(2) of the Regulations?

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2018/366/made

Unless I've misunderstood:

He's supposed to have been informed at the time that he must either pay or appeal within 21 days.
There shouldn't be a need for them to send a reminder; the rules are that the only ways to avoid the higher charge were to pay or appeal within the time limit.
And what if he wasn't informed or given a physical PFN?

The other issue is if he was informed, that is verbally, whether he would have understood the gravity and implications or even what was being said. If it was given physically, there's near enough a 95% chance it would not have made it home. On average, I'm having to replace the oyster about every 2-3 months.

I have asked on different days / times and the reply has been consistently that no type of paperwork (paper, slips, notes) was given and there was no mention of needing to pay a fine.
 

some bloke

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Joined
12 Feb 2017
Messages
1,060
And what if he wasn't informed or given a physical PFN?

The other issue is if he was informed, that is verbally, whether he would have understood the gravity and implications or even what was being said. If it was given physically, there's near enough a 95% chance it would not have made it home. On average, I'm having to replace the oyster about every 2-3 months.

I have asked on different days / times and the reply has been consistently that no type of paperwork (paper, slips, notes) was given and there was no mention of needing to pay a fine.
It seems then that you need to ask IRCAS what their records show. Hopefully there'll be appropriate consideration taken of your son's situation, especially if you can provide formal medical evidence.
 

WesternLancer

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1,915
And what if he wasn't informed or given a physical PFN?

The other issue is if he was informed, that is verbally, whether he would have understood the gravity and implications or even what was being said. If it was given physically, there's near enough a 95% chance it would not have made it home. On average, I'm having to replace the oyster about every 2-3 months.

I have asked on different days / times and the reply has been consistently that no type of paperwork (paper, slips, notes) was given and there was no mention of needing to pay a fine.
It sounds like the ASD clearly makes life difficult with clear related challenges to this situation.

I'd have thought, however, that on the balance of probability if they obtained a (nearly accurate) address then during the discussion, in whatever standard way they do these things, that your offspring would have been advised that they had committed a ticketing violation.

Obv I appreciate they may not have understood the seriousness of that, but chances are the standard process was used

Others here with more experience would perhaps have a view on the percentage of occasions when this does not in fact happen, but if the chances are it did then it may be that your focus needs to be on making it clear that you never got the letter because they sent it to the wrong address (was the house it went to similar digit numbered so that a copying error made when the address was transcripted eg '19' mixed up with '17' or some such - as otherwise they may default to thinking they were given a false address which of course must often happen) - that way you may be able to argue that as you did not have the letter they should re-set the clock allowing you to make any payment due promptly etc.

Good luck with this.
 

gray1404

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I would say it is positive that they are writing to the Parent rather then the passenger directly. It shows they are not going after the passenger. From previous experience on this forum, there is very little a TOC (or their agent) can do "against" a Parent.

We need to know if your Son was issued with a Penalty Fare correctly on the day in question. The letter you have received shows they are saying a Penalty Fare was issued on the day. If that Penalty Fare was not issued correctly then it is nil and void and should be cancelled. One of the ways of achieving this is on appeal. However if he was not given a Penalty Fare notice and informed of his right to appeal at the time then, not only should the Penalty Fare be cancelled, but it also makes it hard for you to engage in this process as you don't know about it.

Some people with Autism will be able to recall every fine detail of what happened and the conversation that took place. Please ask your Son if he was given a price of paper by the Ticket Inspector at the time? If he wasn't then they need to cancel the Penalty Fare and drop this whole case. Likewise I understand that if the interaction was stressful for him then he might not be able to remember some of the details.

You need to reply to them explaining the situation and explaining your Son's condition. The Penalty Fare Regulations state that authorised staff should use discretion for disabled passengers. They are also required by law to make reasonable adjustments. Each train company will also have policy to ensure their services are suitable for disabled people. I totally get that your son finding the ticket barriers open, when he is used to them being closed and only opening once a card is tapped, may confuse him because it is different to what he is used to. Given his Autism it is not unreasonable for him to not know what to do in this situation and think that the ticket barriers are out of service. I would keep your letter to a maximum of one page. Feel free to post a draft on here first.

I would also enclose, if possible, some medical evidence you might have already proving that your son has Autism. This might also give some insight on how his condition effects him.
 

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