Penalty Fares

Discussion in 'Disputes & Prosecutions' started by tonysk14, 13 Mar 2019 at 15:34.

  1. tonysk14

    tonysk14 Member

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    Hi guys,

    A few weeks ago I was issued with penalty fare at Preston Station. I had travelled from Manchester Piccadilly via Wigan NW. I travelled to Wigan using my TfGM disabled pass which allows me free travel in GM, and on arrival at Preston attempted to purchase a ticket to cover the Wigan to Preston journey. (I could have just exited by the subway but I didn't - because I am honest, honest guv).

    I appealed and the appeal was succesful. they say I must pay the relevant fare, which is of course only fair. However they quote an amount of £8.40 when the OP single from Wigan NW to Preston with a disabled persons railcard, which I also hold, is £3.90.

    Have they just plucked a figure out of thin air, added an admin charge or any othe suggestions?

    Many thanks.
     
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  3. 221129

    221129 Established Member

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    You'd be liable for the non discounted anytime fare.
     
  4. ForTheLoveOf

    ForTheLoveOf Established Member

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    They are quoting the Railcard discounted Any Permitted single fare from Manchester to Preston, which is indeed £8.40.

    Did you take a through train from Manchester to Preston or did you change at Wigan?
     
  5. tonysk14

    tonysk14 Member

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    Which is £6.90?
     
  6. tonysk14

    tonysk14 Member

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    Through, a Northern Airport to Blackpool North. If I had changed at Wigan I would have bought a ticket first.
     
  7. tonysk14

    tonysk14 Member

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    I'm not trying to get out of paying, i'll pay £8.40 and chalk it up to experience and be more careful. Just curious.
     
  8. Kite159

    Kite159 Veteran Member

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    FYI the Virgin TVMs at Piccadilly allows you to purchase tickets from other stations if that helps avoiding a queue at the ticket office.
     
  9. tonysk14

    tonysk14 Member

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    Thankyou. Becuase the Northern ones won't
     
  10. gray1404

    gray1404 Established Member

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    Northern's own disabled persons protection policy allows disabled persons to buy their tickets on board (or at their destination) and receive any railcard discount. They appear to have not taken into account the confessionary ticket already held. I would respond to them stating this and offer to pay the cheapest Wigan to Preston single valid for whatever time of day you travelled, with the railcard discount.
     
  11. _toommm_

    _toommm_ Established Member

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    Personally, I would pay now while they're offering the lower amount, then argue afterwards, so that the lower offer doesn't go away...
     
  12. ForTheLoveOf

    ForTheLoveOf Established Member

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    The Penalty Fare has been successfully appealed so Northern are statute barred from prosecuting. There is not a great deal they would be able to do if the OP just refused to pay (not that I would endorse that approach).
     
  13. furlong

    furlong Established Member

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    Well they would first have to prove that the original fare can be reinstated if a Penalty Fare appeal is successful. It's not at all clear that that happens. The Penalty Fare replaces the original fare - you never pay both. If an appeal succeeds then the Penalty Fare is no longer due (or refunded in full). There's no documented route to then either reimposing an already-cancelled liability or imposing a new liability. (Still looks like a bit of grey area to me, with a stronger case for nothing more being due if the Penalty Fare had actually been paid before being refunded in full as required unambiguously by the new rules.)
     
    Last edited: 14 Mar 2019 at 23:02
  14. gray1404

    gray1404 Established Member

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    Would it be possible to appeal again I.e. To stage 2 or 3 stating that although the PF has now been correctly cancelled, the additional request to pay either a fare/ the incorrect fare is incorrect?
     
  15. ForTheLoveOf

    ForTheLoveOf Established Member

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    There is nothing more to appeal, the Penalty Fare has been overturned. I would tend to agree with @furlong that there is little to nothing the TOC is entitled to do, or will actually do, in this situation, if their requests for the fare are not met.

    Indeed, the section of the NRCoT that entitles train companies to charge the undiscounted Anytime (Day) Single for a failure to use available ticketing facilities, Condition 9.2, specifically says that (emphases mine):
    This makes it clear that if a Penalty Fare is charged, the Train Company has exhausted its right to charge the undiscounted Anytime (Day) Single as per Condition 9.2.2.

    I have to say, this is probably only really fair - it would not be just for the TOC to impose a Penalty Fare incorrectly (as has happened here, it would seem), and yet still to be able to recover the original undiscounted fare. There must be a penalty to the TOC, to dissuade them from issuing incorrect PFs (bearing in mind most will be paid, incorrect or not).
     
    Last edited: 15 Mar 2019 at 10:34
  16. robbeech

    robbeech Established Member

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    I suggest writing to them, explaining again your journey, you pass, and the price of the ticket you should be paying. Enclose a cheque for that amount if you’re able to and they really should just leave it at that.
     
  17. furlong

    furlong Established Member

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    Or ask them to state the legal basis on which they believe you still owe them some money and offer them the amount you would have paid originally if they had let you as a gesture of goodwill?
     
  18. js1000

    js1000 Member

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    Sounds like very little sense or tact applied. I'm a real stickler for those who prey on those with mobility/disability impairments.

    1) You offered to pay at the destination station. You could have just walked out via the subway and avoided paying.
    2) The RPI should have considered the above - and upon seeing your TfGM Disabled Pass should have allowed you to purchase a ticket to cover your journey. Why they decided to issue a Penalty Fare when they don't know what type(s) of impairment you have is beyond me. Only the individual who issued it can explain themselves why they thought it was appropriate.

    I'm glad Northern have come to the correct decision on the Penalty Fare but it should have never got to this stage and discretion should clearly have been applied. It's unfortunate.
     

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