Promise to Pay tickets left on train

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trainophile

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Travelled on a Northern service yesterday, and noticed two Promise to Pay orange tickets left on seats nowhere near where anyone was sitting (coach was almost empty). Made me wonder whether, if your destination is unbarriered and the platform exits straight onto the outside pavement, when arriving at the station and ascertaining that there's no RPI blockade, why would you bother to seek out someone to pay?

I think the principle is good, but very open to people getting a regular free ride, once they have sussed out their journey, especially currently as ticket checks on the train are fairly unusual. I can't think of a way around it, as the whole point is because people want to pay with cash (if they want to pay at all) so theoretically wouldn't have a credit or debit card that could be swiped in the machine and again at their exit point.

I wonder how much revenue is lost due to Promise to Pay tickets not being honoured.
 
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Watershed

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It's really just a continuation of the longstanding position for most stations - that you could buy on board.

Of course, if not given an opportunity to pay...

Northern (in Arriva guise) installed barriers at a number of secondary stations (Rochdale, Harrogate etc.). I guess the hope is that the majority of journeys will be to or from one of these stations, and therefore people will have to pay.
 
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Haywain

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In the old days of Permit to Travel coupons hardly anyone ever paid more than 5p for them so as to avoid paying any more money than absolutely necessary.
 

philthetube

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I have to admit that I did that, not to avoid paying but because one one occasion the machine at Stamford Hill did not give me a ticket. after I inserted a pound, then the train did not turn up either, so I had to make alternate arrangements to get to Paddington, they would not accept my ticket and gave me a form, I was refunded but also got a very snotty letter basically saying that we don't believe you but we will refund just this once.
 

scrapy

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It could be that the passenger has bought the ticket off the guard on board and they were left on the seat. In my experience most of the time guards do not collect them off the passenger.

Should also be noted that Northern do sometimes do revenue checks and have prosecuted passengers leaving stations who have not gone to an open ticket office on their way out. I can remember threads on here about checks at Glossop (before barriers), Hadfield and Manchester Victoria (Trinity Way exit) Manchester Piccadilly (Fairfield St lift)
 

yorkie

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The claim seems to be that people go to the trouble of obtaining promise to pay coupons, don't get sold a ticket by the Guard, and then don't bother retaining the coupon in case of inspection on exit

I think this is a very unlikely scenario

Most Northern Guards are checking tickets in my experience and I doubt the Guards are interested in taking the coupons off passengers; I agree with @scrapy on this

If someone knew they could get away with not showing a promise to pay and intended not to pay, (actually they can't as a revenue block could be anywhere) why would they go to the trouble of obtaining one if they had no intention of actually showing that they had obtained one?
 

SteveM70

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It happens a lot on short journeys round here, and I’ve heard people discussing it while I’ve been travelling. Get a promise to pay, if the guard comes along or there’s checks at the destination then pay cash, if not have a free journey. I suspect my eldest is in that cohort as I’ve occasionally seen promise to pay vouchers on the kitchen table (the bin’s three feet away, clearly an unreasonable expectation on my part)
 

skyhigh

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Most Northern Guards are checking tickets in my experience and I doubt the Guards are interested in taking the coupons off passengers; I agree with @scrapy on this
We're specifically told not to take them off passengers due to Covid. Instead we have a tick box on our ticket machines to record when a passenger has shown a promise to pay.
 

yorkie

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We're specifically told not to take them off passengers due to Covid. Instead we have a tick box on our ticket machines to record when a passenger has shown a promise to pay.
This clearly explains it, as I thought. Thanks for confirming:)
 

trainophile

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Well no guard checked my ticket yesterday, I didn't even see one on the train. Okay, benefit of the doubt time, although I'm more inclined to agree with @SteveM70's supposition.

Admittedly I had a ticket check on my Wigan to Picc leg, if you can call waving it at him as he flashed passed saying "okay" a check!
 
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