Requirement to find the guard?

Discussion in 'Disputes & Prosecutions' started by Bensonby, 16 Aug 2019.

  1. Bensonby

    Bensonby Member

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    Where there are no ticket buying facilities at a departure station is there a requirement to “seek out” the guard to purchase a ticket or does the first opportunity to purchase present itself when the guard finds you?

    I’ve seen on several threads here (most recently today) and also yesterday on Twitter: https://twitter.com/luvsoutheastern/status/1162099084964048911?s=21 several occasions where revenue protection staff have insisted that there is a requirement to seek out the guard to buy a ticket. Is this based on any legal authority? I’m not aware of one.
     
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  3. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    I am not aware of any such requirement. You're simply required not to "hide" - i.e. when the guard comes through saying "any tickets please" not to ignore him.
     
  4. Hadders

    Hadders Established Member

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    There is no such requirement although some train companies like to pretend there is.
     
  5. Starmill

    Starmill Events Co-ordinator

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    It's made up.
     
  6. Bensonby

    Bensonby Member

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    That’s my thinking, but is there any actually definitive authority to state that this requirement doesn’t exist? Like a case that got thrown out on that basis for example?
     
  7. Bearclaw

    Bearclaw Member

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    There doesnt need to be. Unless there is a specific requirement to - which doesnt exist then you can sit and wait for the ticket issuer to come along... How would you find a ticket on a driver only train for example...?
     
  8. thejuggler

    thejuggler Member

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    In addition to DOO how do you buy a ticket when the service is a 4 car Pacer with no connectivity between the two units? The guard stays in the rear so no chance of getting to them unless you alight and move units.
     
  9. some bloke

    some bloke Member

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    Any such requirement would have to be qualified, for example to say you don't have to where you know there aren't guards on that service (or reasonably think there probably aren't? - hard to define), and - importantly - that you don't have to when it's impracticable/inconvenient/unsafe because of crowding.

    Condition of Travel 6.1 says you have to buy a ticket as soon as you are reasonably able, which is open to interpretation.

    There's also an information box which refers to having to buy from the conductor if there's one available, but the summary of conditions on page 3 says the info boxes aren't part of the contract between you and the train company.

    Even if it could be established that someone had breached 6.1 by not seeking the conductor, the fact that the byelaws and RoRA don't require it seems to mean it isn't enforceable, at least in criminal law. And we might not imagine a company would start a civil action for it either.
     
    Last edited: 16 Aug 2019
  10. island

    island Established Member

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    Failing to seek out the guard may theoretically be used as one element of a case that someone has an intent to avoid paying their fare. But it has not come up in any cases of which I am aware.

    Failing to buy a ticket when the guard comes through offering them is cited in the Penalty Fares Regulations as a way to get a Penalty Fare even if there were no ticketing facilities where you started your journey.
     
  11. Hadders

    Hadders Established Member

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    The NRCoT states that in certain circumstances you may purchase a ticket of board. It doesn't say you have to seek out the conductor.
     
  12. some bloke

    some bloke Member

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    The information box says,
    and page 3 says
     
  13. Signal Head

    Signal Head Member

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    For what it's worth, the Staff Travel advice documentation contains the following:
    "Only if the ticket office is closed, and there is no local ‘promise to pay’ in use, can you buy a Priv-rate ticket on board a train. You must actively seek out staff on-board the train, have your fare ready and offer to pay it at the first available opportunity. By offering to pay there can be no question that you are trying to travel without paying." (my emphasis).
     
  14. Hadders

    Hadders Established Member

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    But that’s advice for staff travel, and bears no relation to the position for normal passengers.

    This is good guidance for staff as historically many expect a free ride.
     
  15. MPotter

    MPotter On Moderation

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    That's true, that may not even be possible if 1) you don't even know if a guard is on board or it's DOO 2) you don't know which unit he is in 3) there isn't space in the unit you need anyway.
     
  16. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    There is no such requirement. Some people like to make things up.
    The method of operation of the train is irrelevant; I took four trains yesterday and the only one on which I had a ticket check was the only DOO service I took (within about 10 seconds of departure!)

    As for Pacers, I'll take your word for it if you say that all companies that operate Pacers instruct their Guards to remain in the rear set of a 4-car working, however I do know of companies that do not operate Pacers who do allow their Guards to be in the front set (e.g. TPE). I know Northern don't allow their Guards to go in the front unit but I don't know of the others.

    Passengers are not expected to know that Northern and TPE have different policies, not the difference between Pacers and any other type of train.
     
  17. Signal Head

    Signal Head Member

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    I know it doesn't apply to the public, I just find it odd that there is a different policy for staff travel than for the public under the same circumstances. After all, the logic that actively seeking the guard to offer payment removes any suspicion of intent to avoid payment holds good for both.
     
  18. Hadders

    Hadders Established Member

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    It's not unusual to have specific terms and conditions attached to staff benefits.
     
  19. MPotter

    MPotter On Moderation

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    How do passengers know whether a Pacer has a guard onboard or is running DOO? What about other multiple units which are not gangwayed e.g. Greater Anglia EMUs, XC and Virgin Voyagers and GWR DMUs etc.
     
  20. SussexMan

    SussexMan Member

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    NRCOT 6.1 states (in respect of people unable to purchase a ticket at the station):

    (my emphasis in bold)

    Can someone explain how this requirement "as soon as you are reasonably able" equates to "it is fine to remain in your seat taking no action other than requesting a ticket if asked for one". Whether a prosecution might succeed in a case where someone didn't proactively approach the guard is a different matter to whether there is a requirement to take reasonable action to find the guard to purchase a ticket. The problem with a prosecution is that it becomes subjective over whether the person was reasonably able to purchase the ticket but I could certainly think of situations where arguably it would be very reasonable to approach the guard to purchase a ticket.
     
  21. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Your interpretation is wrong.

    Can you explain how "as soon as you are reasonably able" equates to walking up and down a train, changing units if necessary, knocking on doors to find a "guard" who may or may not be able or willing to issue tickets and who may not even exist.

    I'm about to get a train where there is no guard, but I will not need to go looking for anyone; on board staff will come and find us and there is no need to go looking for them, no need to change units at the next station, no need to go banging on any doors.

    Quite frankly, you've made that up!
     
  22. Hadders

    Hadders Established Member

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    6.1 does not say there is a requirement to seek out the guard.

    The vast majority of the trains I travel on are 240m long. Am I really expected to walk up and down looking for the guard who I won’t find as there isn’t one! On the other hand if I travel in a different part of the country there might be a guard but how is a passenger supposed to know whether a train has a guard?
     
  23. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    Nobody is saying that a passenger shouldn't look for the guard, just that there's no requirement to do so.
     
  24. beeza1

    beeza1 Member

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    There is no requirement to seek out the guard, I have an email from XC confirming this, I can't remember the exact wording but it was something like,
    "Whilst there is no specific rule requiring a passenger to seek out the guard it is more of a recommendation"
    Just imagine 20 people boarding at an unmanned station with no working ticket buying facilities banging on the guards door in order to purchase a ticket.
     
  25. High Dyke

    High Dyke Established Member

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    Funnily enough I had that very challenge the other week. I boarded a DOO service at a station on a Saturday morning, but the ticket office is only open Monday - Friday, there is a TVM, but it can't sell a PRIV rate ticket - there's no local Permit machine either. I travelled to the end of the line (1 station) where the ticket office is open all day. Had no problems purchasing a PRIV rate ticket. So in some respects it can be easier for a member of public to stand a better chance of purchasing a ticket than a rail employee.
     
  26. aar0

    aar0 Member

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    In SWT land I've often only just caught a train from a barriered station with unmanned and open barriers, which I would have missed had I stopped to use a TVM. I've then gone straight to the guard to ask for a ticket, and have often been told that they shouldn't really sell one but as I've gone straight to them its ok.
     
  27. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    Sounds like you need to set your alarm for five minutes earlier. :D
     
  28. MPotter

    MPotter On Moderation

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    That's different, in such circumstances I would ask their permission before boarding or be prepared to pay the Anytime fare.
     
  29. Haywain

    Haywain Established Member

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    Which is a course of action that could lead to you being prosecuted for fare evasion. Passing a TVM can be demonstrating intent not to pay.
     
  30. Bungle158

    Bungle158 Member

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    You could well be on dodgy ground there. However, as a guard, l was always more willing to deal with those who actively attempted to pay and used what discretion l had not to insist on walk up fares.

    I never once took flak from management for so doing, although l realise this may now be different. We had enough to do discouraging blatant fare dodging 'scrotes' to worry over much about those who offered unprompted payment
     
  31. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    I don't understand some of the references to driver only operation in this thread; some people mistakenly thinks this method of operation is linked to whether or not a member of staff with ticket issuing facilities who is willing and able to sell tickets is present. But that isn't the case; out of the 6 trains I have caught in the last couple of days I have only had my ticket checked on the 4 DOO services, despite travelling many hundreds of miles on trains with a guard, on which there was no sign of anyone checking or issuing tickets.

    The method of operation of the train is a separate concept to whether or not tickets will be sold on a train.

    I hope this clears up the confusion!
     

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