The best evidence yet that Transport Focus is impotent

Status
Not open for further replies.

All Line Rover

Established Member
Joined
17 Feb 2011
Messages
5,055
Transport Focus (formerly Passenger Focus) | 29 June 2016 said:
Mrs H purchased off-peak tickets ahead of her journey from Glasgow Central to Edinburgh Waverley. Whilst travelling, however, the ticket inspector told her that the tickets were incorrect, and made Mrs H fill out a notice with a £37 fare to pay later. The inspector said that if she did not agree to this the British Transport Police would be called to remove Mrs H and her family members from the train.

Mrs H felt that she had no alternative but to fill out the notice. When she arrived in Edinburgh, she asked the duty manager for advice and was told that her tickets were in fact valid to begin with and she should not have been issued a notice. She later contacted Scotrail to double check that the guidance she was given by the duty manager was correct and to request compensation. Scotrail responded that the inspector had been questioned in line with their internal staff procedures, but that it would not offer compensation, despite apologising for her distress.

Mrs H got in touch with Transport Focus, as she was not satisfied with the outcome of her complaint. We contacted Scotrail to ask that a goodwill gesture be offered to Mrs H and that an investigation into the conduct of the inspector be carried out. Scotrail confirmed that the matter had been reviewed and decided to overturn the notice, as Mrs H’s tickets were indeed valid for the journey she was making. In spite of this however, ScotRail would still not consider offering a gesture of goodwill as the report logged by the ticket inspector said that Mrs H had shown a different ticket to the one she purchased for the journey.

Transport Focus met with Scotrail to escalate this case however the answer remained the same and Scotrail was unwilling to offer compensation. We were disappointed that we could not achieve Mrs H’s desired outcome of a goodwill gesture for her experience with Scotrail, however we were happy that Mrs H was not penalised in the end.

http://www.transportfocus.org.uk/news-events-media/news/passenger-voice-july-2016-case-study/

Worst of all is the conclusion. "We were happy that Mrs H was not penalised in the end." Having held a valid ticket, how is not being penalised after pursuing a thorough complaint a "happy" outcome!? :roll:

Particularly worrying is that the railway employees at Edinburgh Waverley acknowledged that Mrs H's ticket was valid. In view of the typical level of training on the subject of ticket validity across the railway network, the ticket Mrs H held can hardly have been complex. What would have happened if the ticket she held, or the route she was using, was more complicated?

Also, according to Transport Focus, Scotrail "decided to overturn the notice" when it replied to Transport Focus. This implies that up until this point it had refused to overturn the notice. If this is true, Scotrail's behaviour is appalling.

Finally, "the ticket inspector said that Mrs H had shown a different ticket to the one she purchased for the journey". What is the evidence for this? Did the ticket inspector make a record of and/or photograph the ticket presented by Mrs H? Or is it simply Mrs H's word against the ticket inspector? If the latter, how is this acceptable?

This whole incident demonstrates that Transport Focus is impotent. Futile. Worthless. Either the ORR needs to take over Transport Focus' rail passenger disputes remit with the addition of statutorily enforceable powers, or the powers of train operating companies need to be taken down a peg to put them on a level playing field with passengers.
 
Last edited:
Sponsor Post - registered members do not see these adverts; click here to register, or click here to log in
R

RailUK Forums

najaB

Veteran Member
Joined
28 Aug 2011
Messages
24,761
Location
Scotland
Let me throw this out there - what's the legislation/regulation that means the passenger is entitled to compensation.
 

yorkie

Forum Staff
Staff Member
Administrator
Joined
6 Jun 2005
Messages
55,063
Location
Yorkshire
Let me throw this out there - what's the legislation/regulation that means the passenger is entitled to compensation.
Irrelevant. No-one is saying that. But morally they should be. I would be tempted to charge an admin fee for my time too.

It's not a level playing field; the TOCs can make mistakes and mistreat us with impunity!
 

najaB

Veteran Member
Joined
28 Aug 2011
Messages
24,761
Location
Scotland
Irrelevant. No-one is saying that. But morally they should be. I would be tempted to charge an admin fee for my time too.
I agree they *should* be. And I'm disappointed that Scotrail has decided not to do so. But to brand Passenger Focus impotent because they failed to get something that there was no legal entitlement to is a bit of a stretch.

There are *way* better examples of their impotence.
 

Clip

On Moderation
Joined
28 Jun 2010
Messages
10,615
Irrelevant. No-one is saying that. But morally they should be. I would be tempted to charge an admin fee for my time too.

It's not a level playing field; the TOCs can make mistakes and mistreat us with impunity!


Well why dont you try and get the NCoC changed then because I see nothing in there that says you must be awarded compensation for errors made by the TOC like this do you?
 

yorkie

Forum Staff
Staff Member
Administrator
Joined
6 Jun 2005
Messages
55,063
Location
Yorkshire
I agree they *should* be. And I'm disappointed that Scotrail has decided not to do so. But to brand Passenger Focus impotent because they failed to get something that there was no legal entitlement to is a bit of a stretch.

There are *way* better examples of their impotence.
I'm glad you agree they are ineffective and please do supply more examples of this to add to the one in the OP.

I'll dig one out shortly.

Edit: here's a good one
Southeastern like making things up.

A route which is a mapped route in the NRG, and shown as valid on one ticket on both the National Rail journey planner and WebTis (which includes Southeastern's own website) is supposedly not valid, according to "our fares manager Mr Simon Byatt."

On a different ticket, they also don't like you taking the shortest route by train even though again their own website sold me that ticket and I travelled on the exact train shown on the itinerary. They told me twice that it was not valid and also told Passenger Focus twice that it was not valid (who in turn told me that it was not). When I eventually got through to someone at Passenger Focus who understood, he managed to get them to admit that it was valid, but they still will not compensate me or put it in writing. In any case, they have withdrawn the validity for the journey I undertook at the time.
 
Last edited:

najaB

Veteran Member
Joined
28 Aug 2011
Messages
24,761
Location
Scotland
I'm glad you agree they are ineffective and please do supply more examples of this to add to the one in the OP.
I think the best recent example was when andygb was issued a penalty fare having travelled from a station with no working ticketing facilities. It was, without doubt, invalid but Transport Focus only managed to get the Southeastern agree to refund it on condition that it was paid - as a gesture of goodwill.

An effective ombudsman would have ensured that it was nullified.
 

Agent_c

Member
Joined
22 Jan 2015
Messages
934
Given the way the OP beats up minor dramas to be the worst thing ever, I can only presume that the OP works for a newspaper.

This does not prove incompetence by TF. TF correctly investigated and passed it to the right TOC, and tried to negociate for the complainer.

That Scotrail did not wish to hand out money is in no way a black mark on the competence of TF. They did their job correctly and competently.

However, it does show that TF is toothless when compared to other ombudsman, which is a shame.
 

All Line Rover

Established Member
Joined
17 Feb 2011
Messages
5,055
Given the way the OP beats up minor dramas to be the worst thing ever, I can only presume that the OP works for a newspaper.

This does not prove incompetence by TF. TF correctly investigated and passed it to the right TOC, and tried to negociate for the complainer.

That Scotrail did not wish to hand out money is in no way a black mark on the competence of TF. They did their job correctly and competently.

However, it does show that TF is toothless when compared to other ombudsman, which is a shame.

You're the first person to mention incompetence. I, like many others, believe Transport Focus is incompetent, but this particular example isn't evidence of that.

I agree with najaB that we have many other examples of impotence (and incompetence) on the part of Transport Focus which are well worth archiving, but the example I quoted is the monthly "case study" published on their website. For Transport Focus to consider this one of the best examples of their work is remarkable and doesn't bode well on the rest of their activities.
 

cjmillsnun

Established Member
Joined
13 Feb 2011
Messages
3,062
You're the first person to mention incompetence. I, like many others, believe Transport Focus is incompetent, but this particular example isn't evidence of that.

I agree with najaB that we have many other examples of impotence (and incompetence) on the part of Transport Focus which are well worth archiving, but the example I quoted is the monthly "case study" published on their website. For Transport Focus to consider this one of the best examples of their work is remarkable and doesn't bode well on the rest of their activities.

Your example is pointless. No compensation was required, but TF did get the UPFN dropped.
 

SS4

Established Member
Joined
30 Jan 2011
Messages
8,589
Location
Birmingham
Transport Focus need legislative powers to enforce their decisions. At the moment it seems like they have to rely on the goodwill of TOCs to enforce their findings so when the TOCs say no TF have to toss in the towel.

The cynic in me tells me that this is a collusion between the DfT and ATOC who want to appear transparent but for the body to have no real power
 

319321

Member
Joined
9 Jun 2015
Messages
318
Let me throw this out there - what's the legislation/regulation that means the passenger is entitled to compensation.

I used the Consumer Protection Regulations 2014 as a ticket that I didnt need was aggressively missold to me so as I may continue my journey under circumstances similar to Mrs H's.

I am not sure whether or not they are still in force or whether the Consumer Rights Act 2015 now applies to the railway as well.

The TOC's customer charter, complaints handling procedure, franchise agreement, licenses etc. may also contain references to either general compensation a passenger can receive or or compensation a passenger can expect to receive in specific cases.

Edit: Also, having thought about it, I am not sure whether or not the legislation I cite would be applicable in Scotland?
 
Last edited:

Agent_c

Member
Joined
22 Jan 2015
Messages
934
I used the Consumer Protection Regulations 2014 as a ticket that I didnt need was aggressively missold to me so as I may continue my journey under circumstances similar to Mrs H's.

I am not sure whether or not they are still in force or whether the Consumer Rights Act 2015 now applies to the railway as well.

The TOC's customer charter, complaints handling procedure, franchise agreement, licenses etc. may also contain references to either general compensation a passenger can receive or or compensation a passenger can expect to receive in specific cases.

Edit: Also, having thought about it, I am not sure whether or not the legislation I cite would be applicable in Scotland?

From what I remember from First year Obligations (this was 2 years ago now) most of the consumer protection stuff is more or less identical and uses the same legislation. We even use some of the same precedents for contract law (Thornton v Shoe Lane Parking, etc).
 

319321

Member
Joined
9 Jun 2015
Messages
318
Well why dont you try and get the NCoC changed then because I see nothing in there that says you must be awarded compensation for errors made by the TOC like this do you?

Torts. They apply to TOCs as well.
 

thedbdiboy

Member
Joined
10 Sep 2011
Messages
614
Transport Focus need legislative powers to enforce their decisions. At the moment it seems like they have to rely on the goodwill of TOCs to enforce their findings so when the TOCs say no TF have to toss in the towel.

The cynic in me tells me that this is a collusion between the DfT and ATOC who want to appear transparent but for the body to have no real power

If you think that ATOC the this kind of power to 'collude' with the DfT you are WAY off the mark. The whole issue of revenue protection is ripe for reform and the industry has been pressing for this - check out the industry response to the DfT Penalty Fares consultation when they finally get round to publishing it.
 
Last edited:

jon0844

Veteran Member
Joined
1 Feb 2009
Messages
24,995
Location
UK
Compensation should be for actual losses resulting from the situation. Postage, phone calls etc. These days a lot of stuff is done by email or on a phone plan with inclusive calls, so I suspect compensation would be in the realms of a couple of quid at most.
 

yorkie

Forum Staff
Staff Member
Administrator
Joined
6 Jun 2005
Messages
55,063
Location
Yorkshire
If you think that ATOC the this kind of power to 'collude' with the DfT you are WAY off the mark....
The DfT do appear to be scared to stand up to TOCs. If it's not collusion, it's either the DfT being utterly incompetent, or perhaps more likely they don't want to do anything that may reduce the value of franchise bids.<(

I'd like to know the exact reasons but I accept we never will, so in the mean time, I don't really care that much. The end result is the same, and passengers lose out as a result of disgraceful acts by train companies and the lack of any body who can effectively and consistently fight for our rights.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Well why dont you try and get the NCoC changed then because I see nothing in there that says you must be awarded compensation for errors made by the TOC like this do you?
Arguably it should be changed, but I can't see it happening as no-one is going to admit there is such a huge problem in the rail industry, nor would they get agreement for such compensation to be enshrined in the NRCoC.

But regardless of that, it's very poor customer service to treat customers in this way. You'd not see this in almost any other industry!

(I am unsure why you keep saying I should get things changed, as I am unsure what powers you think I have!)
 

DaveNewcastle

Established Member
Fares Advisor
Joined
21 Dec 2007
Messages
7,387
Location
Newcastle (unless I'm out)
Let me throw this out there - what's the legislation/regulation that means the passenger is entitled to compensation.
I used the Consumer Protection Regulations 2014 as a ticket that I didnt need was aggressively missold to me so as I may continue my journey under circumstances similar to Mrs H's.
. . .
I am not sure whether or not the legislation I cite would be applicable in Scotland?
These regulations do apply in Scotland, but I fail to see how they could be engaged with the situation which is described in the article.

It's not a level playing field; the TOCs can make mistakes and mistreat us with impunity!
Who is the "us" which are being mistreated by our Railway Companies? Your remark reads like a conspiracy theory!

Well why dont you try and get the NCoC changed then because I see nothing in there that says you must be awarded compensation for errors made by the TOC like this do you?
Torts. They apply to TOCs as well.
Eh? Yes, of course a claim in tort law can be brought against a party to a contract, but which tort applies here? Negligence? And where the remedy is likely to be no more than the initial value of a ticket, it seems a rather sterile line of action.

Shouldn't she just have simply claimed for a Breach of Contract? Straight forward, simple, and clearly applicable.

Transport Focus need legislative powers to enforce their decisions. At the moment it seems like they have to rely on the goodwill of TOCs to enforce their findings so when the TOCs say no TF have to toss in the towel.
Transport Focus could, as any third party, bring a prosecution where a wrong is alleged - I haven't looked at their governing documents to see if that would be within their own constitutional remit. But in this case, had it been in England, it would have been a relatively simple matter for the passenger to bring an action for Breach of Contract; but as we have discussed on this forum regularly, doing so in Scotland would normally require the 'concurrence' (approval) of the Lord Advocate.
That 'concurrence' would be required whether the action was brought by the passenger or by a agency such as Transport Focus.
 

319321

Member
Joined
9 Jun 2015
Messages
318
It would appear that the Railway is still exempt from having to abide by the Consumer Rights Act 2015:
Chris Jackson said:
Following consultation, the government has decided not to exempt permanently the rail, aviation and maritime sectors from certain provisions of the Consumer Rights Act 2015. However, rather than coming into effect on 6 April 2016 as intended, application of the Act will be phased in for these sectors between October 2016 and October 2017.
.........
To this end, The Consumer Rights Act 2015 (Commencement No.3, Transitional Provisions, Savings and Consequential Amendments) (Amendment) Order 2016 provides for the relevant provisions of the Act to come into force on 1 October 2016.

Furthermore, the government intends to seek a further exemption until 1 October 2017 in respect of rail passenger services on provisions relating to partial refunds to allow the industry to put in place improved compensation arrangements.
See here.
 
Last edited:

yorkie

Forum Staff
Staff Member
Administrator
Joined
6 Jun 2005
Messages
55,063
Location
Yorkshire
It would appear that the Railway is still exempt from having to abide by the Consumer Rights Act 2015:

See here.
See http://orr.gov.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0017/5552/guidance_on_our_consumer_law_role_310310.pdf for information regarding the ORR's role in enforcing consumer law
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Who is the "us" which are being mistreated by our Railway Companies?
Customers (no, not all customers, but there are numerous victims, past and present).
 

319321

Member
Joined
9 Jun 2015
Messages
318
davenewcastle said:
These regulations do apply in Scotland, but I fail to see how they could be engaged with the situation which is described in the article.

I would frame the claim under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (Regulation 5 / Regulation 7) as amended by the Consumer Protection (Amendment) Regulations (2014) as follows:
Abridged Regulation 27A. said:
A consumer has a right to redress under this Part if the conditions in this regulation are met, and the conditions in the following provisions [ie 27B, 27C etc] of this Part for the availability of that right are met.

The conditions are:
1) the consumer enters into a contract with a trader for the sale or supply of a product by the trader (a “business to consumer contract”),
2) the trader engages in a prohibited practice in relation to the product, or
3) the prohibited practice is a significant factor in the consumer’s decision to enter into the contract or make the payment.
The consumer has a contract with Scotrail for her to be provided with a train service. Part of the service is the right to have that ticket to be accepted as valid and not to be accused of having committed a crime or be forced to make an additional purchase or enter an additional contract in order for Scotrail to perform that service.
27B.
Abridged Regulation 27B said:
In this Part “prohibited practice” means a commercial practice that is a misleading action under regulation 5, or is aggressive under regulation 7.
I would argue that that prohbited practices have occurred under both regulations.
Abridged Regulation 5 said:
5.—(1) A commercial practice is a misleading action if it satisfies the conditions in either paragraph (2) or paragraph (3).

(2) A commercial practice satisfies the conditions of this paragraph—

(a)if it contains false information and is therefore untruthful in relation to any of the matters in paragraph (4) or if it or its overall presentation in any way deceives or is likely to deceive the average consumer in relation to any of the matters in that paragraph, even if the information is factually correct

(b)it causes or is likely to cause the average consumer to take a transactional decision he would not have taken otherwise.

(4) The matters referred to in paragraph (2)(a) are—
(i)the need for a service, part, replacement or repair;
(k)the consumer’s rights or the risks he may face.

The action of the ticket inspector may be misleading under regulation 5.2.a because it contained false information within the meaning of regulation 5.4 k with regards to the risks the consumer faced (being removed by the police). Other parts of 5.4 might apply if we had more details.

Abridged Regulation 7 said:
A commercial practice is aggressive if, in its factual context, taking account of all of its features and circumstances it significantly impairs or is likely significantly to impair the average consumer’s freedom of choice or conduct in relation to the product concerned through the use of harassment, coercion or undue influence and it thereby causes or is likely to cause him to take a transactional decision he would not have taken otherwise.

In determining whether a commercial practice uses harassment, coercion or undue influence account shall be taken of any threat to take any action which cannot legally be taken.

The action of the ticket inspector could be seen as aggressive as under 7.1 the consumer felt forced to sign the unpaid fares notice because she was coerced by the threat of the police, and 7.2 as legally the police could not remove her from the train if her ticket was valid.


Abridged Regulation 27H said:
A consumer has the right to unwind in respect of a consumer payment for a service if the consumer was not required to make all or part of the payment.

The consumer has the right to receive back from the trader the same amount of money as the consumer paid to the trader or in a case where the consumer was required to make part of the payment, an amount equal to the part of the payment the consumer was not required to make.

Although the lady was made to sign an unpaid fares notice, which I am going to guess is a contract for the lady to recieve a train service for which she has agreed to pay later, she hasnt actually paid for anything. This situation is covered by regulation 27H.
27J.

Abridged Regulation 27J said:
A consumer has the right to damages if the consumer has suffered alarm, distress or physical inconvenience or discomfort which the consumer would not have suffered if the prohibited practice in question had not taken place.

The right to damages is the right to be paid damages by the trader for the loss or the alarm, distress or physical inconvenience or discomfort in question.

The right to be paid damages under this regulation is a right to be paid only damages in respect of loss that was reasonably foreseeable at the time of the prohibited practice.

This gives the consumer the right to damages for the alarm, distress and discomfort she has suffered as a result of the prohibited practice taking place. I am guessing that the loss was reasonably foreseeable as the ticket inspector would probably have been able to see the distress this was causing her.

Abridged Regulation 27J(5) said:
A consumer does not have the right to damages if the trader proves that the occurrence of the prohibited practice in question was due to
a mistake,
reliance on information supplied to the trader by another person,
the act or default of a person other than the trader,
an accident,
or another cause beyond the trader’s control,

and the trader took all reasonable precautions and exercised all due diligence to avoid the occurrence of the prohibited practice.

Because the ticket inspectors error was acknowledged at an early stage, Scotrail may try and say it was a mistake under regulation 27J(5). However, they will also need to prove that they did everything they could to prevent the mistake. If the ladys ticket validity could have been checked on a journey planner, I would argue that not everything had been done that was possible to prevent the prohibited practice from occurring. There are also numerous indistry publications, guidances etc. that can be referred to that if followed should prevent these types of situations occurring.

The damages would probably be quite modest though. Here is the guidance if you want to look through it.
 
Last edited:

DaveNewcastle

Established Member
Fares Advisor
Joined
21 Dec 2007
Messages
7,387
Location
Newcastle (unless I'm out)
I would frame the claim under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 . . . .

The consumer has a contract with Scotrail for her to be provided with a train service. Part of the service is the right to have that ticket to be accepted as valid and not to be accused of having committed a crime or be forced to make an additional purchase or enter an additional contract in order for Scotrail to perform that service. . . . .
As stated above, I disagree entirely that these are helpful to Mrs H in the situation described.

The damages would probably be quite modest though. . . .
. . . and again, as stated above, the appropriate damages under these regulations, if an action was successful, are likely to be no more than the cost of the unused ticket, plus, perhaps, costs in preparing the matter for Court at the LIP rate of £19 per hour, which due to the simplicity of the matter are unlikely to exceed half a day. If successful.
Costs against her if unsuccessful are likely to be substantially higher.
 
Last edited:

Tetchytyke

Veteran Member
Joined
12 Sep 2013
Messages
11,619
Location
Isle of Man
Passenger Focus said:
In spite of this however, ScotRail would still not consider offering a gesture of goodwill as the report logged by the ticket inspector said that Mrs H had shown a different ticket to the one she purchased for the journey.

My opinion of Abellio is well known, and I wouldn't ever wish to defend them, but I suspect that this is the pertient point in the whole situation.

I also can't help but wonder whether Mrs H was using a Tweedback Flyer...
 
Last edited:

221129

Established Member
Joined
21 Mar 2011
Messages
6,318
Location
Sunny Scotland
and 7.2 as legally the police could not remove her from the train if her ticket was valid.

That is completely false. Failing to leave the train when asked to do so by an authorised person is an offence in itself. Valid ticket or not.
 

AlterEgo

Veteran Member
Joined
30 Dec 2008
Messages
13,491
Location
No longer here
In summary, the passenger had a valid ticket, got a UFN, and got it rescinded by SR. She then approached TF for compensation. SR said no. The end.

Compensation for what? I agree it's abhorrent customer service to UFN someone for having a perfectly valid ticket, but I'm not sure what either "Mrs H" or other respondents would actually like from the TOC.
 

Clip

On Moderation
Joined
28 Jun 2010
Messages
10,615
The DfT do appear to be scared to stand up to TOCs. If it's not collusion, it's either the DfT being utterly incompetent, or perhaps more likely they don't want to do anything that may reduce the value of franchise bids.<(

I'd like to know the exact reasons but I accept we never will, so in the mean time, I don't really care that much. The end result is the same, and passengers lose out as a result of disgraceful acts by train companies and the lack of any body who can effectively and consistently fight for our rights.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---

Arguably it should be changed, but I can't see it happening as no-one is going to admit there is such a huge problem in the rail industry, nor would they get agreement for such compensation to be enshrined in the NRCoC.

But regardless of that, it's very poor customer service to treat customers in this way. You'd not see this in almost any other industry!

(I am unsure why you keep saying I should get things changed, as I am unsure what powers you think I have!)

I know you dont have any powers but you are the one who appears to be most vocal about needing that change on this forum. And as I have said before given the large membership you have on here if you wanted to you could actually try and force chaneg through being a pressure group and youd get a lot more signatures and backing not only from your forum members but the rail press to than most other half arsed campaigns that peopel go for on here which are a lot less worthy. Change wont happen by sitting on here talking about it - do something if you feel that strongly about it. Youd even find a lot of us rail staff would glady put thier name to it too

In summary, the passenger had a valid ticket, got a UFN, and got it rescinded by SR. She then approached TF for compensation. SR said no. The end.

Compensation for what? I agree it's abhorrent customer service to UFN someone for having a perfectly valid ticket, but I'm not sure what either "Mrs H" or other respondents would actually like from the TOC.

Free money of course!!
 

Flamingo

Established Member
Joined
26 Apr 2010
Messages
6,810
Picking up on the "different ticket presented" point, wasn't that the basis for a major case where the passenger had a valid ticket, but was trying to save it to reuse?
 

All Line Rover

Established Member
Joined
17 Feb 2011
Messages
5,055
In summary, the passenger had a valid ticket, got a UFN, and got it rescinded by SR. She then approached TF for compensation. SR said no. The end.

Compensation for what? I agree it's abhorrent customer service to UFN someone for having a perfectly valid ticket, but I'm not sure what either "Mrs H" or other respondents would actually like from the TOC.

The wording of the Transport Focus case study does not suggest that Scotrail rescinded the UPFN at the first opportunity. I could be wrong about that, however.

In general, the minimum passengers expect is an assurance that staff are properly trained such that a refusal to accept a valid ticket is not repeated. In 319321's case, that was not to be.

As for Mrs H, I would not have expected Transport Focus to be supportive of her request for compensation to cover the value of e.g. lost time, if there was compelling evidence that she presented an invalid ticket to the ticket inspector on board the Glasgow to Edinburgh train.

On the subject of compensation more generally, if Transport Focus believes that a TOC should be made to pay punitive damages, it should be able to force the TOC to pay such damages. Without such sanctions a TOC will invariably benefit financially, as a "hit rate" (coercing a passenger to pay a fare they do not need to pay) of anything greater than 0% is all that is required; not to mention the chilling effect that can arise from passengers being discouraged from using tickets on perfectly valid routes and incurring additional expense by purchasing tickets with excessive validities.

It must, once again, be stressed that Transport Focus is not an ombudsman. It is a watchdog, and has no more power than the television programme of the same name.
 
Last edited:

DaveNewcastle

Established Member
Fares Advisor
Joined
21 Dec 2007
Messages
7,387
Location
Newcastle (unless I'm out)
Picking up on the "different ticket presented" point, wasn't that the basis for a major case where the passenger had a valid ticket, but was trying to save it to reuse?
You remember quite correctly!

It was in Browning v Floyd (1946) KB 597
Arthur Donald Floyd, the husband, actually had a valid ticket in his pocket during travel, but instead presented his wife's unused outward portion of her return ticket, intending to use his own on a future occasion. He was deemed not to have paid his fare; as an offence under RoRA Section 5
His Offence was found to have been captured by three Acts of Parliament and one Railway Byelaw (the given ticket), and Doris Floyd, his wife, was found guilty of aiding and abetting her husband to travel with intent to avoid payment and of transferring a partly used ticket one Railway Byelaw offence in her own right. Both Guilty of Byelaw 6.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Top