TIR advice

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koalamelon

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Hello, I was wondering if anyone could give me any advice on what I should do in regards to my situation below:

I get the train to work from Burley Park to Bradford (either Forster Square or Interchange) changing at Leeds each day. I normally buy a monthly ticket. This morning I went down to Burley Park station ten minutes early to make sure I could buy a new monthly ticket and was told by two men from Northern that the ticket machine was broken but I could buy my ticket at Leeds and they gave me a slip to show them. When I got to Leeds station I went to the ticket window on the platform and was told I couldn't buy a monthly ticket from him as they were only sold on the concourse but that I wouldn't be allowed through the barriers without a ticket. When I asked if I could be let through the barrier to buy the monthly ticket he directed me to a lady who was stood by outside of the booth. She took the slip given me at Burley Park off me and first reproached me for travelling without a ticket but eventually accepted I could not have bought a ticket at Burley Park because the machine was broken. She then directed me to a third person who she said would let me through the barriers. The third person told me he had to fill in a form called a TIR before he would let me through, took my address and said something would come through the post. Afterwards he told me to go with a fourth person who took to me the barriers and spoke with the man on the barriers to let me through. I then bought my ticket on the concourse and went back through the barriers and continued my journey to Bradford.

I have since looked up what a TIR is and I think this means a Travel Incidence Report? I've looked at a number of threads on this forum and they all seem to suggest that it's the first step in being charged some kind of penalty for riding without a ticket. I'm a little bit stressed as I feel I did exactly what I was told to do by the Northern staff and bought the ticket honestly. What should I do when I receive something in the post?
 
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bb21

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I think your next step is to try and get written confirmation from Northern that the ticket machine was indeed non-operational that morning. Given there were staff giving tokens out I would expect them to have a record for it. You don't have to do it, but getting it in writing would protect you.

Secondly I would register a complaint with the operator of the station (Network Rail or Northern I am not certain but others will advise).

Finally if you have the time I would strongly advise getting your MP involved which I very rarely suggest.

If everything is as described then that is a shocking way to treat a customer. If they suspected you might not pay, given that you have a token, they should have charged a single ticket, which can then be refunded at the ticket window when you purchase the season ticket. This is all clearly laid out in the ticketing manual instructions. There is no need whatsoever for a TIR in your situation.

And yes, should you receive a letter, you should tell them exactly what you told us here.
 

RPI

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Sounds wrong to me? A TIR is normally "Travel Irregularity Report", certainly is with GWR and was with BR. If everything is as you've said then seems a bit dodgy, wait to see if you hear anything from Northern and if you do come back here.
 

skyhigh

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Secondly I would register a complaint with the operator of the station (Network Rail or Northern I am not certain but others will advise).
Network Rail manages the station, but the ticket office is operated by Northern. It is correct that the excess fares window cannot issue monthly seasons due to the equipment they use, but they should have allowed you to get to the ticket office.

I would be surprised if you hear anything further, as the team that deals with TIRs is pretty good when it comes to matters like this and are able to see if a machine was in order or not.

I won't comment on the behaviour of the other revenue staff, but I do have my opinions of what they sometimes do... definitely worth a complaint in my opinion.
 

robbeech

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I would be surprised if you hear anything further, as the team that deals with TIRs is pretty good when it comes to matters like this and are able to see if a machine was in order or not.
I'm afraid i cannot agree, though i sincerely hope i'm proved wrong. Yes, they can likely see the machine is out of order, but the excess fares window exists for this reason. The passenger had no luck there so was made to exit through the gateline. Gateline staff did not immediately accept the story, and it is unlikely that "Burley Park machine OOS" will be on any report.

I suspect you'll be charged with travelling without a valid ticket, threatened with court and initially asked to provide your side of the story. This shouldn't get off the ground as you'll be able to give them evidence of the slip you received at Burley park, and the season ticket you purchased at the ticket office at Leeds and there is no reason for them to take matters further. It's an appalling attitude to take but it's fairly standard practise for this operator. guilty until proven innocent is the railway line.
 

Hadders

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I'd like to think that someone at Northern will see that the TIR is a load of nonsense and bin it however Northern do not have the best reputation and I'm minded to agree with @robbeech

It would not surprise me if you receive a letter from their Prosecutions Department claiming that you travelled without a valid ticket and asking you to provide your version of events. You should be able to make this go away but there is bound to be some faff involved.

Keep the season ticket you have purchased very safe until all of this is over as it could prove to be quite useful.
 

Haywain

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Keep the season ticket you have purchased very safe until all of this is over as it could prove to be quite useful.
That really shouldn’t be necessary - if the OP purchased a monthly season there should be a record of it on Northern’s season ticket database.
 

Hadders

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That really shouldn’t be necessary - if the OP purchased a monthly season there should be a record of it on Northern’s season ticket database.
You'd like to think so but I know from personal experience that correct details aren't always entered onto the database. I have an annual season ticket purchased from my local station, until a couple of years ago the address held for me on the season ticket database was that of the station!
 

Haywain

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You'd like to think so but I know from personal experience that correct details aren't always entered onto the database. I have an annual season ticket purchased from my local station, until a couple of years ago the address held for me on the season ticket database was that of the station!
Yes, but the name and photo card number should match.
 

koalamelon

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Hi all, Thank you for your responses. It was comforting to see that you also thought I was treated badly this morning. I have sent two emails to Northern: one requesting written confirmation that the ticket machine at Burley Park was broken and one complaining about my treatment by the staff at Leeds. Hopefully this is resolved fairly easily as soon as possible. I will keep you updated on how this develops. Thank you.
 

CyrusWuff

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Strictly speaking, the OP should have bought a Burley Park - Leeds Single from the Excess Fares window, then asked to have been let through the barriers and gone to the Ticket Office to buy their monthly, with the cost of the Single being credited against it.

In practice, I would suggest that few TOCs would enforce that due to the amount of faff involved in doing so, particularly if the Single is purchased from a different TOC to that which runs the Ticket Office where the Season's sold.

It's certainly NOT grounds to issue a TIR, especially given the "chit" issued at Burley Park is effectively an "Authority to Travel" and the main Ticket Office at Leeds was the first "opportunity to buy" their required ticket.
 

robbeech

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Strictly speaking, the OP should have bought a Burley Park - Leeds Single from the Excess Fares window, then asked to have been let through the barriers and gone to the Ticket Office to buy their monthly, with the cost of the Single being credited against it.

In practice, I would suggest that few TOCs would enforce that due to the amount of faff involved in doing so, particularly if the Single is purchased from a different TOC to that which runs the Ticket Office where the Season's sold.

It's certainly NOT grounds to issue a TIR, especially given the "chit" issued at Burley Park is effectively an "Authority to Travel" and the main Ticket Office at Leeds was the first "opportunity to buy" their required ticket.
I thought that sort of suggested process had been superseded.
Regardless, there’s very very little chance that the ticket office would deduct the single from your season ticket price, even if it’s still the correct procedure. I’ve not known anyone do that for years (I welcome examples though) you’d be told it wasn’t possible and you’d end up writing to them and getting it refunded, on the grounds that most people wouldn’t bother and most of the ones that did would give up on initial rejection.

It’s the Railway’s fault and the passenger’s problem.
 

Haywain

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Regardless, there’s very very little chance that the ticket office would deduct the single from your season ticket price, even if it’s still the correct procedure. I’ve not known anyone do that for years (I welcome examples though)
I regard that as perfectly routine and I am sure that procedure is still carried out on a regular basis.
 

CyrusWuff

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I regard that as perfectly routine and I am sure that procedure is still carried out on a regular basis.
Sadly certain TIS don't make it easy as they won't allow you to (easily) use the value of a refund/non-issue as credit towards another ticket. Instead, you have to refund and charge again.

Having had a discussion about this, it was alleged that we were the only TOC that wanted that functionality.
 

Haywain

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Sadly certain TIS don't make it easy as they won't allow you to (easily) use the value of a refund/non-issue as credit towards another ticket. Instead, you have to refund and charge again.

Having had a discussion about this, it was alleged that we were the only TOC that wanted that functionality.
We use a Sundry code so that the ticket is taken as part payment.
 

robbeech

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We use a Sundry code so that the ticket is taken as part payment.
That sounds like a sensible approach, although (speculation only) it sounds like a thing your operator, or perhaps just your ticket office has taken it upon themselves to do.
I regard that as perfectly routine and I am sure that procedure is still carried out on a regular basis.
It’s not something I’ve tried to do too often but I’ve tried a number of ticket offices from a few different operators and haven’t been able to do this. This hasn’t been with a season ticket, and has often been in exchange for a ranger/rover ticket where a machine and/or guard hasn’t been able to sell one but I see no reason why this would make a difference. I’ve never been successful, and usually have to escalate it within the TOC to get a refund as they’re reluctant to allow it given the ticket was technically used. It’s another one of those things that should be incredibly straight forward but is made complicated.
 

Haywain

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it sounds like a thing your operator, or perhaps just your ticket office has taken it upon themselves to do.
It's company wide, and Sundry codes are available to all operators to use in an approved way.
This hasn’t been with a season ticket, and has often been in exchange for a ranger/rover ticket where a machine and/or guard hasn’t been able to sell one but I’ve never been successful, and usually have to escalate it within the TOC to get a refund as they’re reluctant to allow it given the ticket was technically used. It’s another one of those things that should be incredibly straight forward but is made complicated.
My experience of this has been entirely with season tickets. For rovers and rangers the rules around buying a single journey ticket in lieu of the rover/ranger are not laid down so there is an argument that the other ticket would have to go through the refund process, especially if purchased from a different TOC. There are still potential ways round that but it gets complicated if there's no one available to authorise the refund.
 

WesternLancer

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Hi all, Thank you for your responses. It was comforting to see that you also thought I was treated badly this morning. I have sent two emails to Northern: one requesting written confirmation that the ticket machine at Burley Park was broken and one complaining about my treatment by the staff at Leeds. Hopefully this is resolved fairly easily as soon as possible. I will keep you updated on how this develops. Thank you.
I think those are good actions to have taken at this stage. Also I would note down whilst fresh in your mind any info you have about dates / times of the incidences concerned (pretty much the content of your OP but with times of being at the stations and the ticket machines / counters). Useful if replies to your complaints are slow in arriving or do not have meaningful content.

That will also be of use if something happens that leads to an attempt to take action against you for having no ticket as described.

Then feel free to update this forum/thread when you need more help / advice. People can assist with the sort of letter or draft you may need to send at a later stage if that becomes necessary.

Hope this gets resolved in a positive way.
 

koalamelon

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Hi again folks, a little update. I emailed Northern in two separate emails - one to get written confirmation the ticket machine was broken and one a complaint to Northern about what happened with photocopies of my ticket. They responded to both very promptly and confirmed that the machine was broken and the complaints department said they would forward my explanation of the events to the prosecutions department. I have now received a letter charging me for £3.20 for being 'unable to produce a valid ticket'. At the moment I am minded to call in and ask whether the prosecutions department received my evidence but also that I will just pay this amount because it's probably less hassle to fight this any longer even though it doesn't feel right. What do you guys think? I appreciate all your help so far.
 

Hadders

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I would pay the outstanding fare, then once the matter is concluded complain about what happened.
 

RPI

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If you pay the fare due then the matter is disposed of and thats that, you can then follow up any complaints etc
 

Tazi Hupefi

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Hi again folks, a little update. I emailed Northern in two separate emails - one to get written confirmation the ticket machine was broken and one a complaint to Northern about what happened with photocopies of my ticket. They responded to both very promptly and confirmed that the machine was broken and the complaints department said they would forward my explanation of the events to the prosecutions department. I have now received a letter charging me for £3.20 for being 'unable to produce a valid ticket'. At the moment I am minded to call in and ask whether the prosecutions department received my evidence but also that I will just pay this amount because it's probably less hassle to fight this any longer even though it doesn't feel right. What do you guys think? I appreciate all your help so far.
If you didn't pay for your journey at the time, because the machine was broken, you still owe the railway the fare unless you prove to the contrary.

So, I note that you say you purchased a ticket immediately afterwards. You need to send a copy of that ticket (via email should be fine) to the department advising them you have already paid the £3.20 fare.
 

Starmill

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I'm confused. Didn't the OP pay for a season ticket which covered their journey from Burley Park? Therefore the fare due is £0.00 is due as that journey is already paid for.

Either a debt exists or it does not. There is no concept of there needing to be a second payment for the same thing which is subsequently refunded after the fact.
 

bb21

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If a season ticket were bought after leaving the gateline, no fare is due as the single fare purchased in these situations is refundable upon purchase of the season ticket on the same day.
 
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