TPE kicks woman and child off train

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khib70

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In an ideal world. Also in an ideal world nobody would try and evade paying the correct fare, North Korea would be a democracy and wealth would be shared equitably.

How do you tell the difference between an honest mistake and a good actor? Why is so hard to follow the rules? Imagine the outrage had TPE made an "honest mistake" and "forgot" to put that train on?
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---


Trial by Facebook - the outcome with the most likes is correct :p
FTPE is more than capable, in my experience, of doing something similar to that. It's a silly comparison. A TOC "forgetting" to run a service which is in the working timetable and stranding hundreds of people is unlikely to be the result of an "honest mistake". A parent travelling with a child accidentally misplacing a railcard is quite possibly an honest mistake. What bugs me is the automatic presumption of guilt on the part of the passenger by so many on here in cases of potential fare evasion.

Applying the letter of the law with complete rigour in a situation like this (if that is what happened), has more than a whiff of North Korea about it
 

Eagle

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And neither should anyone who doesn't recognise the possibility of an honest mistake
And those who do make an honest mistake should be prepared to face up to the consequences. I'm not saying it was right for the passengers to be ejected from the train (not knowing full details I can't say anything). But why some people think that they shouldn't have to take the responsibility of something as simple as remembering to have their railcard on them (can you not keep it in your wallet with your debit card?) escapes me.

If you make an honest mistake and forget your railcard then

a) the guard should be lenient and allow you to pay an excess (I mean, forgetting your railcard is in effect an offence under the Railway Byelaws—that of not possessing a valid ticket—and could theoretically lead to a full prosecution)

but

b) the passenger should admit to the offence, offer to pay the excess, take one on the chin and try not to make the same honest mistake again.

Now, we have no idea as to whether a) or b) were true in this case—although it's unlikely both were true, given the result—so we can't speculate. But the attitude of "I've bought my railcard, why should I be forced to pay excess when I forget it?" is arrogant and stupid.
 

SS4

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FTPE is more than capable, in my experience, of doing something similar to that. It's a silly comparison. A TOC "forgetting" to run a service which is in the working timetable and stranding hundreds of people is unlikely to be the result of an "honest mistake". A parent travelling with a child accidentally misplacing a railcard is quite possibly an honest mistake. What bugs me is the automatic presumption of guilt on the part of the passenger by so many on here in cases of potential fare evasion.

Applying the letter of the law with complete rigour in a situation like this (if that is what happened), has more than a whiff of North Korea about it
For it to have more than a whiff or North Korea the customer would be thrown off for no reason at all. And she would be lucky to get that.

The customer (by her own admission) didn't have her railcard. How should the guard have proceeded?

Excesses I do not agree with at all. They give no incentive to travel with the railcard and encourage chancers
 

bb21

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There obviously is not enough evidence to suggest either way. It is also difficult to tell when a passenger claims he/she was stranded, whether that was really the case.

However, by my reckoning it would be very difficult for her to be proven to be fare-evading as the intention would have been difficult to prove, assuming that what she said was mainly true. I find it a bit OTT that she could be accused of fare evasion without anything to suggest so.

I agree with Ferret on this one. It seems to be a standard TIR case.

Is chucking her and her child off the train at an unstaffed station reasonable? In my opinion, if there were another train an hour later then it is fully justified, but even so, assuming what she said was true, what would she do next? If it were the last service of the day then totally unacceptable.
 

khib70

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For it to have more than a whiff or North Korea the customer would be thrown off for no reason at all. And she would be lucky to get that.

The customer (by her own admission) didn't have her railcard. How should the guard have proceeded?

Excesses I do not agree with at all. They give no incentive to travel with the railcard and encourage chancers
Unlike some of the lynch mob above, I'm reluctant to comment on the details of this individual case. In answer to a general question about how a guard should process this type of situation, I can only say that they should use their judgement, experience and common sense to assess each individual case and act accordingly. They should then be able to justify their actions in any subsequent investigation.

My problem with all this, as I said at the beginning is that the priority of some posters seems to be to exonerate rail staff in every situation, regardless of how much they actually know of it. We all know there are fare dodging chancers out there, but some of us don't assume that every passenger who ends up in dispute with a guard/RPI is one of them.

We also all know that there are people in all jobs (not just rail staff) who get intoxicated with their little bit of power over the rest of us. It's equally wrong to assume that this is what happens in every case.
 

ANorthernGuard

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sounds a bit harsh to evict the passenger HOWEVER, trial by facebook/forum etc. is useless as the full facts are not presented and we only have one persons word for it, a full investigation will be carried out by the guards CTM's etc and the truth will eventually be found, the trouble is I find through experience that when people rave on about being the innocent party and the member of staff was out of order they usually miss out a heck of alot of truth, chances are that the guard would have offered a UFN or an excess if not they may have a case to answer, however if they did and it was refused the passenger was right to be evicted but as I have said no one knows what really happened so I would rather wait for facts and not what is most likely fiction.
 

Ferret

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Bb21 - if you can deal with it yourself by UFN/TIR then I don't see what's achived by throwing her off. Are you not just passing on the problem to the next man? That's the angle I'm looking at it from, and why I'd have just TIR'd or UFN'd if she'd accepted the offer of one.
 

aformeruser

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Is chucking her and her child off the train at an unstaffed station reasonable? In my opinion, if there were another train an hour later then it is fully justified.
So the conductor on the train an hour later could then chuck them off the next station, and so on?

I saw a TV documentary where police in Merseyside dealt with a fare evader. He had no ticket or money and lived a number of miles from where he had been thrown off by the conductor, guess what the police did - took his details and told the conductor of the next train to let him go home on that train even without a ticket.
 

mullin

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If all you had to do was pay an excess when you couldn't show a railcard, wouldn't everyone just buy discounted tickets and chance it knowing that all you had to do was pay a ittle more if asked... where is the deterrent in that?
 

mailman

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In an ideal world. Also in an ideal world nobody would try and evade paying the correct fare, North Korea would be a democracy and wealth would be shared equitably.
Sorry but in what world is it justified stranding a mother and her child just because she didnt have a rail card?

Christ...its a rail card...its not like she was trying to steal the crown jewells...although given how some of you have instantly circled the wagon you would think she was trying to "steal" every single spare seat on the train so no one else could sit!

How do you tell the difference between an honest mistake and a good actor? Why is so hard to follow the rules? Imagine the outrage had TPE made an "honest mistake" and "forgot" to put that train on?
Completely different things. Forgetting your rail card is not the same as failing to operate your train service. Apples and oranges and all that.

As you said earlier, in the REAL world people do forget their cards and surely in situations where a mother and her child are on a train and cannot find their rail card the guard can use his discretion to allow them to travel onwards WITHOUT kicking them off the train and the potential for disaster that has for them...and the train companies reputation.

I dunno guys...there just seems to be a total lack of common sense and discretion being shown here by the guard.

Were the lack of WMD in Iraq an honest mistake?
Hate to burst your bubble BUT WMD weapons WERE discovered in Iraq after the invasion BUT thats actually got nothing to do with this thread.
 

aformeruser

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If all you had to do was pay an excess when you couldn't show a railcard, wouldn't everyone just buy discounted tickets and chance it knowing that all you had to do was pay a ittle more if asked... where is the deterrent in that?
No. I can't pass for being under 25, over 60 and don't travel with children, if I tried it on the conductor would realise I had the wrong ticket and not forgotten a railcard.
 

bb21

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Bb21 - if you can deal with it yourself by UFN/TIR then I don't see what's achived by throwing her off. Are you not just passing on the problem to the next man? That's the angle I'm looking at it from, and why I'd have just TIR'd or UFN'd if she'd accepted the offer of one.
Yes, which is why my added thoughts of what would then happen to her, given that she still wouldn't have been able to pay her fare.

Maybe I was overly generalising and didn't express myself too well there. I should have said that under a normal TIR situation where the passenger had the ability to pay but subsequently refused, it would have been fully justified to throw him/her off the train.

In this case, if she were willing to take the TIR then I don't see any problem with it. If she refused, provided that her destination was a staffed station, surely there would have been a better way to deal with it by station staff at the destination, as allegedly her partner was able to cough up.

In the case where she refused to take the TIR and the destination also being unstaffed, I reckon that it would have been a judgement call for the guard. Would it have been worth delaying the train in pursuit of the uncollected fare? (Somehow I doubt it.)

There are too many things unclear about her case for anyone to make a decision about it.
 

ANorthernGuard

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So the conductor on the train an hour later could then chuck them off the next station, and so on?

I saw a TV documentary where police in Merseyside dealt with a fare evader. He had no ticket or money and lived a number of miles from where he had been thrown off by the conductor, guess what the police did - took his details and told the conductor of the next train to let him go home on that train even without a ticket.
Police do not have the authority to do that only the guard and the TOC's control do, they can ask but that is all.
 

hairyhandedfool

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Well, from what I can see on Facebook, she was travelling on a discounted rail ticket, she was unable to present a valid Railcard (she claims she has since found it), she claims to have had no money to pay for a new ticket, she claims she was taken off the train and her belongings were removed also. She is not willing to include more facts because TPE are bound by the Data Protection Act and are saying nothing.

What we don't know is:

  • Did she actually have the railcard on her?
  • Where she bought the ticket.
  • How she paid for her ticket (or even who paid for it).
  • How far she had to travel or how far she had come.
  • Was she offered a UFN?
  • Why the story went to Facebook (even if it was the TPE page) seemingly before TPE Customer services?

IMO, these are important questions, but, as has been noted, trial by any form of media with less than all facts is an easy way to get people on your side. when the facts do eventually come out, no-one likes to admit they were wrong.

My personal opinion is that there is far more to this story than is being said and that the reason she is not saying more is because it will go against her.
 

junglejames

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Junglejames - pay at the other end was a non-starter - I can't see any RPI or Guard accepting that one for reasons that are blatantly obvious.

UFN or TIR was where I think this should have gone. The only reason to ask somebody to leave is if they are repeatedly abusive as far as I'm concerned - and that applies to anyone whether they have children or not. Slightly different for me though because I only stop at main staffed stations as a rule. Without any evidence that the woman was abusive, I'd have to be of the opinion that the Guard should have gone down the UFN/TIR route.
Precisely. I only mentioned her quote about getting her partner to pay at York, as, if this was true, it probably shows the mentality of the person. It shows they would probably welcome a UFN.
 

EM2

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As you said earlier, in the REAL world people do forget their cards and surely in situations where a mother and her child are on a train and cannot find their rail card the guard can use his discretion to allow them to travel onwards WITHOUT kicking them off the train and the potential for disaster that has for them...and the train companies reputation.

Indeed he can, by issung the customer with a UPFN (UnPaid Fare Notice).
The customer does not have to pay immediately and can continue their journey.
IF this has been offered to the customer, and they have refused it, why should the guard let them travel without paying the correct fare?

And only two weeks ago, there was a TOC running a revised Sunday morning timetable due to engineering work. Except they forgot to plan any all-stations services, meaning five stations had no service for three hours...
 

aformeruser

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Police do not have the authority to do that only the guard and the TOC's control do, they can ask but that is all.
There's nothing in NRCoC saying a passenger can be removed from a train mid-journey for not having a ticket, unless you think the clause relating to nuisance dogs or passengers with unacceptable behaviour being removed from train applies. Therefore, the police could put the passenger back on the train because the operator had no right to remove them in the first place.
 

Eagle

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Sorry but in what world is it justified stranding a mother and her child just because she didnt have a rail card?
We don't know the details. For all we know she could have become abusive and/or aggressive. And at that point I'd say it would be justified to eject her, for the safety of the guard, other passengers, and most of all her own child who is being exposed to it (presumably she'd calm down a bit when left on a platform with no one to shout at).

This is all just one of many possibilities, but you can't deny that it's a real one.
 

ANorthernGuard

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There's nothing in NRCoC saying a passenger can be removed from a train mid-journey for not having a ticket, unless you think the clause relating to nuisance dogs being removed from train applies! Therefore, the police could put the passenger back on the train because the operator had no right to remove them in the first place.
I have been in this situation before but this time with the police wanting me to take a drunk on my train who was abusive to a member of staff previously, I refused told my Control that I will refuse to take the train if the drunk was on board, they backed me 110% and the police had to sort out there own transport.
 

junglejames

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SS4 quite - I'm afraid honest mistakes have consequences. It's not hard to remember a railcard, and if you don't you must expect to have to pay for a new ticket as you're required to by the T&Cs which you agreed to when you bought the ticket. I lost a day bus ticket in Bournemouth once. It was an honest mistake but I still had to buy a new one, and then learn not to be so stupid in future!
1- Yes it is easy to forget it, just like its easy to lose a day bus ticket.
2- Yes, it does have consequences, consequencies which for all we know, she was willing to go along with.

A lot of people are talking about her as if she was a blatant fare evader, when the only information we have suggests she was willing to pay any extra, but would have to do so later.
 

Eagle

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There's nothing in NRCoC saying a passenger can be removed from a train mid-journey for not having a ticket, unless you think the clause relating to nuisance dogs or passengers with unacceptable behaviour being removed from train applies. Therefore, the police could put the passenger back on the train because the operator had no right to remove them in the first place.
No, but Byelaw 18(1) and 24(2) are pretty clear:

Byelaw 18(1) said:
In any area not designated as a compulsory ticket area, no person shall enter any train for the purpose of travelling on the railway unless he has with him a valid ticket entitling him to travel.
Byelaw 24(2) said:
(i) Any person who is reasonably believed by an authorised person to be in breach of any of these Byelaws shall leave the railway immediately if asked to do so by an authorised person.

(ii) Any person who is reasonably believed by an authorised person to be in breach of any of these Byelaws and who fails to desist or leave when asked to do so by an authorised person may be removed from the railway by an authorised person using reasonable force. This right of removal is in addition to the imposition of any penalty for the breach of these Byelaws.
The Operator has every right to expel those who are in breach of the Byelaws, and travelling without a railcard invalidates your ticket.
 

Ferret

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Yes, which is why my added thoughts of what would then happen to her, given that she still wouldn't have been able to pay her fare.

Maybe I was overly generalising and didn't express myself too well there. I should have said that under a normal TIR situation where the passenger had the ability to pay but subsequently refused, it would have been fully justified to throw him/her off the train.

In this case, if she were willing to take the TIR then I don't see any problem with it. If she refused, provided that her destination was a staffed station, surely there would have been a better way to deal with it by station staff at the destination, as allegedly her partner was able to cough up.

In the case where she refused to take the TIR and the destination also being unstaffed, I reckon that it would have been a judgement call for the guard. Would it have been worth delaying the train in pursuit of the uncollected fare? (Somehow I doubt it.)

There are too many things unclear about her case for anyone to make a decision about it.
Well, as a passenger, you don't have a choice with a TIR. You're just obliged to give details, then we decide whether UFN is appropriate or not. Refuse the UFN and it'll be a TIR, or if I think I can demonstrate evidence of intent to avoid the fare, we go straight to TIR. Also, on a bit of a tangent if there is a ticket issue that isn't the fault of the customer (issuing error for instance), that goes straight to TIR too.

Kicking people off trains is awkward, and I try everything not to do it. I'd rather deal with whatever issue myself if possible. I reckon I've booted two people in the last 12 months, and both of those were collected by BTP at major staffed stations.
 

SS4

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Sorry but in what world is it justified stranding a mother and her child just because she didnt have a rail card?
There is nothing to suggest they would be left stranded. Inconvenienced certainly but stranded? That implies the last train had gone.

Christ...its a rail card...its not like she was trying to steal the crown jewells...although given how some of you have instantly circled the wagon you would think she was trying to "steal" every single spare seat on the train so no one else could sit!
Anyone would think the railcard terms and conditions demanded one carried the railcard with them? No Railcard = No Valid ticket: as simple as it being Tuesday tomorrow.

Completely different things. Forgetting your rail card is not the same as failing to operate your train service. Apples and oranges and all that.
Ok, that was reductio ab absurdum but I was trying to say that if the TOC failed to meet one of it's obligations we'd never hear the end of it. If a passenger did so, as in this case, then it was an honest mistake.

As you said earlier, in the REAL world people do forget their cards and surely in situations where a mother and her child are on a train and cannot find their rail card the guard can use his discretion to allow them to travel onwards WITHOUT kicking them off the train and the potential for disaster that has for them...and the train companies reputation.
In the real word actions have consequences. The consequence of forgetting one's railcard is paying the SOR. The consequence of being unable to do so is a UPFN.

I dunno guys...there just seems to be a total lack of common sense and discretion being shown here by the guard.
Define common sense. It appears to me that common sense is giving in to the passenger. We cannot say for sure whether or not she was offered a UPFN or not and I doubt the passenger would know (through no fault of her own) what an UPFN is.

Hate to burst your bubble BUT WMD weapons WERE discovered in Iraq after the invasion BUT thats actually got nothing to do with this thread.
Fair enough. Also agreed it's beyond the scope of this thread, I was using reductio ab absurdum again.


hairyhandedfool said:
My personal opinion is that there is far more to this story than is being said and that the reason she is not saying more is because it will go against her.
Seconded.
 

junglejames

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Now, we have no idea as to whether a) or b) were true in this case—although it's unlikely both were true, given the result—so we can't speculate. But the attitude of "I've bought my railcard, why should I be forced to pay excess when I forget it?" is arrogant and stupid.
The only info we have suggests she was happy to pay extra. OK this may have been untrue at the time, but for anyone to assume its untrue is unfair.
As for the attitude you mention. That is something that has not been displayed yet, and its again unfair to assume she has shown it, as there is no evidence.
 

aformeruser

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I have been in this situation before but this time with the police wanting me to take a drunk on my train who was abusive to a member of staff previously, I refused told my Control that I will refuse to take the train if the drunk was on board, they backed me 110% and the police had to sort out there own transport.
I meant to say that you can't remove a passenger who isn't being abusive/violent etc. unless they have a dog on board that is being disruptive.

Being drunk and abusive to rail staff breaches clause 58 "Any person who a Train Company believes is likely to act in a riotous, disorderly or offensive manner may be refused access to, or may be required to leave trains, platforms or stations."
 

SS4

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I still cannot believe that the conductor chose to throw her off instead of offering a UPFN. Can any staff confirm whether this is codified in the manual?

edit: as long as it doesn't cause any adverse effect on your job, the last thing I want is for someone to face a disciplinary for revealing info from the manual
 

ANorthernGuard

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I still cannot believe that the conductor chose to throw her off instead of offering a UPFN. Can any staff confirm whether this is codified in the manual?
That is not known IMHO I feel there is so much more to this than meets the eye like so many other stories that we hear, I certainly will not pass jusgement until all the real facts emerge and not a rant on facebook
 
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