Travel beyond validity

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winks3

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Hi,

So, bit of background info. I have a monthly season ticket from Lancing to Imperial Wharf (Route Clapham J NOT Ldn) which I use for work each day.

Well today I had to go to Paddington (London) so I got a train from Lancing to Gatwick and jumped on the Gatwick express to London Victoria, being told by the person at Lancing to get an extension from Clapham Junction to London Victoria once I get to Victoria.

Anyhow, once I got in to Victoria one of the revenue protection officers got hold of me. Apparently they cannot do this [extension] and I am liable for a fine. Obviously not happy I argued this and said that I'd been told otherwise. Of course they didn't listen and hence proceeded to fine me.

Now, I get that I may be liable for a fine for travelling beyond the validity of my season ticket. However, my query lies in how much I have been fined:

Issued at: London Victoria
Issued on: Station:
Issue reason: 03 Travel Beyond Validity:
Grounds Info:
Journey From: Brighton to London Victoria
.....
Penalty Fare Fine: £51.00

I don't understand why I've been charged so much more for this and why they are saying my journey is from Brighton. I figure that my journey from Lancing to Gatwick was lawful and that somewhere in-between the Gatwick to Victoria I become liable. So why is this not the £20 fine that it states in places, as my ticket is valid as far as Clapham Junction and it can't be more than that for the price of a single / return (or whatever it is that they charge you).

If anyone could help me understand this, and figure out whether I should appeal or just pay up and move on, that'd be great.

Thanks!
 
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bb21

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Which train from Brighton did you use?
 

winks3

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Hi bb21,

I travelled from lancing to gatwick on southern. Then gatwick to Victoria on gatwick express
 

James Wake

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How long is your season valid for? I think what you proposed should be valid with a simple condition 19 (c) split.

Second, was it the gateline staff at Lancing or someone in a ticket office?

The problem in my opinion is you should have purchased the ticket before you passed through Clapham Junction, either from a conductor (which there should have been on a train from Lancing), or on the Ticket machines you can set it to do fares from a different station, I've done this many times at my local Southern station when I need an extension on my season ticket.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Which train from Brighton did you use?

Maybe the OP caught a direct Lancing to Gatwick service?

Also seen as your ticket is marked Clapham J not London, it seems there is no operator restriction.
 

greatkingrat

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The penalty fare is £20 or twice the standard single, whichever is higher.

SDS Brighton - London is 25.50 so they have charged you twice that.

I agree that is incorrect as you certainly had a valid ticket as far as Gatwick, it should be twice a SOS Gatwick - London (2*19.90 = 39.80), leaving aside arguments about Gatwick Express ticket validity.
 

Tetchytyke

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What you proposed to do- buy a single from Clapham Junction to London Terminals or London U1- is allowed and, under condition 19(c), the train does not have to call at the station where you change from one ticket to another.

However if your journey starts at a staffed station then the tickets for the entire intended journey must be bought before boarding the train. If you don't, you either have to stop and sort your ticketing out before you reach the end of validity of the ticket you do have, or you may be liable for a Penalty Fare.

Lancing station has a ticket office. Therefore you had to buy the ticket at Lancing or before the end of the validity of your season ticket, which is defined as the last station the train calls at that your ticket is valid at. This would appear to be Gatwick Airport. You had to buy the ticket at Lancing or, failing that, before your train left Gatwick Airport.

The PF should have been from Gatwick Airport not Brighton, but you did not have a valid ticket to complete your journey once you left Gatwick Airport. Issuing a PF would be fair.
 
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hounddog

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Have you got a reference for that? Where is an obligation to take account of a ticket that covers part but not all of the journey documented?

What provision allows the company to impose a penalty in respect of part of a journey that is covered by a valid ticket? If anyone should be providing a reference it's you.
 

bb21

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Have you got a reference for that? Where is an obligation to take account of a ticket that covers part but not all of the journey documented?

I'm slightly confused as to why a Penalty Fare from Brighton was issued, given that the OP originated at Lancing and the point which he became ticketless was Gatwick Airport.

In either case, I can only reach the conclusion that the Penalty Fare appears to have been incorrectly issued.
 

greatkingrat

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I think NRCOC 18 (in conjunction with condition 4) makes it clear the penalty fare only applies to the part of the journey beyond the validity of the original ticket.
 

furlong

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I have a monthly season ticket from Lancing to Imperial Wharf (Route Clapham J NOT Ldn) which I use for work each day.

Well today I had to go to Paddington (London) so I got a train from Lancing to Gatwick and jumped on the Gatwick express to London Victoria, being told by the person at Lancing to get an extension from Clapham Junction to London Victoria once I get to Victoria.

So as you do this journey every day, perhaps you can find the person at Lancing who said that to you and have them corroborate your claim that the railway gave you permission to travel without a ticket provided you purchased one at your destination?

(It's possible that they were not authorised to have given you permission in that particular way because otherwise anyone could make up a story like that to avoid a Penalty Fare!)

In future, if exceptionally you are given verbal permission on the railway like this always ask the person giving you it what you need to do if someone disputes the fact you have been given such permission.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
I think NRCOC 18 (in conjunction with condition 4) makes it clear the penalty fare only applies to the part of the journey beyond the validity of the original ticket.

Ah yes, condition 18, thanks

18. If you travel further than a ticket allows
If you travel beyond the destination shown on the ticket, you will be treated as having joined the train without a ticket for that additional part of your journey.

could probably be taken as limiting the scope of the Penalty Fares rules:

Amount of a penalty fare
...
5(2)The full single fare applicable in the case of a person charged a penalty fare while travelling by, being present on or leaving a train, having travelled on or having been present on a preceding train, is the full single fare in respect of a journey from the station (in this regulation referred to as “the first boarding station”), at which that person boarded the preceding train, to the next station at which the train by which he is travelling or on which he is present is scheduled to stop, or, where that person is leaving the train at a station, that station.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
So that provides two separate potential grounds for appeal - firstly that there was no authority to charge that particular Penalty Fare because NRCoC 18 was not taken into account - you had a valid ticket; secondly that there was authority to travel (if you get nowhere finding the person yourself and you think CCTV could help, tell them in writing to retain it before it gets wiped):

Circumstances in which a penalty fare is not to be charged where a person is travelling on a train
...
6(2)(d) a person acting or purporting to act on behalf of:
(i) the operator of the relevant train, or
(ii) the operator of the station in question, indicated that the person in question was, or persons generally were, permitted to travel by or be present on the relevant train or, as the case may be, any preceding train without having a ticket or other authority.
 
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winks3

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Hi all,

Thanks for the great responses. Just to clarify a couple of things:

-the train that I boarded from Gatwick to Victoria (didn't stop at Clapham and was direct) started at Brighton.
-I bought my [monthly] season ticket this morning. I asked the guy who issued me the ticket what I should do. He said that I should get it once I get to Victoria. There was a queue 4 deep behind me at this point, I'm guessing this now probably influenced that decision.

Based off this information, what do you think my next steps should be? Assuming that I appear to have been overcharged, should I appeal?
 

ian959

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It appears that the Penalty fare is correctly issued as you did not have a valid ticket for that part of your journey from Gatwick Airport. The fact that your season ticket is to Clapham Junction would only apply if you had bought a ticket for Clapham Junction to London Victoria BEFORE boarding your train at Gatwick Airport. Equally the penalty fare amount is wrong as you should only be charged for the fare from Gatwick Airport to London Victoria.

You should certainly contest the amount being charged as it is patently incorrect. However that is all that you could reasonably argue about regarding the Penalty Fare.

You should also complain to the TOC about the incorrect information you were given at Lancing. The rules on split ticketing are fairly clear and you cannot split ticket AFTER the event.
 

furlong

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you should only be charged for the fare from Gatwick Airport to London Victoria.

Actually, if we're relying on condition 18

18. If you travel further than a ticket allows
If you travel beyond the destination shown on the ticket, you will be treated as having joined the train without a ticket for that additional part of your journey.

to avoid having to charge the fare for the whole journey (the Penalty Fares rules themselves make no such concession that I can see), then the destination shown on the ticket is Clapham Junction, and so the additional part of your journey presumably starts there, not at Gatwick.
 
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Haywain

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the destination shown on the ticket is Clapham Junction, and so the additional part of your journey presumably starts there, not at Gatwick.
Incorrect. The route on the ticket is "Clapham Junction not London" and to benefit from not stopping you need a ticket before joining the train. In this case the OP was unfortunately ticketless from Gatwick Airport.
 

furlong

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Incorrect. The route on the ticket is "Clapham Junction not London" and to benefit from not stopping you need a ticket before joining the train. In this case the OP was unfortunately ticketless from Gatwick Airport.

Oh - Imperial Wharf - so 18 doesn't apply after all and it's back to a charge for the whole journey, unless you start imagining what the intention behind the rules might have been, hinted at in the heading, rather than what they actually say?
 

najaB

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Oh - Imperial Wharf - so 18 doesn't apply after all and it's back to a charge for the whole journey, unless you start imagining what the intention behind the rules might have been, hinted at in the heading, rather than what they actually say?
It seems to me that the PF should apply from Gatwick since that is the point at which the OP joined a train without a valid ticket for the journey they intended to take.
 

furlong

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It seems to me that the PF should apply from Gatwick since that is the point at which the OP joined a train without a valid ticket for the journey they intended to take.

The rules seem to say that when connecting, the preceding train on the journey is always taken into account too. Why the NRCoC only talks of the destination on the ticket and why the Penalty Fares rules themselves don't cover this scenario directly, I just don't understand.

Anyway, we can probably all agree that there's no basis for issuing it from Brighton, so whether it should have been Lancing, Gatwick or Clapham Jn doesn't matter at this point.
 

Puffing Devil

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I got a train from Lancing to Gatwick and jumped on the Gatwick express to London Victoria, being told by the person at Lancing to get an extension from Clapham Junction to London Victoria once I get to Victoria.

To me, this is in line with the National Conditions of Carriage:

You must always have a valid ticket before boarding a train, unless:[....]
c) an authorised person (e.g. train company staff member) gave you permission to travel without a valid ticket.

It's another line of argument - and one that I would run with personally. Others may not feel as comfortable, and prefer to settle with a Penalty Fare, even if unjust.
 

furlong

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It's another line of argument - and one that I would run with personally.

Yes, so that makes 3 arguments, each of which should on its own be grounds for a successful appeal. Whereas the Brighton one is absolute, the "I had authority" ones could be disputed by the company if all the staff who were on duty are asked and none owns up to or remembers it.
 
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winks3

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Really appreciate your help guys. Going to put together an appeal based on the points raised here.

Thanks a lot, will let you know how I get on :)
 

furlong

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Really appreciate your help guys. Going to put together an appeal based on the points raised here.

Thanks a lot, will let you know how I get on :)

Try to set out your appeal logically, quoting directly from the documentation upon which each element of your appeal is based and doing what you can to help them identify the individual who you say gave you the permission - time, place, description, name if you can get it, and put the TOC on notice to retain any relevant CCTV in case the appeal is rejected and you decide to take the matter further and the person concerned still needs to be identified and asked for a statement.
 

RPI

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The penalty fare should apply from Gatwick, you would have required an over distance excess or single from Clapham Junction before boarding the train at Gatwick airport, so I would appeal the PF on the basis that it's been issued for a journey from Brighton that you didn't make, therefore you did not undertake the journey that is specified on the notice therefor the notice.is incorrectly issued.
 

sarahj

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I'm amazed you did not try and buy on the train. Lancing is only 4 coaches long and the conductor is easy to spot. Folks from Lancing who want things can and do find the conductor. The conductor will then happily sell you that extension from Clapham to Victoria once they have seen proof of your weekly/monthly/yearly ticket. And then when you get to Victoria, no queuing/questions needed, just go through the barrier with your valid ticket.

The issues happen when you try and extend your ticket, after you have extended your journey.
 

sheff1

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I'm amazed you did not try and buy on the train.

Someone who is not familiar the rules asks the booking office staff what to do and is told to buy the ticket when they get to Victoria. Having asked and been given the answer, why is it amazing that they do not then try to do something else ? They were not to know that the answer was incorrect.
 
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jimbo99

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I remember at Gatwick (just before Oysters were accepted) the queues for the ticket machines became crazy long. The guys just opened the barriers for a few minutes, telling people to get the tickets "at the other end".

I do wonder if any of these poor folks got issued PFs. Particularly frustrating if you had indeed been queueing for several more minutes before being herded through the barrier.
 

island

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If appealing, note that doing so does not "stop the clock" on payment of any Penalty Fare due and failure to make payment by the indicated date will result in additional fees being incurred. In the event the appeal is successful any overpaid amount will be refunded. (The single fare from CLJ to VIC is due in any event.)
 
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winks3

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Thanks island - I will bear that in mind.

I've sent the appeal this morning. It doesn't really say how long this process is now. Are they pretty quick at dealing with these things?
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Well I already received a reply to my appeal this morning.

Rejected because I didn't specify which train I left Lancing on. Sent another letter so will keep you in the loop!

Pretty quick response so far though...
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
A further update:

Appeal successful!

It is the responsibility of the train company to provide the passenger with the opportunity to purchase their required tickets before travel. The Penalty Fare Rules stipulate that passengers must make use of all /any available ticket purchase favilities before starting their journey.

I understand from your appeal that permission was given by rail staff to buy an extension ticket on the train or at the destination station. On this occasion I accept that misinformation was given. However, for future journeys please be advised that tickets must be bought before travel commences, where the facility to buy a ticket has been provided.

With that in mind, I am pleased to inform you that your appeal has been successful. There is, however, a fare due of £3.30 for the journey and you should send payment immediately to.........


So a good result! Thanks for your help guys!
 

Haywain

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Well done! Good to see that appeals can be successful.
 
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