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Travel irregularity letter - help

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Newessexgirl

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3 Nov 2020
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Hi, hope someone can give me advice here. I recently received a travel irregularity letter to say that an officer had stopped me on the 22nd with the wrong ticket and that the facts of this incident had been submitted for legal proceedings. The letter also gave me an email address to provide anything that could mitigate the case and that if I didn’t respond my case may be put forward for prosecution. I have tried calling and emailing to apologise for the incident and offer to pay for any penalties I owe because of this. I had purchased a ticket only half way not the whole way. I have received a penalty fare before for falling asleep and ending up at the end of the line without a valid ticket but nothing like this before. I have had sleepiness nights over this as I suffer from anxiety. What should I do? And could I really be prosecuted for a matter of £20? Thank you for your help
 
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marty1977

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Hello, firstly yes you could be prosecuted for £20 also this is the second time you have come to attention for having incorrect tickets for your journey. I would send an email to them being very honest about why you only bought a ticket covering half of your journey and an apology too.

You then need to wait to see what the company wish to do, fingers crossed they may offer you a settlement and not go to court. Hopefully things go your way and a lesson learnt.
 

Fawkes Cat

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Welcome to the forum.

By the sound of things, you have already emailed the railway, so you've already done the right thing. That means that for the moment you can relax because there is nothing more that you should do just now. The railway should get back to you eventually. They might offer you a settlement without going to court, in which case the easiest thing is to accept their offer, and pay them the money. Typically, this will be something like a hundred pounds for their costs plus the fare that you should have paid.

It's also possible that the railway might say that they want to take you to court. Try not to worry too much about that, because even then it may be possible to agree an out of court settlement. So make sure that you reply to every letter. Every time, write courteously and briefly to tell the railway that you are sorry, you know that you were in the wrong, that you have learnt your lesson and won't fare dodge again, and that you would like to agree an out of court settlement covering the fare and the costs that the railway has incurred. We do hear of settlements being agreed - even on the day that the matter goes to court - so it's always worth trying.

You need to allow a good six months for the railway to get in touch with you. That's because if they want to take you to court they have six months from the date of the offence to tell the court that they're going to prosecute you - and then it may take the court a few weeks to get in touch with you. But if seven or eight months have passed and you have heard nothing from the railway or the court, you can then decide that the matter is closed and there is nothing more to be concerned about.

And for the future, bear in mind that a useful tool to manage anxiety is to avoid unnecessarily stressful situations. One way of doing this is to make sure that you have paid the right fare for your railway journeys, so that you won't face conflict with ticket inspectors.
 
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Newessexgirl

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3 Nov 2020
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Hi both, thanks so much for your reply. I wanted to give an update as Greater Anglia has replied to my email and said they are able to offer me an out of court resolution. This amounted to £221.10 (!!!) which was the difference for the fare £21.10 and the £200 for their fee. I've now paid it with many apologies, but still can't believe you can get prosecuted for such little money. My advice to anyone reading this is do not do it, it's not worth it!
 

WesternLancer

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12 Apr 2019
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7,293
Hi both, thanks so much for your reply. I wanted to give an update as Greater Anglia has replied to my email and said they are able to offer me an out of court resolution. This amounted to £221.10 (!!!) which was the difference for the fare £21.10 and the £200 for their fee. I've now paid it with many apologies, but still can't believe you can get prosecuted for such little money. My advice to anyone reading this is do not do it, it's not worth it!
Yes, this is quite a high sum, but better than a prosecution I suspect (for which I would expect you to have been found guilty automatically as it were). I assume from you post that on this occasion the decision to buy a ticket for part of the journey was deliberate, as opposed to an error.

Also they will bear in mind that you are probably on a database for the previous (unintentional) error when you fell asleep and went beyond your stop to the end of the line.
In that case what happened, did you have to pay a sum / fare to settle that? It sounds as though you had to pay a penalty then as well + the fare even though you had no intention of going to that station at the end of the line.

Apols for stating what is probably obvious but you may want to see if any railcards are of use to you to cut travel costs, or a season ticket, or bear in mind that many return fares are not much more than the cost of a single if you did not already know that and have bought single tickets, which would mean you are paying more than you need to for your rail travel.
 

Fawkes Cat

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8 May 2017
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3,046
Hi both, thanks so much for your reply. I wanted to give an update as Greater Anglia has replied to my email and said they are able to offer me an out of court resolution. This amounted to £221.10 (!!!) which was the difference for the fare £21.10 and the £200 for their fee. I've now paid it with many apologies, but still can't believe you can get prosecuted for such little money. My advice to anyone reading this is do not do it, it's not worth it!
Thanks for letting us know - this is a good result and hopefully means that you don't need to worry about this any more.
 
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