Travelling without a ticket

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Just been caught travelling between Wolverhampton and Telford on a TfW service without a ticket; as a result I have had to provide my details in writing to the RPO.

It was the first time that I have done this (Not that it is a defence I understand, there is only one person to blame here and that is me...) so what happens next? The RPO said to expect a letter in 2 to 6 weeks; what happens then? What is the fine likely to be?
 
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najaB

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It was the first time that I have done this (Not that it is a defence I understand, there is only one person to blame here and that is me...) so what happens next? The RPO said to expect a letter in 2 to 6 weeks; what happens then? What is the fine likely to be?
Typically, you'll be invited to put your side of the story before the TOC considers whether they will prosecute you for an offence or not.

You can expect the letter in the near future - 3 to 6 weeks would be typical as the RPO indicated.

The TOC will consider your statement and may offer to settle the matter out of court, or may decide that a prosecution is warranted.

Settlement amounts are usually the sum of the fare due (undiscounted), and a contribution towards the costs incurred so far. This could be anything from £80 to £250 depending on the top and how much work they have had to perform.

If the case goes to court, in the event of a successful prosecution, you can expect a fine of up to £1,000 (though likely lower). Depending on the legislation used to bring the prosecution this may also incur a criminal record which will be spent after 12 months.

It should go without saying that it's in your best interest that this matter does not go to court - to that regard keep you responses short, factual, and to the point. Admit your transgression, offer to make restitution, and make a commitment to never repeat your actions.
 
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Thanks mate, are the TOC likely to attempt to pursue this through the courts? Obviously it would be my preference that it doesn't go that far...
 

ForTheLoveOf

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Thanks mate, are the TOC likely to attempt to pursue this through the courts? Obviously it would be my preference that it doesn't go that far...
TfW and in particular their predecessors ATW have had a policy of taking passengers to Court over ticketless travel.

Did you give your correct details (including where you had travelled from)? If not, prosecution may be unavoidable. If you gave correct details and merely didn't use the ticket office or machine due to a lack to time etc. then prosecution may be more avoidable and a settlement is perhaps more achievable.
 

ForTheLoveOf

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Yes absolutely; correct travel details, name and address.
In that case prosecution under the more serious Regulation of Railways Act is unlikely to be viable. Prosecution under the less serious Railway Byelaws is still possible - so you would be looking to give an honest account of what happened, and to ask to settle the matter out of Court, when/if you receive the letter. In such circumstances settlement is often - though not always - possible.
 

gray1404

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Transport for Wales outsource this revenue protection follow up to a company called Transport Investigations Limited. They are not the most easy company to deal with. They will typically send a letter saying they see no reason why the matter cannot go to court and invite you to reply if you wish. Then upon receipt of your letter they will reply saying that they have noted your comments but still see no reason why the matter cannot go to court. Then you may need to write back to them again repeating what you have said in your first letter. There have been many cases on here where passenger have had to write to them at least a couple of times before they offer a settlement.
 

Stigy

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In that case prosecution under the more serious Regulation of Railways Act is unlikely to be viable. Prosecution under the less serious Railway Byelaws is still possible - so you would be looking to give an honest account of what happened, and to ask to settle the matter out of Court, when/if you receive the letter. In such circumstances settlement is often - though not always - possible.
Depends on the intent as to whether prosecution under the RRA is viable, as with all these cases. If it’s a one off misdeamenor then I agree it’s not likely, but it all depends what was said during Q&A as to what charges can be proved.
 

Greenback

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It's likely to be impossible to predict what's going to happen in regards to court action. It will depend on what happened, and how TIL view your response to their letter - and your offer of financial restitution.
 
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Just as an update, TIL wrote to me at the start of April asking for any mitigation, to which I replied along the lines of I was very sorry, I realise that this is my fault but as it is a first offence, I would be appreciative of settling out of court etc.

They wrote back last week offering an administrative settlement of £87; bearing in mind the potentially much larger fine and criminal record if prosecuted, I snapped their hand off!

All in all this has been a lesson; I will not seek to repeat this experience.
 
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