Underpaid train fare

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AllezBlackpool

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Right, I have been a bad boy. Got on train and no conductor on so got to end of line and had to buy a ticket there. Stupidly I thought I might save myself a bit of money (10p I think) so said I got on the stop after. They gave me a ticket then some guy stops me and says the station I said I got on had a human barrier and they were handing out vouchers, so I couldnt have got on there. Now I have a letter threatening me with court and asking for my side of the story before they proceed.

Yes I know I have done wrong but what should I do. I have learnt my lesson but I really cannot afford a huge fine :(
 
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MikeWh

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Well it's going to be the biggest 10p you've ever spent in your life!

You will need to respond with your side of the story, which should be concise and express your deep sorrow and regret at having wasted their time. Then express a desire to avoid wasting any more time by settling the issue as soon as possible and without going to court. If it is your first railway transgression, then as long as there is nothing you aren't telling us it is likely that they will offer a settlement. Depending on your perception of huge, this may well seem huge, but it will be a whole lot better in the long run than ending up in court.

I've asked for this thread to be moved to our fares and ticketing section where others may be able to offer advice. You may also get an offer to proof read what you say to avoid incriminating yourself any further.
 

142094

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Yes I know I have done wrong but what should I do. I have learnt my lesson but I really cannot afford a huge fine :(
Sounds as if you travelled on a Northern service. Northern are currently in the process of clamping down on fare evasion and fraud, so it looks as if you are going to have to either make a generous offer for an out of court settlement or possibly have to stomach a larger fine.
 

185

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Think they were hiding behind the wall at Layton. Bit sneaky but they have to do it.
 

SussexMan

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The OP has admitted saying he got on at a station where he didn't but on a more general point, what is the actual status of these "vouchers"? If someone lost the voucher, have they broken any conditions of the NRCOC? Surely to stay within the NRCOC, the TOC needs to put up temporary signs at that station saying "you must buy a ticket at this station" and then have a mobile cubicle selling tickets. Why vouchers, not tickets?
 

snail

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Why vouchers, not tickets?
Because they are trying to catch out people that have NOT boarded at that station. It's much simpler and quicker to hand out a voucher than issuing a ticket, making the likelihood of someone turning up at the terminus station without one almost nil.
 

hairyhandedfool

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....but on a more general point, what is the actual status of these "vouchers"? If someone lost the voucher, have they broken any conditions of the NRCOC? Surely to stay within the NRCOC, the TOC needs to put up temporary signs at that station saying "you must buy a ticket at this station" and then have a mobile cubicle selling tickets. Why vouchers, not tickets?
If someone lost the voucher, saying something like "they gave me a voucher but I must have lost it", before being told they should have one, could carry a lot of weight.

Mobile ticket cubicles would cost more money than a man handing out vouchers, but the point of the exercise is to catch people attempting to pay less than the correct fare for the journey. Selling a ticket gets you the fare for the day, giving out vouchers allows the TOC to find all the people who only buy what they have to to get through the barriers.

When I worked at City Thameslink they were looking to install ticket barriers and put on a revenue block one day. Ticket sales for the day went through the roof, but money taken worked out at an average of around £1 per ticket. My shift alone had more than 500 extra tickets, but there is no way you are convincing me there were suddenly 500 new travellers going to Elephant and Castle, Blackfriars or London Bridge during that one shift, all of whom obviously decided not to travel again.

The vouchers are little more than a permit to travel (which are well within the NRCoC), but if staff are giving them to everybody and you don't have one, the chances of you having travelled from that station are dramatically reduced.
 

scrapy

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.

The vouchers are little more than a permit to travel (which are well within the NRCoC), but if staff are giving them to everybody and you don't have one, the chances of you having travelled from that station are dramatically reduced.
Permits to travel are only allowed within the NRCOC within penalty fares areas. If the offence did take place involving Layton, Northern would not be permitted to hand out anything with the words permit to travel on, and the piece of paper has no legal standing.

Whilst there is no offence commited in simply not having a piece of paper, those turning up at the terminus without one may give an RPI reason to question the passenger further. A statement given by the passenger together with any CCTV evidence from a train or station may then be enough evidence to prosecute.
 

Indigo2

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Sounds to me like the Northern-style vouchers are just a handy way of getting people to incriminate themselves when interviewed, but they don't hold any legal force by themselves.
 

hairyhandedfool

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Permits to travel are only allowed within the NRCOC within penalty fares areas....
Show me where it says that.

....If the offence did take place involving Layton, Northern would not be permitted to hand out anything with the words permit to travel on, and the piece of paper has no legal standing....
You might want to read Condition 2 of the NRCoC.
 

142094

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It doesn't have to be a voucher, can be a token or something similar (might even be a stamp, depends on what they are using). By doing this they will know that everyone who boarded at that station has a ticket, so someone coming up at Preston or whereever it is asking for a ticket from Layton is going to get done for fraud. Simple tactic, works well and is being rolled out across the Northern network.
 

Failed Unit

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The tokens are not fool proof of course, for example, you hold a ticket from A-B and you have bought in advance a ticket from B-C (yes a split journey) As long as the train stopped at B you are OK and you would have no reason to have a token proving you joined at station B (you may not even if you had physically changed trains at station B)

In this situation you would almost certanly have the A-B ticket to show at the same time, but I understand that you don't legally need to keep this. In this situation would you get a hard time from Northern. I have a habit that I really need to stop of throwing away used tickets ASAP just so I don't hand them to the gaurd in error on the next journey!
 

maniacmartin

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Good point Failed Unit. I think they'd have a hard time demanding you keep tickets from parts of your journey that have already been completed
 

AllezBlackpool

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It was actually in Bradford. I got on at Shipley, had not woken up properly and asked for a return from Frizinghall because I thought it was in the same price band. Stupid I know in hindsight. I didn't even intend to use the return part of the ticket. Worst mistake of my life so far by the looks of it!!!
 

oversteer

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You must try to write to Northern ASAP and try to get them to accept a payment to settle the matter. They may not, but it will be worth it to avoid a criminal record.

If it goes to court, and they attempt to have to prosecuted for intentionally avoiding the fare (which is basically what you have admitted here) you will be treated very severely by the magistrates. If guilty it is a criminal record, fine (likely to be £400+), costs, name in the papers, etc etc.
 

142094

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If it goes to court, and they attempt to have to prosecuted for intentionally avoiding the fare (which is basically what you have admitted here) you will be treated very severely by the magistrates. If guilty it is a criminal record, fine (likely to be £400+), costs, name in the papers, etc etc.
It will be a lot more serious than avoiding the fare, it will be seen as fraud.
 

jon0844

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Yes I know I have done wrong but what should I do. I have learnt my lesson but I really cannot afford a huge fine :(
Should have thought about that a little earlier as it's a bit late now. Sorry if this post is considered unhelpful, but I feel that if people are finding this forum by doing searches (and that certainly seems to be the case going by the huge increase in similar stories) then I hope these threads will also serve as a deterrent.
 

Squaddie

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I got on at Shipley, had not woken up properly and asked for a return from Frizinghall because I thought it was in the same price band.
But in your original post you said that you deliberately gave an incorrect station of origin because you thought it would be cheaper:
I thought I might save myself a bit of money (10p I think) so said I got on the stop after.
It's difficult to give advice to someone who isn't giving a consistent story.
 

142094

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It might also be the case that Northern are wanting to make an example, such as by pursuing this all the way to court, rather than settling out of court.
 
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