Unsure whether I've been cautioned or not

Skimpot flyer

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Hi folks
I got stopped today at the ticket barrier at St Albans City (SAC) when my ticket failed to open the gate. It was an Off-Peak Day Return from Radlett (RDT) with a Gold Card discount, and the man on the gateline asked to see my Gold Card. (I should add this was mid-morning, not during peak times when the ticket would not be valid)

To my horror, I realised I left it at home. I explained this and co-operated politely and fully with the gateline staff.

I was asked to give my name and address, contact email and phone number and was told that 'someone in the Fraud Department would contact me by letter and ask me to explain why I was travelling on a discounted ticket, without a Gold Card'.

Is this the usual procedure, for forgetting to carry such a thing?

The man also asked a female colleague to turn-on her bodycam whilst he took my details. I wasn't read anything that one would expect to hear if being formally cautioned, indeed I was not informed that this was / is a formal interview, nor was I asked to sign anything, so I'm perplexed.
Is there anything I need to do? I'm at home now and have found my Gold Card, so all is well in that regard.
Can I assume that I will just need to show proof of owning the Gold Card?

Many thanks for your help
 
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Fawkes Cat

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From https://www.nationalrail.co.uk/Agc_Terms2018-19.pdf:

8) You must carry Your Annual Gold Card and, where applicable, photocard with You on the journey
and when asked by rail staff, You must show a valid ticket and valid Annual Gold Card. If You fail
to do so, You and each member of Your group will be required to pay the full price Standard or
First Class Single fare for Your journey as if no ticket was purchased before starting Your journey
and in some cases a Penalty Fare.
This does not apply if there was no ticket office at the station at which You began the journey or if the
ticket office was closed, and there was no working ticket machine from which You could buy discounted
tickets, or You have a disability which prevented You accessing ticket retailing facilities. In these cases You
will be able to use Your Annual Gold Card to buy discounted tickets on the train or at Your destination.

Admittedly these conditions notionally expired in 2019 but assuming they're still valid, it looks as if a penalty fare is the worst that could happen. And whoever stopped you seems to be treating it as 'railcard left at home' so I would guess that you will be invited to submit a picture of your gold card to make the problem go away.
 

Skimpot flyer

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From https://www.nationalrail.co.uk/Agc_Terms2018-19.pdf:



Admittedly these conditions notionally expired in 2019 but assuming they're still valid, it looks as if a penalty fare is the worst that could happen. And whoever stopped you seems to be treating it as 'railcard left at home' so I would guess that you will be invited to submit a picture of your gold card to make the problem go away.
I was rather expecting to be issued a Penalty Fare there and then, but they just took my details and retained the ticket. Strange?
 

Haywain

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I was rather expecting to be issued a Penalty Fare there and then, but they just took my details and retained the ticket. Strange?
Not strange if the people that stopped you were not authorised to issue Penalty Fares.
 

JBuchananGB

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I have heard that most TOCs will "forgive" one instance of travelling on a discounted ticket while not in possession of the relevant card entitling such travel, as long as when the letter comes, the passenger is able to provide evidence that they did indeed hold the relevant card BEFORE the time of travel.
 

Skimpot flyer

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That’s good to hear. I always keep the Gold Card in a bi-fold ticket wallet but left it in a different jacket. I knew almost instantly where it was
 

Snow1964

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At one time to get a gold card, you had to fill out a season ticket form, so the railway had your address. Although the forms might have stayed at issuing station.

They might ask for a copy of the gold card, to prove it does exist, and if you are not on record as doing it before, might waive any further action.
 

Skimpot flyer

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It’s all done on a computer at the issuing station, so I’m sure the records are held online by the TOCs? Last time I renewed my Gold Card, I’m sure my details were already up on the screen when the clerk asked for my name & address
 

T-Karmel

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You were not cautioned if you haven't heard a caution terms and been asked if you understand them.

As Haywain said, there are railway employees who are not being able to issue PF, whilst they can reports the facts instead. Every train company handles that differently and give different set of tools to each grade of employees.

It might be enough to present them your Gold Card and that will close the case, but it's also possible they will ask you to pay a fee to cover their resources spent on your case. How much is that also vary between companies and it could be £80-300.
 

Hadders

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Train companies normally allow passengers one forgotten railcard a year - i.e. they write to you, you send them a copy of your railcard and that's the end of the matter. A Gold Card complicates things slightly because technically it's not a railcard although I'd expect it to be dealt with in a similar fashion for these purposes.

The best thing to do is wait for their letter to arrive and then we can advise on the best course of action.
 

Skimpot flyer

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The best thing to do is wait for their letter to arrive and then we can advise on the best course of action.
Thanks.
From a quick perusal of other threads, I’m assuming the letter may take some time?
 

Scott1

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Thanks.
From a quick perusal of other threads, I’m assuming the letter may take some time?
I can't comment for other TOCs but certainly at mine it varies from a few weeks to a few months depending on how much they've got "in progress" so to speak.
 

Vespa

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I have taken a photo of my railcard and stored it on my phone as a back up along with any tickets brought, I also email it to myself as an attachment.

I see as a back up just in case, the photo with your name and railcard/Goldcard number may prevent it going further depending who you're dealing with at the ticket barrier.

The only thing to do now is wait for a letter.
 

Skimpot flyer

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I have taken a photo of my railcard and stored it on my phone as a back up along with any tickets brought, I also email it to myself as an attachment.

I see as a back up just in case, the photo with your name and railcard/Goldcard number may prevent it going further depending who you're dealing with at the ticket barrier.

The only thing to do now is wait for a letter.
This shows great foresight, I wish I’d had the sense to do it. I could do that right now, but as you say, I will need to wait now for the letter
 

WesternLancer

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Hi folks
I got stopped today at the ticket barrier at St Albans City (SAC) when my ticket failed to open the gate. It was an Off-Peak Day Return from Radlett (RDT) with a Gold Card discount, and the man on the gateline asked to see my Gold Card. (I should add this was mid-morning, not during peak times when the ticket would not be valid)

To my horror, I realised I left it at home. I explained this and co-operated politely and fully with the gateline staff.

I was asked to give my name and address, contact email and phone number and was told that 'someone in the Fraud Department would contact me by letter and ask me to explain why I was travelling on a discounted ticket, without a Gold Card'.

Is this the usual procedure, for forgetting to carry such a thing?

The man also asked a female colleague to turn-on her bodycam whilst he took my details. I wasn't read anything that one would expect to hear if being formally cautioned, indeed I was not informed that this was / is a formal interview, nor was I asked to sign anything, so I'm perplexed.
Is there anything I need to do? I'm at home now and have found my Gold Card, so all is well in that regard.
Can I assume that I will just need to show proof of owning the Gold Card?

Many thanks for your help
I would have thought the ATOC 'forgotten railcard' policy applies here as mentioned in other responses. I'm assuming this related to all railcards (inc Gold Card) and not just some of the railcards - which of course is confusing but as we know there are now a wider range of railcards often with slightly different T&Cs which adds to frustrations.
 

Turtle

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I have taken a photo of my railcard and stored it on my phone as a back up along with any tickets brought, I also email it to myself as an attachment.

I see as a back up just in case, the photo with your name and railcard/Goldcard number may prevent it going further depending who you're dealing with at the ticket barrier.

The only thing to do now is wait for a letter.
Back in the (pre-smart phone,) days when I had an annual season (and later a Gold Card) I used to take 3 photocopies; one kept in my office, one at home and the other in my briefcase. Possibly this was overkill but it came in useful one morning when my recently issued season "vanished" during my journey to work. Reported it to the issuing station and got a replacement that evening. It was the only time in 47 years of commuting that this happened!
 

Haywain

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Back in the (pre-smart phone,) days when I had an annual season (and later a Gold Card) I used to take 3 photocopies; one kept in my office, one at home and the other in my briefcase. Possibly this was overkill but it came in useful one morning when my recently issued season "vanished" during my journey to work. Reported it to the issuing station and got a replacement that evening. It was the only time in 47 years of commuting that this happened!
In what way did the photocopies make any difference?
 

Turtle

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In what way did the photocopies make any difference?
In what way did the photocopies make any difference?
It was evidence that I had recently spent several thousand pounds on a ticket so I was hardly trying to bilk BR as it then was. Staff were more flexible in their approach in those days. Obviously I retraced my steps and subsequently checked with the ticket office and Transport Police office to see if it had been found and handed in but to no avail. So I just bought an ordinary single back to my home station. It's still a mystery to me what happened as I was always obsessive in guarding my annual seasons due to the expense.
 

Haywain

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It was evidence that I had recently spent several thousand pounds on a ticket so I was hardly trying to bilk BR as it then was. Staff were more flexible in their approach in those days. Obviously I retraced my steps and subsequently checked with the ticket office and Transport Police office to see if it had been found and handed in but to no avail. So I just bought an ordinary single back to my home station. It's still a mystery to me what happened as I was always obsessive in guarding my annual seasons due to the expense.
But stations that sell period seasons have to keep a record of those sales, and one reason is to be able to issue a duplicate if an original is lost.
 

185143

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I have taken a photo of my railcard and stored it on my phone as a back up along with any tickets brought, I also email it to myself as an attachment.

I see as a back up just in case, the photo with your name and railcard/Goldcard number may prevent it going further depending who you're dealing with at the ticket barrier.

The only thing to do now is wait for a letter.
I had a photo of my railcard+accompanying photocard sent to me once when I'd gone to London and forgot my railcard. No checks at all on the way down (I realised about halfway down the WCML, not a nice feeling in the morning peak!) And on the way home I had a word with the guard before I got on, showed the photo and my ticket and he was fine with it.

Granted it may not be so simple if I'd met RPIs on arrival at Euston. I had no concerns of such on the return leg as I was arriving after midnight.
 

Turtle

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But stations that sell period seasons have to keep a record of those sales, and one reason is to be able to issue a duplicate if an original is lost.
Agreed. But it felt reassuring to carry some kind of back up document in case of emergency.
 

Haywain

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Agreed. But it felt reassuring to carry some kind of back up document in case of emergency.
I under that but the point is that while it was reassuring it was also completely unnecessary.
 

MikeWh

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Granted it may not be so simple if I'd met RPIs on arrival at Euston. I had no concerns of such on the return leg as I was arriving after midnight.
One of my happiest evenings out ended with getting one of the last trains out of Charing Cross and finding a blockade of all platforms. I reckon they probably collected enough to pay for an overnight hotel or taxis home for the inspectors.
 

Skimpot flyer

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Just perused a couple of threads on here and realised I was not given anything in writing e.g. a Travel Irregularity Report after the conversation with gateline staff.
(Now writing down what I can recall of the conversation while it’s still relatively fresh in my mind).
I was at one point told by the female member of staff that I would need to go to the ticket office and purchase a full-priced ticket for my journey, but then the man came back and asked for my details and I completely forgot she said it. Again, I’m puzzled as to why I got no paperwork. Any thoughts?
 

Hadders

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This type of thing would normally be dealt with by issuing a Penalty Fare but I suspect the member of staff wasn't authorised to issue penalty fares so they therefore had to submit a Travel Irregularity Report. They don't need to give you any paperwork when they do this.

I'd expect Thameslink Prosecutions Department to write to you in due course saying that they have received a report that you travelled with an invalid ticket, and that they are considering prosecuting you but asking for your version of events before deciding how to proceed. At this point I'd simply reply that you purchased a Gold Card discounted ticket because you are a Gold Card holder but on this occasion you simply forgot to carry the Gold Card with you. Enclose a photocopy of the Gold Card and your photocard.

Although a Gold Card isn't exactly the same as a normal railcard they should deal with this as if it was a forgotten railcard (there was a much trumpeted announcement from the DfT in 2017 about the rail industry agreeing to refund any additional costs incurred by passengers who forgot to carry their railcard on the first occasion in a 12 month period)

In February 2017, the rail industry announced that railcard holders who forget to take their railcards with them will, on the first occasion, now be able to reclaim any additional expense they incur for the omission if they subsequently provide proof of the railcard.

That said I suspect it might be hard work to get them to accept this. They will probably offer an administrative settlement int he first instance (my guess around £100).
 

swt_passenger

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This type of thing would normally be dealt with by issuing a Penalty Fare but I suspect the member of staff wasn't authorised to issue penalty fares so they therefore had to submit a Travel Irregularity Report. They don't need to give you any paperwork when they do this.

I'd expect Thameslink Prosecutions Department to write to you in due course saying that they have received a report that you travelled with an invalid ticket, and that they are considering prosecuting you but asking for your version of events before deciding how to proceed. At this point I'd simply reply that you purchased a Gold Card discounted ticket because you are a Gold Card holder but on this occasion you simply forgot to carry the Gold Card with you. Enclose a photocopy of the Gold Card and your photocard.

Although a Gold Card isn't exactly the same as a normal railcard they should deal with this as if it was a forgotten railcard (there was a much trumpeted announcement from the DfT in 2017 about the rail industry agreeing to refund any additional costs incurred by passengers who forgot to carry their railcard on the first occasion in a 12 month period)



That said I suspect it might be hard work to get them to accept this. They will probably offer an administrative settlement int he first instance (my guess around £100).
A minor point possibly, but that 2017 procedure only seems to be designed for someone checked during a journey, in which case they are expected to pay for a new ticket and then get a refund after prvoiding their in date railcard evidence.

I may be wrong, but we don’t ever seem to get people posting that they’ve been sold a new ticket at the destination station. Should that be done?
 

Hadders

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A minor point possibly, but that 2017 procedure only seems to be designed for someone checked during a journey, in which case they are expected to pay for a new ticket and then get a refund after prvoiding their in date railcard evidence.

I may be wrong, but we don’t ever seem to get people posting that they’ve been sold a new ticket at the destination station. Should that be done?
Selling a new ticket at the destination could be done. The whole purpose of the report I linked to was to give passengers confidence when purchasing tickets, not to give the rail industry loopholes to get out of situations.
 

Skimpot flyer

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This type of thing would normally be dealt with by issuing a Penalty Fare but I suspect the member of staff wasn't authorised to issue penalty fares so they therefore had to submit a Travel Irregularity Report. They don't need to give you any paperwork when they do this.

I'd expect Thameslink Prosecutions Department to write to you in due course saying that they have received a report that you travelled with an invalid ticket, and that they are considering prosecuting you but asking for your version of events before deciding how to proceed. At this point I'd simply reply that you purchased a Gold Card discounted ticket because you are a Gold Card holder but on this occasion you simply forgot to carry the Gold Card with you. Enclose a photocopy of the Gold Card and your photocard.

Although a Gold Card isn't exactly the same as a normal railcard they should deal with this as if it was a forgotten railcard (there was a much trumpeted announcement from the DfT in 2017 about the rail industry agreeing to refund any additional costs incurred by passengers who forgot to carry their railcard on the first occasion in a 12 month period)



That said I suspect it might be hard work to get them to accept this. They will probably offer an administrative settlement int he first instance (my guess around £100).
So are you saying that people in these circumstances are treated as if they travelled with no ticket? And so prosecution is an inevitable consequence? I cooperated and gave my details
 

Hadders

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So are you saying that people in these circumstances are treated as if they travelled with no ticket?
Strictly speaking you didn't have a valid ticket. A Penalty Fare would have been an appropriate course of action which you could have asked them to refund under the rail industry's policy.

And so prosecution is an inevitable consequence?
No I'm not saying that. I think you'll get a letter asking for your version of events but it is highly unlikely you will be prosecuted. If you engage positively they should drop the matter.

cooperated and gave my details
This is always the best way to avoid matters escalating.
 

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