What is a "Penalty Fare Station"?

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by startingaparty, 19 Apr 2018.

  1. startingaparty

    startingaparty Member

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    Hi,

    Just wondering whether someone can explain exactly what a "Penalty Fare Station" is and how they differ from those that aren't? Why aren't all stations "Penalty Fare Stations"?
     
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  3. Clip

    Clip On Moderation

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    Not all Train operating companies have a 'Penalty Fare' scheme so not all stations can all be those kind of stations and those that do may have more than one Train operating company operating from it that doesnt participate in the penalty fare scheme! Confused yet?
     
  4. furlong

    furlong Established Member

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    A good working definition might simply now be that a Penalty Fare Station is one that displays notices in compliance with regulation 8 and Schedule 1 of The Railways (Penalty Fares) Regulations 2018.
     
    Last edited: 19 Apr 2018
  5. DelW

    DelW Member

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    At its simplest, a station at which you are required to buy a ticket before boarding your train (the penalty may be applied if you don't).

    Many smaller stations don't have facilities to sell tickets, so it's permitted to buy them on the train, or at a later connection or destination station.
     
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  7. Antman

    Antman Established Member

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    You and I know that but there is nothing to tell passengers about it and some people really are scared to get on a train without a ticket.
     
  8. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Penalty fares can only be issued under certain circumstances.

    One of the preconditions (among others) is that the station must be within a Penalty Fare scheme. A station that is within such a scheme will be a Penalty Fare station for that purpose. That does not necessarily mean a passenger starting their journey there can be charged a Penalty Fare.

    For example a Penalty Fare can't be charged when travelling with a company whose trains are outwith the Penalty Fare scheme, nor if the next station is outwith the scheme (e.g. London St Pancras to Leicester), nor can anyone other than an authorised Penalty Fare collector make such a charge.
    Such as King's Cross? ;) Problem is it's not that simple... as that would only apply if travelling with GTR, of course!

    And, while VTEC may require you to buy a ticket before boarding their trains, that doesn't mean they can issue a Penalty Fare.
    This applies whether or not the station is a Penalty Fare station though ;)
     
  9. IanXC

    IanXC Emeritus Moderator

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    Just to further complicate the issue, whilst it may be custom and practice, I can't find anything in the 2018 regulations that limits the applicability of Penalty Fares by Train Operating Company. I might be wrong but my reading is that a Penalty Fares station is a Penalty Fares station regardless of whose train you have or intend to travel on.
     
  10. furlong

    furlong Established Member

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    The current legal framework places no such demand on train companies as far as I can see.

    I think that's incorrect - have you read the 2018 regulations yet? Any TOC can now appoint anyone as an Authorised Collector to issue Penalty Fares from any station where the notices are displayed in accordance with the regulations and show that TOC's logo/name. The vast majority of the passenger protections mandated by the SRA are now gone - replaced by a revamped appeal system. But where the fundamentals are still the same as in 2002, I would anticipate that appeals panels would still find the SRA's well-documented reasoning persuasive today and uphold appeals if a TOC ever tries to take unfair advantage of this deregulation.
     
  11. EssexGonzo

    EssexGonzo Member

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    Well, that's cleared that up then.

    If the explanation behind what a Penalty Fare Station is so complex, open to interpretation and beyuond what most of the travelling public would be reasonably able to establish.......Why bother stating that a particular station is a penalty fare station?
     
  12. island

    island Established Member

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    “Most of the travelling public” pay for their journeys and don’t need to worry about incurring Penalty Fares.
     
  13. swt_passenger

    swt_passenger Veteran Member

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    In a recent thread somewhere I noted that the scheme documentation provided to DFT had to define exactly what procedures applied to people using other TOCs trains, for each station where it could occur. Scheme details had been made available by DFT in response to an FOI.

    Would all the extant schemes now need to have been updated to reflect the 2018 regulations? Don’t see why the current details shouldn’t be viewable on DFTs website, shouldn’t need FOI really.

    But I’m pretty sure the posters displayed by SWT back in the day were tailored to the actual TOCs calling at that station. As TEW mentioned a few days ago, showing XC on a poster at Farnham is a bit confusing.
     
  14. transmanche

    transmanche Established Member

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    As you'll have seen, the devil is very much in the detail.

    But in simple terms, it is a station where if you pass beyond a certain point (into what is sometimes referred to as a 'paid area'), you must be in possession of a valid ticket. If you can't produce one, the authorities may choose to issue you with a penalty fare. They don't have to prove that you have travelled or were intending to travel - the mere fact that you are there and have no ticket is enough.

    What is that 'certain point'. That might be a clearly demarcated and signed gateline (as you'll usually see on London Underground) or might be a clearly signed painted line (as you'll usually see on the T&W Metro).

    In general, Penalty Fares are used to dissuade ticketless travel on frequent, urban services where it is impractical to check tickets on-board the train. Elsewhere (where tickets can be checked on-board, or where no ticket purchasing facilities are available at the station) Penalty Fares do not apply. At some stations, there may be some services where Penalty Fares apply and some where they don't - in this case, only part of the station may be marked as a paid area where penalty fares apply.
     
  15. cactustwirly

    cactustwirly Established Member

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    Sorry for being pedantic, but Leicester is also within the penalty fares scheme (as are most EMT intercity stations)

    https://www.eastmidlandstrains.co.uk/Global/Documents/DR Network Map with New Boxes.pdf
     
  16. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    I wonder if all of these incredibly anti-passenger changes to schemes mentioned above have been properly thought through, with the impacts fully discussed with relevant stakeholders, groups and organisations and properly approved?
    Are you sure you can get a Penalty Fare for London St Pancras to Leicester?

    Unless it's changed, London to Bedford is covered by GTR's scheme, and Wellingborough & north of there is covered by EMT's scheme. That certainly used to be the case, and you cannot get a Penalty Fare for a journey beyond the boundary of the relevant scheme.

    If the rules do now allow a Penalty Fare of twice the single fare all the way from London to places like Sheffield, then that's extremely worrying.
     
  17. Baxenden Bank

    Baxenden Bank Established Member

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    A Penalty Fare Station (PF) is one which displays Penalty Fare Station signage - see upload
    A Compulsory Ticket Area (CTA) displays different signage - see upload

    In both a PF and a CTA, a Penalty Fare may be applied in specific circumstances - it is not compulsory to apply a PF, collectors have discretion. There are circumstances in which a PF cannot be applied.
    No signs means no Penalty Fare.
    Incorrect signs means no Penalty Fare.
    Boarding at a station with no ticket issuing facilities - at the time of travel - means no Penalty Fare.

    In a CTA, a penalty fare can be applied even if you have not travelled nor do you intend to travel ie you must get a platform ticket, or permission from rail staff, to simply be within the CTA.

    The requirement to submit a scheme to the SRA (merged into DfT) seems to have been removed, which removes the need for a TOC to specify services covered, stations covered and the ticket buying facilities which ought to be available to the passenger.

    The need to publicise the PF/CTA has not been removed.
    The signage must list the operators issuing Penalty Fares. If the operator is not listed, you cannot be issued a Penalty Fare if using their services. For example, at Skipton, the signs would need to show the logo / name of both Northern and VTEC. If they only show Northern, Penalty Fares only apply to travellers using Northern services.
    Signs must still be displayed at all entrances to a station, and at least one must be visible to passengers boarding trains. Which explains the application of stickers over the doors of trains serving the Airedale / Wharfedale lines.
     

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  18. Baxenden Bank

    Baxenden Bank Established Member

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    This one!
    https://www.railforums.co.uk/thread...nalty-fare-scheme.156494/page-22#post-3422173
     

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  19. swt_passenger

    swt_passenger Veteran Member

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    You appear to be making the common mistake of describing all Penalty Fare stations as though they are also compulsory ticket areas, CTAs, but this is not true when considered across the whole country. You are correct for networks such as TfL Rail, LU and Tyne Wear Metro, but almost all National Rail Penalty Fare stations are not CTAs.
     
  20. swt_passenger

    swt_passenger Veteran Member

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    Yes, I mean the short section at section 11. In the case of a long standing setup such as SWT/SWR, that section of the scheme details probably runs to a few pages and includes getting on for 2-300 stations, each of which will have its own specific rules shown in similar fashion to your example, but including up to 3 or 4 other TOCs.
     
  21. cactustwirly

    cactustwirly Established Member

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    I don't know about that, the EMT route map gives the impression that you would.
    Doesn't that happen on GA's London - Norwich trains & GWR's London to Bristol/Cardiff/Swansea trains?
     
  22. Bantamzen

    Bantamzen Established Member

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    With respect Yorkie, other than than the DfT & the TOCs, who else do you see as stakeholders that have to be consulted in such matters? As things stand, rail services are contracted out by the government to private companies, generally on a profit basis as with all private industry. As I see this is the nature of privatisation. We the customers have little say in such matters.

    And BTW I do not like this situation, but as a realist and pragmatist this is how I see it.
     
  23. transmanche

    transmanche Established Member

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    You are correct. I read Penalty Fare Station but my brain absorbed Compulsory Ticket Area.

    Thanks for the correction.
     
  24. Baxenden Bank

    Baxenden Bank Established Member

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    Having read the regulations last night:

    The requirement for a Penalty Fares scheme to be submitted, consulted upon, and approved by the SRA was set out in The Penalty Fares Rules 2002.

    The basis of those 2002 rules was The Railways (Penalty Fares) Regulations 1994

    The Railways (Penalty Fares) Regulations 2018 revoke the 1994 regulations, therefore the 2002 rules are also revoked. There is no power in the 2018 Regulations to make new rules. We have the 2018 Regulations and that is all.

    You stick up a sign or two.

    You appoint some collectors.

    You appoint an independent person to carry out appeals.

    Transition arrangements for Penalty Fares issued under the regulations are explained (things are dealt with under the new regulations / appeal processes).

    Transition / continuation arrangements for the ‘approved schemes’ are not mentioned, therefore I suggest all existing ‘schemes’ are essentially null and void, replaced by procedures / requirements under the new regulations ie you need signs only.

    The user-friendly version of the new scheme includes:
    The actual regulations, attached at the end of the user-friendly leaflet, make no reference to such things.

    Joined up, co-ordinated, road-tested?
     
    Last edited: 22 Apr 2018
  25. thedbdiboy

    thedbdiboy Member

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    The government are required to consult on any changes. The link to the report that followed the consultation for this one is here:
    https://assets.publishing.service.g...ty-fares-summary-and-government-responses.pdf
    Unfortunately the DfT waited two years to actually make the changes (which needed to be laid before parliament) by which time most people had lost track of the consultation that led to them.

    There is a big opportunity here to move at least the whole of England and Wales onto a consistent, proportionate civil recovery scheme that would remove 99% of ticketless travel from the court system and leave it for intentional fraud and serious cases, but it will require changes potentially to the Regulation of the Railways Act 1889 and also to the Railway Byelaws as well as the Penalty Fares legislation, and of course it will need care to ensure that the penalties, checks and balances are all properly set out.

    Unfortunately, government capacity to deal with this on top of Brexit and with so many other issues, this isn't going to happen soon. But if we ever get that far, there would definitely be a full consultation required as part of the process....!
     
  26. furlong

    furlong Established Member

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    But the largest part of the change - the removal of the need for formal penalty fares schemes to be submitted to the DfT and approved according to guidance drawn up by the SRA to protect the rights of "honest passengers" - did not form part of that consultation and all we get is a sentence justifying it as providing "greater clarity for passengers".
     
  27. ForTheLoveOf

    ForTheLoveOf Established Member

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    "Greater clarity for passengers" - wasn't that the male-ox-excrement excuse given for Fares "Simplification" (when in fact it's turned out to be a ploy to increase revenue)? What other things are also to be changed in the name of "simplification"? It's simplified for the TOCs, as they no longer have to wait for the DfT to rubberstamp their PF scheme applications. The only advantage for the passenger is that the signage requirements have slightly and subtly changed from the previous penalty fare rules, and hence it is likely that, for a number of years to come, many PF schemes will be legally ineffectual at certain stations or for certain journeys.

    I would be in favour of true simplification if it meant the proliferation of PF schemes (and their enforcement), in return for the repealing of Byelaw 18.
     

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