Ticket to ride?
22 May 2012
Passenger Focus published today a major investigation into the passenger experience of Unpaid Fares Notices. No one is in favour of fare dodgers, but innocent passengers are being swept up along with those who had no intention to pay.
We have found cases of passengers who left their railcard at home, but could prove later they had one; passengers who could not find one of their tickets, but had proof of purchase and a ticket for one leg of the journey; and passengers who could not, because they were not working, pick up tickets from a machine at a station and were told by staff to get on. The common factor? No intention to defraud, but all these passengers were hit with substantial ‘fines’ and, in some cases, threats of prosecution.
We think the industry needs to start treating its passengers better by giving them a second chance and deal with these situation a bit more sensibly and flexibly. The train companies need to draw up a code of practice for how passengers should be handled. Prosecution should only be used as a last resort. Train companies should publish the number of Unpaid Fares Notices they issue along with the number of successful appeals and the prosecutions.
Often these cases are sensibly dealt with in the front line. To help make an industry code as good as possible tell us your experiences at:
Or post your thoughts on twitter:
@passengerfocus or twitter.com/PassengerFocus
We need your help to get this right!