Transport User Voice February 2024 – Penalty fares on national rail services

31 January 2024

Join the independent appeals panel

Transport Focus is looking for up to 15 people to become part of the Independent Appeals Panel for Penalty Fares.

Penalty fares protect paying passengers by acting as a deterrent on those in the minority who travel without a valid ticket. However, sometimes honest passengers can be caught out by a genuine mistake, which can result in a penalty fare being issued incorrectly.

The government introduced a new independent third tier appeals process for penalty fares in 2018. Since then the panel has been helping passengers who consider they have been issued incorrectly with a Penalty Fare, and whose appeals at the first and second stage were unsuccessful.

We are looking for individuals to make up panels of three members who will look again at third stage penalty fares appeals. They will need to act independently, considering the evidence of the original penalty fare and the previous two appeals, and come to a decision, based on the rules, and circumstances of the case.

This is an interesting role for panel members, an important one for passengers, and essential for ensuring the penalty fares system is seen as fair and reasonable. Full training and ongoing support will be provided. The role will be based remotely and will allow panel members to work at evenings and weekends. A per-case fee will be paid.

The closing date for applications is 16 February 2024. Full details are available at


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