Working in partnership with London TravelWatch

Transport User Voice – Case study

25 April 2017

Mr R was travelling from London to Paignton via Exeter with Great Western Railway (GWR). As he has a discount card which entitles him to a significant discount on trains to Exeter he purchased a discounted ticket to Exeter where he intended to purchase a further single ticket to Paignton for £6.80.

Mr R had anticipated changing trains at Exeter, however while on board he discovered the train went straight through to Paignton so he decided to stay on thinking he could buy a ticket on board. However, the enforcement officer who got on for the last part of the journey issued Mr R with a £205 penalty fare. This consisted of £125 for the ticket from Paddington to Paignton, plus an £80 penalty.

Mr R tried to appeal this. However only the £28 he paid for his original ticket was taken off the fine leaving him with an out of court settlement offer of £177.

Ultimately Mr R should have either tried to find a member of staff in order to purchase a ticket before the train arrived at Exeter and, if he was unable to do so, he should have got off the train to purchase another ticket. He admits he was in the wrong. However, he felt the £177 fine was disproportionate for not purchasing a single ticket costing £6.80, so he contacted Transport Focus for help.

We contacted GWR asking them to review the case as we felt the fine was a significant amount to pay compared to the single fare. It agreed to reduce the fine to £20, equivalent to a standard penalty fare. We felt this was a very reasonable offer. Mr R was happy to pay this and was very grateful for Transport Focus’s assistance in his case.

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