Cookham Discussion Board
June 25, 2018, 01:02:52 AM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News:
24 June 2018 - Cookham Dean Charity Croquet and Tennis Tournament

26 June 2018 - Cookham Medical Centre Closed for Training - 12.30-6.30pm

26 June 2018 - How to Take Better Pictures

27 June 2018 - The Media Hub 5th Birthday

TO REGISTER TO POST ON THIS DISCUSSION BOARD email the Webmaster@cookham.com with a User name you would like. This is due to spammers.
 
   Home   Help Search Login Register  
Pages: [1]
  Print  
Author Topic: Think carefully before you do this....  (Read 5666 times)
aj
Jr. Member
**
Posts: 57


« on: May 27, 2011, 07:56:31 PM »

It's 7.25am at Cookham and you've got a plane to catch/job interview/hospital appointment. The queue for tickets is huge and Barry's doing everything he can, but the train arrives 5 minutes later before you can get your ticket.

Now remember, it's really important you get this train. You might therefore feel tempted to get on without a ticket and purchase one at your destination, perhaps Paddington, for instance. And, legally, as far as I can determine, you have the right to do so, because you waited for five minutes and therefore made a "reasonable attempt to purchase a ticket prior to departure" (under the penalty fare regulations). In fact, if you arrive at the station and the ticket office is open but even one person is being served when the train arrives then under the regulations, a ticket is not available to you for purchase and you ought to be able to purchase one at your destination.

Now Barry, bless him, is absolutely terrific when faced with a mad scramble, but he can only do so much.

So you get on the train and, a few minutes later, a pack of stony faced revenue inspectors confronts you. I say a pack - three is typical. Presumably there is safety in numbers.

Don't make the mistake I saw someone make today. It would be discourteous to identify the passenger in any way so I will be a bit vague here out of respect for their privacy. Suffice it to say that the scenario I just outlined would pretty much apply here. A really really good reason to get on that train without a ticket.

But really really good reasons only count when you're dealing with normal train staff. Guards, drivers and station staff, for example. If that badge says 'revenue protection' than the worst mistake you can possibly make is to assume that explaining anything will in any way resolve the situation. It won't.

This morning, all three of them brandished card machines, but the passenger, who offered them a card to pay for their ticket, was asked to leave the train. They attempted to explain how important it was to continue their journey on that train. But it made no difference. The passenger was made to go to the ticket office and purchase a ticket. I can't imagine how late this made them. I'm not going to go into details but as you can imagine, this caused considerable distress to the passenger, who at all times had attempted to be reasonable.

So I just want to warn you all. It seems that FGW have stepped up revenue protection operations in this area as this is now at least the third time I've seen them in the last month. If you do have an encounter with them, I've mentioned in a previous post a link to an article in a newspaper that outlines your rights.
In summary, you are legally required to give them your full name and address. Other than that, I'm not clear that they have any other legal rights. Fare evasion is a civil, not a criminal matter, beyond the provision of your name and address, which you must give them. You also should immediately offer to pay the full single fare to your destination.

Whether they can then force you to leave the train and immediately purchase a ticket is unclear.  Obviously, if you politely declined, there is the possibility that the British Transport Police might be summoned, and the train held up until they arrive. But this would seriously disrupt services so I am inclined to think otherwise.

It is also unclear whether they can levy a penalty fare unless you are actually in a penalty fare zone. Bourne End is in the penalty fare zone, according to FGW's own publication. Marlow, Cookham and Furze Platt are not. This would seem to indicate that, regardless of whether the ticket office is in fact manned, you are not liable for a penalty fare. In addition, Bourne End's ticket machine does not, according to the sign, take cash. If you do not wish to pay by card - and you have that right - then it would be arguable whether failing to purchase a ticket at Bourne End makes you liable for a penalty fare.

A useful link, which discusses the situation with respect to South West Trains (as opposed to FGW, but the principle is the same), can be found here:-

http://www.shrug.info/Hogrider115/Understanding%20Revenue%20Protection%20on%20South%20West%20Trains.html

it pretty much confirms what I am saying here.

I appreciate that fare evasion is a problem for train companies. However, I have seen an increasing number of situations recently when ordinary, law-abiding members of the public are being treated with what I can only describe as contempt, by revenue protection officers hired specifically to show no mercy. Accordingly, its important we all stand up for our rights. As customers, we should have an expectation of prompt and courteous service.

I will contrast this with an experience recently in Poland. We travelled from Krakow to Wroclaw. Unfortunately the leading second class carriage on the train was out of service, so we had no option but to sit in first class. Our tickets for the two hundred mile journey, by the way, cost around 10 each, as I recall. When the guard came to the compartment, he politely explained that our tickets were not valid for second class, and we paid the difference in fare, which came to another 5 or so each. At all times we were treated with courtesy.

I find this particularly galling because recently FGW have taken to shortening trains arbitrarily. My return journey is now a 3 car train in peak hour and the overcrowding is indescribable. But no effort has been made to cater for the large number of passengers by lengthening the train.

Logged
Joni
Newbie
*
Posts: 44


« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2011, 07:23:45 PM »

FGW revenue protection officers are thugs. They once tried to fine my 11 year old child for using their season ticket at the weekend, claiming it was only valid on school days. Know your rights. Thanks for your post aj.
Logged
CH
Full Member
***
Posts: 227


« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2011, 11:18:24 PM »

I just don't understand why they haven't installed a ticket machine at Cookham.  It would mean that both out of ticket office opening hours and if there's a long queue then it would be possible to buy a ticket.

Anyone know why?
Logged
Greygoose
Newbie
*
Posts: 15


« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2011, 07:04:10 AM »

Mmmm, I didn't have time to read all of AJ's post but I got the drift. My experience last Tuesday was quite different.

I caught the 12.21 train from Cookham and changed at Maidenhead for Paddington. As usual at that time the ticket office was closed and I expected to buy a return ticket using my Senior Railcard on the train as often happens. Nobody came to sell me a ticket on the local train nor on the Paddington train. At the barrier at Paddington I told an attendant that I wanted to buy a ticket, he simply opened the barrier and waved me through!
Logged
Rhubarb
Full Member
***
Posts: 114


« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2011, 08:52:14 AM »

Just out of interest...I was in London a few weeks ago and caught a train from Paddington around rush hour. Typically there were only three carriages and the train was rammed. I sat in First class as did others who could not get a seat in second class. The train pulled out and there were ticket inspectors on the train. Two of them came into First and we showed tickets and of course were told to leave the carriage which we did and had no choice but to stand up for most of the journey. I expected that and it was all done so politely. The ticket inspectors spent the remainder of their journey sat... yes you guessed it...in First class.
Logged
GeekBoy
Jr. Member
**
Posts: 91


« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2011, 01:23:40 PM »

I just don't understand why they haven't installed a ticket machine at Cookham.  It would mean that both out of ticket office opening hours and if there's a long queue then it would be possible to buy a ticket.

Anyone know why?

I'm interested to know this too, seems like the obvious solution
Logged
anon
Guest
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2011, 02:39:50 PM »

Should at least have a permit to travel machine although, as a youth, they too are probably quite fun to smash up...
Logged
mikethecabbie
Newbie
*
Posts: 48


« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2011, 06:37:17 PM »

The reason that a ticket machine has not been installed at Cookham is that with the Police presence in the village (occasional or none), there would be way too much temptation for vandalism and ram-raiding. For this reason, the machines at the Shoppenhangars Road entrance at Maidenhead has had to be made 'card only'. Given the relatively low usage at Cookham, I imagine it would not be cost-effective. Undecided
Logged
Pages: [1]
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!