Penalty fares, fare dodging and non collection.

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Bufferstop
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Penalty fares, fare dodging and non collection.

Postby Bufferstop » Sun Oct 21, 2018 5:41 pm

Got into a discussion about penalty fares, and roving inspectors. Several times I've had difficulty in paying my fare as the guard/conductor has locked himself in the rear cab and not come out. I once had a showdown with a roving inspector whilst clutching my fare in my hand waiting for the guard to appear. The ultimate was the only time I didn't pay my fare. Wife was at a meeting held at the then Rebock Stadium, I strolled down to the local station to take a trip into Manchester. Station all locked up (Sunday Morning) including the area where the ticket machines were sited. Ah well I'll pay on the train. Nodding donkey turns up, I board, take seat, sort out cash and old git's travel card, and wait, and wait and, we eventually arrive in Manchester Victoria, look for booking office, unmanned, find a bored looking ticket inspector ask him where I can pay my fare, booking office he says over there pointing me back to the shuttered window. S** this for a game of monkeys walk past the shuttered window and down to the tram stop get my ticket and wait for tram. At least they care weather or not you've paid. Is this a common situation on some franchises?
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Mountain
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Re: Penalty fares, fare dodging and non collection.

Postby Mountain » Sun Oct 21, 2018 10:00 pm

There are many times where guards duties have other priorities. Sometimes it can take something like 10 miles of trying to get calls through on the NRN radio is a passenger has left something on a platform or something like that. All a guard can do is keep trying. When out of corse situations happen ticket collecting has to take second place. Also guards ticket machines can let them down. I used to still go through the train as on many lines I worked I had to find out how many shorts we had to stop at. (Request stops).
The crazy thing is that the ticket collectors on the platforms know that on a Sunday the ticket offices may be closed. With busier main stations they usually provide automatic ticket machines which one selects the ticket and pays for it. However I have found these difficult to use when I once tried one as the names of the tickets had changed since I used to work and I didn't have a clue what the new names they used stood for in regards to times they can be used etc.
Ticket inspectors are a different position again to ticket collectors and guards (Now known as conductors). A ticket inspector does not travel on train services that often as there are not many of them and they take random trains just to do a check. A ticket inspector can serve a warrant for an arrest if he or she sees someone board a train and has purposely avoided paying. I had this once on my train where someone had purposely walked past the barrier to a small staff only door to get past the barrier for free. He came on my train and said he had no money. I took out the UFO book (Unpaid Fayres Notice) which I could athorize via a phone call to check the guys credentials. I hadn't seen how he got past the barriers. The ticket inspector had and he said "You dont get the book. I'll deal with this". He later told me how he had issued a warrant.
Out of interest...
British Transport Police are one of the only two types of police which are allowed to break into and search a home without a warrant. This goes back to the early years of the railway where it was decided that it was due to the potential for extreme danger to life. The only other police who can search without a warrant are the police associated with Royal Mail investigations.
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Re: Penalty fares, fare dodging and non collection.

Postby luckymucklebackit » Mon Oct 22, 2018 10:19 am

Mountain wrote:Out of interest...
British Transport Police are one of the only two types of police which are allowed to break into and search a home without a warrant. This goes back to the early years of the railway where it was decided that it was due to the potential for extreme danger to life. The only other police who can search without a warrant are the police associated with Royal Mail investigations.


Eh??? That is not accurate, A BTP constable may only enter a station, railway vehicle or other railway owned land or building without a warrant, (using reasonable force if necessary) but not your home.
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b308
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Re: Penalty fares, fare dodging and non collection.

Postby b308 » Mon Oct 22, 2018 10:42 am

Catch 22, Bufferstop. This all goes back to the days of BR and the destaffing of smaller stations and the introduction of "Paytrains". If you want to encourage people to fare dodge they couldn't have given a better example of how to do it. Slowly, but too slowly, things are starting to change. GWR now man all of their large stations virtually around the clock and their revenue has increased dramatically, West Coast run Branson's "we'll trust everyone to buy a ticket" method and don't bother at most of their stations and East coast started to, then Virgin got in charge and did away with the barriers.

The railways are losing millions on lost revenue, but the alternative, staffing all stations and sufficient staff on trains to check tickets would cost them more, so they don't bother. Many is the time I have come across the typical fare dodger, scruffy, no money, no ID, no nothing, and the only thing I can do is chuck him or her off at the next station. Mountain mentions the us of the UPFN book but how do you know the details they give are real (i.e. their details), I'm sure all of us know sufficient details of other people to be able to give a false name and address!

When I was in Prague a few years ago i watched their method of checking tickets, mob handed and mean looking buggers they were, though again the issue is the penalty given, is it a deterant? The current £20 isn't. There's no easy answer I'm afraid.

BTW Mountain I really hope you didn't use NRM for that purpose, it's there for emergencies and lost property doesn't fall into that category!

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Re: Penalty fares, fare dodging and non collection.

Postby Bufferstop » Mon Oct 22, 2018 11:22 am

The most rigorous ticket checking I've ever seen was by two inspectors on the underground. They boarded by the two end doors of the coach, made sure the escape doors were fastened, then announced themselves as " the Two Black Mamas, here to save some money" . I'd swear they could smell the scent of a good ticket as they barely gave them a second glance and homed straight in on those whose tickets were out of date, out of zone or non existent. They were both formidable looking ladies and got 100% cooperation from everyone.
The least effective was the pratt who got on at an intermediate station and wouldn't accept that I'd got on where I said, spent most of the journey arguing with me, and was made to seem very foolish when the guard who had spotted me getting on and knew I would need to buy a ticket entered the carriage came straight to me and apologized for not getting to me sooner. It was the first day of the new timetable and the first people the guard got to wanted to buy through tickets to somewhere ridiculous.
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Re: Penalty fares, fare dodging and non collection.

Postby End2end » Mon Oct 22, 2018 11:28 am

I heard recently that one of the train companies are going to destaff 22 more stations. Surely by destaffing more stations they are allowing more fare dodgers to go through the barriers.
All well and good them saving money but what happens when someone needs to buy a complicated ticket or a ticket they don't know of like the London travelcard which can actually be bought outside of London after a certain time in the morning. Or more common, the stupid tickets machines don't work then the passenger is stuck without a ticket. Not all of us who do not have a ticket are fare dodgers we are just victims of broken technology.
It's happened to me multiple times and the on-train ticktet inspectors can vary widely from "no problem, which ticket would you like" to an aggressive "your a fare dodger and I want your details to give you a fine" like it's my fault the RAILWAYS COMPANY ticket machine is broken.
It's like trying to explain something to a Rivet Maniac member. :lol:
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Re: Penalty fares, fare dodging and non collection.

Postby Bufferstop » Mon Oct 22, 2018 11:34 am

If they destaff the stations they have to unlock the barriers as deear old 'elf and safety insists there's someone there in case of emergency.
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Re: Penalty fares, fare dodging and non collection.

Postby b308 » Mon Oct 22, 2018 11:36 am

Do my job for a bit and then see how you feel, E2E...

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Re: Penalty fares, fare dodging and non collection.

Postby b308 » Mon Oct 22, 2018 11:38 am

Bufferstop wrote:If they destaff the stations they have to unlock the barriers as deear old 'elf and safety insists there's someone there in case of emergency.


At some stations they can't put in barriers anyhow because they are listed... York is the best known example... And the biggest cause of problems for on board staff when the races are on...

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Re: Penalty fares, fare dodging and non collection.

Postby End2end » Mon Oct 22, 2018 11:46 am

b308 wrote:Do my job for a bit and then see how you feel, E2E...

I can completely understand that B308. I've seen it.
Your only doing your job and some people think YOU run the railway and all the failings that day are YOUR fault.
It's like shouting at the performing animals saying the circus is crap. :roll:
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Re: Penalty fares, fare dodging and non collection.

Postby b308 » Mon Oct 22, 2018 11:51 am

True, it's also having to make that decision as to whether the person is genuine or not, most of the time we get it right but we're only human and sometimes we get it wrong! ;) :)

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Re: Penalty fares, fare dodging and non collection.

Postby End2end » Mon Oct 22, 2018 11:58 am

It's also good to know when an inspector is onboard for information and the such like and sometimes even the driver will get involved.
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Re: Penalty fares, fare dodging and non collection.

Postby b308 » Mon Oct 22, 2018 12:01 pm

:) Very good! He mist have been getting bored!

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Re: Penalty fares, fare dodging and non collection.

Postby End2end » Mon Oct 22, 2018 12:02 pm

There's nowt as cold and boring as waiting for a train at Balham. :lol:
It's an elevated station where it ALWAYS seems to be windy. :?
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Re: Penalty fares, fare dodging and non collection.

Postby Mountain » Mon Oct 22, 2018 9:51 pm

I was told about the not needing a warrant when I asked the difference between BTP and ordinary police, as a TOC I worked for had cut funding foe BTP coverage, so we were not allowed to call the police for assistance after 2200 hrs at night. It is one of the reasons why many of us called it a day on the railways as things were getting dangerous and assaults were increasing... (The TOC response to the increasing assaults was to put up a few posters. :lol: What good is that? Cheaper then providing police I suppose!)
We had to ignore minor assaults under that company as without the BTP we only had access to ordinary police if it was more of a life and death type of situation).
I had all sorts of things. Spitting in the face was regular and very rarely was reported (Hours of paperwork). Yanked by the tie was another common occurrence.
Several times I've been lifted off the ground by angry customers. Once I had someone poke both his fingers in my eyes and tried to pull his fingers in an upwards position which caused temporary blindness for a few seconds. Didn't see who it was. Once was pushed to the floor.. Driver contacted control to get police. They never called them. We had to carry on as if nothing had happened. Once had a Stanley knife thrust into my face. One homeless man claimed he had a bomb on board. (He was trying to get into prison as prison was luxury compared to homelessness. I had a good chat to him).
One late train we took some partly drunk passengers in fancy dress from Carmarthen towards Swansea and we reached Llanelli to see police struggling to arrest a guy, and I watched Batman and Robin leap from my train and lend them a hand. It was surreal!

The NRN. Emergency's always came through at full volume to all NRN radios in the NRN area zone (A large area covering many miles. Ours covered my whole working area so basically the whole of South Wales from Newport in the east and everything down west and up thew Heart Of Wales certainly as far as Llandrindod Wells... ).
When the emergency button was pressed all other general communications were overridden so only the emergency call could be heard. There was no danger of ordinary calls stopping emergency calls getting through due to this feature.
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