Fares, rail policy and DfT news

12.12.16

Innocent fare-dodgers will be able to appeal to new independent body

Passengers fined for fare-dodging will be able to make an appeal to an independent body, rail minister Paul Maynard has announced.

The DfT promised the new body would be independent of train operating companies and their financial owners.

Maynard said: “Penalty fares are imposed to deter those seeking a free ride but mistakes do happen and where a passenger feels they have been unfairly treated, they need to be confident that there is a robust and independent process in place to deal with their appeal.”

The new body is one of a set of measures, due to go through Parliament next year, introduced in response to ‘Ticket to ride’ – a report from Transport Focus calling for more measures to encourage public confidence in the penalty fare system.

Anthony Smith, CEO at Transport Focus, praised the government’s decision, arguing that while it is right that TOCs should stop fare dodgers, some might have made an innocent mistake and should be “treated with understanding”.

“Greater fairness, accountability and an independent right of appeal will be welcomed by passengers who make an honest mistake,” he added.

Other reforms introduced will include simpler rules on deadlines for payments and appeals, and a compulsory annual audit of penalty fares data.

The DfT also said it would work with the rail industry to make sure passengers and staff understand how the penalty fares regime works and avoid passengers being inappropriately threatened with criminal sanctions.

According to Association of Train Operating Companies estimates made in 2013, fare-dodging costs around £240m a year.

Exclusive RTM investigations this year have also shown that fare-dodging has cost Manchester’s Metrolink £8m in just three years, and that the DLR has taken advantage of requirements in its franchise partnership to tackle fare evaders.

Have you got a story to tell? Would you like to become an RTM columnist? If so, click here.

Comments

Jerry Alderson   13/12/2016 at 15:05

Isn't "Innocent fare-dodgers" an oxymoron? 'People with a legitimate reason for having travelled without having a valid ticket (or those making an innocent mistake)...' - OK, that would be a rather long-winded title.

Small Business Director   19/12/2016 at 13:50

Our local station often has a ticket machine that is out of order and the booking office is only open first thing in the morning. There have been times when I have been quizzed about my journey by the staff on the train. They need to know where machines are out of use so that they can trust peoples answers when boarding without the appropriate ticket.

Add your comment

 

rail technology magazine tv

more videos >

latest rail news

Firearms officers patrol trains for the first time

26/05/2017Firearms officers patrol trains for the first time

For the first time in rail history, specialist firearms officers will patrol trains across the UK network to ensure that the travelling public ar... more >
Carillion plans job losses as NR renewal cutbacks start to bite

26/05/2017Carillion plans job losses as NR renewal cutbacks start to bite

The RMT has this week vowed to fight “vigorously” against planned cuts to renewals work for Network Rail (NR) being carried out by co... more >
New Merseyrail fleet a platform for future innovations

26/05/2017New Merseyrail fleet a platform for future innovations

David Powell, programme director of rolling stock at Merseytravel, talks about the procurement of the new fleet of metro trains for the Merseyrai... more >

editor's comment

08/05/2017All set for Railtex

As the rail industry prepares for the biggest UK rail show of the year, Railtex 2017, we have produced a specially expanded edition of RTM for you.  Our exclusive show guide, which starts on page 67, provides you with everything you need to know about the things to see, hear and do at the three-day show. A look through our preview pages will give you a good idea of which stands to visit, as well as meetings to set up.  Th... read more >

last word

Collaborative working is the key to the future of rail infrastructure

Collaborative working is the key to the future of rail infrastructure

David Hawkins, operations director at the Institute for Collaborative Working (ICW), on why ISO 44001 is a new evolution in collaborative working. The launch of BS 11000 in 2010 heralded a s... more > more last word articles >

'the sleepers' daily blog

Opinion poll: HS3 must take priority over Crossrail 2

19/05/2017Opinion poll: HS3 must take priority over Crossrail 2

Fresh from their victories in the metro mayor elections earlier this month, new leaders of Greater Manchester and Liverpool City Region Andy Burnham and Steve Rotheram were quick to make transport a top priority for their cities last week. In a post on Twitter, both called on the government to prioritise plans for an HS3 link connecting t... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >

comment

Upskilling our workforce: how we need to think

19/05/2017Upskilling our workforce: how we need to think

Simon Rennie (pictured centre), general manager of the National Training Academy for Rail, on the importance of upskilling the current workforce ... more >
Inclusive design of ticket sales counters

17/05/2017Inclusive design of ticket sales counters

Boaz Yariv, senior architect, and Dr Elizabeth de Mello, senior ergonomics specialist at Network Rail, present the main features of the new inclu... more >
Small stations: simple changes for quick wins

17/05/2017Small stations: simple changes for quick wins

Richard Freeston-Clough of London TravelWatch explains how investing in small stations in the capital can deliver many benefits and also have a p... more >
Why are S&C layouts failing?

17/05/2017Why are S&C layouts failing?

Dr Sin Sin Hsu, programme engineering manager IP Track Development at Network Rail, analyses why switch and crossing (S&C) layouts fail prema... more >

rail industry focus

View all News

interviews

Intertrain: ready for the future

23/02/2017Intertrain: ready for the future

RTM recently attended Intertrain’s ‘Driving for Success’ event in Doncaster, where leaders from major players such as Carillion... more >