“Please help me persuade Southeastern to improve ticketing facilities on the Medway Valley Line” – Dan Smith

Description

Dan Smith

This station, along with others on the Medway Valley Line have inadequate ticketing facilities. Southeastern however insist on enforcing penalty fares, even when current permit machines are often out of order. When will ticket machines that accept all forms of payment be introduced, or when will a greater level of discretion be taken over the enforcement of penalty fares where it has not been possible to obtain a permit prior to travel.

Problem History

  • 1 Dan Smith reported the issue on FixMyTransport. close 15:42 03 Feb 2012
  • 2 Dan Smith wrote to Southeastern close 15:42 03 Feb 2012

    Here is the letter that Dan Smith wrote.

    Ticketing Facilities

    This station, along with others on the Medway Valley Line has inadequate ticketing facilities. Southeastern however insist on enforcing penalty fares, even when current permit machines are often out of order. When will ticket machines that accept all forms of payment be introduced, or when will a greater level of discretion be taken over the enforcement of penalty fares where it has not been possible to obtain a permit prior to travel.

  • 3 Paul Berry commented close 23:12 03 Feb 2012

    As I'm sure you know, if there are no (working) ticket/permit-to-travel machines or staffed offices open at the station you boarded the train, then a penalty fare cannot apply.

    (National Rail Conditions of Carriage, Section I.A.2)

    At the least, have you been able to claim back an erroneously charged penalty fare by stating that ticketing facilities were not available at the time you started your journey?

  • 4 [email address] responded to Dan Smith close 18:14 20 Feb 2012
    Please do not reply to this email. We are unable to respond to
    emails we receive at this address. If you’d like to email us
    another question or comment please use our email contact
    webform:
    http://www.southeasternrailway.co.uk/abo...

    Thank you

    Southeastern Customer Relations, PO Box 63428, London, SE1P 5FD

    Tel: 0845 000 2222

    Ref: 525340 / 300536

    Dear Mr Smith

    I write further to comments made through the 'Fix My Transport'
    website, which we received on 6 February 2012. I should advise
    that you will receive a response more quickly if you contact us
    directly, but I will be pleased to address your concerns.

    I am sorry that you feel there is an imbalance between the
    enforcement of penalty fares and the provision of ticketing
    facilities on the Medway Valley line. As passengers must attempt
    to buy a ticket before travelling, I realise this must be a
    concern.

    We make every effort to ensure that ticket facilities are
    available at departure stations. In addition, daily tickets can
    be purchased from our website, although you must allow five days
    for delivery. All the same, I recognise that we are unable to
    sell tickets at some locations, such as Snodland station, due to
    staffing and cost restrictions. At these locations a 'Permit to
    Travel' machine is available to enable passengers to travel
    before buying a ticket. However, travel permits must be
    exchanged for a ticket during your journey.

    To buy a permit, simply enter coins into the Permit to Travel
    machine and press the button. You can pay up to the full amount
    for your journey (in coins only) when buying a permit. Whatever
    amount you pay will be deducted from the cost of your ticket
    when you exchange your permit. A permit must be exchanged at the
    earliest opportunity and within two hours of purchasing. Permit
    holders should seek out a Conductor on their train to exchange
    the permit. Or, if no Conductor is available, the permit should
    be exchanged at the first station that you alight at, whether
    this is your destination station or an interchange station.

    We aim to keep Permit to Travel machines well-maintained. Once
    we are aware of a problem with a Permit to Travel machine, we
    will arrange for an engineer to correct the fault as soon as
    possible. If a Permit to Travel machine is broken and will not
    issue tickets and there is no ticket office or self-service
    ticket machine, passengers may purchase tickets on trains and at
    destination stations. This may be checked when issuing a ticket
    and a penalty fare may be charged if it is found that facilities
    were available. Providing that every attempt has been made to
    purchase a ticket before travelling, there is no liability to
    pay a penalty fare.

    If, in spite of adhering to the guidelines above, a passenger
    still receives a penalty fare, they have every right to appeal
    the penalty, provided that the appeal is sent within the 21 day
    time limit shown on the penalty fare notice. If, following an
    investigation it is found that ticket facilities were indeed
    unavailable, I see no reason why an appeal would be
    unsuccessful. Nevertheless, if you feel the process has not been
    applied correctly by IPFAS in any given instance, you may wish
    to contact Passenger Focus, which is a statutory body set up to
    protect the interests of rail users. You can get in touch with
    them by post, phone, fax or email. Write to:

    Passenger Focus
    FREEPOST (RRRE-ETTC-LEET)
    PO BOX 4257
    Manchester
    M60 3AR

    The passenger helpline is open 8am – 8pm Monday – Friday and 8am
    – 4pm weekends.

    Telephone: 08453 022 022
    Fax: 0845 850 1392
    Email: [email address]

    I hope this is helpful and thank you for your enquiry. Passenger
    feedback is always appreciated as it helps us to evaluate our
    performance and improve our service by identifying areas where
    we must focus our attention.

    Yours sincerely

    Daniel Westlake

    Customer Relations Officer

    Southeastern

    Please do not reply to this email. We are unable to respond to
    emails we receive at this address. If you’d like to email us
    another question or comment please use our email contact
    webform:

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Comment
  • started 3 February 2012
  • supporters 3
Snodland Rail Station in Snodland operated by Southeastern
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