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April 6, 2018

New penalty fare rules take effect in UK

The UK has implemented new rail penalty fare rules intended to offer additional protection to passengers who have committed genuine mistakes.

The UK has implemented new rail penalty fare rules intended to offer additional protection to passengers who have committed genuine mistakes.

Under the amended rules, fare dodgers will continue to receive tough penalties but passengers with a genuine reason for not having a ticket can challenge the penalty by appealing to an independent committee.

Once the passenger files an appeal, the 21 day deadline to pay the penalty fare will be suspended until the matter is resolved.

“Fare dodgers deprive the railway of about £200m every year, money which would otherwise be invested to improving Britain’s railway.”

The process will analyse all circumstances associated with the issued penalty to ensure that passengers are not unfairly fined.

UK Rail Minister Jo Johnson said: “Rail users should make every effort to get the right ticket for their journey, but if you make an honest mistake, you should feel confident that the appeals system will recognise this and treat you fairly.

“We are simplifying the rules around penalty fares and introducing an independent appeals process to help those who make a genuine error when using the railway.”

The new penalty fares guidance, which was last revised in 2002, aims to make the appeals system more consistent and transparent across rail companies.

Rail Delivery Group Customer Experience managing director Jac Starr said: “Fare dodgers deprive the railway of about £200m every year, money which would otherwise be invested to improving Britain’s railway for customers, communities and the economy.”

A penalty fare is issued when a passenger travels without a valid ticket, travels beyond the destination they have paid for, or when they are unable to show a railcard on a discounted ticket.

They are charged either £20 or double the amount of full single fare of their journey.

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