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Our Penalty Fare scheme

A Penalty Fare is a charge issued to anyone travelling without a valid ticket. To avoid a Penalty Fare, we encourage you to purchase your travel tickets before embarking on your journey. In response to feedback, you can be assured that we are making every effort to eliminate fare evasion throughout our services. Fare evasion costs the rail industry £200 million a year, so it is important to have an effective Penalty Fare scheme in place.

There are many ways to purchase travel tickets. You can buy them online in advance at eastmidlandstrains.co.uk, at the station Ticket Office or from a Ticket Vending Machine – this way you can avoid paying any Penalty Fare charges.

If you are travelling from a Penalty Fare station on an East Midlands Trains Service and you are unable to produce a valid ticket, you may be liable to pay a Penalty Fare. The Penalty Fare is £20 or double the single Anytime fare to the next station stop – whichever is the greater amount. 

What do I do if I am issued with an unpaid fares notice?

You have 21 days to pay or appeal the notice via the address that is shown on your notice. You are being asked to pay the fare only for the rail journey that has been made. Appeals will not be heard over the telephone.

If you fail to pay or appeal within the 21 days, you will be sent a reminder letter which will include administration costs. This will allow you a further 14 days to pay.

You are now outside the appeal deadline. However, late appeals may be considered should there be a legitimate reason for not being able to appeal within the 21 days such as hospitalisation or extensive time out of the country. Upon evidence of this, late appeals will be dealt with as an exception.

If you fail to pay within the 14 days you will be sent a Final Reminder that will incur additional administration costs. This will give you a further 14 days to pay the Unpaid Fares Notice.

If payment is not made before the 14 days then East Midlands Trains reserves the right to recoup losses to the company through the Magistrates’ Courts under the Regulations of Railways Act 1889 or Railway Byelaws.

Please ensure that you quote your reference number on all correspondence.

What do I do if I'm issued with a penalty fares notice?

You have 21 days to pay or appeal the notice via the address that is shown on your notice. You are being asked to pay the Standard Penalty Fares Charge or twice the standard single (whichever is greater) for the rail journey that has been made. Appeals will not be heard over the telephone.

If you fail to pay or appeal within the 21 days, you will be sent a reminder letter which will include administration costs. This will allow you a further 14 days to pay.

You are now outside the appeal deadline. However, late appeals may be considered should there be a legitimate reason for not being able to appeal within the 21 days such as hospitalisation or extensive time out of the country. Upon evidence of this, late appeals will be dealt with as an exception.

If you fail to pay within the 14 days you will be sent a Final Reminder that will incur additional administration costs. This will give you a further 14 days to pay the Penalty Fares Notice.

If payment is not made before the 14 days then East Midlands Trains reserves the right to recoup losses to the company through the Magistrates’ Courts under the Regulations of Railways Act 1889 or Railway Byelaws.

Please ensure that you quote your reference number on all correspondence.

If I am issued a Penalty Fare charge, do I need to pay immediately?

When issued with a Penalty Fare you have the option to pay a member of our Revenue Protection Team immediately or you have 21 days to make the full payment.

Alternatively, if you wish to appeal against the decision to be charged a Penalty Fare, you have 21 days to do so. To appeal against your Penalty Fare you must do so in writing and send this to the appeals address on the Penalty Fare notice. This appeals service is independent of East Midlands Trains and will consider your appeal based on the facts concerning the case.

If you don’t pay the charge and you choose not to appeal, legal proceedings may be brought against you.

If you do not make the payment immediately, a member of the Revenue Protection Team will ask you for your name and address. Failure to provide your address, or giving a false name and address, is a criminal offence and may lead to prosecution.

How can I pay for my Penalty Fare?

You can use cash and all major debit/credit cards (with the exception of Solo and Electron) or a cheque (supported by a cheque guarantee card). You can pay the full amount immediately or if you are unable to pay there and then, you have 21 days in which to do so. FUll details of how to make payment can be found at the bottom of the Penalty Fares Notice.

Who can charge a Penalty Fare?

Only members of our Revenue Protection Team, who are authorised collectors, can issue a Penalty Fare. They carry with them an Authorised Collector’s identification badge, which you can ask to see. Where we have an agreement with another train operating company, their Authorised Collectors will carry identification also, which indicates that they are authorised to issue Penalty Fares on behalf of East Midlands Trains.

What Penalty Fare arrangements do East Midlands Trains have with other train operators?

East Midlands Trains and First Capital Connect have reciprocal arrangements, both Penalty Fare schemes operate in conjunction with each other. Details of stations where other train operating companies schemes apply are available from our Customer Relations Team on 08457 125 678.

What should I do if I have a problem buying my ticket before boarding the train?

It is your responsibility to leave enough time to buy your ticket. The most convenient way to guarantee your ticket is to purchase it online in advance at eastmidlandstrains.co.uk. You must buy a ticket before you board the train. If you do not, and you are making a journey that is covered by the Penalty Fare scheme, you may be liable for a Penalty Fare.

If you are unable to purchase your ticket online, the following options are available for purchasing tickets at a station:

  • Ticket Vending Machines – these will accept cash and most major credit/debit cards
  • At the station Ticket Office.

If neither of these options are available at the station (this may be because it is not possible to purchase the type of ticket you require i.e. a concession ticket from a Ticket Vending Machine or because it is out of order and the station Ticket Office is closed) and you do not have a pre-booked ticket, it is your responsibility to approach a member of on-board staff to purchase a ticket as soon as possible.

Please note, our Revenue Protection Team have a system in place which allows access to real-time information about the availability of all ticketing facilities at our stations and the types of tickets that can be purchased from our Ticket Vending Machines.

If you are at a station where there are no Ticket Vending Machines and no Ticket Office you should use a Permit to Travel machine. This allows you to pay towards your ticket value with whatever money you have available. It is your responsibility to approach a member of the on-board staff to purchase a ticket as soon as possible and within two hours. The value of your Permit to Travel ticket will be deducted from the ticket purchased on-board.

If the Permit to Travel machine is not in use, you must approach a member of on-board staff at the earliest possible opportunity.

What if I want to buy a Season Ticket and the Ticket Office is closed?

If you have a photo-card, you can buy a weekly Season Ticket from the Ticket Vending Machines. If you want to buy a monthly or longer Season Ticket, you should buy a single ticket for your destination or a Permit to Travel and then buy your Season Ticket at a Ticket Office. The cost of your single ticket or Permit to Travel will be deducted from the cost of your Season Ticket.

What should I do if I have forgotten my Season Ticket and/or photo-card?

You should buy a ticket to cover your journey before boarding your train. You may be able to apply for a refund on this ticket at any Ticket Office or through Customer Relations. Only two refunds of this type will be considered per 12 months and an administration fee may be charged.

If you have boarded the train before realising you haven’t got your Season Ticket and/or photo card, you need to approach the on train staff as soon as possible. You will be sold a ticket for your journey for which you will be able to claim a refund on production of your season ticket. If you have no means of payment you will be issued with an Unpaid Fares Notice which you can appeal against upon production of your season ticket.

If a member of our Revenue Protection Team approaches you, who is an Authorised Collector, they will record details of your Season Ticket and issue you with an Unpaid Fares Notice. You must send this Unpaid Fares Notice together with a clear photocopy of your Season Ticket and photo-card to the address detailed on the Unpaid Fares Notice. Failure to return the Unpaid Fares Notice or making a false claim can lead to prosecution. If the member of staff is not an Authorised Collector, you need to buy a ticket and apply for a refund.

What if I have purchased a discounted ticket with a Railcard but cannot produce the Railcard when asked to do so?

You may be liable to pay a Penalty Fare as a discounted ticket is only valid on production of the Railcard.

What happens if I travel beyond my destination?

It is your responsibility to buy any additional tickets you require to make your original ticket valid for your entire journey before you travel, if you do not you may be liable to a Penalty Fare.

Travelling with us

Our Penalty Fare scheme sets out to eliminate fare evasion on our services. It is actually a criminal offence to travel without paying for your journey. So, it is important that fare evasion is treated seriously- particularly for our fare paying customers. 

If you buy the appropriate travel tickets either online or at a station Ticket Vending Machine or Ticket Office, you need not worry about Penalty Fares.

If you have any questions about travelling with us or any queries about our Penalty Fare scheme, please call our Customer Relations Team on 08457 125 678 (select option 5) and they will be happy to help.

Further Information

Copies of the Penalty Fare Rules are available from:

 

Customer Relations
East Midlands Trains
Prospect House
1 Prospect Place
Millenium Way
Pride Park
Derby
DE24 8HG

 

Or call 03457 125 678