Penalty fare

Penalty fare

On the United Kingdom's public transport systems, a penalty fare is a special fare charged at a higher than normal price because the purchaser did not comply with the normal ticket purchasing rules. Typically penalty fares are incurred by passengers failing to purchase a ticket before travelling or by purchasing an incorrect ticket which does not cover their whole journey.

Penalty fares are not a fine and the person paying the penalty fare is not considered to have committed a criminal offence. Penalty fares are used to discourage casual fare evasion and disregard for the ticketing rules without resorting to the drastic and costly step of prosecution under the Regulation of Railways Act 1889. More egregious fare avoiders can still be prosecuted and fined if convicted.

Penalty fares are used on the UKs National Rail network and also on other modes of transport within London.

History and Legal Status

Penalty fares were first introduced on British Rail Network SouthEast under the British Rail (Penalty Fares) Act 1989. Over time they have been extended to cover many parts of the National Rail network.

The London Regional Transport (Penalty Fares) Act 1992 and the Greater London Authority Act 1999 allows Transport for London to charge penalty fares under similar but not identical rules. TfL's penalty fares scheme covers buses and trams as well as the London Underground and Docklands Light Railway.

Initially the maximum penalty fare was set at £10 or twice the full single fare to the next station (whichever is the highest) in addition to the full single fare for the rest of the journey. The £10 was later raised to £20.


Penalty fares are typically issued by Revenue Protection Inspectors either on the trains or by staff at the destination station. Passengers unable to pay the fare on the spot are allowed to pay within 21 days provided they supply their name and address.

Passengers who were unable to purchase a ticket due to faulty ticket machines or closed ticket offices are not charged penalty fares. Staff have considerable discretion in deciding whether to charge a penalty fare to passengers without valid tickets.

Travellers issued with penalty fares which they believe to be unfair may appeal the fare within 21 days to an appeal service, which varies depending on the mode of transport. For National Rail services this is the Independent Penalty Fares Appeal Service [Office of Rail Regulation: [ I have been issued with a penalty fares notice by a train company for not being in possession of a valid ticket, and have a complaint. Whom should I contact?] ] .

See also

*National Rail Conditions of Carriage
*London Underground ticketing


External links

*Department for Transport: [ Penalty Fares Policy]
*National Rail: [ Penalty Fares]
*Transport for London: [ Penalty fares and prosecutions] (Lists the various Appeal Bodies)

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Fare — A fare is the fee paid by a traveler allowing him or her to make use of a public transport system: rail, bus, taxi, etc. In the case of air transport, the term airfare is often used.UsesThe fare paid is a contribution to the operational costs of… …   Wikipedia

  • Disneyland with the Death Penalty — Nightscape of Singapore, the article s subject, taken on December 12, 2005 Disneyland with the Death Penalty is an article about Singapore written by William Gibson, his first major piece of non fiction, first published as the cover story[1] for …   Wikipedia

  • Oyster card — Location Greater London Launched July 2003 Technology Contactless smart card by Cubic Corporation …   Wikipedia

  • Permit to travel — Permits to Travel from the pre privatisation (left) and post privatisation era, showing station name, machine number, date, time and amount paid. In the ticketing system of the British rail network, a Permit to Travel provisionally allows… …   Wikipedia

  • South West Trains — Infobox Rail companies bgcolor = FFFFFF image filename = Class 450 Waterloo.jpg widthpx=300px logo filename=South West Trains logo.png nameforarea=region regions=Greater London secregions=Surrey, Hampshire, Dorset, Wiltshire, Somerset, Devon… …   Wikipedia

  • London Underground — Infobox Public transit name = London Underground The Tube |thumb|Official logo. imagesize= 150px locale = Greater London, Chiltern, Epping Forest, Three Rivers and Watford transit type = Rapid transit began operation = 1863 system length = 400 km …   Wikipedia

  • Revenue Protection Inspector — (RPIs) or Revenue Protection Officer (RPOs) is the job title given to staff who patrol different forms of public transport issuing penalty fares to passengers who travel without a valid ticket. These titles are principally used in the United… …   Wikipedia

  • Tyne and Wear Metro — Overview Type Rapid transit/light rail …   Wikipedia

  • National Rail Conditions of Carriage — The National Rail Conditions of Carriage are a contractual document, setting out the consumer s rights and responsibilities when travelling on the National Rail network. When a train ticket is purchased, a contract is established. The CoC are the …   Wikipedia

  • Coaster (San Diego) — Coaster Overview Type Regional rail Status Operational Locale …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.