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Old January 20th 07, 05:42 PM posted to uk.transport.london,uk.railway
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Default Penalty fares for sitting in First Class

I travelled First Class with FCC from Farringdon to Luton Airport
yesterday evening.

Got into the rear compartment to find that it was almost full but I got
the last seat (Standard was full). Just after we departed, two FCC
guys (presumably RPIs) came into the compartment and asked to view all
First Clas tickets. At this point, several people tried to make for
the door but were prevented from doing so. In the end, 7 people were
penalty fared between Farringdon and West Hampstead Thameslink for
sitting in First with a Standard ticket. They all got off at West
Hampstead, where 3 more people came into the compartment. Immediately,
the RPIs came in and all 3 got 20 penalty fare notices. Another 2
boarded at Harpenden - one had a First Class ticket and the other was
penalty fared. A real field day for these RPIs!

I suspect that this kind of thing (Standard people sitting in First on
suburban lines in London) is very common, where there are few ticket
checks. However, I've noticed that FCC RPIs are far more common now
than previously on Thameslink, where there were hardly any checks at
all north of the Thames.


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Old January 20th 07, 05:51 PM posted to uk.transport.london,uk.railway
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Default Penalty fares for sitting in First Class


"Andrea" wrote in message
ups.com...
I travelled First Class with FCC from Farringdon to Luton Airport
yesterday evening.

Got into the rear compartment to find that it was almost full but I got
the last seat (Standard was full). Just after we departed, two FCC
guys (presumably RPIs) came into the compartment and asked to view all
First Clas tickets. At this point, several people tried to make for
the door but were prevented from doing so. In the end, 7 people were
penalty fared between Farringdon and West Hampstead Thameslink for
sitting in First with a Standard ticket. They all got off at West
Hampstead, where 3 more people came into the compartment. Immediately,
the RPIs came in and all 3 got 20 penalty fare notices. Another 2
boarded at Harpenden - one had a First Class ticket and the other was
penalty fared. A real field day for these RPIs!

I suspect that this kind of thing (Standard people sitting in First on
suburban lines in London) is very common, where there are few ticket
checks. However, I've noticed that FCC RPIs are far more common now
than previously on Thameslink, where there were hardly any checks at
all north of the Thames.


Superior class riding checks are a lucrative source of income, always have
been, and also good PR for First Class ticket holders.


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Old January 20th 07, 07:53 PM posted to uk.transport.london,uk.railway
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Default Penalty fares for sitting in First Class

4sub wrote:
Superior class riding checks are a lucrative source of income, always have
been, and also good PR for First Class ticket holders.


Well done to the staff concerned.

I know Elaine Holt has said FCC will be very strict on fare evaders,
and that would also include those who feel it's okay to upgrade their
ticket for free. I only use First Class when it's declassified (or on
Thursday when my 3 hour train journey was 'off the record' declassified
by the driver) and would be very annoyed if someone was in there with a
standard ticket, or no ticket.

I've had short formed services declassified by the driver before, which
seems a fair way of dealing with overcrowding. In those circumstances,
I doubt a first class ticket holder would be upset if they knew that at
all other times things would be enforced strictly.

FCC are looking for more RPIs at the moment and I hope this means they
can continue gripping on trains, because recently (on the GN side)
they've all but disappeared because many stations are 'protected'
instead. In reality, many stations aren't really protected because
evaders simply run past, refuse to stop (and not all grippers will give
chase - but when they do, it's nice to watch the face of the evader,
even though they'll probably give false details), walk past giving the
finger (probably the worst because they're doing it for a laugh) or
jump walls to avoid gates/staff completely. And, gate staff can't
enforce first class compartments.

There's a lot of money to be made by being strict (as long as they
don't ONLY go after the easy pickings) and if FCC recently managed to
make a four figure sum by staying at a station until the last train
left, it does make me wonder why they aren't doing it more often.
Perhaps they will - and other TOCs will follow.

Jonathan

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Old January 20th 07, 08:40 PM posted to uk.transport.london
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Default Penalty fares for sitting in First Class

In article . com,
(Andrea) wrote:

I travelled First Class with FCC from Farringdon to Luton Airport
yesterday evening.

Got into the rear compartment to find that it was almost full but I
got the last seat (Standard was full). Just after we departed, two FCC
guys (presumably RPIs) came into the compartment and asked to view
all First Clas tickets. At this point, several people tried to make

for
the door but were prevented from doing so. In the end, 7 people
were penalty fared between Farringdon and West Hampstead Thameslink for
sitting in First with a Standard ticket. They all got off at West
Hampstead, where 3 more people came into the compartment.
Immediately, the RPIs came in and all 3 got 20 penalty fare notices.
Another 2 boarded at Harpenden - one had a First Class ticket and the
other was penalty fared. A real field day for these RPIs!

I suspect that this kind of thing (Standard people sitting in First
on suburban lines in London) is very common, where there are few ticket
checks. However, I've noticed that FCC RPIs are far more common now
than previously on Thameslink, where there were hardly any checks at
all north of the Thames.


They must have got the extra RPIs from the GN. We hardly get checked at
times I travel between Cambridge and King's Cross nowadays.

--
Colin Rosenstiel
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Old January 20th 07, 09:32 PM posted to uk.transport.london,uk.railway
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Default Penalty fares for sitting in First Class


Jonathan Morris wrote:

4sub wrote:
Superior class riding checks are a lucrative source of income, always have
been, and also good PR for First Class ticket holders.


Well done to the staff concerned.


Agreed - but I do recall an incident a couple of weeks ago on FCC (GN)
when I was legitimately travelling First with a Gold Card supplement; a
gripper appeared at Hitchin (the first time I'd seen one for a few
weeks!) and he could hardly hide the "I've-got-you" look from his face
- until he saw my ticket! We had a bit of friendly banter about it
afterwards.


I know Elaine Holt has said FCC will be very strict on fare evaders,
and that would also include those who feel it's okay to upgrade their
ticket for free. I only use First Class when it's declassified (or on
Thursday when my 3 hour train journey was 'off the record' declassified
by the driver) and would be very annoyed if someone was in there with a
standard ticket, or no ticket.

I've had short formed services declassified by the driver before, which
seems a fair way of dealing with overcrowding. In those circumstances,
I doubt a first class ticket holder would be upset if they knew that at
all other times things would be enforced strictly.

FCC are looking for more RPIs at the moment and I hope this means they
can continue gripping on trains, because recently (on the GN side)
they've all but disappeared because many stations are 'protected'
instead. In reality, many stations aren't really protected because
evaders simply run past, refuse to stop (and not all grippers will give
chase - but when they do, it's nice to watch the face of the evader,
even though they'll probably give false details), walk past giving the
finger (probably the worst because they're doing it for a laugh) or
jump walls to avoid gates/staff completely. And, gate staff can't
enforce first class compartments.


Not that many stations appear to be "protected"; AFAIAA (and based on
what I've seen) there are regular checks at KX suburban, Hatfield, WGC,
Stevenage (which is now gated) and Hitchin (I don't know about the
Hertford Loop) but that leaves a lot of stations open. In any case,
there's often no-one around late at night, when loutish behaviour is at
its worst; the gates at Stevenage seem to be left open after about
2130.


There's a lot of money to be made by being strict (as long as they
don't ONLY go after the easy pickings) and if FCC recently managed to
make a four figure sum by staying at a station until the last train
left, it does make me wonder why they aren't doing it more often.
Perhaps they will - and other TOCs will follow.

Jonathan


I recall a scene at Letchworth late one Saturday night. I had travelled
from KX on the 2315 Cambridge (first stop Letchworth) and the RPIs were
in force on arrival; the chorus of "oh s**t" from about 3/4 of those
alighting when they saw that they were going to be nicked was music to
my ears! I gathered from a colleague that about 40 PFIs (all for 2x
single from KX, ie about 25) were issued that night, ie about 1000.
I only wish they'd do it more often...

It's also occasional practice at Cambridge for the RPIs to form a
cordon to prevent access to late-evening departures for either KX or LS
(if the units are in the south bays) to anyone without a ticket,
especially on Friday and Saturday nights.



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Old January 20th 07, 10:51 PM posted to uk.transport.london,uk.railway
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Default Penalty fares for sitting in First Class


"Jonathan Morris" wrote:

There's a lot of money to be made by being strict (as long as they
don't ONLY go after the easy pickings) and if FCC recently managed to
make a four figure sum by staying at a station until the last train
left, it does make me wonder why they aren't doing it more often.
Perhaps they will - and other TOCs will follow.


Heathrow Connect seem to have an efficient gripper on every train. I presume
the PFs/surcharges collected cover the cost of the staff concerned. If this
is correct, one wonders why other TOCs don't follow the same model.

I suppose (amongst other difficulties) the pool of people willing to work,
reliably, as RPIs is limited. It must be a pretty thankless job.

Chris


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Old January 21st 07, 12:37 AM posted to uk.transport.london,uk.railway
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Default Penalty fares for sitting in First Class

I suspect that this kind of thing (Standard people sitting in First on
suburban lines in London) is very common, where there are few ticket


It's probably more common because standard is full, and whilst it's
admirable that the RPI's did their duty I feel the train company would be
better off concentrating on ensuring the size of train matches the number
of those travelling. Although maybe the overcrowding is deliberate to
encourage people to buy first class?

I'm on an annual standard and wouldn't sit in first unless I had
permission, but it is kind of galling to see empty seats, especially as I'm
the last stop before London so it's unlikely anyone else would need that
seat.

Dave
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Old January 21st 07, 08:02 AM posted to uk.transport.london,uk.railway
MIG MIG is offline
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Default Penalty fares for sitting in First Class


DaveP wrote:
I suspect that this kind of thing (Standard people sitting in First on
suburban lines in London) is very common, where there are few ticket


It's probably more common because standard is full, and whilst it's
admirable that the RPI's did their duty I feel the train company would be
better off concentrating on ensuring the size of train matches the number
of those travelling. Although maybe the overcrowding is deliberate to
encourage people to buy first class?

I'm on an annual standard and wouldn't sit in first unless I had
permission, but it is kind of galling to see empty seats, especially as I'm
the last stop before London so it's unlikely anyone else would need that
seat.




But the whole point of first class is so that people pay not to have to
sit next to people like you (or me).

Empty seats around them is the whole intention, which is ridiculous in
overcrowded trains. It would be better to get rid of the concept of
first class altogether. For anyone who really misses it on that sort
of line, where there is no tea service or anything, they just need to
bring a hanky with them to put on the back of the seat.

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Old January 21st 07, 08:04 AM posted to uk.transport.london,uk.railway
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Default Penalty fares for sitting in First Class


DaveP wrote:
I suspect that this kind of thing (Standard people sitting in First on
suburban lines in London) is very common, where there are few ticket


It's probably more common because standard is full, and whilst it's
admirable that the RPI's did their duty I feel the train company would be
better off concentrating on ensuring the size of train matches the number
of those travelling. Although maybe the overcrowding is deliberate to
encourage people to buy first class?

I'm on an annual standard and wouldn't sit in first unless I had
permission, but it is kind of galling to see empty seats, especially as I'm
the last stop before London so it's unlikely anyone else would need that
seat.

Dave


As an aside to this thread. Is it no lomger possible to upgrade to
First legitimately?

In the 1960s I travelled a lot using a rail warrant (Second Class in
those days) and I regularly upgraded to First - if I had time I would
do it at the ticket office or if the train was busy I would sit in
first and pay the excess fare - definately only the difference between
first and second fares. I was in the Merchant Navy and the extra
luggage allowance was significant, we had to be prepaered to be away
for up to a year and able to survive from Arctic cold to Tropical heat.

Bill Harris

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Old January 21st 07, 08:50 AM posted to uk.transport.london,uk.railway
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Default Penalty fares for sitting in First Class


"DaveP" wrote in message
52...
I suspect that this kind of thing (Standard people sitting in First
on
suburban lines in London) is very common, where there are few
ticket


It's probably more common because standard is full, and whilst it's
admirable that the RPI's did their duty I feel the train company
would be
better off concentrating on ensuring the size of train matches the
number
of those travelling. Although maybe the overcrowding is deliberate
to
encourage people to buy first class?


When you say "full" do you mean that all standard class areas have
fully occupied seats and no standing room, or the more usual, no
desirable seats available (occupied by people/bags) and the rear
carriage is half empty as it means a long walk at the destination to
leave the station.
Its fair to say that buying a ticket doesn't guarantee a seat, just
travel (seat reservations excepted).





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