Actions taken against passengers without a valid oyster card on London buses.

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Dear Transport for London,

I'm hoping you can help me out with a query I have.

I am a resident in London and I have an 18+ student oyster photocard. I had a weekly travelcard on this, which of course had the 30% discount applied to it when I had purchased it earlier in the week.
I accidentally left this at home when I moved out to my university accommodation. My mother who doesn't speak or read English very well thought I had left my pass at home and used it for her own bus journey. She made this mistake because she regularly uses my brothers adult oyster card on weekends and so thought she could do the same with mine.

Shortly after she got onto the bus and had touched in my oystercard she was approached by a ticket inspector and of course he confiscated the 18+ student oyster card, took down her details and said she would receive a letter within 7 days. The first I found out about this was when I called my mum later that day. Although she was not aware at the time that her actions were against the law, I have explained the matter to her and she now understands.

A week following this incident (just as the ticket inspector had explained), my mother received a letter explaining she would be contacted regarding the incident soon and she was being given an opportunity to explain why she did not have a valid oyster card. I completed this on behalf of my mother and provided the above explanation and then returned this letter by the date requested. Today, 6 weeks after the incident she has received another letter but this time it is a summons for prosecution with the option of pleading guilty and paying a fee or pleading not guilty and attend court to defend herself, my mother is extremely upset and worried over this.

I am not emailing you to defend my mothers actions in any way as I have explained the reason she would not be allowed to use my student oyster card. Instead I would like to know what are the normal actions taken by tfl or whichever body deals with matters like this? My mother has not been given the opportunity to pay an on the spot fine or been sent a penalty fine, instead she has been sent a court order. Is this the first step normally taken after matters like this or is the person first given an opportunity to pay a penalty fine?

According to the TFL website (http://www.tfl.gov.uk/tickets/14436.aspx..., in regards to London bus services, the penalty fare amount is £50, and reduced to £25 if paid within 21 days, and if penalty is not paid then further actions are taken.
I can't understand why my mother was not given this opportunity to pay the penalty fare amount.

Sorry for the lengthy email, hope you are able to help, sorry I have not been able to provide a reference number as I am away at my university accommodation.

Thank you
Yours faithfully,

Miss Patel
15 November 2010

Transport for London

 

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Transport for London

Ref: 1007911602

Date 21.12.2010

Dear Miss Patel

Thank you for your email to the Oyster card Helpdesk. I'm sorry for the
delay in replying to you.

Bus revenue is a separate office to us and any investigation regarding a
withdrawn Oyster card will be handled by them.

You should’ve been given a Customer Service Form at the time your Oyster
card was withdrawn with their details. However, if you do not have this
for any reason then their address is:

Revenue Protection Services
Appeals/Payments
IRCAS
PO BOX 212
Petersfield GU32 9BQ

Please direct any queries regarding this matter to them.

I hope that this helps you.

Please contact us if you need any further help.

Kind regards

Daniel Palmer

Oyster Customer Services

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Original Text

From: [FOI #51976 email]
To: FOI requests at TfL <[email address]>
CC:
Sent: 15.11.10 20:43:19
Subject: Freedom of Information request - Actions taken against passengers
without a valid oyster card on London buses.

Dear Transport for London,

I'm hoping you can help me out with a query I have.

I am a resident in London and I have an 18+ student oyster
photocard. I had a weekly travelcard on this, which of course had
the 30%discount applied to it when I had purchased it earlier in
the week.
I accidentally left this at home when I moved out to my university
accommodation. My mother who doesn't speak or read English very
well thought I had left my passat home and used it for her own bus
journey. She made this mistake because she regularly uses my
brothers adult oyster card on weekends and so thought she could do
the same with mine.

Shortly after she got onto the bus and had touched in my oystercard
she was approached by a ticket inspector and of course he
confiscated the 18+ student oyster card, took down her details and
said she would receive a letter within 7 days. The first I found
out about this was when I called my mum later that day. Although
she was not aware at the time that her actions were against the
law, I have explained the matter to her and she now understands.

A week following this incident (just as the ticket inspector had
explained), my mother received a letter explaining she would be
contacted regarding the incident soon and she was being given an
opportunity to explain why she did not have a valid oyster card. I
completed this on behalf of my mother and provided the above
explanation and then returned this letter by the date requested.
Today, 6 weeks after the incident she has received another letter
but this time it is a summons for prosecution with the option of
pleading guilty and paying a fee or pleading not guilty and attend
court to defend herself, my mother is extremely upset and worried
over this.

I am not emailing you to defend my mothers actions in any way as I
have explained the reason she would not be allowed to use my
student oyster card. Instead I would like to know what are the
normal actions taken by tfl or whichever body deals with matters
like this? My mother has not been given the opportunity to pay an
on the spot fine or been sent a penalty fine, instead she has been
sent a court order. Is this the first step normally taken after
matters like this or is the person first given an opportunity to
pay a penalty fine?

According to the TFL website
(http://www.tfl.gov.uk/tickets/14436.aspx..., in
regards to London bus services, the penalty fare amount is £50, and
reduced to £25 if paid within 21 days, and if penalty is not paid
then further actions are taken.
I can't understand why my mother was not given this opportunity to
pay the penalty fare amount.

Sorry for the lengthy email, hope you are able to help, sorry I
have not been able to provide a reference number as I am away at my
university accommodation.

Thank you
Yours faithfully,

Miss Patel
15 November 2010

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