South West Trains Penalty Fares Scheme

Steve Elibank made this Freedom of Information request to Passengers' Council

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

Passengers' Council did not have the information requested.

Dear Passengers’ Council,

According to http://www.parliament.uk/business/public... you are responsible for overseeing TOCs penalty fares schemes. Please provide me with an electronic copy of the entire South West Trains penalty fares scheme including all appendixes.

Yours faithfully,
Steve Elibank

Advice, Passengers' Council

Thank you for contacting Passenger Focus, the statutory watchdog
protecting and promoting passengers' interests.

 

Your email has been received and one of our Passenger Team will contact
you within five working days.

 

Passenger Team
Passenger Focus
The independent passenger watchdog

t 0300 123 2350

e [1][email address]
w [2]www.passengerfocus.org.uk

Follow us on Twitter [3]@passengerfocus

 

 

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Natalie Archer, Passengers' Council

Dear Mr Elibank

 

Thank you for contacting Passenger Focus.

 

Passenger Focus is the statutory watchdog protecting and promoting
passengers' interests. I should explain that our role includes dealing
with customer complaints that the rail industry has not been able to
resolve satisfactorily. This means that we must give the rail industry an
opportunity to sort things out with you before we get involved.

 

I have therefore referred your documentation to South West Trains, so they
can respond to you first. If you need to check the progress of your case
then you can telephone the customer relations team to confirm when you’ll
receive a reply. You can find their details on the National Rail website –
[1]www.nationalrail.co.uk – or by phoning National Rail on 08457 48 49 50.

 

If once the train company has replied you feel that the issues have not
been properly addressed, or if you are not satisfied with what is said,
please do write to me again or call on 0300 123 2350.

Please could you tell us a little more about yourself by completing our
short survey here:
[2]https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Passenger...

Kind regards

 

Natalie Archer

 

Passenger Team Assistant

Passenger Focus

The independent passenger watchdog

 

t 0300 123 2350

e [email address]

w [3]www.passengerfocus.org.uk

Follow us on twitter [4]@passengerfocus

 

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Dear Natalie,

I think you may have misunderstood my email. I made a request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (maybe ask a manager to explain this to you) to Passenger Focus.

Passenger Focus is under a legal duty to respond within 20 working days, ie. by 31 December 2014.

Simply referring the matter to South West Trains is not sufficient and I will complain to the Information Commissioner should you fail to respond on time.

Yours sincerely,
Steve Elibank

Advice, Passengers' Council

Thank you for contacting Passenger Focus, the statutory watchdog
protecting and promoting passengers' interests.

 

Your email has been received and one of our Passenger Team will contact
you within five working days.

 

Passenger Team
Passenger Focus
The independent passenger watchdog

t 0300 123 2350

e [1][email address]
w [2]www.passengerfocus.org.uk

Follow us on Twitter [3]@passengerfocus

 

 

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Neil Cheetham, Passengers' Council

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Elibank

 

Freedom of Information Act 2000 - information request

 

Thank you for your request for information. You may not have specified or
referred to the above Act in your request, but we are treating your
request within its provisions.

 

The date we received your request was: 01.12.2014  
The target date for responding to you is:05.01.2014  
The unique reference number allocated to your request is:  
PFO-22181-K£l£J6
The person who has been asked to deal with your request is: Neil  
Cheetham
His or her job title is:Senior Passenger Team Advisor  
His or her email address is:neil.cheetham@passenger Focus.org.uk  

 

We have, however, already been able to consider and act upon your request
and the information you asked for is below. If you have any further
queries, please contact me.

 

As the Department for Transport, as mentioned in the link you added to the
initial enquiry states, is responsible for the policy and legal framework
under which penalty fares operate in England and Wales we would not be
considered the holders of the documentation you appear to be looking for
and are not required to provide information if it is available elsewhere.

 

I have copied the “Dealing with your request” guidance below for your
information but as your enquiry, to Passengers Council, relates
specifically to South West Trains scheme we referred you, correctly, to
them to be responded to in the first instance.

 

The Strategic Rail Authority Penalty Fares Scheme is a public domain
document and can be found on the IRCAS penalty [1]website . It is a
national scheme so a specific SWT one does not exist but the requested
appendices must be added by the relevant train company, this is why we
referred you to them – we do not hold a copy with these added.

 

Dealing with your request

 

In normal circumstances we should be able to (a) confirm or deny that we
hold this information and (b) if we hold it, send it to you within the
statutory timescale of 20 working days. You should note however that the
Act defines a number of exemptions which may prevent us complying with
either of these duties. We will explain if this is the case, and if we
apply the ‘public interest test’ to our decision.

 

If the information is readily available by other means, such as on our
website, we will point you in this direction and would not generally
expect to reproduce it specifically, and we will tell you this as soon as
we can.

 

 

Charges and fees

 

Generally we do not charge for requests of this type. In exceptional
circumstances, where the costs of complying with your request exceed the
appropriate limit set by law – currently £450 for Passenger Focus – a fee
may be a fee payable for the information you have requested. In this case
we would issue a fees notice and the fee must be paid before the
information is processed and released. The 20 working day time limit for
responses is suspended until receipt of the payment, and you have three
months in which to send the fee. If you do not provide payment within
three months you request will lapse.

 

 

If you have any queries or concerns about our process, please contact in
the first instance:

 

Senior Information Risk Owner

Passenger Focus

One Drummond Gate

Pimlico

London SW1V 2QY

[2][email address]

 

 

Further information about the Freedom of Information Act is available from
the Information Commissioner at:

 

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire, SK9 5AF.

Telephone: 0303 123 1113

[3]www.ico.gov.uk

 

In the event that you are not satisfied with this response, please refer
to the attached ‘could we have done better?’ leaflet.

 

Thank you for contacting Passenger Focus.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Neil Cheetham

 

SENIOR PASSENGER TEAM ADVISOR

 

show quoted sections

Dear Neil Cheetham,

Please could you conduct an internal review within 20 working days.

Either you hold the requested information (on your premises and/ or on your computer system) or you do not. The Freedom of Information Act 2000 requires you to confirm whether or not you hold the information. It does not matter if other public authorities also hold the information. The law requires you to confirm whether or not you hold it.

If you do hold it, you are required to provide a copy of it. It does not matter if other public authorities might release it on request; only if they proactively publish it is the section 21 exemption available.

Yours sincerely,
Steve Elibank

Neil Cheetham, Passengers' Council

Dear Mr Elibank

As I stated in the initial response, the specific document you requested "the entire South West Trains penalty fares scheme" does not exist.

There is a national scheme, a link to which I have provided, but the specific element you are looking for, a copy with the appendices relating to SWT, is not something we hold, I have confirmed this internally.

They may, or may not be held at the DfT or, most likely, by SWT but, as you will no doubt be aware, SWT are not obliged to respond under the FOI act.

Kind regards

Neil Cheetham

show quoted sections

Dear Neil,

The document does exist. Every train operating company (as I imagine Passenger Focus *should* know) has its own Penalty Fare Scheme.

Passenger Focus has previously released several of these, without appendixes, under FOI here: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/s... (see the file called 'South Eastern Penalty Fare Scheme' which contains the schemes for South Eastern, Chiltern, SWT, Southern etc.)

I am now asking for the appendices and under the FOIA you are required to state whether or not you hold the information I have requested.

You have 20 working days to carry out an internal review and if you fail to do so I will complain to the Information Commissioner.

Steve Elibank

Neil Cheetham, Passengers' Council

Dear Mr Elibank

As I mentioned earlier the scheme is national, the Southern appendices, which is what you are looking at here, were not held by us but, in this case, we did provide a link for the details from your own 2011 "what do they know" FOI case already responded to by the DfT.

I have been informed, by the same team that provided the link to the information you are looking at here, that, as in that case, we don't hold the specific appendices information you require. The SWT information you are asking for is already included, along with some other TOCs, in the documentation released to you directly by the DfT in 2011.

As the case was yours I imagine that you will still have that copy but as we don't hold the information, it is in public domain as requested yourself and is held in the link you yourself sent to me I won't copy it again.

Kind regards

Neil

show quoted sections

Passenger Focus,

[1][IMG] 

Dear Steve,
                                           
Thank you for contacting Passenger Focus.
Your feedback is valuable in helping us improve our service to
passengers. We would be grateful if you would take the time to complete
our short satisfaction survey.

[2]Click here to take the survey

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Dear Neil,

You are still wrong. Every TOC has its own penalty fares scheme and each TOC's scheme has to be individually approved. If you took a moment to look at the documentation released in 2011 you would see that it consists of a number of completely different documents, each in a different font, one from each TOC. The South West Trains one refers to appendixes lettered from A to I, but these appendixes are not included in the PDF file that was released (or if they are, tell me the PDF page numbers) so I do not understand why you are persisting in saying that "The SWT information you are asking for is already included"

I have now twice specified that I would like an internal review to be carried out. This review should be conducted by a different person to yourself, and at a more senior level, according to the government code of practise on FOI handling.

I look forward to receiving the internal review's results within 19 working days.

Yours sincerely,
Steve Elibank

Neil Cheetham, Passengers' Council

Dear Mr Elibank

The point I wanted to clarify is that we don't hold the information you are requesting. The detail you used as alleged proof that we do have it didn't come from us and was a link to a document you already received from DfT rather than a copy of documents held here, we don't have them.

It is up to each TOC that wishes to use Penalty Fares to submit a formal application to DfT stating what they intend to do and showing how this is consistent with the rules. Each application is then reviewed by DfT to see if it meets the rules/policies and the TOC can only start charging penalty fares once DfT has actually authorised it.

While the broad policy is set out in the rules, the specific detail, on which station is included and which isn’t etc, will be set out in the specific TOC s application. DfT released a lot of these details in FOIs a few years ago and this is currently the best source for people who wish to view specifics. It seems that the pdf doc mentions Appendices A-I but they didn’t include them in the FOI release, we can't provide these to you because we don't have the original nor do we have access to it.

You may have read too much into the initial response re DfT relying on us to "oversee arrangements". We look at the authorised applicants running of the scheme in their area, although we don't have any enforcement powers. We would need to refer back to DfT if we felt they were in breach of the terms for them to review the running of the national scheme in line with the relevant TOCs application.

Our work on this includes

- Changing the rules themselves (DfT consultation)
- Addressing some of the causes of PFNs (problems with queue lengths, confusing ticket restrictions, unhelpful TVMs etc)
- Highlighting the need for more discretion (Ticket to Ride campaign)

I am happy to request a review, the response to which will come from Jon Carter our Head of Business Services Senior Information Risk Owner (SIRO) and Departmental Records Officer (DRO) shortly.

Regards

Neil

show quoted sections

Jon Carter, Passengers' Council

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Elibank

 

I have made some progress on the internal review in respect of your FOIA
case. I have however run into some difficulties in obtaining the
information I need due to the Christmas break. I therefore advise you that
I shall now respond with my review of your case by no later than Friday 16
January 2015.

 

May I offer you and your family the compliments of the season and wish you
well for 2015.

 

Regards

 

JON CARTER

Head of Business Services

Senior Information Risk Owner (SIRO) and Departmental Records Officer
(DRO)

Passenger Focus ([1]London office)

The independent passenger watchdog

[2]passenger_focus_logo_new_small

t: 0300 123 0855

m: 07760 772498

w: www.passengerfocus.org.uk

or use this link for our open data webpage
www.passengerfocus.org.uk/our-open-data

Follow us on Twitter [3]@passengerfocus. You can also call our passenger
contact centre on 0300 123 2350 (open 8am - 8pm Monday - Friday and 8am -
4pm at weekends).

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Jon Carter, Passengers' Council

3 Attachments

Dear Mr Elibank

 

Further to my email of 24 December, I now enclose my internal review of
your FOIA case.

 

If you remain dissatisfied with this response, you should contact the
Information Commissioner as follows:

 

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire SK9 5AF

[1]www.ico.gov.uk

 

JON CARTER

Head of Business Services

Senior Information Risk Owner (SIRO) and Departmental Records Officer
(DRO)

Passenger Focus ([2]London office)

The independent passenger watchdog

[3]passenger_focus_logo_new_small

t: 0300 123 0855

m: 07760 772498

w: www.passengerfocus.org.uk

or use this link for our open data webpage
www.passengerfocus.org.uk/our-open-data

Follow us on Twitter [4]@passengerfocus. You can also call our passenger
contact centre on 0300 123 2350 (open 8am - 8pm Monday - Friday and 8am -
4pm at weekends).

[5]IIP_LOGO_RGB_SMALL

 

The contents of this email and any attachments are confidential and may be
priviliged. If you are not the intended recipient, any disclosure, copy or
distribution is strictly prohibited. Please notify the sender immediately
by return email and delete any message and attachments.

 

From: Jon Carter
Sent: 24 December 2014 15:47
To: '[FOI #242025 email]'
Cc: Neil Cheetham; Katie Armstrong
Subject: Internal review

 

Dear Mr Elibank

 

I have made some progress on the internal review in respect of your FOIA
case. I have however run into some difficulties in obtaining the
information I need due to the Christmas break. I therefore advise you that
I shall now respond with my review of your case by no later than Friday 16
January 2015.

 

May I offer you and your family the compliments of the season and wish you
well for 2015.

 

Regards

 

JON CARTER

Head of Business Services

Senior Information Risk Owner (SIRO) and Departmental Records Officer
(DRO)

Passenger Focus ([6]London office)

The independent passenger watchdog

[7]passenger_focus_logo_new_small

t: 0300 123 0855

m: 07760 772498

w: [8]www.passengerfocus.org.uk

or use this link for our open data webpage
[9]www.passengerfocus.org.uk/our-open-data

Follow us on Twitter [10]@passengerfocus. You can also call our passenger
contact centre on 0300 123 2350 (open 8am - 8pm Monday - Friday and 8am -
4pm at weekends).

[11]IIP_LOGO_RGB_SMALL

 

The contents of this email and any attachments are confidential and may be
priviliged. If you are not the intended recipient, any disclosure, copy or
distribution is strictly prohibited. Please notify the sender immediately
by return email and delete any message and attachments.

 

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South West Trains Customer Relations,

South West Trains
Customer Service Centre
Overline House, Blechynden Terrace
Southampton. SO15 1GW
Email: [email address]
Phone: 0345 6000 650

18 Jan 2015

Our Reference: SW-141201-ADG

Dear Mr Elibank

Thank you for your Email of 01 December 2014. I am sorry for the delay in
responding to your query. Due to an increase in the amount of
correspondence we have received recently, we have been unable to reply as
quickly as we normally do. I am aware that the information you requested
may be too late to be of use.

However, in case you atill need a copy of our Penalty fare Scheme, it can
be found at:

[1]http://www.southwesttrains.co.uk/uploads...

Once again, may I apologise for not answering your email in a more timely
fashion.

Kind Regards

Rebecca Tolfree
Customer Service Centre Advisor

 

 

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