I travelled home by train yesterday, which is a first me.
The train was there 20 minutes early so I got on and found a nice seat at the end of the carriage with a table and no chairs opposite me, so I wouldn't have to avoid eye contact with a stranger for the 20 minute journey. Little did I know what was to come.
About five minutes before the train was due to leave two women and a man got on the train with two babies in prams and sat on the other side of the aisle and on the seat next to me.
The bloke spoke first asking where the effing baby wipes were which got me thinking that maybe my choice of seat had been a mistake!
Anyway they carried on talking with the weirdest accents I'd ever heard, it sounded a cross between geordie, irish, scottish and cockney. Whenever the girls finished their sentences they went up an octave. So then the conductor came along and asked for our tickets. I gave him mine with a smile that told him I wasn't with them.
He then asked them for theirs to which the reply was "We haven't got any how much for three halfs?"
I thought exactly the same as the conductor then which was that there was something weird going on. The bloke was about 25 and the girls both about 20.
He told them that they would have to pay full price to which their answer was no way. this carried on for about 3 minutes then he said he would have to phone someone. He stepped into the vestibule (not a word you hear everyday) then came back and said he would need ID to prove they were kids.
There was another argument for a bit saying you couldn't have ID for being under 16 but then one of them cocked up by saying two of them were 16 and one was 15. This gave the conductor an edge for a while as 16 means full ticket. He carried on saying that they were all full price and would need to give him 38 quid for the tickets to which they argued further for another couple of minutes. Then they changed tack and said ok use this card for payment. He put it through his machine and it was rejected. They then said it was his fault as they had offered payment but he wouldn't accept it, from the card that was rejected!
He went off again to make another phone call in the vestibule and while he was gone the bloke suggested they jump off at the next station and get the next train but the girls were having none of it and said he wouldn't be able to kick them off because of the babies.
So they stayed on the train to discuss more with him how it was his fault that he wouldn't take payment.
Unfortunately I then had to get off at my stop.
I'd love to know what happened next but does anyone know what the guard should/would have done to ensure the cocky trio didn't get away without paying?
In the end he would have taken a postcode of where they live. He would then check the postcode and residency to check that it was correct and matched the person in question. He would then fine him based on that and warm him that failure to pay the fine will end in court proceeding fines of 2K etc. If the bloke continued to refuse he would have got hold of the police and they would get them all escorted off the train. They would probably arrest the bloke and maybe arrest the girls but have someone come and collect the children first.
Usually the Transport Police would meet them thier stop.
I have a friend working for SWT and there are two types of railway revenue staff, guards in smart uniforms and enforcement officers in a rather more menacing fake-Police get-up (and normally flanked by a couple of real ones!).
The guards are very understanding and will try to sell you the correct ticket instead of a penalty fare or even let you off completely if they feel like it. They can see through lies and generally give the "Well, that's a silly way to get a penalty fare over a few quid wasn't it?" routine. If you are polite and honest with guards, they are likely to go lenient on you unless you get a jobsworth.
Enforcement officers are the opposite. These are the guys who prosecute and if you don't have a ticket, tough luck you now have a penalty fare. If you try and lie or get abusive, even tougher luck and prepare to say hello to the judge. They are pretty blunt and take no mess from anyone.
Of course, as a guard my friend's favourite deterrent is only available on the late night trains. Namely turfing the offender off at a station in the middle of nowhere, with no public transport links and no trains until the morning.
Make me sick people who don't pay. They don't take it on the chin either if they are caught.
Last edited by nicholab; 4th December 2012 at 01:32 PM.
He would have probably asked for BTP to meet at the next station to join the train, I've had that here on my local line, I was coming back from Leeds some "youths" were causing trouble running in and out of toilet to avoid fair payment etc... the conductor spotted this and called BTP and asked them to meet him at the station I was getting off at and that he did, they didn't open the train doors here until BTP arrived and they boarded the train and sorted them out I guess.
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