Under new proposals from the Department for Transport, appealing against penalty rail fares is set to become fairer and more open.
Train operators charge penalty fares if a passenger is found to be travelling without a valid ticket. Passengers may appeal if they think they have been incorrectly or unfairly charged, either through the Independent Revenue Collection and Support (IRCAS) or the Independent Penalty Fares Appeals Service (IPFAS).
Under the new proposals:
- Train operators must remove the reference to criminal sanctions in letters chasing penalty fare payment.
- All appeal bodies must adopt a ‘stop the clock’ measure, meaning those appealing do not have to pay the penalty fare until a final ruling has been reached.
- All appeal bodies must be independent of transport operators and owning groups.
- Regular ‘health checks’ of the system by government.