Penalty Fare Notices, in differing formats, are issued for a variety of reasons. One example of this is when transport providers operate Penalty Fare Schemes as part of their overall Revenue Protection strategy to reduce ticketless travel. On routes where stops are frequent and trains or buses are busy, it's not always possible to check every passenger’s ticket between every station or every bus stop.
Where such Penalty Fare schemes apply, a valid ticket or other authority to travel must be displayed or made available for inspection when requested. Failure to either advance-purchase correctly or, failure to buy correctly from available ticket purchasing facilities before travelling may make a person liable to pay a penalty fare.
A Penalty Fare Notice must be paid or appealed against within the stated time in order to avoid further costs or action being taken by the Transport Provider to recover the debt.
All rail penalty fare schemes must comply with a set of regulations called the Penalty Fare Rules, 2002 while Transport for London (TfL) notices are issued in accordance with the Greater London Authority Act, 1999. Please visit Documents for further information.
Train operators work in a number of different ways to tackle ticketless travel. In addition to operating a penalty fares scheme, they may issue passengers with an Unpaid Fare Notice if they fail to pay the full appropriate fare or fail to produce a valid ticket when requested.
An Unpaid Fare Notice is not the same as a Penalty Fare Notice. Where the incident is considered to fall outside of the scope of the Railways (Penalty Fare) Regulations 1994, Unpaid Fare Notices are issued in accordance with the Transport Provider's Policy & Procedures and the National Rail Conditions of Carriage.
An Unpaid Fare Notice must be paid or appealed against within the stated time in order to avoid further costs or action being taken by the Transport Provider to recover the debt.
For more information, download a copy of the current National Rail Conditions of Carriage by visiting Documents
Appeals must be put in writing and cannot be made by telephone or in person. Appeals can be made online from Make an Appeal, where you may also download an Appeal Form for post or fax appeal purposes.
You should explain why you were unable to produce a valid ticket or other authority to travel and provide any further information or evidence to support your explanation when appealing. The Caseworker will not be able to obtain evidence or contact witnesses on your behalf so it is important that you include everything that you feel will help to support your appeal.
It is in your best interest to send everything together when appealing but, if you do send anything separately, it must be within the 21 day period of time allowed for appeal and it must clearly be marked with the relevant penalty fare or unpaid fare notice number for cross referencing purposes.
AS Caseworkers will consider your appeal facts and evidence together with that of the issuing company where appropriate. However, as mentioned above, the Caseworker will not collect evidence for you. You should not, for example, say in your appeal: “If you want more details please contact xxx or check my ticket history records”. Due to Data Protection legislation AS is restricted in what information it is able to collect about you and as such you must provide the evidence that you want to have considered.
Please ensure that you include all the details and all the supporting evidence at the time of appealing. You may upload documents at the appropriate point when appealing through this site. Please do not submit appeal information or supporting evidence via other routes or via the IRCAS website as this should solely be used for payment or customer service contacts only.
Online payment is available by using Payment or by visiting www.ircas.co.uk direct. IRCAS accept all major credit and debit cards and the handling fee, at £0.25 is less than the cost of an envelope and stamp.
The 24-hour telephone payment line is available by calling 0844 544 8458. Once connected, select Option 1 and have your Penalty Fare or Unpaid Fare Notice ready. Transaction handling fees are the same and calls may be recorded for training and/or security purposes.
Alternatively, you may post cheques or postal orders to IRCAS, PO Box 212, Petersfield GU32 9BQ. Please ensure that you make cheques and postal orders payable to IRCAS and that you write the number of your penalty fare notice or unpaid fare notice on the reverse. Please ensure that you keep Postal Order receipt for reference.
You may also complete and sign the payment authority slip at the bottom of your Notice and send this to IRCAS. IRCAS accept all major credit and debit cards and the handling fee, at £1.25 is less than the cost of purchasing a £20 postal order so may be preferable for people unable to pay by cheque or online.
If you have received a letter addressed to you but you did not make the journey in question then you must submit an appeal to AS. Please go to the Make an appeal section of this website and follow the instructions to submit your appeal. Please confirm your date of birth within the appeal, include a brief description of yourself, and provide supporting documentation such as a document with your signature on (ie. driving licence, passport, or reverse of a debit/credit card).
It may be possible that an imposter has used your details fraudulently and any supporting information or evidence you supply will therefore be treated confidentially and solely for the purposes of correctly identifying the person giving your details fraudulently. We will do all we can to assist you and, importantly, we will gather as much pertinent information as possible in order to help the transport companies identify the use of false details in the future.
You should not open post that is not addressed to you however, if you have opened the letter already in an attempt to resolve the issue then you must now return the letter to its envelope and re-seal it. You must return the letter to the post office by clearly writing on the envelope "not at this address" and putting it, unopened, into any post box. Royal Mail does not require any additional stamp or postage to be paid for this return service.
However, if the person to whom the letter is addressed is known to you or you are aware of their correct or forwarding address then please provide this. Please write on the reverse of the envelope the address that you believe to be correct for the person concerned. You must still clearly mark the front of the envelope 'Not at this address' however for Royal Mail purposes. We will ensure that any additional information you provide is recorded in order to help avoid any repetition of the wrong use of your address in the future.
You can only appeal via our website if you have a valid penalty fare or unpaid fare reference number and a copy of the notice in front of you when completing the appeal pages. If you did not receive a copy of any notice when stopped then it is possible that you were not actually issued with a penalty fare or unpaid fare notice on this occasion. The transport provider may be dealing with the matter in a different way and, if this is the case then you must wait to hear from them directly. AS is not able to intervene in anything other than penalty fare or unpaid fare notice issues.
However, if you still believe that you were issued a Penalty Fare or Unpaid Fare Notice but you did not receive a copy or, have subsequently lost it you can appeal by downloading the Appeals form available within our Document Library for post or fax submission. If you complete the form as fully as possible the AS team will search for your notice details and assess your case when a match is made. Alternatively you can appeal by sending a written appeal to AS, PO Box 212 Petersfield GU32 9BQ giving as much information as possible to enable the AS team to search for your notice details.
Please include details of the date, time and place where your journey began and ended and the passenger details given at the time of issue.
You can also contact customer services via the IRCAS website www.ircas.co.uk to obtain your penalty or unpaid fare notice details
When appealing online you will be required to provide your email account details and to create a password. You will be sent a secure link for verification purposes from which you will be able to track the progress of your appeal online.
Every appeal received by AS, whether online, by post or by fax is recorded upon receipt and a complete electronic case file created. This allows a paperless working environment for our Appeal Caseworkers and also ensures that accurate and PDF secure copies of all correspondence, notices, case notes and financials are stored securely and appropriately.
Appeals are allocated to Caseworkers and a response issued within 10 working days of receipt. If a Caseworker requires further information from yourself or from the company responsible for the issue of the notice you will be notified of this within 10 working days of receipt of your appeal. If you are required to provide further information or evidence you will be given a further stated period of time in which to provide this either by post or by using the upload facility within the online Track my Appeal section of the AS website.
Please ensure that you do not attempt to upload additional information or supporting documentation after submitting an appeal without it being requested. Please also avoid using the IRCAS website for this purpose as this site is for payment processing only.
Once an appeal has been fully considered a response will be issued indicating the outcome together with any further action that may be required. Advise on appealing further or referring the matter for review will also be given if appropriate.
AS issue responses to appeals within 10 working days. If there is a requirement to either pay an outstanding fare or to pay the whole penalty fare the date by which this payment is required is clearly indicated in the AS response.
Failure to make payment or to appeal further within the given time may result in the issue of a Reminder Letter to which administration fees will be applied.
IRCAS, working on behalf of the issuing company, will produce Reminder Letters and Final Reminder Letters on outstanding cases and, if necessary, refer cases for external debt collection consideration.
AS is unable to assess second or third stage appeals that are received late. If you receive a Reminder Letter or Final Reminder letter from IRCAS this is because the period of time given to you for payment or further appeal purposes has passed. The matter is out of AS hands once they have issued their appeal response and they cannot get involved further with a case when neither appeal nor payment has been made within the required and notified time. Late appeal submissions will not be considered and AS is unable to waive administration fees that may have accrued as a result of late appeal or payment submission.
Failure to re-appeal in the allowed time means that the right to further appeal has therefore been forfeited and it is now necessary to pay the full outstanding balance (including any administration fees) in order to avoid further action being taken by the issuing company to recover the debt.
If you have appealed and are unhappy with the outcome then you have the right to have your case reviewed either by AS or by the TfL Enforcement Team in respect of TfL issued notices. Details on how to further appeal a TfL issued notice will be given in your first appeal response.
You can submit a second rail related appeal by selecting 'Make an Appeal' from the website homepage, or by selecting 'Make an Appeal' at the top of this page.
Please note, as stated above, AS is unable to consider second stage TfL appeals as these are considered by the TfL Enforcement Team. Details for re-appealing to them will be given in the first appeal response issued by AS.
AS Caseworkers consider the facts and evidence presented and must come to a conclusion based on this information. If the facts of your case do not amount to a valid ground for appeal then the Caseworker cannot allow the appeal. The Caseworker has no power to allow an appeal simply because of mitigating circumstances alone and all cases are assessed in accordance with a Department for Transport (DfT) approved Assessment Criteria ensuring all appeals are considered fairly and consistently.
AS ensures that all appeals are fairly and consistently assessed in accordance with approved Assessment Criteria. However, if you remain unhappy with the outcome of an appeal or, if you believe that AS has failed to process your appeal correctly then you may refer the matter to either Transport Focus or London TravelWatch as appropriate. Both act as independent statutory bodies to protect the interests of passengers. Although they are unable to overturn an appeal decision made by AS or TfL, they will consider whether AS or TfL have acted correctly in their handling of your appeal.
The Revenue Inspectors are employed by the train operating company or TfL. Any complaints regarding their actions, when issuing a penalty or unpaid fare notice, must be addressed directly with the company that issued the notice.