The Department for Transport (DfT) has published a response this week following a consultation on proposed changes to the value of rail penalty fares in England and Wales.
It has concluded that the DfT will be replacing the current method of calculating the value of penalty fares, and will be introducing a surcharge of £100 on top of the price of the applicable single fare, reduced to £50 if paid within 21 days. This will become applicable on 23 January 2023.
In addition, the appeals process – which was introduced in 2018 – will remain, and any appeal will ‘stop the clock’ on the 21-day period during which a reduced charge is able to be paid.
The consultation ran from 11 March 2021 to 3 June 2021, and received 173 responses – 148 from individuals and 25 from organisations.
There are still question marks over a couple of elements in the system, and the DfT is inviting comments and suggestions to aid future policy formulation. A consultation remains open on whether changes to the value and formula of a Penalty Fare should be able to be varied considering the circumstances of the penalty – so should some leniencies be offered?
Also, there are queries over whether the term ‘Penalty Fare’ remains appropriate… although opening a public consultation on this may be a brave move. Watch this space, you could see this issuing of Farey McFarefaces in the future.