Rail concession

PUBLISHED: 10:37 13 November 2008 | UPDATED: 13:43 06 May 2010

SIR, — The First Capital Connect spokesperson (Herts Advertiser, November 6) was wrong to declare that travelling in first class without paying the appropriate fare is a concession limited to pregnant women. Under paragraph 39(d) of the National Rail Cond

SIR, - The First Capital Connect spokesperson (Herts Advertiser, November 6) was wrong to declare that travelling in first class without paying the appropriate fare is a concession limited to pregnant women.

Under paragraph 39(d) of the National Rail Conditions of Carriage, any standard season ticket holder can travel in first class, provided they have the permission of the on-train ticket staff. Historically this provision was introduced specifically to allow the temporary migration of standard-class travellers into first-class areas during periods of exceptional overcrowding.

The issue in Ms Donna Johnston's case is that the inspector simply chose not to give this permission despite the overcrowding - created by FCC itself - which made it overwhelmingly reasonable to do so.

Perhaps, like FCC's own spokesperson, this inspector was merely ignorant of his powers and duties.

Or is FCC now instructing ticket inspectors to disregard the discretion enshrined in its franchise terms in order to squeeze extra profit from its saturated services?

MICHAEL STEED,

Woodland Drive, St Albans

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