Bus journey costs Chiswick mum £315

Court finds local resident guilty of dodging her £1 bus fare

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Chiswick resident and mother of two, Jo Cahill, has been found guilty and fined £315 for 'dodging' her £1 bus fare.

The 41 year old PA received a court summons for non payment of her bus fare after a ticket inspector discovered that the Oyster card reader had failed to register her £1.20 fare and that she only had 50p worth of credit remaining on her card.

The incident took place in October 2005 as Mrs Cahill was on board the No. 94 bus to take her from Chiswick to where she works in Marble Arch.  Mrs Cahill claimed that she passed her Oyster card, which she believed carried more than enough credit for her journey, over the reading machine and was completely unaware of any alarm being raised. 

Her offer to pay the fare when the inspector highlighted the error was declined and lead to her receiving a summons to appear in court.

Despite offering evidence to the court taken from an official log of another bus that Oyster card readers are not entirely fool proof and the driver of the bus admitting that it was possible to not notice that the machine wasn't working properly during rush hour, Mrs Cahill was ordered to pay a £165 fine and £150 in costs.

Following the verdict, a spokesperson for TfL said "We take a tough line on those trying to avoid payment.  We hope this case will act as a deterrent to others who evade fares."

London TravelWatch, London’s statutory transport watchdog, told chiswickw4.com "While we cannot comment on this particular case, it does seem that there seems to be a real confusion about the regulations on London's buses. It would help passengers enormously if TfL were clearer on what the different circumstances in which they issue penalty fares and when they prosecute immediately."   


February 8, 2006