Buses & coaches - Penalty charge
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If you don’t pay the correct fare for your journey on a bus outside London, you may have to pay a set fee or penalty fare, sometimes on top of the full fare. The amount you're expected to pay depends on the bus company you are travelling with.
If you travel on a bus in London you must buy a valid pass or ticket for your entire journey before you get on the bus. If you don’t, you could be charged a penalty fare.You should know
- All bus and coach operating companies have different rules relating to customer issues; everything in this section is set out in the Bus Users Good Practice Guide.
- Check each bus company's Conditions of Carriage for specific terms and conditions.
If your journey was outside of London or Northern Ireland, happened in the last 12 months, and you’ve already contacted the operator, you may be able to escalate your case to the Bus Users Appeal Service.
For complaints about journeys in London you may be able to escalate your case to London TravelWatch.
For Northern Ireland, you can contact the Consumer Council for Northern Ireland.
Conditions of Carriage
These are different for each bus company and form the terms and conditions of your contract with the operator. They often set the way issues must be handled and what compensation, if any, you are entitled to. Transport of London set out your conditions of carriage on London transport.
Submit your issue for free
The resolver system holds the contact details for bus operating companies and will help you deliver and manage your complaint as it is important that you keep a complete record of all dealings you have with the bus operating company.
Setting up a case in resolver will mean the company is automatically nudged with a reminder email if it does not respond. If you are not happy when a response does arrive, the system reminds you when you can raise your case to the next most senior level of management within the company.
Who regulates the market?
Buses in the UK are regulated in a variety of ways. Bus transport in London is regulated by Transport for London. Bus transport in some large cities is regulated by Passenger Transport Executives. Bus transport elsewhere in the country must meet the requirements of the local Traffic Commissioner, and run to their registered service.
While travelling by bus and coach around Europe you are protected by passenger rights. These rights apply as long as your journey begins or ends within the European Union, it is a regular service, and you are set to travel along specified routes with predetermined stops at specified intervals.
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