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We all know that trains in the UK are a bit of a joke, with plenty of stories of people taking flights to London via Spain just to avoid coughing up half of their salary for a direct rail service.
Now it looks like they're cracking down on season ticket holders as unlucky 34-year-old David Dixon, of Barming in Kent, is facing being taken to court for getting on the wrong train home from work.
Dixon, an analyst for NHS Protect, has been told to pay for an extra ticket as well as a £20 fine after accidentally using a Southeastern train to get home... despite already paying a whopping £3,700 for an annual season ticket.
I'd be annoyed too, mate. Credit: SNWS
Dixon only realised that his season ticket was invalid for the Southeastern service after his train pulled away from the platform in Elephant and Castle, south London, last month.
Inspectors told him that this was because Dixon had accidentally made a later journey, when Southeastern was offering a direct service to his hometown of Barming, instead of changing at another station on an earlier service as he usually does. Yeah, we're a bit confused, too.
He's now appealing the penalty he was given for a second time after Southeastern rejected his first appeal.
Southern and Southeastern trains. Credit: PA
"It feels like profiteering," Dixon said. "The inspector's reason for fining me was because I had to leave the station to get onto the other platform but there is no other way to change platforms at Maidstone East.
"What's more annoying is the service is appalling - the prices go up all the time and the train routinely doesn't stop at Barming to make up time if the service is running late, adding delays to an already long commute."
Under Southeastern's rules, anyone with an outstanding fine is liable to face prosecution or a fine of up to £1,000 ($1,300). Bit of a steep price to get home for your tea, that.
A spokesman for Southeastern said that the company could not comment while Dixon's appeal process is ongoing.
Words: Chris Ogden
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