I HAVE lodged an appeal against the issuing of a penalty notice to myself by a third-party contractor employed by Northen Rail this week.

I was rushing to catch a train as there were no buses, for which I hold a valid ticket. Upon arrival, the ticket gates were open.

The ticket office was open and machines were available but Northern has upgraded the software and it takes up to 90 seconds to buy a ticket.

I didn’t want to miss the service as the next service was delayed, I passed through the barrier, unchallenged by the two members of staff. I assumed a guard would be available to purchase a ticket from.

The guard did not come down the train. I got off the train at Birchwood and was stopped by ticket inspectors still operating at 7.46pm.

I offered to pay for a ticket, explaining my reasons why I had not purchased a ticket at Warrington Central.

I was informed that this was not possible and that I was being served with a penalty notice.

I am an honest passenger who always purchases a ticket. Your documentation states that ‘you may be charged’.

Staff have discretion in these matters. I was professionally dressed and stated that I work for the local authority.

I had a valid reason for not purchasing a ticket and demonstrated a willingness to pay upon arrival.

I was still issued with the penalty fare.

I don’t believe this to be a fair and proportionate response from the staff and I am therefore appealing this penalty fare. I will be contacting my local MP regarding this matter.

I also have some grave concerns about the use of personal data which I will be detailing in a letter to Northern.

READ > Thousands of rail passengers overcharged for not having valid ticket

Under GDPR, fines are unlimited where data use is found to be unlawful.

I did raise my concerns with the inspectors on duty, but they appeared not to understand GDPR or their role in regards to data protection.