Fare dodgers pay the price for not having tickets
PUBLISHED: 18:31 01 February 2019 | UPDATED: 18:31 01 February 2019
Fare dodgers were ordered to pay nearly £2.9m in fines and costs last year after Greater Anglia prosecuted people caught riding trains without tickets.
More than 10,000 people were prosecuted in 2018 in magistrates courts across the region after they were caught with no tickets on Greater Anglia trains.
The courts imposed fines of more than £1,203,974 and costs of £1,676,124 on 10,214 people caught evading fares.
Greater Anglia said only those who were clearly trying to evade paying a fair were taken to court were taken to court - between 500 to 700 people a month.
A total of 349 fare evasion cases were heard at Ipswich magistrates court, who issued total court costs, fines and victim surcharges totalling £64,840, with Greater Anglia being awarded £41,934 costs
But in Colchester just four cases were heard, with total court fees with fines and victim surcharges totalling £25, with Greater Anglia being awarded £34.60 costs.
Cases were also heard across Norfolk, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire and London.
Penalty fares were also given to 4,000 to 6,000 people for using the wrong ticket to travel, such as an adult travelling on a child’s ticket, or using a rail card discount when they don’t have a railcard.
Greater Anglia operate rail services throughout East Anglia, Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire and the Stansted Express Service.
The company said its revenue protection teams always know if ticket machines are out of order or ticket offices closed, so when these are used as reasons they know if they are genuine.
Greater Anglia’s commercial and customer service director Martin Moran said “We will take action against people who travel without the correct ticket and will always prosecute people who have boarded our trains with no intention of paying for a ticket.
“It’s easy to buy a ticket either from a ticket office, ticket machine, online or via our app, so there is no excuse for travelling without a ticket and it just ends up pushing up prices for our fare-paying customers.
“For every £1 spent on rail fares, 98p is invested in the railway. By not paying for a ticket, there’s less money available for investment to improve the railway for everyone.”