Watchdog warns rail operators to play fair as penalty fare increases

23 January 2023

Transport Focus has called for discretion as the penalty for travelling without a valid train ticket in England increases from £20 to £100. 

The penalty will be issued on top of the price of the single fare for a passenger’s journey. It will be reduced to £50 if paid within 21 days. 

Ahead of the changes Transport Focus’s chief executive has written to all train company managing directors. 

Transport Focus has called for good proactive passenger communications and for revenue protection staff to show discretion in the immediate days/weeks following the change. 

Commenting on the changes, Transport Focus chief executive Anthony Smith, said: 

“It’s right that train companies catch and deter those who evade paying for their ticket. Penalty fares must act as an effective deterrent, otherwise fare dodgers end up being subsidised by the vast majority of honest passengers. 

“As the penalty is increasing, it is more important than ever that train companies ensure passengers are treated fairly and their staff use discretion when it is clearly an innocent mistake.” 


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