Ticket to Ride – an update
03 February 2015
Passenger Focus has always taken the view that everyone should buy a ticket when travelling on the railways. Passengers who avoid paying their fare are, in effect, being subsidised by the vast majority of fare-paying passengers.
We agree that train operators should take steps to stop those who deliberately try to avoid paying, but what about the honest passenger who simply makes a mistake?
In response to a growing number of complaints from passengers we looked closely at the processes and protections surrounding ‘ticketless’ travel. Our subsequent report, Ticket to Ride?, was published in May 2012 and set out a number of concerns along with a series of recommendations.
Since publishing that report we have continued to press for change. The need for change seems to have been accepted by the industry, though there is still much debate around the shape this should take.
This report update shows that, while there have been some improvements, the outlook for being caught making a mistake can still be bleak.
Passenger Focus is calling on the industry to apply penalties for ticketless travel with greater consistency and fairness.
We are also looking for a change to the railway byelaws to stop the use of criminal sanctions where there isn’t any evidence that the passenger was attempting to commit fraud.
Press play to see a short video about this report: