£60k fines and costs for Essex fare dodgers
Train fare dodgers in Essex have been ordered to pay fines and court costs of over £60,000.
Greater Anglia prosecuted 200 people at Basildon Magistrates’ Court on Monday 19 March for travelling on trains on the Southend Victoria to Liverpool Street line without a ticket or any means to pay for a ticket.
Magistrates imposed fines of £31,450 and costs of £29,250 in total.
The cases come less than a month after Greater Anglia revealed top excuses for travelling on a train without a ticket include “my dog ate my ticket” and “I never pay for travelling on the railway”.
Only people who board a train without a ticket and without any intention of buying a ticket are taken to court – about 500 to 700 people a month.
A further 4,000 to 6,000 people end up with penalty fares 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’s revenue protection teams use their discretion when inspecting tickets.
They are informed if ticket machines are out of order or ticket offices closed, so when these are used as reasons, they know if they are genuine.
Andrew Goodrum, Greater Anglia Customer Service Director, said: “It always works out cheaper to buy a ticket than end up with a fine. It also makes for a much less stressful journey if you know you’ve got the right ticket.
“In total 97p out of every £1 spent on tickets is invested back into the railway – so fare dodging ultimately leads to everyone who uses the railway losing out.”