Fare dodgers ordered to pay £30k

Monday, 4 June 2018

Fare dodgers left court £30,000 worse off after Greater Anglia prosecuted people caught riding trains without tickets.

A total of 72 people were prosecuted at Basildon Magistrates’ Court on Monday 14 May, after they were caught without tickets on Greater Anglia trains on the Southend Victoria line.

Magistrates imposed fines of £9,612 and costs of £5,718.90 on 43 people who were accused of fare evasion.

Warrants for arrest were issued against the remaining 29 defendants who had failed to respond to prosecution proceedings.

Magistrates in Ipswich ordered 38 fare dodgers to pay a total of £8,746 in fines and £5,100 in costs at a hearing on Tuesday 1 May.

Greater Anglia’s revenue protection officers had stopped them on trains in Suffolk and north Essex.

The rail company only prosecutes people caught on trains without tickets and without any means or intention to pay for them.

Between 500 to 750 people a month are prosecuted. A further 4,000 to 6,000 a month are issued with penalty fares for travelling with the wrong ticket, such as an adult travelling with a child’s ticket, or travelling in first class with a standard class ticket.

Greater Anglia Customer Service Director Andrew Goodrum said: “It’s always cheaper to buy a ticket rather than a fine.

“For every £1 spent on rail fares, 97p is invested in the railway. By not paying for a ticket, there’s less money available for investment to improve the railway for everyone.

“We have a range of great value fares and offers available – especially if you book in advance - and there’s plenty of ways to buy a ticket including ticket offices, ticket machines, online, and on our app.”