Each year the UK rail network carries 750 million passengers and earns over £3 billion from the sale of tickets. Even if only a small percentage of these passengers travel without paying, the rail network will lose a considerable amount of money.
Reducing the number of people who travel without a ticket is not only in the interest of us, the operator, but also in the interest of our fare-paying passengers.
Few of us want to pay more for our tickets because some people avoid paying, they reduce the money available to invest in a better rail service.
We can reduce the number of people who travel without a ticket in a number of ways. On long distance trains and rural routes it is often possible for the on-board staff to check every passenger’s ticket.
However, on urban and suburban routes, where station stops are frequent and the trains are often busy, it is not always possible to check every passenger’s ticket between every station.
Before you travel you must have a valid ticket or other authority to travel which is valid for the train(s) you intend to use and for the journey you intend to make.
If you travel on a train without a ticket, you will be liable to pay the full single fare or full return fare or, if appropriate, a penalty fare for your journey.
Examples of when a penalty fare may be charged, if a passenger:
- travels without a valid ticket;
- is unable to produce an appropriate railcard on a discounted ticket;
- travels in first class accommodation with a standard ticket;
- is aged 16 or over, travelling on a child rate ticket;
- travels beyond the destination of their ticket.
The penalty is £20 or twice the full single fare from the station where the passenger got on the train to the next station at which the train stops, whichever is the greater.
If you don't want to queue you can always buy your tickets online -