Why do we have a Penalty Fare?

  • The Rail Delivery Group (RDG) estimates that in a normal year around £240 million is lost through fare evasion on Britain’s railways.
  • Fare evasion means that train operators, rail customers and taxpayers who subsidise the railway are paying for the journeys of those who deliberately travel by train without paying the correct fare.
  • When set against the impact that the Covid-19 pandemic had on passenger numbers and industry revenues, it’s never been more important to minimise the cost of fare evasion to the railways.
  • The Penalty Fare regulations allows train operators to target fare evaders, and therefore reduce the costs of ticketless travel while ensuring that honest, fare-paying passengers are not unfairly penalised.
  • By acting as an effective deterrent, more revenue will be generated by the railway, which can be re-invested to improve the quality of customer services.

Travelling without a ticket

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 fares may be charged, when a customer:

  • travels without a valid ticket
  • is unable to produce an appropriate railcard on a discounted ticket
  • is aged 16 or over, travelling on a child-rate ticket
  • travels beyond the destination on their ticket or on a train service where their ticket is not valid
  • travels with Oyster and / or contactless payment in an area where it is not valid

The penalty fare is £100 plus the cost of a single ticket for your journey. If the penalty fare is paid within 21 days it will be reduced to £50 plus the cost of the single ticket for your journey.

Electronic Penalty Fare Notices (EPFN)

Southeastern has introduced a new Electronic Penalty Fare Notice (EPFN) across our network.
Previously we issued paper penalty fare notices to those travelling without a valid ticket, but the EPFN system eliminates the need for revenue support officers to create hand-written notices.
Contact us for more information. 

More information