Penalty Trial To Tackle West Yorkshire Train Fare Evaders

Northern is introducing a £20 penalty fare on the Airedale and Wharfedale lines

Train operator Northern is getting ready to launch the latest phase of its campaign to encourage all customers to buy their travel before they board the train.

The latest phase of the campaign is to introduce the nationally-recognised penalty fares system on the Airedale and Wharfedale lines in West and North Yorkshire.

From today, customers travelling without a ticket on a Northern train anywhere between Leeds and Bradford Forster Square, Leeds/Bradford and Ilkley, or Leeds/Bradford and Skipton, could face a penalty fare of £20.

Paul Barnfield, Regional Director for Northern, said: "The penalty fares are a natural extension of the Buy Before You Board Campaign we launched last year.

"Sadly there is still a minority who believe they have a right to travel without buying a ticket. Their actions reduce the overall income of the rail industry and, as a result, reduces the money available to invest in further improvements to the railway.

"Everyone who travels by train should have a valid ticket or pass.  Or must be able to demonstrate they have made every effort to buy a ticket before they boarded.

"If they are unable to do either of these then, from 6 December, our authorised collectors will be on hand at stations along the routes to either issue £20 fines or ask customers to pay double the cost of a single ticket to their destination."

As part of Northern's ongoing modernisation of the rail network, significant investment has been made in introducing new ticket machines to give customers more choice and greater ease when buying their tickets.

Paul added: "We have invested in new state-of-the-art ticket machines at all stations on the Airedale and Wharfedale lines. These machines offer a full range of fares - including discounts.

"With online and mobile ticketing, as well as ticket offices at our staffed stations, there is really no reason for anyone to board a train without a valid ticket.

"For customers who want to pay by cash, our ticket machines will issue Promise to Pay notices which can be exchanged (along with a cash payment) for a ticket when on board the service or at the next available ticket office."

Penalty fares are currently used by many other train operators. The system, which has been in operation for more than 20 years, works to a national set of rules which include signs and warning notices at stations. 

There is also a clear appeals process which has been tried and tested by the industry.

Posters explaining penalty fares will be displayed at all stations on the Airedale and Wharfedale lines and leaflets will be handed out to provide further detail about the scheme. 

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