Fine for dodging rail fares soars five-fold to £100 in major new crackdown 

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  • DfT hopes to recover more £240million lost in fare theft on railways
  • Follows the concern of the current £20 fine, introduced in 2005, which was not a deterrent
  • This means that fines in England and Wales will be higher than in many European countries.

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Penalties for Rail Fare Dodgers have increased fivefold to £100 in one action.

The Department for Transport (DFT) expects to recover more than £240 million lost in fare theft on railways in England and Wales each year.

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This follows concerns that the current £20 fine, introduced in 2005, was no longer a deterrent.

A DfT spokesman said: ‘With the loss of more than £240million each year due to fare theft on our railways, these important deterrents are effective and fair.’

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The Department for Transport (DFT) expects to recover more than £240 million lost in fare theft on railways in England and Wales each year

In addition to a £100 fine, Fare Dodgers will also have to pay the price of a ticket they fail to purchase. If payment is made within 21 days, the penalty will be reduced to £50.

The increase, to be launched in the spring, brings the railway in line with other transport providers, such as Manchester’s Metrolink.

It also means that fines in England and Wales will be higher than in many European countries, such as Germany where thieves pay £55, and France, where they pay £46.

The DFT said: ‘Fare evasion is a cost to train operators, rail passengers and taxpayers who ultimately subsidize the travel of those who knowingly travel by train without paying the correct fare.

This follows concerns that the current £20 fine, introduced in 2005, was no longer a deterrent.

This follows concerns that the current £20 fine, introduced in 2005, was no longer a deterrent.

The Rail Delivery Group estimates that in a typical year there is a loss of around £240 million through fare evasion on Great Britain’s railways.

‘When set against the profound impact of the coronavirus on passenger numbers and the industry’s revenue, it has never been more important for the Railways to reduce the cost of fare evasion.’

Penalty fare is issued only in cases where a passenger had the facility to purchase a ticket at the departure station, and has passed signs stating the consequences of not having a ticket.

DfT said it would issue an update in the spring of 2022 when the new penalty fares are introduced in England and Wales.

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