The Department for Transport has announced that the fine for travelling without a train ticket is increasing to £100+.
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If you don’t have a valid ticket for travel, you will currently get fined £20 or twice the ticket price to the next station the train calls at.
From next year, the Department for Transport will increase the fine to £100.
They are increasing the charge because they don’t believe the lower figure is enough to put people off from not paying.
This is the first increase in the penalty charge for 17 years.
When can Penalty Fares be issued?
There are several reasons you can be issued a penalty fine – it’s not just about not buying a ticket before you travel.
A fine can be issued if you:
- travel without a valid ticket;
- are unable to produce an appropriate Railcard on a discounted ticket;
- travel in First Class accommodation with a Standard class ticket;
- are aged 16 or over, travelling on a child rate ticket;
- travel beyond the destination on your ticket.
Train fine increasing
From January 2023, the penalty fine is increasing to £100 if you don’t have a valid ticket for travel.
On top of this, you will also need to pay the ticket price for the journey.
If you pay the penalty within 21 days, they’ll reduce the fine to £50.
The changes apply to England only.
A spokesman for the Department for Transport said:
“We need penalty fares to act as a proper deterrent, and we are putting in place a modern system that will help create a more sustainable railway.”
According to the government department, fare evasion costs the rail industry around £240 million a year.
Who can issue fines?
The following National Rail Train Operating Companies can issue train fines:
- Chiltern Railways
- East Midlands Railway
- Gatwick Express
- Greater Northern
- Greater Anglia
- London Northwestern Railway
- South Western Railway
- Stansted Express
- TransPennine Express
- Transport for Wales
- West Midlands Railway
The rules are different in London and Manchester. Penalty fares issued by Transport for London and Manchester Metrolink operators are under other regulations.
Their fines are currently £80 and £100, so this change will bring the penalties more in line nationally.