Sheffield fare-dodgers will NOW have to pay double fare - or a £20 fine - on Northern Rail trains

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Passengers on one Northern Rail line in Sheffield will now be fined £20 or double their fair if they wait to buy a ticket on the train.

Northern Rail have introduced penalty fares to help encourage all customers buy their travel before they board the train.

The new fines will be introduced throughout 2018 but kicked in on the Sheffield to Leeds, via Moorthorpe, line on Monday.

Passengers who get on a train without a ticket, where ticket buying facilities are available, will be liable for a fine.

It means passengers will no longer be able to jump on the train if they're running late, knowing they can buy a regular ticket on board.

If passengers can't prove that they couldn't buy a ticket at the station then they will be fined £20 or double the single fare, whichever is greater.

Despite the new fines, all passengers will still be able to buy tickets on board from a conductor but will have to buy a standard one if they can't prove they tried to buy a ticket before boarding.

If a passenger can prove that they were unable to buy a ticket before boarding, for example a broken ticket machine, they will be able to purchase the full range of fares on board.

If you're paying with cash then you will have to collect a 'promise to pay slip' from a machine, to qualify for the cheapest tickets.

Only passengers who arrive at their destination without a ticket will be fined by 'collectors'.

Paul Barnfield, Regional Director for Northern, said: “The Penalty Fares are a natural extension of the Buy Before You Board Campaign we launched in 2016 and follow a successful trial on the Airedale and Wharfedale lines earlier this 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 the end of May, 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,, whichever is higher.”

Passengers travelling on the Leeds to York via Harrogate line or the York to Manchester Victoria via Hebden Bridge route could face the fine in future.

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 new routes and leaflets will be handed out to provide further detail about the scheme.

Read more at: https://www.thestar.co.uk/news/northern-rail-s-new-tactic-to-stop-sheffield-passengers-dodging-train-fares-1-9096609