More rail penalty fare routes come on line

Manchester Evening News - - NEWS - By CHAR­LOTTE COX news­ @MENnews­desk

NORTH­ERN Rail has an­nounced the in­tro­duc­tion of fur­ther penalty fare routes across the net­work - but the Manch­ester Evening News can con­firm you CAN still buy tick­ets on board.

The penal­ties - of £20 or dou­ble the cost of a sin­gle fare - are de­signed to stop peo­ple board­ing trains with­out buy­ing a ticket on the plat­form.

They mean that that pas­sen­gers ar­riv­ing at their des­ti­na­tion with­out a ticket are likely to be stung by col­lec­tors.

But trav­ellers who don’t get their ticket at the sta­tion, per­haps be­cause they are run­ning late, will still have the chance to buy on board, a North­ern spokesman has con­firmed.

The rules just mean a pas­sen­ger who can’t prove they tried to buy a ticket be­fore board­ing they won’t be able to get a cheaper-rate ticket, and will have to buy a stan­dard one.

This could mean seek­ing out a con­duc­tor - which North­ern says are still in place on EV­ERY train.

North­ern first in­tro­duced penalty fares ear­lier this year with a trial and the op­er­a­tor claims the scheme has been ‘praised.’

Buoyed by the trial, the fines are now be­ing ex­tended to more routes from De­cem­ber 6. They are: ■Manch­ester to Sh­effield ■Wigan to Kirkby ■Wigan to South­port ■Pre­ston to Colne - and through to Heb­den Bridge ■Pre­ston to Orm­skirk ■Hull to Scar­bor­ough ■Mid­dles­brough to Whitby

A spokesman said: “Most sta­tions on penalty fare routes will have ei­ther ticket of­fices or ticket vend­ing ma­chines and so cus­tomers will have the op­por­tu­nity to pur­chase tick­ets be­fore they travel.”

North­ern say they are in­vest­ing ‘mil­lions’ to in­stall more than 600 new ticket ma­chines across the net­work.

But they said col­lec­tors would ‘use their dis­cre­tion’ to en­sure ‘noone faces un­fair penal­ties.’

An in­de­pen­dent ap­peals process is avail­able for when pas­sen­gers feel a fare has been wrongly ap­plied.

North­ern Rail is ex­pand­ing its penalty fare pro­gramme

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