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Fines for dodging fares on trains increase by 500%

Emma Guinness

Published 
| Last updated 

Fines for dodging fares on trains increase by 500%

As the cost of living crisis tightens its grip, just about everything in the UK is going up in price and that includes the fine for dodging train fares.

The fare dodging fine is set to increase by a staggering 500 percent from £20 to a more significant £100, as revealed by the Department for Transport.

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The department claimed that they've made the significant increase because the old fine of £20 wasn't doing enough to deter people from dodging fares.

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The Rail Delivery Group, which represents train operators, said fare dodging costs rail firms a whopping £240 million a year.

However, while the fine has increased significantly, fare dodgers can have it halved to £50 if they cough up within 21 days of it being issued.

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."

They said that the current prevalence of fare dodging is directly affecting the taxpayer, who is 'currently footing the bill for those passengers travelling without a ticket'.

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The old £20 fine wasn't deterring enough people. Credit: Alamy / DFphotography
The old £20 fine wasn't deterring enough people. Credit: Alamy / DFphotography

The increased fine was approved by parliament on Wednesday (26 October) and is the first time that the fine has increased in 17 years.

In a statement about the train fare reform, the government said that the previous fine about £20 was low in comparison to other Western European Countries.

Prior to the announcement, the government said that they wanted to 'make fare evasion a less economical option' in England and Wales, where the increase is being applied.

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The Railways Act 2005 devolved the power for train fares to Scottish ministers. .

Train companies are looking for ways to increase revenue. Credit: Alamy / robertharding
Train companies are looking for ways to increase revenue. Credit: Alamy / robertharding

The change comes amid widespread rail strikes in the UK that have been causing travel chaos up and down the country.

It also comes amid a significant drop in revenue for rail companies as more people are choosing to work from home in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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This too is a motivating factor for the increased penalty.

Train companies are now trying to tempt customers back with a range of offers including flexi season tickets.

A spokesperson for the Department for Transport told LADbible: "Fare evasion is estimated to cost taxpayers around £240m a year.

"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."

Featured Image Credit: William Barton / PjrTransport / Alamy

Topics: UK News

Emma Guinness
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