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Rail fare cheats face a new crackdown from next month when East Midlands Trains introduces a penalty fare system.
The system is designed to act as a deterrent to fare dodgers whose actions drain millions of pounds of potential investment out of the UK rail network every year.
Individuals travelling without a valid ticket for their journey face a penalty fare of £20 or twice the full single fare - whichever is the greater amount - to the next train stop. They will then need to purchase a full single fare from the next station to their destination.
East Midlands Trains has launched a customer communication campaign, extra ticket machines at stations and a new internet sales site in advance of the new system going live on 7 December 2009.
The new system is being introduced with the backing of the Department for Transport following stakeholder consultation. Similar arrangements have already been put in place by many other rail operators across the country.
Every East Midlands Trains station covered by the scheme will have a facility to buy tickets in advance of travel.
Tim Shoveller, Managing Director of East Midlands Trains, said: “One of the things that passengers tell us consistently is that they are fed up with fare evaders.
“Regular fare cheats who try to dodge paying should know we are serious about tracking them down. We are on the side of honest, fare-paying passengers who end up paying for those who think the rules don’t apply to them.
“Our advice to customers is simple – please make sure you leave enough time to buy a ticket before you board the train. It’s no different to ensuring you buy a parking ticket when you park your car. If you don’t, you run the risk of a financial penalty.”
Tim Shoveller added: "Millions of pounds are lost every year through fare dodging – this is money that should be going back into improving trains and stations to make sure that passengers get the service they expect and deserve.”
Examples of when a Penalty Fare may be charged include:
For further details, please click here.