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Train fare dodgers ordered to pay almost £400,000

Fare dodgers were ordered to pay almost £400,000 after Greater Anglia prosecuted people caught riding trains without tickets over a two-month period.

More than 1,300 people were prosecuted between December 1, 2019, and January 31, 2020 – 23 of whom appeared at Suffolk Magistrate's Court – after they were caught without tickets on Greater Anglia trains.

Magistrates across the region imposed fines of more than £150,000 and costs of more than £235,000 on people who were accused of fare evasion across the network.

Greater Anglia train (29517460)
Greater Anglia train (29517460)

Cases were heard at courts across Suffolk, Essex, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire and London. Suffolk Magistrate's Court, in Ipswich, heard 23 cases, with £539.80 awarded to Greater Anglia and £600 in court fees.

Only people who board a train without a ticket and without any intention of buying a ticket are taken to court – about 500 to 700 people a month.

A further 4,000 to 6,000 people end up with penalty fares for using the wrong ticket to travel, such as an adult travelling on a child’s ticket or using a rail card discount when they do not have a railcard.

Kim Bucknell, Greater Anglia’s head of customer service, said: “For every £1 spent on rail fares, 98p is invested in the railway. By not paying for a ticket, there is less money available for investment to improve the railway.”

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