‘No excuse for fare dodging’ says train company

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TRAIN operator Grand Central says its customers have no excuse for fare-dodging, after a new report showed the cost of the problem.

The Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) says fare dodgers are making more than 110,000 journeys every day, which is leaving the rail network and other passengers out of pocket by an estimated £200million a year.

ATOC commercial director David Mapp said: “It’s frustrating for the vast majority of honest passengers who do pay for their ticket when fare dodgers’ selfish actions suck millions of pounds out of the railways each year.

“That’s money both train companies and passengers alike would rather see going back into further improving services.”

But a spokesman for Grand Central, which operates the rail link between Sunderland and London’s King’s Cross, said the firm’s policy of selling tickets on the train for the same price as at the ticket office meant it had little problem with passengers trying to ride for free.

“Because Grand Central is happy to sell tickets aboard our services we don’t experience the same sort of problems that other operators have with ticketless travel,” he said.

“Indeed, many of our passengers compliment Grand Central staff for not assuming they are criminals when they want to buy tickets aboard our trains.

“Tickets bought aboard Grand Central rail services are the same price as those bought at stations.”