Number of penalty fares issued by Northern down 10% in first month since fine went up

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Northern has issued 10% less penalty fares in the first month since the Government increased the ‘fine’ to £100 compared to the same period last year.

A total of 3,831 people caught travelling without a valid ticket or ‘promise to pay’ notice were issued with a penalty fare, compared to 4,261 in the same period last year.

The train operator, which offers 2,500 services a day to more than 500 stations across the North of England, revealed adult passengers accounted for 81% of the penalty fares issued, with under 18s making up the remaining 19%.

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Mark Powles, commercial and customer director at Northern, said: “A sudden 10% reduction in the number of penalty fares being issued would suggest the increase to £100 has been effective in terms of a deterrent.

Northern staff member at ticket gateline.Northern staff member at ticket gateline.
Northern staff member at ticket gateline.

"Of course, this is only the first month - but it is definitely a step in the right direction.

“Upwards of 95% of our customers do the right thing and buy a ticket before they travel – and having invested in the largest network of digital ticket infrastructure of any train operator in the country, Northern has made it easier than ever to buy a ticket via our app, website or one of more than 600 ticket machines across the network.”

The government’s new £100 penalty fare came into effect on 23 January.

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Since 2005, the penalty fare had been just £20 – but it was felt that figure was too low and was no longer an effective deterrent.

Money raised through penalty fares issued by Northern will be re-invested in the rail industry to improve the service offered to all customers.