Hundreds of ticketless train travellers using Birmingham New Street station were issued with penalty fares during a cross-industry clampdown.
The day of action on Friday (Aug 16) saw revenue protection and security managers checking the tickets as passengers made their way in and out of the station. In total 206 penalty fare notices were issued and 39 people were referred for prosecution.
The day of action involved collaboration by revenue officers working for West Midlands Railway, London Northwestern Railway, CrossCountry, Virgin Trains and Transport for Wales, supported by Network Rail as the operators of Birmingham New Street.
Steven Fisher, head of on board experience for West Midlands Railway, said: “Operations like this are a great example of cross-industry working and will reassure fare-paying passengers that we are doing all we can to prevent ticketless travel on our network.
“Our revenue protection and security managers are out on out network every day to support the 97% of passengers who follow our advice and make sure they have a valid ticket before travelling. Tickets can be purchased from station staff, ticket vending machines, online, or via the West Midlands Railway app.
“Passengers who do not buy a ticket before travelling from a station where ticket-buying facilities are available may be issued with a penalty fare. These are £20 or twice the full single ticket price for a journey, whichever is greater.”
Malcolm Holmes, executive director of West Midlands Rail Executive, said: "This operation at Birmingham New Street was an excellent example of what the rail industry can achieve when it works together to tackle the problem of ticketless travel on our train services. I would like to pass on my congratulations to everyone involved in making the operation a success."
David Golding, interim managing director for Network Rail’s North West and Central Region, said: “With more people in the West Midlands choosing to travel by train it is important for us to support our train operators to ensure everyone pays for their journey. This cross-industry effort helps make sure the railway is fair for all passengers travelling through Birmingham New Street.”
Birmingham New Street is the busiest UK train station outside London, with more than 43 million passenger entries and exits recorded last year.
About West Midlands Trains
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West Midlands Trains operates both West Midlands Railway and London Northwestern Railway services.
- London Northwestern Railway services operate between Liverpool and Birmingham, and on the West Coast mainline to and from London Euston.
- West Midlands Railway services operate to destinations across the West Midlands via Birmingham New Street.
The West Midlands Trains franchise started on 10 December 2017 and will run until 2025/26.
West Midlands Trains operates 1,300 services a day, manages 150 stations and provides over 70 million passenger journeys a year. Over the course of the franchise, West Midlands Trains will be investing £1 billion into the rail network to deliver new trains, improved routes and station upgrades. This will include 400 new train carriages across the network and space for an extra 85,000 passengers into Birmingham and London at peak times.
The franchise is a joint venture between Abellio (70.1% share) and East Japan Railway Company / Mitsui & Co., Ltd (29.9% share in a 50:50 split). Abellio is the international passenger transport subsidiary of the Dutch national railway company, Nederlandse Spoorwegen. In the UK, Abelllio operates ScotRail and Greater Anglia train services, Merseyrail services in a joint venture with Serco and buses through Abellio London. For more information visit www.abellio.com
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