West Midlands Railway bosses have warned fare evaders following figures revealing thousands of pounds worth of fines for non-payment last year.

The news comes one year after the national penalty fare for ticketless travel was raised to at least £100 as part of an effort to curb fare evasion.

In 2023, West Midlands Railway and its sister company, London Northwestern Railway, issued a combined 41,691 penalty fares to ticketless passengers.


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Additionally, 8,760 of the fares led to court prosecutions and a further 1,208 cautions were given.

The companies also recouped over £300,000 in lost revenue through its digital fraud team.

Annamaria Izzard, Head of Revenue Protection at West Midlands Railway, was quoted with a stern warning to fare evaders.

She said: "Millions of pounds of vital revenue is lost due to fare evasion every year and I hope these figures encourage people to think twice about ticketless travel.

"Our teams are out on trains and at stations checking tickets every day and the clear message to passengers is that trying to dodge your fare is simply not worth the risk of getting a fine and potential prosecution through the courts.

"Everyone who boards one of our services should have a valid ticket for their journey to ensure fairness for paying customers on the railway."

The minimum penalty fare was raised to £100 from January 23, 2023, which can be reduced to £50, plus the cost of a full single fare, if paid within 21 days.

Ignorance of the rules is no defence, as passengers could face a penalty fare under various conditions which include traveling without a ticket, using a Railcard without being able to provide the appropriate document, traveling in first class with a standard class ticket, using a child's ticket when aged 16 or above, or traveling further than the destination listed on their ticket.

For more detailed information on these penalty fares, passengers are encouraged to visit the West Midlands Railway website.