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Penalty fares and prosecutions

If you can’t produce a valid ticket for your full journey, you may be charged a Penalty Fare. Learn the rules and see what a Penalty Fare might cost you.

Why we use this scheme

When a small percentage of people travel without paying, it adds up – the railway loses an estimated £500m every year through ticketless travel and fraud. That’s a lot of money that could be spent for maintenance, staff and improvements. And it’s very unfair for our honest, paying passengers.

We are committed to making sure that all passenger journeys made with us are paid for.

How much is a Penalty Fare?

A Penalty Fare is £100 plus the price of the full single fare applicable for your intended journey. However, if it is paid within 21 days, the Penalty Fare is reduced to £50 plus the price of the single fare applicable.

When can I be charged with a Penalty Fare?

You may have to pay a Penalty Fare if you:

  • Travel without a valid ticket
  • Are unable to produce an appropriate Railcard for a discount ticket
  • Travel in First Class accommodation with a Standard ticket
  • Are aged 16 or over, travelling on a child rate ticket
  • Travel beyond the destination on your ticket.

If you are a disabled passenger, and are unable to easily purchase a ticket at the station where the journey starts, then the appropriate fare, including discount if applicable, can be paid en route without penalty.

If you travel on the railway intending not to pay the fare, then you may be prosecuted for fraud. The current maximum penalty upon conviction is £1,000 fine and/or 3 months imprisonment.

You are required by law to provide your full name and address to the inspector even if you pay the penalty fare in full. They can check these details and will know if the details you give are not correct.

Frequently asked questions – Penalty fares

Frequently asked questions – Prosecutions

Read the fine print

Here we share our revenue protection policies so that you can be sure we deal with everyone fairly and consistently