May 3, 2023 6.00 pm This story is over 6 months old

No battery, no excuse: Train operator warns fare dodgers of £100 fines

Some people thought they can avoid paying for tickets

East Midlands Railway is warning passengers they may face a £100 fine if they cannot show an e-ticket due to their phone running out of power.

The reminder comes as the rail provider says it has no way of distinguishing those who genuinely had a ticket and those who try to fare-dodge by using a dead phone battery as an excuse.

In such circumstances, East Midlands Railway staff will be left with no option but to issue a national penalty fare of £100.

East Midlands Railway operates services across Lincolnshire, and is one of the primary rail providers in the county.

The majority of EMR trains do provide phone charging access for customers if needed, and gateline staff often have access to phone chargers – though this can lead to an “unnecessary delay”.

Neil Grabham, Customer Services Director at East Midlands Railway, said: “Customers not only have a duty to buy a ticket before they board one of our trains – but also they must be able to present it for inspection.

“Some fraudulent travellers think they can avoid paying for an e-ticket by pretending they bought one and then informing EMR staff that their phone has no charge when challenged.

“This excuse won’t work and if the phone cannot be charged, EMR enforcement officers will issue penalty fares.

“The majority of our trains provide customers the opportunity to charge their phones, while many of our gatelines have chargers available as needed.

“For the railway to successfully operate, improve, and secure investment, fares need to be paid for and if you choose to deliberately avoid paying for a ticket you should expect to receive a £100 penalty fare.

“Don’t risk it, buy a ticket!”

Customers have been reminded to buy their ticket online, from a ticket machine or from a ticket office – and if using pay as you go or a smartcard ticket, be sure to touch in to start your journey as required.

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