Hundreds of ticketless travellers given penalty fares at Birmingham New Street

West Midlands Railway ticketless travellers clampdown

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.

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."

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."

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 station outside London, with more than 43 million passenger entries and exits recorded last year.