Train Chiefs Threaten Blitz on the Fare Cheats

Article excerpt

Byline: DICK MURRAY

A MAJOR new crackdown against ticket cheats is to be launched next week by London's three busiest rail operators.

Companies responsible for carrying 500,000 passengers every day say they are determined to stop fare dodgers who they claim are costing them [pounds sterling]40 million a year.

It will mean commuters facing more spot checks from increased numbers of ticket inspectors, more possibility of being delayed at main line stations during peak times for ticket inspections and more barriers being introduced throughout the region.

South Eastern Trains, South West Trains and Southern say if they clawed back the [pounds sterling]40million they could buy 50 new state-of-the art carriages or hire more than 2,000 extra staff Starting Monday SET, which estimates it is losing [pounds sterling]10 million a year, is expanding its on-the-spot [pounds sterling]10 fines across many new areas in Kent and Sussex.

The penalty fares system - under which passengers without a ticket face having to pay double the single fare for the journey or [pounds sterling]10, whichever the higher - currently operates only on inner-London services. …