Why you can get fined travelling to Leeds by train

The train operator is introducing penalties on several lines from next week.
The train operator is introducing penalties on several lines from next week.
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Northern has announced the introduction of penalty fares on several new routes across the network - including one to Leeds.

The penalty fares are designed to discourage people from travelling on trains without first paying for their tickets and will be implemented on selected routes from next week following a trial earlier this year.

Fines will be £20 or double the cost of a single fare (whichever is the greater), will be enforced at destination stations by Northern’s authorised collectors.

Affected routes include the Manchester – Leeds (via Ashton under Lyne and Huddersfield) line as well as Blackpool to Liverpool, Preston to Manchester, Wigan to Manchester and Sheffield to Lincoln lines.

Northern says that most stations on penalty fare routes will have either ticket offices or ticket vending machines and so customers will have the opportunity to purchase tickets before they travel. In addition, tickets may be bought at any time before a customer boards a train by using the Northern App, with no booking fees incurred and if these facilities are not available at stations, or if offices are closed or machines out of order, customers will still be able to buy a ticket from the on-board conductor.

A spokesperson for Northern added: "If customers board from stations with ticket machines or staffed ticket offices, but do not have a valid ticket, they will only be eligible for standard fares if buying from the conductor. If a customer chooses to do this, they may be issued with a Penalty Fare if an authorised collector is encountered.

We are investing millions of pounds to introduce more than 600 new ticket machines across the network and have developed our website and mobile app to give customers more options and to make buying a ticket easier than ever before.

However, there will still be some circumstances in which customers are unable to buy tickets and our authorised collectors are able to use their discretion to ensure no-one faces unfair penalties.

Where customers do feel a penalty fare has been applied wrongly there is a tried and tested, independent appeals process which is used across the country."