Hundreds of ticketless travellers were issued with penalty fares during a cross-industry clampdown at Birmingham New Street last week.

The day of action on Friday (16/08) saw revenue protection staff checking 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.

Between April 2018 and April 2019, a staggering £1.2 million was recovered from ticketless rail travellers using London Northwestern Railway and West Midlands Railway.

Steven Fisher, head of onboard 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.”

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.

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.”