Penalty Fares FAQs

Penalty fares frequently asked questions.

An on-the-spot fare issued to anyone who does not have a valid ticket for their journey, when they have had the opportunity to purchase one. The penalty fare is currently £20 or twice the full priced single fare to the next station stop, whichever is greater.

Penalty fares apply at the majority of our stations and on-board our trains, which means that anyone who does not have a valid ticket for their journey will be liable to pay a fine.

Full details of our Penalty Fare scheme can be found on our Penalty Fares page

No. If you do not wish to pay immediately your name and address will be taken and a bill will be given to you so payment can be made within 21 days.

If the penalty fare is not paid in full within 21 days, you may become liable to legal proceedings which can result in a fine or a court summons.

If you board at a station that has no ticket office, ticket machines or permit to travel machine available, you must buy your ticket from the staff on the train at the earliest opportunity.

You can board the train and pay the correct fare for your trip. Revenue protection staff will call our control office to verify that there was no opportunity to purchase a ticket.

Obtain a permit to travel ticket and we will refund the cash paid when you purchase your ticket by credit card.

You must buy a ticket before you board the train regardless of when the train departs. On most routes however, we operate a frequent service and there’s plenty of time to buy a ticket and board the next train.

This is the reason for not buying a ticket we hear most often by people who have no intention of paying. It makes it impossible for us to distinguish a genuine from a dishonest case and a penalty fare will normally be issued. We monitor queuing times at all of our stations in order to minimise waiting. Revenue protection staff will call our control office to verify there was no opportunity to purchase a ticket.