One in four commuters admits to fare-dodging

One in four commuters admits to fare-dodging
One in four commuters admits to fare-dodging




One in four commuters have admitted to catching a train without paying on at least one occasion.

And the same number of people consider it to be a victimless crime.

The results come from a Sky Data survey, in which Sky News was granted exclusive access to Operation Bond, a day of action led by London Midland trains and supported by the British Transport Police.

See also: 'UK's biggest train fare dodger': Rail company says it lost £23k

See also: Most outrageous fare-doding excuse ever? 'I had to use ticket as toilet paper'


The site reports that one of the most common reasons given for getting on the train without paying was that people were running late and would have missed their trains if they stopped to buy a ticket.

But, the report adds, it was clear that some people were clearly just being dishonest.

Francis Thomas from London Midland trains says that, despite common belief, not paying for your ticket is not a victimless crime.

She told the site: "There are only two ways of funding the railway. It's either through the fare box or from the public purse.

"So if you're travelling without a ticket, you're robbing from one or the other, and probably both."

The news comes just as it was reported that a barrister who has been branded the "UK's biggest train fare-dodger" is to appear in court so the losses caused can be determined.

Peter Barnett, 44, is said to have spent more than two years avoiding paying for his ticket, causing a loss of £23,000 to Chiltern Railways.

He regularly travelled from his Oxford home to London Marylebone but pretended to have only travelled from Wembley, north-west London.

Barnett argues that he only dodged up to £9,714.40, submitting that the amount should be based on the cost of a weekly ticket and take into account annual leave.

But prosecutor Malachy Pakenham told Westminster Magistrates' Court in April: "If it is accepted that the loss was £23,000, this defendant would be convicted of the biggest rail evasion case that has come to the court in the United Kingdom."

Read more about the Sky Data survey at Sky News.



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